Master of Arts Degree


The Master of Arts in Islamic Studies Program offers a two-year sequence of instructional coursework that culminates in the Master of Arts (MA) degree. The MA Program provides students with a rigorous background in both traditional and analytical approaches to Islamic Studies. All students are required to complete a central core or obligatory seven (7) course or twenty-one (21) credit hours of foundational instruction in Islamic Studies. These courses include Arabic, Academic Study of Islam, Reading and Interpreting the Qur’an, Prophetic Biography and Hadith Literature, Islamic Ethics and Spirituality, Islam and Gender Studies, and Great Debates within Muslim Theology.

The Program offers students two distinct areas of concentration in either Islamic Theology or Islam and Global Studies. MA students are required to take a minimum of five courses (15 credit hours) in their concentration, including a Masters Thesis or Masters Research Project that will count as one, three credit-hour course.

The Islamic Theology concentration trains students in such disciplines as Advanced Qur’anic and Hadith Studies, Islamic
Jurisprudence (al-fiqh), Islamic Philosophy and Theology, and Islamic Spirituality. The Islam and Global Studies concentration
focuses on Islamic History, International Studies, and contemporary socio-political theory.

The Master of Arts in Islamic Studies Program requires 36 semester hours distributed as follows:


  • 21 credit hours in the core courses; and
  • 15 credit hours in the area of concentration (including 3 hours for the MA Thesis).

Core Courses (21 Credits):

ARAB 301 – Advanced Arabic I
IS 501 – The Academic Study of Islam
IS 503 – Reading and Interpreting the Qur’an
IS 504 – Prophetic Biography and Hadith Literature
IS 511 – Islamic Ethics and Spirituality
IS 515 – Islam and Gender Studies
IS 516 – Great Debates within Muslim Theology

Area of Concentration (15 Credits):

Islamic Theology (Any 4 Courses + Thesis):
ARAB 302 – Reading Religious Texts (Arabic)
IS 505 – Hadith Sciences
IS 531 – Islamic Mysticism (Sufism)
IS 532 – Islamic Philosophy and Theology
IS 535 – Advanced Qur’anic Studies
IS 536 – Advanced Hadith Studies
IS 540 – Islamic Jurisprudence (Al-Fiqh): Theory & Application
IS 545 – Intra-Muslim Diversity and Dialogue
IS 550 – Comparative Religion
IS 555 – Special Topics
IS 557 – Religious Studies: Theory and Method
IS 559 – Thesis

Islam & Global Studies (Any 4 Courses + Thesis):
ARAB 302 – Reading Religious Texts (Arabic)
IS 560 – History of Muslim-Christian Relations
IS 561 – History of Muslim-Jewish Relations
IS 565 – Islamic Political Systems
IS 566 – Islam and the Media
IS 570 – Islam and the African-American Experience
IS 573 – Islam in Local Contexts: (Variable Regions)
IS 575 – Contemporary Muslim Movements
IS 576 – Islam and Religious Diversity
IS 580 – Literature from the Muslim World
IS 585 – Special Topics
IS 589 – Thesis

For Course Descriptions click here.