Curriculum

Prerequisites

  • A Bachelor of Arts degree related to the subject of the program. (Alternatively, courses may be taken to fulfill these requirements after enrollment in the M.A program. These courses would not count towards the total credit hours required for completion of the program)
  • The general requirements as stated by the Columbian School of Arts and Sciences.
  • The program consists of 36 credit hours. All students need to complete at least 4 semesters of a primary research language (Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit or another relevant language), which will not count toward the 36 hours. Alternatively, students may demonstrate competence in a primary research language by taking a competency exam.

Core Faculty

Islamic Studies program

Required Core Courses

  • REL 6401: Islamic Historiographies
  • REL 6402: Qur’an and Hadith
  • REL 6441: Islamic Law
  • REL 6460: Topics in the Study of Islam
  • REL 6998: Thesis Research
  • REL 6999: Thesis Research

Electives

  • Six additional courses (18 credits) selected from a pre-approved list in consultation with the graduate program advisor(s). Most of the selected courses should focus on Islam in the contemprorary world.

Concentration in Shi'ism (NEW PROGRAM)

Required​ Core Courses

  • The six core courses for the Islamic Studies program (listed above)
  • REL 6412 Shi'i Thought
  • REL 6413: Philosophy and Mysticism in the Shi'i World.
  • REL 6420: Shi'i Political Thought
  • REL 6442: Principles of Shi'i Jurisprudence

Descriptions of these courses are not yet in the official university bulletin but can be found by clicking here.

Electives

  • Two additional courses (6 credits) selected from a pre-approved list in consultation with the graduate program advisor(s). Selected courses should focus on Islam in the contemporary world.

New MA in Islam Bridges Gaps

Something rather special, even symbolic, happened at GW in 2012 when Religion Department faculty members Robert Eisen and Mohammad Faghfoory collaborated together to create a new master’s degree program  in Islamic Studies.

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