Islamic Studies Certificate

Certificate director: Shawkat Toorawa [Sp 2022]; Supriya Gandhi [F 2022; Sp 2023]

This Certificate encompasses the study of Muslim and Islamic artistic, cultural, historical, intellectual, linguistic, literary, philosophical, political, religious, sociological and scientific presence, and and impact on human society over the past one and a half millennia. It allows Yale College students to curate their courses relating to Muslims and to Islam. It will be of interest to non-humanities majors with a strong interest in Islamic Studies; social science and humanities majors wishing to complement their existing interests with coursework in Islamic Studies; and self-identifying Muslim students for whom such a certificate offers an ideal way academically to explore their heritage. 


Students must successfully complete five course credits, of which no more than two may represent the same area of study or carry the same course attribute. Currently, the four areas of study are: the study of society; the history of art, architecture, or literature; a historical period; and religious thought. 

Courses are drawn from a list of approved courses with the following course attributes: Islamic Society; Islamic Art, Arch, Lit; Islamic Religion; and Islamic History. The list is posted each semester on the Islamic Studies Certificate website (website coming). Other courses may be approved by permission of the certificate director.

Courses must be distributed as follows:

  • 1 course in the study of society (Islamic Society)
  • 1 course in the history of art, architecture, or literature (Islamic Art, Arch, Lit)
  • 1 course in religion or religious thought (Islamic Religion)
  • 1 course in history or a historical period (Islamic History)
  • 1 elective from any of the four content areas 

Graduate and professional school courses may count toward the Certificate; language courses and non-Yale courses may not count toward the Certificate.

In addition to the course requirements, each student must attend three lectures on topics relating to Islamic Studies and submit a brief write-up. Notice of these events can be found on the Islamic Studies Certificate (website coming).

No more than two course credits fulfilling the requirements of the Islamic Studies certificate may overlap with a major, a simultaneous degree, a multidisciplinary academic program, or another certificate. Additionally, no course credit may be applied toward the requirements of more than two curricular programs. For example, the same course credit may not be used to fulfill the requirements of two certificates and a major.

Completion Procedure and Advising

Students must apply for the Certificate at the latest one week before final schedules are due in their final semester of study, by filling out the Declaration of Candidacy for a Certificate Form using this Qualtrics Survey, attesting to the fulfillment of all requirements, and submitting it for approval to the Certificate director. Final approval of the certificate rests with the Certificate committee and director.

Requirements of the Certificate

Number of courses 5 course credits 

Distribution of courses 1 course in each of the four content areas; 1 elective from any of the four content areas 

Additional requirements attendance of 3 Islamic Studies lectures, and submission of a 1–2 page write-up for each