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Islamic Studies

The MA in Islamic Studies is designed to give students a foundation in Islamic Studies through the study of Arabic and courses on the Qu’ran and hadith studies, Islamic law, theology, gender, history (classical, medieval, and modern), philosophy and mysticism, and modern developments in the Muslim world. All students must pass a course in intermediate Arabic to meet the primary text language requirement. Students will also be trained to address the relation of Islam to other religions through comparative courses in Christianity and Judaism.

The degree will provide excellent preparation for a PhD in Islamic Studies, for PhDs in other areas of the study of religion (philosophy, theology, history of religions) and for PhD Studies outside of religion (politics, economics, history, communications) and for work and service in Muslim communities. Students in the program may take a semester abroad. The Religion department has established connections with Al Azhar University and Cairo University in Egypt. Arrangements may be made to study at other universities as well. Financial aid is available for qualified students.

Program Background

The MA in Islamic Studies was established through the several grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the support of the Muslim community through the fund-raising efforts of the Islamic Studies Council. In 2000 a Focus Grant “Engaging Islam” involved the Religion faculty in a semester long study of Islam in preparation for creating an MA. An NEH Curriculum Grant “Comparing Religions: Theory and Practice” funded the development of comparative courses. Finally an NEH Challenge Grant provided matching funds to support an endowed chair in Islamic Studies. For more information, please visit the webpages for Religion's Islamic Studies Council.

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