MA in Islamic Art and Architecture American University Cairo

Course details

The department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations (ARIC) offers Master's degrees in Arabic Studies with emphases in four fields: Islamic Art and Architecture, Middle Eastern History, Islamic Studies, Arabic Language and Literature. The degree program is designed to give students a solid academic background in the ideas and traditions that form the foundation of the important contributions of the Arab and Muslim peoples to human civilization. Course offerings cover the Arab and Islamic world from the seventh century to the modern era. All students must write a master's thesis based on research using original Arabic language sources. There is no comprehensive exam option. The master's degree in Arabic Studies is best-suited for students who hope to pursue a career in academia, but it will also prove invaluable to students who want to go into diplomacy, government service, journalism, and similar fields.

A thesis is required in all three branches of the master of arts in Arabic studies. The thesis must be written in English and submitted in accordance with university regulations.

The student may choose one of the following areas of specialization:

  • Arabic Language and Literature 
  • Islamic Art and Architecture 
  • Middle Eastern History 
  • Islamic Studies


The history unit has a preference for applicants who already have some academic background in Arabic and Islamic studies and who have studied the Arabic language at the university level for at least one year.

About American University Cairo

Founded in 1919, AUC is the region’s leading English-language University and the center of the intellectual, social and cultural life of the Arab world. With a community of students and faculty members representing more than 60 countries, AUC is a crossroads for the world’s cultures and a vibrant forum for reasoned argument, spirited debate and understanding across cultures.
AUC offers 36 undergraduate, 44 master’s and two PhD programs rooted in a liberal arts education that encourages students to think critically and find creative solutions to conflicts and challenges facing both the region and the world.
The University boasts the largest English-language library collection in Egypt, the fully equipped Kamal Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism, three modern theaters and 13 cross-discipline research centers. The University’s modern, 260-acre New Cairo campus represents a major investment in the future of the city, the country and the region — a state-of-the-art facility for advanced research, innovative teaching and civic engagement.
Chartered and accredited in the United States and Egypt, AUC is an independent, not-for-profit, equal-opportunity institution.
AUC is a premier English-language institution of higher learning. The University is committed to teaching and research of the highest caliber, and offers exceptional liberal arts and professional education in a cross-cultural environment. AUC builds a culture of leadership, lifelong learning, continuing education and service among its graduates, and is dedicated to making significant contributions to Egypt and the international community in diverse fields. AUC upholds the principles of academic freedom and is dedicated to excellence.
Our vision is to be a world‐class University internationally recognized for its leadership and excellence in teaching, research, creative expression and service. We  build on our existing strengths to become the leading University in the Middle East and the destination of choice for students and faculty members from around the world seeking in‐depth cultural exposure, combined with outstanding academic programs, cutting‐edge research, as well as an ethically engaged, diverse community of scholars.
We continually strive to be among the best in all we do: in teaching, research, creative expression, service to our communities and service to each other in our daily interactions.
We seek to treat all individuals with dignity and fairness, and to promote understanding and respect for diversity of perspectives, traditions and experiences.
Social Responsibility
We are committed to exploring the challenges that confront Egypt, the region and the world, and to using our intellectual and creative capabilities to address these challenges, serve our communities, and have a positive and sustainable impact on development, business, the environment and society.
We believe that individuals are accountable for their actions, and, as members of a community, our individual actions have an impact on others. We are stronger as a community when we reflect on the consequences of our decisions and actions. The University upholds the principles of academic integrity, including fairness, accountability and honesty.
Lifelong Learning
We believe that the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and personal and professional development should continue throughout one’s lifetime.
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