American University 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 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 will offer a ​shared space where social scientists and scholars in Islamic jurisprudence collaborate to examine maqasidic fiqh and new interpretations of the​ Islamic corpus.

Students are required to complete 24 credit hours in courses numbered 300 and above, in addition to a 6-credit thesis. They are required to take the 5 core courses: ISLM 300 Sources and Methods; ISLM 302 Seminar in Maqasidic Fiqh; ISLM 303 Seminar in Islamic Ethics; ISLM 304 Sociology of Islam (or any course that deals​ with Islam and Society, upon the appro​val of the Islamic Studies program director), and ISLM 305 Seminar in Maqasidic Fiqh.The prog​ram may be completed in two years.​

Applicants from various 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. A​ll applicants to the MA program in Islamic Studies should meet the English language requirements for graduate students before they may enroll in the program. CAMES will review applications and issue acceptances before the English exam scores are received. However, the Office of Admission​s should receive the exam results showing that the student has met the minimum required English score before the start of the student's first semester. AUB does not make any exceptions to this rule and students who have not met the English requirements will not be able to enroll.​

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 300 Graduate Seminar in Qur’anic Studies 
  • ISLM 301 Sources and Methods 
  • ISLM 303 Seminar in Islamic Ethics 
  • ISLM 304 Sociology of Islam 
  • ISLM 305 Seminar in Maqasidic Fiqh 
  • For course descriptions, check the graduate catalogue​ or contact CAMES. ​​


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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