Islamic Studies Certificate

Certificate director: Supriya Gandhi

This Certificate encompasses the study of Muslim and Islamic artistic, cultural, historical, intellectual, linguistic, literary, philosophical, political, religious, sociological and scientific presence, and impact on human society over the past one and a half millennia. It helps Yale College students 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. Currently, the four areas of study, with their searchable attribute are:

  • study of society (YC ISLM: Islamic Society)
  • history of art, architecture, or literature (YC ISLM: Islamic Art, Arch, Lit)
  • a historical period (YC ISLM: Islamic History)
  • religious thought (YC ISLM: Islamic Religion)

Courses are drawn from a list of approved courses. The list is posted each semester on the Islamic Studies Certificate website. Students may also use the attributes listed above to search for approved courses on Yale Course Search. 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.

No more than two course credits fulfilling the requirements of the Islamic Studies certificate may overlap with a major, a simultaneous degree, 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 should submit a Declaration of Candidacy for a Certificate form, found on the University Registrar’s Office website. The form should be submitted early, but at the latest, before the start of the student’s last semester at Yale. Once submitted, the form goes to both the Certificate Director and the Registrar's Office. Submission of the form, and approval from the Certificate Director, is necessary to ensure that the earned Certificate appears on student transcripts.

Summary of Requirements 

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