Photo by DFID. CC BY 2.0

Netting a trade and an income in northern Lebanon

Photo by Sebastià Giralt. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Minarets, Mesquita del Xa, Isfahan

Photo by Nasser Nouri. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Photo by McKay Savage. CC BY 2.0

Sri Lanka - 080 - Spice shop in Kandy Market
Islamic Studies

About the MA and PhD Programs in Islamic Studies

The UCLA International Institute is home to one of the nation's premier programs in Islamic Studies, which works closely with the Center for Near Eastern Studies, founded in 1957 in order to coordinate instruction and research in the languages, humanities and social sciences disciplines essential to an understanding of the region. Over the next decade, the Center and affiliated faculty developed the Islamic Studies program, which has awarded some 75 advanced degrees since its establishment.

Please note that effective Fall 2015, the Islamic Studies program will be housed in the Near Eastern and Languages department. All inquiries about admissions and program requirements should be directed to:

Isamara Ramirez, Student Affairs Officer

Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
Humanities Building Suite 378A
Box 951511
Mailcode: 151105
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1511

(310) 825-4165


The interdepartmental degree program in Islamic Studies provides opportunities for study of the major languages, literatures, history, culture, and religious traditions of the populations of regions where Islamic-influenced civilizations have had, or continue to have, the greatest impact. Linguistics skills, historical knowledge, and cultural understanding are the foundation on which the disciplinary paradigms and methodologies of both the social sciences and humanities can be applied. Within this broad framework, students are encouraged to construct individualized curricula that will prepare them to carry out cutting-edge dissertation research leading to the Ph.D.

The program for the Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in Islamic Studies is designed primarily for students desiring to prepare for an academic career. It may, however, be found useful for students seeking a general education and desiring a special emphasis in this particular area or for those who plan to live and work in predominantly Muslim areas and whose career will be aided by a knowledge of the people, languages, and institutions. Such a career might be centered on teaching, research, business, engineering, journalism, librarianship, or government service.

Other than the required core course, practically all courses are taken in affiliated departments and programs. Applicants should therefore study the course offerings and the research and teaching interests of the faculty in various departments (see below, Affiliated Schools, Departments and Programs).

Prospective students can consult with  the Graduate Counselor, Magda Yamamoto.  They may also contact individual faculty members in their fields of interest.

Graduate Students

BA '13, MA '16

I'm particularly interested in the intellectual and political history of Islam and Muslim societies with a focus on South Asia. Ideally, I would like to become informed and educated about...

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