Studying Islamic Studies

A Short Introduction to Studying Islamic Studies

Islamic Studies offers BA and MA degrees comprising the major in Islamic Studies as well as minors in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Islamic Culture and Society. Students majoring in Islamic studies lean Modern Standard Arabic, the central language of Islam, in the first instance. They also study Persian or Turkish. The foundational language courses confer the ability to engage with original-language texts, a skill which is deepened especially in the second and third years of study through the reading of important works of the Islamic past and present. Alongside the time-consuming process of language acquisition, the major in Islamic Studies provides an overview of the fundamentals of the discipline (essential features of religion, history, literature, law, philosophy) throughout the course of study. The minors in Arabic, Persian, or Turkish focus on language acquisition, whereas in the minor in Islamic Culture and Society students acquire foundational knowledge of the most important subject areas.

In the Master’s degree, students concentrate in seminars and colloquia on individual themes, reflect on methodological issues, and obtain a view into the current state of research. A broad spectrum of subjects is on offer: e.g. legal methodology, religious transmission, historiography and historical development, philosophy and science, literature and poetry, Islamic movements and minorities, traditional and modern media.