MA Program - Intellectual Encounters of the Islamicate World 2017, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Publish Date: Jan 13, 2017

Deadline: May 31, 2017

MA Intellectual Encounters of the Islamicate World

Intellectual richness and unparalleled variety characterize the world of Islam throughout its history. From the 9th century CE onwards, Muslims, Christians and Jews shared a common every day and cultural language, Arabic, which they used to circulate ideas, concepts and texts. The ensuing exchange was mutually enriching. For centuries, individuals belonging to the three religious communities read a very similar canon and thus equally contributed to its development. This dynamic was multi-dimensional in character: Christian and Jewish authors influenced Islamic thought, while the writings of Muslim thinkers had a major impact on non-Muslim thinkers. 

The blended-learning MA program Intellectual Encounters of the Islamicate World is dedicated to the study of this extremely rich and diverse intellectual heritage. Unlike traditional academic approaches, that tend to study the intellectual history of the Muslim world according to separated and rather monolithic disciplines, our MA program systematically crosses disciplinary, religious, cultural and philological boundaries in order to gain new and innovative insights.

The overall goal of the one-year, English spoken MA program is to provide its international graduate students with a thorough understanding of the deep and manifold interconnections between the Muslim, Jewish and Christian intellectual output during Medieval times. The program is therefore characterised by a strongly research-driven and interdisciplinary approach. Students will become acquainted with a broad spectrum of aspects of the Islamicate world, such as rational theology and philosophy, law and legal methodology as well as material culture and social history with an emphasis on primary texts in the original language (Arabic). They will be trained and mentored by internationally renowned guest lecturers who are counted among the leading experts in their respective fields of research. The primarily web-based MA program also includes three face-to-face sessions per academic year during which the students and teachers will actually come together for several days/a couple of weeks for discussion, teaching and examination.

Freie Universität Berlin acts as degree awarding university and constitutes the academic, strategic and organizational heart of this unique and innovative MA program that is realised in close collaboration with its bilateral regional partners in Israel and Palestine. Freie Universität Berlin offers the one-year full-time MA program of 60 ECTS to an expected number of 20 students, many of whom from the Middle East.



Preparation of your application

Before completing and submitting the online application form, you should thoroughly check and make sure to meet the entry requirements of our MA program. Furthermore:

  1. Check that you have the relevant required supporting documents (e.g. transcripts, CV, motivation letter etc.) in pdf format ready to upload. We are asking you to provide officially certified copies of your diploma and transcript of records. For more information on certification, please refer to the following instructions (pdf).
  2. For your academic and/or professional referees, you should ensure you have their consent before you apply.
  3. All applications must be completed in English.
  4. The application form has to be filled in and sent in one step. It cannot be saved and re-opened. If you want to make changes or add new documents, we will consider the latest application nearest to the deadline date we have received from you. In any case: Incomplete applications will not be evaluated.

Application process

When you have completed the necessary preparation, and you are ready to begin your online application, make sure to apply through the correct channel. Israeli and Palestinian applicants are to apply directly to the program through our online application form of the respective year you wish to start your studies. All other candidates please apply through Freie Universität or UniAssist. For more details, check the below information.

The application period is from 15 April until 31 May of the respective year you plan to start your studies. The application form for Israeli and Palestinian candidates will be online on this website from 15 April (00:01 am) until 31 May (23:59 pm). We strongly recommend to apply early! Technical difficulties cannot be taken into account.

Entry Requirements

The MA Intellectual Encounters of the Islamicate World is a consecutive M.A. program. We welcome applications from candidates who (1) already had an emphasis on Islamic, Arabic, Judaic or Semitic Studies or Studies in Eastern Christianity or (2) applicants who majored in Religious Studies, Theology, Philosophy or an equivalent discipline who wish to continue their studies with a focus on the intellectual heritage of the Islamicate world in the Medieval times.

Furthermore, we expect

  • An above average university degree;
  • Candidates with less than 240 CP, but at least 180 CP (with a minimum of 80 credit points in one or more of the following disciplines: Islamic, Arabic, Jewish or Religious Studies, Philosophy and/or equivalent fields) can satisfy the admission requirements in individual cases if they can additionally either provide proof of qualifications relating to the MA program (e.g. non-university education, professional experiences or knowledge of relevant languages) or successfully pass the qualifying examination; for more detailed information, refer to our admissions regulations in German and English
  • The MA Intellectual Encounters of the Islamicate World is an English-language program. Therefore, applicants who are non-native speakers or whose the language of instruction at the previous university was not English must prove an excellent command of English at a C 1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. At the time of application any test results you provide should relate to examination within the last two years. The following test results will be accepted: CAE – Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English: grades A-B; CPE – Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: grades A-C; IELTS - International English Language Testing System: 6.5 or better; TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language: internet based: minimum of 92 scores; Pearson Test of English (Academic): 62 overall; Mind: Even if you have studied English as your major at a non-English spoken university, you are expected to hand in one of the above mentioned test results.
  • Excellent language proficiency in Arabic (B 2 according to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Fees / Scholarships


No tuition fees are raised for the MA Intellectual Encounters of the Islamicate World. There is merely a small enrollment and re-registration fee of around 60 Euro per semester.

IEIW Scholarships for Palestinians and Israelis

The MA program Intellectual Encounters of the Islamicate World is proud to offer a scholarship program for Palestinian and Israeli nationals. The scholarship of about 750 Euro per month is supposed to pay for your all-day expenses while studying. Additionally, travel and accomodation expenses to all in-class sessions are covered. Palestinian and Israeli students matching the entry requirements of the MA program are eligible to apply for a IEIW scholarship. The scholarship application comes along with your program application. The deadlines are identical, i.e. from 15 April until 31 May of the respective academic year.

For all other students who wish to apply for a scholarship, we have collected a list of foundations and funding organisations:

General financial expenses within the MA program

The MA Intellectual Encounters is principally taught in synchronic online sessions. You therefore have to make sure that you are able to afford for the basic equipement, like a notebook/PC with camera, speakers and earphones. Furthermore, you will have to make sure to have access to a stable and reliable internet connection. We generally recommend a notebook. It has proven as a practical and effective device when it comes to research tours to different libraries as well as to be taken along to the face-to-face sessions.

For all students without a scholarship: Please take into account that you will have to be able to cover the travel (i.e. air fare, transportation from and to the airport as well as public transportation on the spot), accommodation and nourishment costs for the three face-to-face sessions. If applicable, this also includes visa fees. As for the moment, the Introductory Week will (supposedly) take place in Cordoba, Spain, and the two Colloquia in Berlin. However, these locations might be adapted to actual situations and necessities. We are working on funding the travel and accomodation costs for all of our students, but are not able to guarantee this generally.


Mailing address

Freie Universität Berlin
Institute for Catholic Theology
MA Intellectual Encounters of the Islamicate World

Fabeckstraße 23-25
14195 Berlin, Germany
+49 (0)30 838 51068

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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