Students are accepted into the Islamic Civilization and Societies major by competitive application during the fall semester of the student's second year. The application deadline is October 15. Fifteen students are accepted into the major each year. Admission is determined by the Program's Admissions Committee. Criteria for admission include:

  • Academic achievement:
    • Overall GPA
    • Rigor of the academic program
    • Other noteworthy aspects of academic performance
  • Strength of the faculty letters of recommendation
  • Demonstrated personal and intellectual commitment to the field
  • Quality of the student's personal statement
  • Foreign language preparation

Online application

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will gain knowledge of the history, culture, politics, economics, religion, and social conditions of the countries of the Middle East and broader world of Islam, including Muslim minorities in Europe and the United States;
  • Students will apply interdisciplinary research methodologies and utilize a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches;
  • Students will gain proficiency at the intermediate level or above in one of the languages spoken in the region, such as Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Hebrew;
  •  Students will gain cultural competence, including the ability to understand and interact with people across cultures, and analyze cultural differences.


The major in Islamic Civilization and Societies consists of 54 to 62 credit hours, including two years of required language instruction.


This is an integrative, multidisciplinary foundation course designed as an introduction to the field which is offered in the fall semester. The course is taught by Professor DiPasquale.


All ICS majors must choose a primary department in which to work and must take the required departmental foundation courses. Two additional courses must be taken in the student’s primary department from an approved list.

The five participating departments in the ICS program are: Fine Arts, History, Political Science, Slavic & Eastern Languages and Literature, and Theology.

Departmental Foundation Courses (two courses)

Fine Arts: ARTH 1101/1102 Survey of Art History

History: two courses from the HIST 1001-1094 sequence, HIST 1059 Islam & Global Modernities preferred

Political Science: POLI 1041/1042 Fundamentals of Politics I & II

Slavic & Eastern Languages: NELC 2062 States and Minorities in the Middle East, NELC 2161 Modern Middle Eastern and Arabic Literature, NELC 2063 Near Eastern Civilization

Theology: any of the two-semester University Core courses, Religious Quest preferred

Base Discipline Electives (two courses)

    Students will choose two additional courses from within their chosen disciplinary base


    Students will choose three elective courses. Electives must be distributed between at least two other departments in addition to the student’s disciplinary base. Course descriptions can be found under the appropriate departmental listings.


    All majors are required to enroll in a research seminar in the fall of their senior year. In the spring term of their senior year, students will complete a senior thesis under the supervision of one of the faculty members affiliated with the Program. The Senior Seminar will allow ICS majors to integrate knowledge, skills and concepts of their diverse disciplinary bases and to share them in a genuinely cross-disciplinary manner.


    Students will be expected to attain proficiency (completion of intermediate level) in a relevant language such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish or Urdu. In some cases French, Russian, Chinese or other languages relevant to specific research concerns may be accepted for students specializing in the study of Muslims in Africa, Central Asia, China, Europe or the Americas, subject to approval by the Program’s directors.