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!  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.

FALL 2015

Classes in or requiring Arabic: 


ARAB 101 Introduction to Modern Standard Arabic I (first semester)

ARAB 103 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I (requires 102 or placement test)


ARAB 203 Advanced Arabic I (by placement test)


SEM 241 Introduction to Arabic I (Classical)
Permission of Instructor Required



Classes not requiring Arabic (all in English):


ANTH 310 Islam in the Modern World
REQUIRED CLASS for the minor


PHIL 334 Philosophy in the Islamic World

POLI 326 Politics of the Modern Middle East

SEM 247 Arabic Literature in Translation (Juniors and Seniors only)

*TRS 398 Introduction to Islam

*TRS 395 Contemporary Christian-Muslim Relations


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