Masters Program Outcomes

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The main goals of the courses and teaching methods are to sharpen students’ ability to read and analyze the primary texts and to consider the socio-religious contexts and scholarly sources out of which the texts emerged, while continuing to engage in well-reasoned academic and scholarly discussion and research. Students are also introduced to methods and research tools in both the Western and Islamic traditions.

The goals of the Zaytuna MA in Islamic texts are to:

  • Acquire advanced skills in reading and interpreting traditional Islamic texts in the stated fields of research

  • Bring already advanced Arabic reading and speaking skills to the expert, professional level

  • Gain fluency in both the dialectical and didactic elements of traditional teaching methods

  • Acquire a broad understanding of Islamic intellectual history from its roots in Arabic language and literature, Qur’an and Qur’anic commentaries, hadith tradition and commentaries, law, philosophy, theology, and Sufism

Students will achieve these goals by:

  • Demonstrating in class discussions, oral presentations, written work, and the thesis and thesis defense a scholarly proficiency in logic, dialectics, and research skills

  • Achieving doctoral-level research skills in Arabic texts, as well as in texts in a modern language other than English and/or another ancient language (e.g., Persian or Greek)

  • Directing seminars in the primary texts that demonstrate students’ readiness to teach professionally in the areas of concentration

  • Writing publishable papers that make significant contributions to the scholarly literature

  • Expertly translating Arabic when quoting Arabic texts in scholarly papers and in the thesis

  • Writing a publishable thesis of 80 to 120 pages demonstrating scholarly methods of reasoning and inquiry