The Catholic University of America

Welcome to Islamic World Studies

Islamic World Studies offers a multidisciplinary minor and a new Certificate in CUA's School of Arts & Sciences that assemble University offerings on the Near East and Islamic world into sub-concentrations that supplement undergraduate majors in the humanities and social sciences. The program draws on the expertise of scholars in Modern Languages, Semitics, History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Religious Studies, as well as resources of the J.K. Mullen Library and in the Consortium of Washington Area Universities.

IWS's focus is the Muslim world from the rise of Islam in late antiquity until today, and Muslim societies from the Middle East to South and Southeast Asia and, increasingly, in Europe and the Americas.


New IWS Certificate Program

A Certificate in Islamic World Studies has been approved by the Academic Senate and will be available beginning Fall 2012.

Like the European Studies Certificate before it, the IWS Certificate is designed for students undertaking a significant commitment to language learning in connection with area studies that extend majors in the humanities and social sciences with coordinated courses on a region of the world, in this case the Islamic world, from other departments plus a significant level of training in Arabic.

Attention Minors!  For advising, approval of electives, and other information about the IWS program, contact Prof. Jon W. Anderson.


IWS Minor

The Islamic World Studies minor is offered for students who want to assemble the University's courses on different parts or aspects of the Muslim world into a minor that complements majors in the social sciences or humanities with an area studies focus, but without committing to advanced language training.


Christian-Muslim Relations in Turkey: A CUA Summer course (2014)

...a cross-cultural study tour that aims to provide students a first-hand experience of the history and present status of Christian-Muslim relationships in a Muslim-majority country, and to expand their awareness of a different culture. 

Led by Professor Pim Valkenberg and Salih Sayilgan (3 credits)

See course and envollment information here.  (For IWS concentrators, this course is an approved elective.)


Current Courses.

FALL 2014

Classes in or requiring Arabic: 

ARAB 101 Introduction to Modern Standard Arabic, (first semester) Kemaleddin Tabine
ARAB 102 Introduction to Modern Standard Arabic II (second semester) Kemaleddin Tabine
ARAB 103 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I (requires 101-102 or placement test)
ARAB 104 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic II (requires 103 or placement test)
SEM 541 Introduction to Arabic (Classical)
Dr. Talia
Permission of Instructor Required

SEM 545 Arabic Literature I (in Arabic)
Dr. Talia
Permission of Instructor Required

Classes not requiring Arabic (all in English):
ANTH 310 Islam in the Modern World
REQUIRED CLASS for the minor
TTh 3:40-4:55 Prof. Anderson
HIST 309C Muslims, Christians & Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean  (New Course)
TTh 12:40-1:55 Prof. Weitz
HIST 311B Gunpower Empires of Islam: Ottomans, Safavids & Mughals (New Course)
TTh 9:40-10:55  Prof Weitz

POLI 326 Politics in the Middle East
TTh 12:50-1:55 Dr. Perekli

SEM 247 Arabic Literature in Translation
TTh 8:10-9:25 Dr. Talia

*TRS 395 - Contemporary Christian-Muslim Dialog
TTh 9:40-10:55 Prof. Valkenberg
TTh 11:10-12:25 Prof. Valkenberg

*TRS 398 Introduction to Islam
TTh 2:10-3:25 M. Sayilgan



*These courses also satisfy a Religion requirement for Arts & Sciences students