• 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.

MA Application Process

The Master of Arts Degree in Islamic Texts provides students with higher-level access to the Islamic tradition through a guided course of study in Islam’s primary sources.

The MA Program

Islamic Texts

The MA degree is a two-year program that culminates in a summative thesis. The coursework includes studies of classical Arabic language and literature; Qur’an and Qur’anic commentaries; Islamic philosophy, theology, and mysticism; Islamic law; and the history of Islam.


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.

Application Dates

Applications will open on August 15th, 2024. 

Application Deadline

  • Domestic Applicants: January 31st, 2025.
  • International Applicants: December 1st, 2024.
Minimum Qualifications
  • Any candidate who has earned a terminal degree, such as a bachelor’s degree or seminary (madrasa) equivalent, may apply

  • Oral examination administered as part of the admissions interview to assess your Arabic reading/comprehension and area of concentration proficiencies

  • Studied rudimentary classical texts of grammar, fiqh, theology, rhetoric, and the other Islamic sciences with a qualified teacher

  • Proficiency in the English language similar to a native speaker

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Statement of purpose 

  • Statement of research interest 

  • Statement of academic history (optional)

  • Academic transcripts

  • Writing Sample (Read More: Writing sample)

Recommended Qualifications
  • Foundational training in the Islamic sciences

  • An existing BA degree in Islamic Studies or ancillary fields (e.g. theology, philosophy, Arabic, Islamic Law, history)  

  • Foundational training in Qur'anic studies (memorization is highly valued)

  • GPA of 3.5 or better

If you have any questions regarding MA admissions, please email us at admissions@zaytuna.edu.