The Master of Arts in Islamic Studies examines Islam’s relation to other religious traditions and the contemporary debates and issues concerning Muslims globally.

From its inception to its place among contemporary nations and religions, Islam and its global identity are central areas of study in this unique master’s program. You will examine leading Islamic scholarship and gain broad understanding of Islam’s scriptural texts. A focus on the development of Islamic thought through the primary domains of Islamic literature—theology, philosophy, and mysticism—will enable you to understand the religion’s socio-historical, political, and cultural frameworks, a holistic view merging past and present perspectives. You will also address the relation of Islam to other religions by taking comparative courses in Christianity and Judaism. This program provides excellent background preparation for a doctoral degree in religion or to pursue a variety of careers in government, international corporations, media outlets and non-profit organizations.

Program Highlights
  • The MA in Islamic Studies offers three tracks of study: Quranic Studies; Sexuality, Gender, and Feminist Studies in Islam; and Environmental Studies in Islam.
  • Interdisciplinary concentrations are available to Religion students, including American Studies, Continental Philosophy, Early Modern Studies, Hemispheric & Transnational Studies, Media Studies, and Museum Studies.
  • You will have access to CGU, Claremont University Consortium, and the Claremont School of Theology (CST) libraries, which offer more than two million volumes, more than 250,000 in the field of religion alone.

Program at a Glance

48 units

2 years

Cost Per Unit 2017–2018: $1,902

Fall | Spring


MA in Islamic Studies

Featured Courses

Introduction to Islamic Studies

Provides a comprehensive introduction to the rich, evolving, and multifarious religious tradition of Islam through an interdisciplinary and critical examination of salient readings and issues.

Classical Arabic Literature & the Qur’an

Examines the Qur’an as the document of a communication process and studies its inter-textual relation with ancient Arabic poetry and Biblical and post-Biblical traditions.

REL 444
Islamic Cosmology & Mysticism

Explores the interconnections between Islamic cosmology and religion, art, architecture, hermeneutics, and more, as well as Islamic cosmological contributions to contemporary ecological issues.

REL 458
Feminism & Quranic Studies

Explores feminist inquiry regarding Muslim women and their representation in the Qur’an, as well as Muslim feminist theological interpretations and exegeses of the Qur’an.

REL 362
Theories of Religion

Takes an in-depth survey of the major theories of religion as they are portrayed through some of their influential interpreters in the post-Enlightenment West.


Tracks of Study Sample Courses

Quranic Studies

Environmental Studies in Islam

Sexuality, Gender & Feminist Studies in Islam

Faculty & Research

  • Ruqayya Y. Khan profile image

    Ruqayya Y. Khan

    Associate Professor of Religion
    Malas Chair of Islamic Studies
    Chair, Religion Department

    Research Interests

    The Qur'an, Arabic literatures, Progressive Islamic theologies, Women in Islam, Islam and environmental ethics, Islam and the digital age

  • Patrick Mason profile image

    Patrick Mason

    Dean, School of Arts & Humanities
    Associate Professor of Religion
    Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies

    Research Interests

    Religion, Mormonism, Peace studies, American religious history

  • Ingolf Dalferth profile image

    Ingolf Dalferth

    Danforth Professor of Philosophy of Religion

    Research Interests

    Philosophical and theological hermeneutics, Ecumenical theology, Subjectivity theory, Religion and emotion

  • Anselm Min profile image

    Anselm Min

    Professor of Religion

    Research Interests

    Theology of globalization, Liberation theology, Religious pluralism, Comparative theology, Contemporary systematic theology, Postmodern philosophy and theology

  • Tammi J. Schneider profile image

    Tammi J. Schneider

    Professor of Religion

    Research Interests

    Ancient Near Eastern history, literature, archaeology, and religion;
    Women in the Hebrew Bible

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

As a student in the School of Arts & Humanities, you have the option of completing one of six interdisciplinary concentrations.

American Studies

The American Studies concentration takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of United States culture, society, civilization, and identity through the curricular lenses of history, literature, critical theory, and more.

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Continental Philosophy

This concentration explores Continental Philosophy in relation to the historical roots it shares with Analytic Philosophy—specifically the work of Descartes, Kant, and Plato. Faculty-scholars teach a wide range of figures in Continental Philosophy.

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Early Modern Studies

The Early Modern Studies concentration undertakes interdisciplinary examination of history, culture, politics, and society within the transitional and transformative period that stretched between Medieval and modern societies, marked especially by the advent of print, Christian confessional war, and the rise of the modern state.

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Hemispheric & Transnational Studies

A comparative analysis of culture in the Americas, the concentration in Hemispheric & Transnational Studies explores how scholarship on the Atlantic, borderlands, and diaspora have reshaped U.S. American Studies, Caribbean Studies, and Latin American Studies, emphasizing the topics of empire, race, religion, and revolution.

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Media Studies

Situated at the bustling intersection of cultural studies, new media, critical theory, and popular culture, the burgeoning field of Media Studies examines the creative and critical practices of media consumers, producers, artists, and scholars, focusing on questions of representation, power, technology, politics, and economy.

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Museum Studies

The Museum Studies concentration investigates the history and political role of museums in society, the interpretation and display of a wide variety of cultural productions, and topics of special concern to museums as cultural organizations, using a multidisciplinary, practice-based approach to understand the historical development of this evolving field.

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These concentrations are available for students pursuing the following degree programs:

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Amy Sandefur

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-9101 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)