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Islamic Studies

MA in Islamic Studies

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, Early Modern Studies, Hemispheric & Transnational Studies, Media Studies, and Museum Studies.
  • You will have access to the libraries of CGU and Claremont University Consortium which offer more than two million volumes – more than 250,000 in the field of religion alone.

Program At-a-glance

  • 40 units

    required units

  • MA in Islamic Studies

    degree awarded

  • In Person


  • Spring, Fall

    program start

  • 2 years | full time*

    estimated completion time

Areas of Concentration

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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Gigi Audoma

Director of Recruitment for the School of Arts & Humanities


Where You Can Find Our Alumni


  • Ruqayya Khan

    Ruqayya Y. Khan

    Professor of Religion
    Malas Chair of Islamic Studies

    Research Interests

    The Qur'an, Arabic literatures, progressive Islamic theologies, women in Islam, Islam and environmental ethics, Islam and the digital age, late antiquity and Islam, origins of Islam, cultures of Umayyad Damascus and Abbasid Baghdad

  • Portrait of Sallama Shaker

    Sallama Shaker

    Senior Fellow of Middle East & International Studies

    Research Interests

    Power Politics, Religion, and Culture in the Middle East; Feminization of Poverty and Global Challenges; Globalization

  • Portrait of Nicola Denzey Lewis

    Nicola Denzey Lewis

    Professor of Religion
    Margo L. Goldsmith Chair in Women’s Studies in Religion

    Research Interests

    Social and Intellectual History of the Roman Empire, Gnosticism, Women’s Studies, Religion in the Roman Empire and Late Roman Empire, Late Antiquity

  • Portrait of Daniel Ramirez

    Daniel Ramírez

    Associate Professor of Religion

    Research Interests

    American religious history; Latin American religious history; Religion, migration, and transnationalism; Religion in borderlands; Contemporary theories of religion

  • Portrait of Tammi Schneider

    Tammi J. Schneider

    Danforth Professor of Religion
    Chair, Religion Department

    Research Interests

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


  • 40 units of approved coursework
  • Competency in intermediate Arabic (students may complete intermediate Arabic courses at other institutions and transfer 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)
  • Research Tool: The requirement is fulfilled by passing a foreign language translation exam administered by the School of Arts & Humanities; in some cases, and with advisor approval, the Research Tool may be fulfilled by completing an approved research methods course.
  • Thesis

Tracks of Study Sample Courses

Quranic Studies

  • Introduction to Islamic Studies
  • Classical Arabic Literature & the Qur’an
  • Feminism & Quranic Studies
  • Western Quranic Studies
  • Scripturalization Seminar
  • Comparative Religion Seminar

Environmental Studies in Islam

  • Introduction to Islamic Studies
  • Environmental Ethics & Mystical Traditions in Islam
  • Islamic Cosmology & Mysticism
  • Divine Body: Religion & the Environment
  • Islamic Philosophy

Sexuality, Gender & Feminist Studies in Islam

  • Introduction to Islamic Studies
  • Engendering & Experience: Women in the Islamic Tradition
  • Gender & Sexuality in North Africa: Mernissi, al-Sadaawi & Djebar
  • Contemporary Issues in Gender & Islam
  • Seminar in Sexuality & Religion
  • Feminist Approaches to the Genre, Wives of the Prophet

Application Guidelines

Requirements Summary

Item Description
Application Fee $80
Official Transcripts Yes
Letters of Recommendation 3
Statement of Purpose Yes
Resume Yes
Standardized Test Scores Optional
Other Requirements Writing sample, English proficiency exam

Key Dates and Deadlines

CGU operates on a priority deadline cycle and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit complete applications by the priority dates in order to assure maximum consideration for both admission and fellowships.

Spring 2024
Priority Deadline – November 1, 2023
Final Deadline (International) – November 15, 2023
Final Deadline (Domestic) – December 1, 2023
Classes begin – January 16, 2024

Fall 2024
Priority Deadline – February 1, 2024
Final Deadline (International) – July 5, 2024
Final Deadline (Domestic) – August 1, 2024
Classes begin – August 26, 2024

Review General Guidelines

Cost & Aid

Program 40 units
Tuition per unit* $2,020

*Based on 2023-2024 tuition rates.


$245 Student Fee
$150 Technology Fee
International Student Services Fee*: $661 fall semester, $776 spring semester
**Applies to all international students (F-1 visa only) who are registered in coursework, doctoral study, or continuous registration. The fee is assessed each fall and spring semester for annual ISO accident and sickness plans and administrative fees. Subject to change.

For estimates of room & board, books, etc., please download CGU’s Cost of Attendance 2022-2023 .

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