About Us

The UCLA Islamic Studies program, founded in the late 1950’s, is among the oldest of such programs in the country. The program is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of Islam and global Muslim communities. Students work with affiliated faculty whose regional specializations include North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and whose interests span the rise of Islam up to the modern period. Islamic Studies courses are offered across academic fields and disciplines including history, law, Arabic, comparative literature, anthropology, sociology, study of religion, philosophy, and art and art history.

The Ph.D. program in Islamic Studies is designed primarily for students preparing for an academic career. Doctoral students are encouraged to construct individualized programs of study that will prepare them to carry out pioneering research leading to the Ph.D. The MA program serves as a gateway to the PhD track. It is also useful for students seeking careers in teaching, business, journalism, government service, public policy and other areas for which advanced knowledge of Muslim cultures and civilization and Islamic history would be useful.

Applicants should study the course offerings and the research and teaching interests of the affiliated faculty. Prospective students are encouraged to contact affiliated faculty members in their fields of interest.

Banner Image: Courtesy of Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA. Plate 22 from the Cihannüma (“World Atlas”) by Kâtip Çelebi (d. 1068 AH/1657 CE), one of the earliest printed books in Turkish, done by the press of İbrahim Müteferrika in Istanbul in 1732 CE. Hand-colored, illuminated depiction of the Americas, mentioning “the realms of California” and “the California Ocean.”