Islamic Studies (BA)

Islam is in the headlines every day but few understand. This flexible, interdisciplinary major takes students into the history and teachings of Islam and the makeup of Islamic societies, employing a variety of research methods. Students attain intermediate proficiency or higher in the language of a major Muslim population of the Middle East: Arabic, Turkish or Persian.

Islamic Studies majors gain critical skills from both the humanities and the social sciences to address a broad range of complex problems. They are equipped to serve as cultural liaisons in a variety of work settings and are well prepared for graduate study in the fields of Islam and religion in general.

The Islamic Studies program allows students to combine relevant courses from a number of fields history, history of art, philosophy, and others with work in Islamic languages and literatures. In choosing elective courses, majors are not limited to the area commonly known as the Middle East, but rather are urged to explore dimensions of Islamic civilization across spatial and chronological boundaries.

Request more information about this major


Islam is the faith of approximately a billion people, and Islamic culture extends in time from the seventh century to the present and in space from Spain to the Philippines, from the Volga to the Zambezi.

courses you might take:

NELC 2241: The Middle East Close-Up: People, Cultures Societies

Introduction to the culture of the Middle East as lived in its villages, towns and cities.

NELC 3501: Introduction to Islam

Examination of Islam as a world religion, enabling an understanding of its major tenets and beliefs as they are envisioned by insiders and outsiders.

NELC 5578: Islamic Law and Society

Examination of the relationship between Islamic law and society; the concept of justice in Islam.

Arabic 5701: The Qur'an in Translation

An introduction, in English, to the literary, religious, and cultural implications of the fundamental book of Islam.

Beyond the Classroom

MSA website
MESC website
Learn More
Learn More


Future Students: Learn More

Schedule A Campus Visit

Take a Virtual Campus Tour