Master of Arts in Islamic Religious Studies (MAIRS)



The Master of Arts in Islamic Religious Studies (MAIRS) is a graduate-level degree designed to provide students with an advanced knowledge of issues related to Islam and the role of religion in society. The program focuses on the study of religion from the perspective of the social sciences and humanities as well as from the perspective of theology and religious doctrine. Students select one of two tracks within the Master’s degree:

  • Islamic Studies, which is designed for students whose academic background is outside Islamic studies and who wish to gain advanced knowledge and study Islamic doctrine, law, and history with renowned theologians and historians.
  • Religious Studies, which is designed for students who already have a strong background in Islamic studies and who wish to gain advanced knowledge and study the place of religion in modern societies with political scientists and anthropologists.

As such, at the end of the MAIRS program, graduates will have acquired the tools and knowledge to:

  • Understand and analyze the role of religion in the contemporary global context;
  • Understand the origins and development of Islam since the seventh century;
  • Understand how Islam is situated in the 21st century global community;
  • and engage in sophisticated inter-religious dialogue both within and outside of the Muslim world.

Why study Islamic and Religious Studies at AUI

The program includes numerous field exercises, taking advantage of the geographical location and safety of Al Akhawayn University and of Morocco. The program also organizes and encourages joint academic and cultural initiatives with a range of local partners such as Islamic institutions of higher learning and local sufi communities in rural areas.

Take advantage of Al Akhawayn University's Arabic and North African Studies program. This is an intensive summer program that provides a wide range of opportunities to students from all over the world, at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels, to learn Arabic through immersion. Over the last 16 years, more than 800 participants from 36 nationalities have come to the Middle Atlas Mountains in Ifrane, Morocco, to develop their Arabic language skills, learn about North Africa, and experience various aspects of Moroccan culture through club activities and field trips to such places as the sand dunes of southern Morocco, the historical medina of Fez, the dazzling city of Marrakech, and the city of Tangier.

Career Opportunities

Vocational occupations in pastoral counselling (imam, chaplain) and religious services; governmental positions related to religious policy, education, and cooperation; educational services; NGOs.

Funding opportunities

Financial assistance is available upon request. Financial assistance is available for students demonstrating academic merit and/or financial need.