• 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.

Program Outcomes

Masters Program Outcomes

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

Explore the MA Program

Areas of Concentration


Current MA


MA Student Experience