The MA program in Islamic Studies is designed to give students a foundation in the intellectual study of Islam, including but not limited to three tracks of study that are available as options:
Sexuality, Gender and Feminist Studies in Islam
Environmental Studies in Islam
The program as a whole is oriented toward an analysis of contemporary debates and issues concerning Muslims globally. Moreover, the MA engages with discourses of history (classical, medieval, and modern), and mysticism, and current developments in the Muslim world. Students will also be trained to address the relation of Islam to other religions through comparative courses in Christianity and Judaism. All students must pass a course in intermediate Arabic to meet the primary text language requirement.
An MA in Islamic studies brings added strength as regards possibilities on several fronts: finding a job (e.g., State Department; International Corporations; Media Outlets; Non-Profit Work) or an internship (in any of the aforementioned sectors) in the greater Los Angeles area or beyond. Also, the degree will provide excellent preparation for a PhD in Islamic Studies or for PhDs in other disciplinary areas, including but not limited to the field of the study of religion (history of religions, comparative religions, theology) and doctoral programs in history, politics, economics, linguistics, communications, and anthropology.
The Religion department has established connections with international universities including Al-Azhar University in Egypt. Arrangements may be made to study at other universities as well.
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.
Financial aid is available for qualified students.
Students can complete the MA in Islamic Studies in 2 years of full-time study (12 units per semester), but the department also welcomes students seeking part-time study (4 to 8 units per semester). The institutional time limit for completing a MA degree is 5 years. Requirements are as follows:
48 units of approved coursework are required for the degree including:
28 units of required courses: “Theories of Religion,” “Introduction to Islamic Studies,” “Classical Islam,” “Literature of the Qur’an,” “Islamic Cosmology & Mysticism,” “Feminism and Qur’anic Studies,” and one other approved course on Islam.
8 units of comparative courses
Competency in intermediate Arabic (students may complete intermediate Arabic courses at other institutions and transfer in up to 10 units to fulfill this requirement OR students must pass a translation exam administered by the School of Arts & Humanities to fulfill the requirement). For more information about Arabic courses and/or the language exam, see www.cgu.edu/sah/languageexam.
Research Tool - fulfilled by passing a foreign language translation exam administered by the School of Arts & Humanities, or, with advisor approval, the Research Tool may be fulfilled by completing an approved research methods course (the language is determined in consultation with the academic advisor; for more information about the language exam, see www.cgu.edu/sah/languageexam)