Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Islamic Studies

Offered by: Islamic Studies     Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

Program Requirements


A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

Required Course (3 credits)

  • ISLA 603 Introductory: Research Materials - Islamic Studies (3 credits)

    Offered by: Islamic Studies (Faculty of Arts)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Islamic Studies : Exploration of research materials in Islamic Studies, including intellectual output of Islamic civilization, compositions, Arabic nomenclature, Arabic script and transliteration systems, published and unpublished materials (theses, manuscripts, books printed by lithography, facsimile editions, monographic, serial, e-publishing), websites, databases; major reference books (bibliographies, encyclopedias, handbooks, online/published catalogues, language/biographical dictionaries).

    Terms: Fall 2022

    Instructors: Keshavmurthy, Prashant (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 2 hours

    • Compulsory for M.A. students; recommended for Ph.D. students

  • ISLA 701 Comprehensive Examination

    Offered by: Islamic Studies (Faculty of Arts)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Islamic Studies : An examination that must be passed by all doctoral candidates in order to continue in the doctoral program.

    Terms: Fall 2022, Winter 2023

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2022-2023 academic year.

    • Fall and/or Winter

Complementary Courses (27 credits)

27 credits of courses at the 500 level or higher, including 6 credits at the 600 or 700 level of seminars offered by the Institute of Islamic Studies.

* Note: For the three-year-level language requirement, either, ISLA 521D (9 credits) or ISLA 541D (6 credits) will not count toward the 27 complementary credits.

With the permission of the Institute, up to 6 credits could be taken in other departments at McGill or other institutions.

With the approval of the student's supervisor, courses taken with an IIS faculty member or an associate member in other departments (i.e., History, Anthropology, Political Science) can count toward the coursework requirements in the same way as ISLA courses.

To avoid over-specialization, a maximum of 9 credits of content courses (i.e., courses that are not primarily devoted to language instruction) can be taken with a single Institute professor.

Language Requirements

All Ph.D. students are required to have completed three years of Arabic language or Persian language study at the IIS. Students who do not take the third level of Arabic at the Institute may demonstrate their competence by taking a proficiency examination set by the academic staff of the IIS.

In addition to Arabic or Persian, all Ph.D. students are required to have completed the equivalent of two years of language study at the IIS of another Islamic language. They may demonstrate competence in this language by taking a proficiency examination set by the academic staff of the IIS. Students are, of course, responsible for whatever higher levels are required for their research.

In addition to English, reading knowledge of one non-Islamic language (usually European) at a level of scholarly competence will be required for the Ph.D. Students must demonstrate their competence in the non-Islamic (usually European) research language by passing the Language Proficiency Examination administered by the Institute.

Faculty of Arts—2022-2023 (last updated Aug. 25, 2022) (disclaimer)
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