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MIRS: Islamic Studies Specialization

The Masters in International and Regional Studies (MIRS) Islamic studies specialization is designed for students focusing on Islam as a world religion and global Muslim peoples, societies, and history. The program provides a thorough grounding in the inter-regional study of Islamic communities, history. and civilization.

Anchored in the Global Islamic Studies Center (GISC), the MIRS Islamic studies specialization draws upon GISC’s extraordinary depth in scholarship and research. Over 50 faculty members from a wide array of departments and professional schools are currently engaged in work related to these topics. The study of Islam and Muslim societies at U-M is not confined to a few highly specialized departments, but is part of the University's mainstream.

The annual application deadline is December 15.

Curriculum (36 credits)

MIRS students will complete a total of 36 credits, distributed over at least two academic disciplines, at the 400-level or above. 27 of these credits are determined by the specialization. The remaining 9 credits are required for all MIRS students. MIRS requirements include two core courses and a graduate colloquium. In addition, MIRS students will have access to a graduate professional development workshop.

MIRS Requirements (9 credits)

Core Courses

  • Research Design Seminar: Students will sharpen critical thinking, analytical skills, research design, and writing strategies. (3 credits)
  • Capstone: To complete the program, students will dedicate effort to their capstone, either in research, coursework, or work experience related to their specialization. Select one of the below options: (4 credits)
    • Master’s Thesis: research project supervised by a faculty member
    • Additional Research Seminars: completion of graduate seminars with a substantial independent research component
    • Practicum: internship or work experience related to the specialization combined with a related academic component

Graduate Colloquium

Students will participate in two semesters of engaged discussions covering topics of global significance, including programs (guest lectures and relevant events) and participation in moderated online and in-person discussions. (2 credits)

Islamic Studies Specialization Requirements (27 credits)

The Islamic studies specialization offers students a unique opportunity to enjoy a strong multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary graduate education across a range of core subjects, while also enabling them to pursue specialist study in one of a range of important areas within the field of modern Islamic scholarship.

  • Students in the Islamic studies specialization are required to study more than one region; or they may supplement in-depth focus on a single region with coursework relevant to Muslim communities and culture worldwide.
  • Students will attain intermediate oral and written proficiency in a relevant language as approved by the Islamic studies advisor. The language requirement may be fulfilled by coursework or by demonstrating proficiency via a placement exam. Up to 9 credits earned in advanced language courses (400-level or above) may be counted toward the minimum credit requirement. For more on the Islamic studies specialization language requirement, please contact MIRS-info@umich.edu.  

Sample Plan of Study:

Masters in International and Regional Studies
Specialization: Islamic Studies
Capstone Project: Thesis

Year 1

FALL (10 credits)

Colloquium (required core class)

1

Research Design /  Methods in Islamic Studies (II)

3

Islamic Law / Shariah (Middle Eastern Studies)

3

Fifth Year Arabic I

3

WINTER (10 credits)

Islamic Intellectual History (Islam)

3

Colloquium (II, required core class)

1

Islam in/and Russia (REEES)

3

Fifth Year Arabic II

3

Year 2

FALL (11 credits)

The History of Shi’ism (History)

3

Thesis Writing Capstone (II)

2

Everyday Lives in the Middle East: Anthropological Perspectives (Anthropology)

3

Islamic Movements in Comparative Perspective (Middle Eastern Studies)

3

WINTER (5 credits)

Peace and Non-Violence in Islamic Cultures (Middle Eastern Studies)

3

Thesis Writing Capstone (II)

2

Total Credits

36

For more information, contact MIRS-info@umich.edu.

The annual application deadline is December 15.