Doctor of Philosophy in Islamic Studies

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is the universally accepted terminal academic degree.  This degree is designed for already credentialed and practicing ministry professionals.  The Ph.D. requires completion of a specialized curriculum in Islamic Studies coupled with the writing and oral defense of a doctoral thesis.  Students may pursue the Ph.D. in Islamic Studies with a concentration in either Qur’anic Exegesis and Sciences or Hadeeth.  Academic work may be completed in English or Arabic. Graduate Theological Foundation students in Islamic Studies are welcomed to participate in the Life of the Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies in worship, fellowship, and study.
This is a 30 credit hour program that may be completed in no less than 18 months and no longer than five years.
How to Apply (pdf
Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of the Application Procedure.
  2. Baccalaureate and Master’s degree in Islamic Studies (or equivalent validated by a transcript) or a comprehensive test.  
  3. Two recommendation letters by two recognized scholars.
  4. Five years of accumulated experience in religious work within the Muslim community. 
Program Requirements

  1. Students are expected to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the Student Handbook of the year of their acceptance with particular focus on their particular degree program.  Students are bound by the academic and financial requirements of the Handbook in use at the time of their acceptance.  The current Student Handbook, as well as past years’ Handbooks, can be viewed here.
  2. Total of eight courses (24 credit hours) required for graduation.  GTF will accept as transfer credit up to four courses taken at any recognized school in the same field with the approval of the head of the department, Dr. Omar Shahin.
  3. Ph.D. program students need to submit a Ph.D. thesis (6 credit hours) of a minimum of 175 pages total (35,000 words or more) with at least 25 bibliographic references.
  4. A minimum of 18 months must be spent to complete the Ph.D. degree unless an exemption is given by the Director of Islamic Studies, Dr. Omar Shahin.
  5. Successful defense of the thesis before GTF faculty in Indiana or at a location approved by Dr. Omar Shahin, Director of Islamic Studies.  Any student whose doctoral thesis is rejected more than once by the Islamic Studies Department will be ineligible for continuance in the degree program.  (Students in the Ph.D. program are not required to attend graduation.)  
Tutors:  Tutors are Imams approved for teaching at the Graduate Theological Foundation by Imam Dr. Omar Shahin, Dean of Islamic Studies and Professor of Islamic Law.  Guidelines set by the Dean of Islamic Studies with regard to the qualifications of tutors for teaching of courses are as follows:
  • Ph.D. graduates, upon successful completion of an interview with the Director of Islamic Studies, will be approved to teach undergraduate-level courses only.
  • After three years of teaching undergraduate-level courses, without any legitimate complaint, the tutor will be approved to teach Master’s level courses.
  • After two years of teaching Master’s level courses, without any legitimate complaint, the tutor will be approved to teach doctoral-level courses.
  • After two years of teaching doctoral-level courses, without any legitimate complaint, the tutor will be approved to serve as M.Th. or Ph.D. thesis supervisor.
Adjustments to these guidelines in specific cases may be made only by Dr. Omar Shahin, Dean of Islamic Studies. 
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