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.

The program offers both an interdisciplinary minor and, for those undertaking serious commitment to Arabic, a Certificate.


New Courses in 2016!

New two new courses offered by Modern Languages in Spring 2016 can be counted as electives for the IWS minor or Certificate.  They are...

ARAB 213 Development and Humanitarian Intervention in Africa, the Middle East and Beyond

FREN 279 Borders, Exile and War in the Mashrek (also fulfills Humanities and Literature distribution requirements)

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.



Current Courses.


Classes in or requiring Arabic: 


ARAB 102 Introduction to Modern Standard Arabic II (first semester)

ARAB 104 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic II (requires 102 or placement test)


ARAB 204 Advanced Arabic II (by placement test)


SEM 542 Introduction to Arabic (Classical)
Permission of Instructor Required



Classes not requiring Arabic (all in English):


HIST 309 Rise of Islam 
REQUIRED CLASS for the minor



ARAB 213 Development and Humanitarian Interventions


FREN 279 Borders, Exile and War in the Mashrek (fulfills Humanites and Literature requirements)


SEM 547 Arabic Literature in Translation


*Courses that also satisfy a Religion requirement for Arts & Sciences students