Islamic Studies

Core Major Course Requirements

MENAS Ph.D. students are required to take:

  • MENA 595D: Middle East- Approaches, Themes and Controversies
  • One Course in Middle Eastern History
  • One Course in Islamic Studies
  • One Course in Gender and Society in the Middle East
  • Total Core Units (not including languages)= 12 credits

The Ph.D. track in Islamic Studies in MENA focuses on the textual traditions of classical Islamic civilization. Students are expected to acquire familiarity with the legal, ethical, and mystical traditions of Islam through coursework and independent studies. The one required course for this track (in addition to MENA 595D) is a seminar in Qur’anic Studies, and students are encouraged to take, “The Anthropology of Religion” (ANTH 511). Courses of interest for students in the Islamic Studies track include:

    ARB 595B: Readings in Classical Arabic Prose
    ARB 595C: Readings in Classical Arabic Poetry
    MENA 503: Art and Architecture of the Islamic World
    MENA 544: Islamic Mysticism
    MENA 545: Women in Islamic History
    MENA 566: The Middle Eastern City and Islamic Urbanism
    MENA 572: History of Medieval India
    MENA 579: The Ottoman Empire to 1800
    MENA 596B: Classical Persian Literature in English Translation
    MENA 596G: Islamic Law and Society
    MENA 696Y: Islam, Ethnicity, and Nationalism

Independent study reading courses can be arranged on topics related to tafsir, hadith literature, biographical dictionaries, Islamic theology, Islamic origins, and select classical scholars. All students in the Islamic Studies track are expected to have a solid grasp of Marshall Hodgson’s magisterial work, The Venture of Islam, by the time of their Comprehensive Examination.

Contact Professor Scott Lucas ( for more information.