CIS - Courses and Degree Programs

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In cooperation with several GTU member schools and the University of California, Berkeley, the CIS offers introductory and advanced courses in Islamic Studies in a range of academic disciplines, including interdisciplinary approaches, theories, and methods. The Center offers a Certificate in Islamic Studies, and a Master of Arts with a primary focus on the study of contemporary Islam in its theological, historical and cultural contexts. CIS also supports Islamic Studies in various GTU doctoral departments and concentrations.

Course Offerings

Spring 2023
SARS-1000: Qur'an: Origin, Application, Interpretations (M. Dhala)
HRRS-5793: Islamic Studies Colloquium: Research and Writing (M. Jiwa)

Fall 2022
HRPR-1100: Intro to Islam: Faith, Practice, History (M. Jiwa)
HRRS-5792: Islamic Studies Colloquium: Research and Writing
HR-8180: Islam and Its Interreligious Dimensions

Spring 2021
Foundational Sources of Islamic Tradition (A. Khater)
Islamic Studies Colloqium: Race, Identity, Belonging (M. Jiwa)
COVID-19 and Precarious Life (M. Jiwa, M. Dhala)
Women and Gender in Jewish and Islamic Texts and Practice (M. Dhala)

Fall 2020
HR-1213: Introduction to Islamic Theology (A. Khater)

Spring 2019
HRRS-2842: Qur'an, Sunnah, and Islamic Law (A. Khater)
HRRS-3934: Islamophobia, Surveillance, Social/Media Technologies (M. Jiwa)
Memory, Displacement, Violence, Identity (M. Jiwa)
Aesthetics in islam and Judaism (C. Bier)

Spring 2018
Religion and Art Meet the World (M. Eskew)
Natural Science & Multifaith Context (T. Peters, R. Russell)
Aristotle’s Commentors (M. Farina)
PHCE-4961: Religion & Peacebuilding (M. Farina)

Fall 2017
HRRS-6050: Islam and Critical Theory (M.Jiwa)

Spring 2017
HRRS-3931: Islam in the Public Sphere (M. Jiwa)
HRRS-1300: Introduction to Islamic Law (A. Khater)
Topics in Islamic Thought and Institutions (Bazian/UCB)
Islam (Faruque/UCB) 
The Qur'an and Its Interpretation (Ahmed/UCB)
Islamophobia and Constructing Otherness (Bazian/UCB)
Religion & The Atlantic World (T. Whelan, Newhall Fellow)
Visual Arts and Religion (R.Schroeder) 
Religions of Asian America (Chen/UCB)
Arabic Literature in Translation (Diab/UCB)
Texts/Contexts: Judaism/Islam (M. Jiwa, D. Aranoff, C. Fonrobert)
Introduction to Islam (H. Yildiz)
Frames, Theories, Methodologies in Contemporary Islamic Studies (Jiwa)
Faith in Human Rights (M. Farina)
Muslims in America (H. Bazian/UCB) 
Sufism: The Mysticism of Islam (H. Bazian/UCB)

Fall 2016
Islam in the Public Sphere (M. Jiwa)
HRST-2083: Christian-Muslim Dialogue (M. Farina)
HRRS-5788: Islamic Studies Research and Writing (M. Jiwa)
Muslims in America (H. Bazian/UCB)
Introduction to Islam (A. Khater)
Children of Sarah, Hagar, and Mary (G. Hens-Piazza)
History I (C. Ocker)
Theology & Ethics (R. Sherma, V. Miles-Tribble)

Winter Intersession 2016
Understanding & Countering Islamophobia (M. Jiwa, H. Bazian)

Spring 2016
Can Eschatology Be Saved? (C. Jacobson)
Visual Arts and Religion (R. Schroeder) 
Understanding Islamophobia (M. Jiwa)

Degree Programs

The GTU currently offers two degrees through the Center for Islamic Studies: a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies and a Doctor of Philosophy with specializations in Islamic Studies. The CIS also offers a certificate in Islamic studies for professional advancement in the field of Islamic education or communal life.

Scholars wishing to pursue a degree or certificate in Islamic Studies may choose to focus their studies in these departments and concentrations:

  • Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation
    • Islamic Sacred Texts
  • Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion
    • Anthropology of Religion
    • Art & Religion
    • Comparative Religion
    • Islamic Studies
    • New Religious Movements
    • Religion & Literature
    • Sociology of Religion
  • Theology & Ethics
    • Aesthetics
    • Comparative Ethics
    • Comparative Theology
    • Ethics
    • Islamic Philosophy & Theology
    • Philosophical Theology
    • Theology & Science
  • Religion & Practice
    • Liturgical Studies

Master of Arts in Islamic Studies

The Master of Arts in Islamic Studies is a two-year program of advanced graduate study and research with a primary focus on the study of contemporary Islam within its theological, historical, and cultural contexts. Students complete four semesters of courses as well as supervised thesis research, working closely with the CIS faculty. Students are required to take foundational courses in Islamic Studies, and may take a variety of electives at the member schools of the GTU and at UC Berkeley. Students are also required to take two courses of Arabic language study.

Doctor of Philosophy in Islamic Studies

The GTU offers several PhD concentrations within the field of Islamic Studies, including concentrations in Islamic Sacred TextsIslamic Studies (History and Culture), and Islamic Philosophy and Theology. Students may also take classes and participate in programs at UC Berkeley.

Certificate in Islamic Studies

The Certificate in Islamic Studies is designed for students inside and outside the GTU, particularly educators in the Islamic community, who would like to have some systematic graduate training in Islamic Studies, but do not wish to undertake an MA or PhD program at this time.

Intersession and Summer Programs

CIS may offer courses for credit during the winter and summer intersessions, as well as during the summer. Auditors are welcome.