Islamic Studies Certificate

Mona Hassan, Director

 A certificate, but not a major, is available in this program.

The Islamic Studies certificate offers students a deeper understanding of Islamic thought, spirituality, practices, and institutions as well as of Muslim cultures and societies around the world.  It offers the opportunity for in-depth interdisciplinary study of Islam and Muslims that elucidates their significance for the history of humanity. This certificate helps cultivate life-long learners and critical thinkers who have a nuanced understanding of the diversity of Muslims past and present.

Students in the certificate program enroll in a gateway course that studies the history of Islam and Muslims in diverse contexts, a capstone seminar in their junior or senior year that engages in research, and four additional electives from a wide and compelling range of offerings. Electives may be taken in African and African American Studies, Art History, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Economics, Ethics, Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, Global Health, History, Human Rights, International Comparative Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Romance Studies, Political Science, Public Policy, Religious Studies, Slavic and Eurasian Studies, and Visual and Media Studies. At least two different departments must be represented in the course selection, and no more than two of the certificate’s six courses may double count for a major, minor, or another certificate program. 

The undergraduate certificate in Islamic Studies is administered by the Department of Religious Studies.  Beyond coursework, students in the certificate program are regularly included in extracurricular events and opportunities.

Certificate Requirements

Six courses are required for completion of the Islamic Studies certificate.

1. A Gateway course. “Introduction to Islamic Civilization, Part I” analyzes the emergence of Islam and the spread of Muslim culture and learning across Africa, Asia, and Europe.  It introduces how Muslims fostered a globalized economy and international community of scientists, scholars, agriculturalists, musicians, artisans, and philosophers of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds – along with other key themes that students may pursue in greater detail through their elective coursework.

2.     Four electives.  Each student will devise an interdisciplinary set of electives corresponding to their interests in consultation with the program director over the course of their undergraduate studies, which must be approved for each student separately.  Students are required to take courses from at least two disciplines, and students are also encouraged to search out study abroad courses that could count toward the Islamic Studies certificate. For coursework abroad, students should submit the proposed class syllabus to the program director along with a rationale for its relevance to Islamic Studies.

3.     A Capstone seminar. REL 490S Junior-Senior Seminar is available to students in their junior or senior year who have completed the Gateway and are enrolled in the Islamic Studies certificate program. The Islamic Studies certificate capstone culminates with a final project that requires students to select, pursue, and share independent research in the field of Islamic Studies.