George Mason University's College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers several academic programs and many courses related to Islamic Studies. As part of its core mission, the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies provides active support to these programs. They are designed with the recognition that Islam is a universal faith and a world civilization with a global community. They provide a global, rather than regional, framework for exploring Islam.
This innovative approach encourages students to explore Islam's role and contributions beyond the Middle East. Through the multidisciplinary coursework offered in support of the programs, students come to appreciate the experiences that connect over one billion Muslims worldwide—from the past into the present.
The minor in Islamic studies is designed for students interested in the societies, cultures, history, and politics of the Islamic world. It offers students the opportunity to study the many societies that have significant Muslim populations. These societies are not just in the Middle East. They stretch from North Africa to Southeast Asia and beyond. They include Europe as well as North America.
The interdisciplinary MA in Middle East and Islamic studies introduces students to the major issues and debates in the study of the Middle East, Islam and Muslim societies. Students study historical and contemporary topics—as well as theory and methodology—from both regional and global perspectives.
Highly qualified undergraduates in pursuing a BA in select majors may apply to the accelerated master’s degree in Middle East and Islamic studies. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn an undergraduate degree in their chosen major and a graduate degree in Middle East and Islamic studies after satisfactory completion of 144 credits, sometimes within five years.