MCL - Arabic & Islamic Studies

Arabic and Islamic Studies has been a part of the Department of Russian & Eastern Studies at the University of Kentucky since the early eighties and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures for over 10 years. The growing interest in understanding the worldwide development of Islam since the mid-nineties, the rapidly increase of student enrollment, and the support of the Muslim community encouraged the efforts to further develop course offerings. With the financial sponsorship of the local Muslim community two endowments of Islamic Books at the UK Libraries were created.

Since the spring semester of 2000 a new phase in the development of Islamic Studies at UK began with the creation of a full-time lectureship position in the department and a new faculty member joining in the fall of 2015.. The approval of a minor in Islamic Studies in the spring of 2002 and the creation of a second faculty position in Islamic Studies emphasize the timely response of the University to the growing interest in understanding Islamic culture. An Arabic and Islamic Studies major track in the new MCL major was recently approved!

General Goals:

  1. Develop basic understanding of Islamic culture.
  2. Cultivate a sense of multi-cultural environment and diversity in the light of the growing Muslim community in the USA.
  3. Enable students to acquire international perspectives prepared to make wise decisions in light of the increasing political and economic ties with the Muslim nations around the world.
  4. Develop an informed appreciation of the contributions of the Islamic civilization to the accumulation of knowledge in the history of humankind.
  5. Develop skills in accessing worldwide resources in the different fields of interest.

Students interested in Arabic or Islamic Studies may contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for additional information.

Officers of the Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures are:

MCLLC Chair -Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby (
MCLLC Associate Chair - Harald Höbusch (
MCLLC Director of Undergraduate Studies - Jeff Rogers (
MCLLC Director of Graduate Studies - Milena Minkova (

1055 Patterson Office Tower
University of Kentucky
Lexington KY 40506-0027
ph: 859-257-3761
fax: 859-257-3743


Degree Programs:

Students can earn a MINOR in Islamic Studies. For details check Minor in Islamic Studies, the University of Kentucky Bulletin, or APEX (located in myUK).

Students can choose coursework focused on Africa and the Middle East in the INTERNATIONAL STUDIES MAJOR.

Imaginative and motivated students who wish to devise their own major may choose the TOPICAL STUDIES MAJOR in Islamic Studies or Middle-Eastern Studies. Topical Studies majors are designed and directed by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor in the area of study. Topical Studies is the only selective admission program in the College of Arts & Sciences. Students must have a cumulative UK GPA of 2.5 or higher and have completed at least 30 credit hours to be accepted into the Topical Major. Entering freshmen and transfer students are not able to declare the Topical Major on the admissions application.


For more details on the topical major option, check the University of Kentucky Bulletin, contact Jenn Garlin (, A&S Academic Advisor, or e-mail Dr. Ihsan Bagby (, Islamic Studies faculty.

MCLLC Graduate Programs/Concurrent Graduate Degree Options

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