Master of Arts Degree
Master’s Degree in Islamic Texts
The Master of Arts Degree in Islamic Texts offers a distinctive educational experience, equipping students with the essential skills required for conducting authentic research within the rich corpus of Muslim primary texts. Students are trained in the skills necessary to conduct original research in the primary texts of the Muslim tradition. They come to understand these subjects, within their own context, rather than having to rely upon secondary sources and translations. With the guidance of faculty members who are trained classically in each of these subjects, the student is able to enter an intellectual discourse that spans centuries.
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. Furthermore, each of the concentrations has a comparative track that allows students to study texts in the European tradition that parallel the Islamic texts in their ideas and methods.
Unlock Primary Islamic Texts
The main goals of the MA 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.
MA Degree 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 MA degree 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.
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
Zaytuna MA degree students can choose between the three paths of Islamic law, Islamic finance, or Islamic theology and philosophy.
Courses provide students with higher-level access to the Islamic tradition through a guided course of study in Islam’s primary sources.
MA Student Experience
Read our recent interviews with MA students about their Zaytuna journey including their path to a PhD program and giving back to the community.
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