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Undergraduate Minor

Stanford undergraduates can minor in Global Studies with a specialization in Islamic Studies and acquire a global and interdisciplinary lens to explore Islam & Muslim societies and cultures.

The minor in Stanford Global Studies, Islamic Studies specialization, offers students an interdisciplinary and global exploration of Islam and Muslim societies and cultures. Focus is on knowledge of Islam in all its internal complexity, the history of Islam from its beginnings to the 21st century, Islamic social contexts, and the diversity of human experience as seen in literature and the arts originating in societies affected by Islamic civilizations. Students explore the global extent of Islam and the growth of its diasporas by taking courses on geographical regions such as the Middle East, South Asia, Eurasia, Africa, Western Europe, and Americas) and from disciplines such as anthropology, art and art history, comparative literature, history, political science, international relations, and religious studies.

For questions, please contact Associate Director Dr. Zack Al-Witri or schedule a meeting.

Visit the Global Studies Minor page to view all of the specializations.

Learning Objectives

By completing the specialization, students will

  1. organize their studies in a coherent and mentored minor.
  2. gain exposure to the past and present of Islam in diverse social, political, and cultural settings around the globe.
  3. prepare for or follow up on involvement in a Bing Overseas Studies Program such as in Paris or Berlin.

Upon completion of requirements, final certification of the minor is made by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. The minor and the specialization appear on the transcript but they do not appear on the diploma.


  1. Completion of 28 units that includes GLOBAL 101 Critical Issues in Global Affairs (3 units)
  2. A minimum of 25 units of Islamic studies-related courses.
  3. At least one course must be an area-specific entry course focusing on the Islamic world.
  4. At least one course must be from each of the following areas:
    • Islamic Arts, Literatures, and Cultures
    • Islam, History, and Politics
    • Religion of Islam
  5. Completion of three courses in a relevant language such as Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Urdu, Pashto, Kazakh, or Swahili.
  6. A capstone project such as a minimum 25-page research paper, directed reading and research with an Abbasi Program faculty member, or an overseas study, internship, or language training program that is approved by the Abbasi Program.
    • Students present their work in an end-of-year capstone seminar with other SGS minors and led by SGS faculty.


To declare the Global Studies minor with Islamic Studies specialization, students must:

  1. Set an appointment with Dr. Zack Al-Witri, Associate Director for the Islamic Studies Program to discuss your academic plan. 
  2. Declare the Global Studies minor in Axess.
  3. Complete the Declaration or Change of Undergraduate Major, Minor, Honors, or Degree Program form in order to declare the Islamic Studies specialization. Submit the form to Dr. Zack Al-Witri in Encina Commons, 124D.