Majoring in Global Islamic Studies
Global Islamic Studies focuses upon the analysis of the cultural, political and religious influence Muslims have in the globalized world by examining their past and present. You study how Islam became a fast-growing world religion and how perceptions of Muslims and Islam impact policies and conceptions of citizenship in both Muslim-majority and non-Muslim-majority countries throughout the world. Our faculty have specialized experience in Western Europe, Russia, Turkey, Bosnia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, North Africa and the Middle East. The multidisciplinary and global focus of this major allows you to explore themes of migration and transnationalism, identity, religious orthodoxy and authority, and helps you develop a comprehensive understanding of the many roles played by Islam and Muslims in the unfolding human story.
Language and culture are inherently intertwined. As a Global Islamic Studies major or minor, you are required to undertake advanced language study—two semesters at the intermediate level or higher in the same language related to the focus of your GIS studies. You can choose from Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Russian, or Spanish, although another language may be selected with the approval of your faculty adviser. All majors are encouraged to become familiar with Arabic, even if it is not your primary language of study.
You will be encouraged to seek a study abroad program tailored to your particular interests. You may study in Europe, Russia, Turkey, India, Africa or the Middle East. You will also work with a team of faculty and career advisers to find or develop a skill-building internship, in the U.S. or abroad, that relates to your studies and career goals.