Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Degree Plan for Islamic Studies

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*Please note we are not accepting new students into the Islamic Studies major. Instead, students can pursue the Islamic Studies track within the Middle Eastern Studies major.*


Majoring in Islamic Studies

Foreign Language Requirement

Islamic Studies majors must complete the College of Liberal Arts foreign language requirement in one of the approved Muslim world languages: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, or Yoruba. 

ISL coursework

In addition to the above-specified foreign language requirement, ISL majors are required to complete 8 courses (24 semester hours) as follows:

  • Introduction to Islam (ISL 310)
  • One of the following:
    • Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: An Introduction (ISL 311, RS 304)
    • Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (RS 305)
    • Introduction to the Study of Religion (RS 310)
  • Three courses from the “Topics in Islam” series (ISL 340). Main courses currently in rotation include the following:
    • The Qur’an (MES 342 and/or MES 320)
    • Classical Islamic Studies (MES 342 and/or MES 321K)
    • Sufism and Islamic Mysticism
    • Islamic Theology (MES 321)
    • Islamic Law (MES 328)
    • Religions of the Middle East (MES 322K)
    • South Asian Islam: Ethnographies (ANS 361)
  • Two courses from the “Topics in Islamic Cultures” series (ISL 372). Main courses currently in rotation include the following:
    • Muslim Women in Politics (WGS 340, RS 358 and ANT 324L)
    • Veiling in the Muslim World (MES 322K)
    • Muslim Women: Past and Present I (MES 321K)
    • Muslim Women: Past and Present II (MES 321K)
    • Partition of India in History and Literature (ANS 361)
    • Turks in Europe (MEL 321)
    • Contemporary Pakistani Fiction (ANS 361)
    • Literature of Islamophobia (ANS 361)
    • Muslim India Before 1750 (ANS 346M)
    • History of Islam in the U.S. (HIS 350R)
  • One additional upper-division course in ISL. It is recommended to take a course from the ISL 373 series, “Topics in Middle Eastern Islamic Cultures,” some of which courses include the following:
    • Arts of Islam: Caliphs to Sultans (ARH 363)
    • Graffiti/Poster Art: the Islamic World (MES 342)
    • Gender Politics in the Islamic World (SOC 336G)
    • Envisioning Muslims: Middle Ages to Today (MES 342)
    • The Arabian Nights (ARA 360K)

You can find course descriptions in the current Undergraduate Course Catalog.

Islamic Studies Honors Program

The Islamic Studies program offers majors an opportunity to graduate with Departmental Honors. In addition to fulfilling the normal honors requirements set forth by the College of Liberal Arts (a GPA of at least 3.0), students pursuing Departmental Honors in Islamic studies must:

  1. Maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 in the coursework required for the major;
  2. Write an undergraduate thesis by enrolling in the two-semester Honors Tutorial course, Islamic Studies 679HA and 679HB; and
  3. Earn a grade of "A" in both thesis courses.

Majors who plan to seek Departmental Honors in Islamic studies should apply for admission into the program during the spring of their Junior year. You can learn more about Departmental Honors here.

Islamic Studies Minor Requirements

Under valid catalogs prior to 16-18, students can fulfill a minor in Islamic Studies by completing 12 hours in ISL, including 6 upper-division hours and 6 in-residence hours.

Students under the 16-18 and 18-20 catalogs can complete a transcript-recognized minor in Islamic Studies by completing 15 hours of ISL, consisting of ISL 310, ISL 340, and nine hours of upper-division ISL chosen from ISL 340, ISL 372 or ISL 373.

The ISL minor is not available to students in the 2020-2022 or later catalogs as it has been discontinued moving forward. If you have questions about your catalog eligibility please email the Undergraduate Coorindator.

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