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.
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.