Islamic Studies

The goal of this secondary field pathway is to provide a basic exposure to fundamental elements of the history, literature, philosophy, religious thought, and legal institutions of the civilizations of the Muslim world. As the study of Islam and Muslim societies at Harvard is an interdisciplinary endeavor, the program in Islamic Studies is structured to allow students flexibility in their approach to the field; this is done by incorporating one of the disciplinary perspectives currently available in the Harvard curriculum: study of religion, anthropology, history, history of art and architecture, gender studies, literature and language, and law.

Requirements: 5 half-courses

  1. At least two of the following "gateway" courses:

    1. Foreign Cultures 70: Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies

    2. Foreign Cultures 82: Modern Arabic Narratives: Self, Society and Culture

    3. Humanities 18: For the Love of God and His Prophet: Religion, Literature and the Arts in Muslim Cultures

    4. Religion 1801: Introduction to Islamic Mysticism: The Sufi Tradition

    5. Religion 1806: The Vocabulary of Islam

    6. Islamic Civilizations 145: Introduction to Islamic Philosophy and Theology

    7. Arabic 150: History of Classical Arabic Literature (in translation)

  1. Three additional half-courses in Islamic Studies, at least two of which must be at the 100 level or above.

  2. Students are free to pick from any three courses in Islamic Studies offered in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations or elsewhere, these courses to be approved by the director of undergraduate studies or his/her designee. Qualified students are encouraged to consider taking their elective courses in languages important to the study of the Muslim world (Arabic, Persian, Turkish or Urdu; these can be either language or literature courses). However, no more than two of these courses may be courses whose primary focus is language instruction.