Graduate Certificate in Muslim Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Muslim Studies can be earned by students in any Boston University graduate or professional program who fulfill the requirements outlined below, in addition to the requirements of their degree programs. No additional coursework is usually required, as courses completed for the Muslim Studies Certificate typically fulfill course requirements toward students’ degree programs. Courses with substantial content related to the study of Muslim societies and civilizations from any of Boston University’s schools may be used toward the certificate, with approval from the Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs (CURA).

The certificate helps students to gain a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and cross-national understanding of the Muslim world. While CURA is housed in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, graduate students in any of BU’s schools can earn a Graduate Certificate in Muslim Studies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the history, politics, religions, and/or arts of historical or contemporary Muslim societies.
  • Demonstrate reading proficiency at the intermediate range in at least one language prevalent in Muslim societies.
  • Demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives on the growth and development of one or more Muslim societies, including observations and critiques that have been developed within a given society or polity.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the commonalities and differences across geographically dispersed Muslim societies and civilizations.


For a list of preapproved courses, please consult with the CURA Director.

To receive the Graduate Certificate in Muslim Studies, students must:

  • Successfully complete at least 16 credits of coursework (generally four standard courses) in courses primarily focused on the Muslim world, with a minimum grade of B– in each course.
  • Concentration requirement: At least 8 of the 16 credits must focus on a subregional or substantive area (e.g., Middle East and North Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Islamic studies).
  • Courses must be chosen from at least two departments.
  • No more than 4 credits can be in directed study or research, except with written permission of the CURA Director.
  • Complete a piece of significant research such as an MA, MFA thesis, doctoral dissertation, or two substantial research papers in graduate-level seminars.
  • Demonstrate reading knowledge of language relevant to the course of study. This will be demonstrated by passing the language proficiency test of the student’s own department where it is required; for students in schools or departments that do not offer language proficiency testing, World Languages & Literatures (WLL) will arrange an assessment of reading proficiency based on a dictionary-aided, timed translation of a professionally-relevant scholarly (or equivalent) document.
  • Receive approval of completion from the CURA Director and the student’s departmental faculty advisor. Students are expected to consult with the CURA Director at the beginning of their studies in order to ensure that their planned courses will fulfill the goals of the certificate program.