American Univesity of Beirut

Islamic Studies

​The MA program in Islamic Studies is an interdisciplinary program with the goal of providing students with the background to expand their knowledge and understanding of classical and modern Islamic religious thought, context and textual traditions. It highlights ethics as the overarching principle and the fiqh as highly informed by the spirit of ethics. Framed in the paradigm of ethical pluralism, this program will be about text and context and offer a shared space where social scientists and scholars in Islamic jurisprudence collaborate in an effort to provide maqasidic fiqh and new interpretations of Islamic corpus. ​ 

Students are required to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in courses numbered 300 and above, in addition to a 6-credit thesis. They are also required to take the 5 core courses: Sources and Methods, Qur’anic Studies, Islamic Ethics, Maqasidic Fiqh, and Islam and Society. The program may be completed in two years.

Applicants with backgrounds from most fields of study are eligible to apply to the MA program in Islamic Studies, provided they have had some exposure to Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, or Religious Studies, as well as some training in the humanities ​or the social sciences. 

English is the language of instruction at AUB so all applicants to the MA program in Islamic Studies should meet the Readiness for University Studies in English (RUSE) requirement before applying to the programEnglish test scores must be available at the time of applying and should be included with the online application.​​

Applicants must be able to demonstrate an intermediate level of proficiency in Arabic​ and for this reason an Arabic writing sample is required​.​

Non-native speakers of Arabic are required to take intensive Arabic language classes, which are not counted as part of the degree credits. The program recommends the study of a second European language other than English, and for native speakers of Arabic to also develop reading proficiency in a second language central to literature in Islamic civilizations and cultures, or a second Semitic language, depending on the field of specialization.

The Office of Admissions and the Graduate Council​ can provide information about the general requirements for applying to graduate programs at AUB.​ ​


​​Required courses

  • ​ISLM 301 Sources and Methods
  • ISLM 302 Islamic Civilizations
  • Six credits in classical and six credits in modern
  • Three credits in texts and three credits in social science methodology
  • For course descriptions, check the graduate catalogue or contact CAMES. ​


  • Students may apply to AUB's Graduate Fellowship and Assistantship Program (GFAP)​ to help fund their studies
  • ​The Graduate Fellowship and Assistantship application is included in MA application form​
  • ​CAMES offers only Graduate Administrative Assistant (GAA) positions which cover tuition fees for up to two graduate courses per semester

Tuition fees for graduate students are listed on the Office of the Comptroller​ website. Students applying from the USA may contact AUB's Office of Financial Aid for information about student loans.

​Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for the MA in Islamic Studies

  • Analyze core concepts, theories and approaches in the field of Islamic Studies.
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the history and context of the Arab and Islamic cultures.
  • Conduct research in the field of Islamic Studies.
  • Acquire an advanced knowledge of the languages relevant to the course of study.
  • Demonstrate scholarly communication skills in clear, detailed and well-argued written and oral formats of the field.
  • Apply professionalism and ethical research conduct in the field of Islamic Studies.​

​For any questions about the Islami​c Studies program, please email CAMES.​

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