(Photo – from Isfahan, Iran of Si-o-Seh Pol or the Bridge of 33 Arches, commissioned by King – Shah Abbas I in 1602)

In response to a growing interest in Islam and Muslim cultures, the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Hawai‘i 
Mānoa (UHM) has created an Islamic studies undergraduate certificate program. This Spring 2014 UHM offers a rich variety of courses that engage Islam and Muslim cultures. Consult the list courses compiled, and contact professors directly for further information. – MSAP 

Statement from the UHM website regarding this unique and timely opportunity: “The purpose of this certificate is to increase understanding of Islam as a world religion through critical analysis of primary and secondary materials, to foster knowledge about the complexity among Islamic societies and their diverse cultural expressions, and to explore the role of Islam and Muslims in present and past world affairs.

This certificate is housed within the College of Arts and Humanities. The participating departments are Art and Art History, History, Philosophy, and Religion. Minimum prerequisites for acceptance into the program for undergraduates are sophomore or higher standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and the completion of at least one introductory course within one of the four participating departments with a grade of B or better. For non-UH Mānoa students, the prerequisite is an AA or BA degree (or equivalent) that included some humanities component or relevant work experience. Non-UH Mānoa students who do not wish to enroll in a degree program may register for the courses through Outreach College.


  •     15 credit hours are required for completion of the certificate.
  •     HIST 354, PHIL 330, and REL 209. It is recommended that REL 209 be taken first.
  •     Two electives selected from: ART 491B, 492B, 493, HIST 301, 302, 355, 432, and REL 352. (One course in Arabic language   may be used as one of the electives.)
  •     Students are required to undertake a final research project in association with an elective class. Advanced undergraduates with GPA of 3.5 or above may, with instructor consent, use credit from the following graduate classes: ART/ASAN 792, HIST 662, or PHIL 730.

For more information, contact Dr. Tamara Albertini @ tamaraa@hawaii.edu.

The certificate program is also open to non-UH students who may register through the Outreach College.

Tamara Albertini describes Islamic Studies at UHM.

Faculty include:

  • Tamara Albertini is an associate professor of philosophy specializing in Renaissance and Islamic thought. She is working on The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Philosophy. Previous writings address Muslim intellectual contributions from the classical period. She has served on the steering committee for two East-West Philosophers’ Conferences and the editorial board for Philosophy East and West.
  • Ned Bertz is an assistant professor of history teaching undergraduate and graduate classes on the history of South Asia, the Indian Ocean world, Indian popular cinema and Africa. His published research focuses on themes of race, nationalism and diaspora as they intersect in travel, trade and cultural exchanges across the Indian Ocean world.
  • James D. Frankel is an assistant professor of religion interested in the comparative history of ideas and religious and cultural syncretism. His forthcoming book, Rectifying God’s Name: Liu Zhi’s Translation of Monotheism and Islamic Ritual Law in Neo-Confucian China (University of Hawaiʻi Press) examines Chinese Islamic scholarship and literature of the early Qing (1644-1911) period.
  • Paul Lavy is an assistant professor of South and Southeast Asian art history. He investigates the links between art/architecture and politics in early Southeast Asia history with primary interests in the Hindu-Buddhist artistic traditions associated with Mekong Delta and Preangkorian Khmer civilizations and their relationships with the art of South Asia.

Please find a list of courses focused on Islam or Muslim Societies offered the Spring 2014 semester at UHM.

Learn more about the Islamic studies program from this article.

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