Academic Program

Academic Program

Islamic Studies Minor

Students interested in Islamic Studies are invited to consult with members of the Islamic Studies Committee before developing a proposal for a minor. The proposal should outline and establish how a minor in Islamic Studies relates to the student's overall program of undergraduate study, and should provide a list of the courses to be taken. The minor is open to students of all divisions.

Students will be admitted to the minor after having completed at least two Islamic Studies courses in different departments with grades of B or better.


All students must complete the following requirements:


Students must take a minimum of 5 credits in Islamic Studies in at least 3 different academic departments. Only 1 of the total 5 credits required by the Islamic Studies minor may overlap with the student's major. To supplement classes offered at Swarthmore, students are encouraged to explore and take classes at other nearby colleges, especially Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and University of Pennsylvania.


Islamic Studies requires the successful completion of Arabic 004 (and its prerequisites) or the equivalent. This requirement is waived for native speakers of Arabic and for students who demonstrate sufficient competence by passing an equivalency exam. Alternate fulfillment of the language requirement may also be approved by the Islamic Studies Committee if a student demonstrates competence in another language that is relevant to the study of a Muslim society and is directly related to the student's academic program. Only Arabic courses beginning at the level of Arabic 004 or its equivalent will count toward the total 5 credits in Islamic Studies required for the minor.

Study abroad

All students are strongly encouraged to spend a minimum of one semester abroad in a program approved by both Islamic Studies and Swarthmore's Office of Foreign Study.

Honors Minor

To complete an honors minor in Islamic studies, a student must have completed all the course requirements for the interdisciplinary minor listed above. Students are encouraged to take a 2-credit honors seminar in an Islamic studies topic in either their junior or senior year. Honors students are required to complete a 2-credit thesis under program supervision that will count toward the minimum of 5 credits required for the interdisciplinary minor. Students normally enroll for the thesis (ISLM 180) in the fall semester and in the spring semester of the senior year. The honors examination will address the themes explored in the 2-credit thesis.