Islamic World Studies

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Program Overview

There are more than 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, and they are well represented on every inhabited continent. The Islamic World Studies minor at Fairfield University introduces students to this diverse population by exploring the historical, political, and religious aspects of Muslim societies as well as the artistic, literary, and cultural achievements of Islamic civilization.

The minor strategically aligns with Fairfield’s core objective to form global citizens with broad cultural competency.


For a 15-credit minor in Islamic World Studies, students must complete five Islamic World Studies elective courses, including at least one course in the humanities and one course in the social sciences. Study of the Arabic language is not required for the minor, but can be applied towards its fulfillment. Only one course in Arabic may count towards the minor.

Students may petition for certain courses, like RS 101 “Exploring Religion,” to count toward the minor if there is appropriate and sufficient related content. The director of the Islamic World Studies Minor will evaluate each petition on a case-by-case basis.

Course Offerings


  • HI 265: History of the Indian Subcontinent: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Democracy, c.1857-Today
  • HI 280: The West and the Middle East
  • HI 281: Portrait of the Arabs
  • HI 371: Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • HI 373: History of North Africa Since 1700
  • HR 201: Non-Western Culture
  • RS 270: Introduction to Islam
  • RS 273: Islamic Ethical and Legal Thought
  • RS 275: Islam in America
  • RS 276: Islamic Theology
  • RS 379: Islam, Race, Power

Social Sciences 

  • AY 152: Islamic Societies and Cultures
  • PO 251: Islam and Muslim Politics
  • PO 255: Middle Eastern Politics
  • PO 305: Seminar on the Middle East


  • AR 110: Elementary Modern Standard Arabic I
  • AR 111: Elementary Modern Standard Arabic II
  • AR 210: Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I
  • AR 211: Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic II


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