• About

    In 2009, Zaytuna College was founded in Berkeley, California, with a mission that called for grounding students in the Islamic scholarly tradition as well as in the cultural currents and critical ideas shaping modern society.

  • Academics

    As a Muslim liberal arts college in the West, Zaytuna offers a curriculum that provides its students with a foundation in the intellectual heritage of two major world civilizations: the Islamic and the Western.

  • Admissions & Aid

    Our mission is to educate students to become morally, intellectually, and spiritually accomplished individuals ready to contribute to our contemporary world in ways that are proportionate to their gifts and to the needs of human society.

  • Campus Life

    Zaytuna’s campus is on Holy Hill and students enter the College as part of a cohort, a community of learners that travel together through the curriculum.


Zaytuna MA Admissions FAQs

When do applications open?

August 15th

How long is the MA program?

Two years.

Do I have to have a bachelor's degree to apply to the MA program?

No, but we recommend having an existing BA degree in Islamic Studies or ancillary fields.

Do I need to know Arabic for the MA program?

Yes, applicants should have competency in reading and comprehending classical Arabic texts.

Are lectures conducted in Arabic or English?

Lectures are conducted in both languages.

I studied privately and do not have transcripts that reflect my background. How can I show my level in Arabic and Islamic studies?

You can draft a list of texts you studied, when you studied them, and with whom. A letter of recommendation from your teachers should confirm this list.

Can international students apply to the MA program?

Yes, the MA program is now open to international students.

What do MA graduates do after the program?

The two most popular paths for our graduates are PhD programs in Islamic studies or related fields and professional degree programs such as law school.

Is there on-campus housing for MA students?

Yes, there is separate housing for men and women.

What is the tuition cost for the MA program?

You can learn about program costs on our Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Is financial aid available for the MA program?

You can learn about financial aid on our Financial Aid page.

Is there a part-time MA program?


Is there an online MA program?


What should I write in my statement of purpose?

In no more than 500 words, please describe your interest in pursuing the M.A. degree at Zaytuna College and your academic and professional goals. Good statements of academic purpose will be thoughtful, candid, and respectful. Think of the task before you as an exhibition of your best writing. In addition to what you have to say about yourself and your areas of interest, committee readers will be profoundly aware of the mechanics of your writing, especially grammar and syntax, the organization of your thoughts, and whether your style of communication is well calibrated to what you choose to express.

What should I write in my statement of research interests?

In no more than 500 words, articulate in further detail the questions or problems that motivate your pursuit of an MA degree in Islamic texts and the reasons you think Zaytuna College is a good place to do your work. The statement should offer a provisional account of your scholarly agenda within particular areas of inquiry, methodological trajectories, historical periods, and/or geographical terrains.

What should I write in my statement of academic history?

This statement allows you the opportunity to explain any challenges or gaps in your education you would like to describe further to the Admissions Committee (ex: time-off, career change, travel, etc.). This statement is optional.

Can my writing samples be written in Arabic?

No, writing samples, and all statements, must be submitted in English.

Explore the MA Program

Areas of Concentration

Current MA Courses

MA Student Experience