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Islamic Studies Minor

Undergraduates at UMN may now minor in Islamic Studies. This new minor allows those in any major to participate in the critical study of Islam and Muslim societies and cultures. It encompasses historical, intellectual, artistic, social, and anthropological approaches to the study of Islam applied through the examination of Islamic texts and other cultural products and through the analysis of social and cultural developments across time and geographic locations.    

The minor in Islamic Studies requires one foundational course in the category of Islamic Origins and Development, along with four other courses selected from the offerings of several CLA departments, including Religious Studies, Anthropology, History, Art History, Sociology, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and others.  

 Students interested in the minor should contact the Religious Studies Program at Questions can be directly to Jeanne Kilde in the Program in Religious Studies.

Faculty associated with Islamic Studies come from several departments across the College of Liberal Arts.  See full list below. 

The minor requires a total of five courses: one in Islam: Origins and Development and four electives.  

No course may be used simultaneously in both of these two categories.

Courses may be taken in any order.

At least two courses in the minor must be taken at the University of Minnesota or as learning abroad courses taken for resident credit.

Students majoring in Global Studies and doing the Islamic World regional breadth requirement may not do the Islamic Studies minor as well.  However, students majoring in Global Studies but doing a different regional focus may do the Islamic Studies minor.

Students majoring in Religious Studies and doing an area concentration in Islam may not do the Islamic Studies minor.  However, students majoring in Religious Studies but doing a different area concentration, including a comparative concentration that includes Islam, may do the Islamic Studies minor   


- Islam: Origins and Development. Take one of the following courses:

  • RELS 3704 (CNES 3074) Exploring the Qur'an: An Intellectual odysseywith Islam's holy scripture [AH]
  • RELS 3712 (HIST 3493) Islam: Religion and Culture

- Electives. Take four additional courses on Islam at or above the 3000-level.

CLA Faculty Involved in Islamic Studies

Hakim Abderrezak,** Associate Professor, French & Italian Department
Cawo Abdi,* Associate Professor, Sociology Department
Iraj Bashiri,* Professor, History Department 
William Beeman,* Professor, Anthropology
Giancarlo Casale,* Associate Professor, History Department 
Sinem Casale,* Assistant Professor, Art History
Kathleen Collins, Associate Professor, Political Science
Susan L. Craddock, Professor, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Joseph Farag, Assistant Professor, Asian Languages and Literatures 
Joseph Gerteis, Associate Professor, Sociology Department
Carol Hakim, Associate Professor, History 
Serra M. Hakyemez, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Global Studies
Michelle Hamilton,** Spanish & Portuguese
Diyah Larasati, Associate Professor, Theater and Dance
Bernard Levinson,* Classical and Near Eastern Studies 
Patricia Lorcin,** Professor, History
Michael Lower, History
Nabil Matar,* English/History
Matthew Rahaim,** Associate Professor, School of Music
Kathryn Reyerson, Professor, History
Hassan Abdel Salam, Assistant Professor, Sociology
Abdi Samatar, Professor, Geography
Daniel Schroeter,** Professor, History
Sima Shakhsari, Assistant Professor, Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Shaden Tageldin,** Associate Professor, Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature
Katrien Vanpee, Director of Arabic Language Instruction, Asian Languages and Literatures
Aisha Ghani, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Religious Studies
Mohsen Goudarzi, Assistant Professor, CNES and Religious Studies

*Core member of the Religious Studies Program
**Affiliate member of the Religious Studies Program