Minor or Diploma in Studies in Islam

Studies in Islam is open to all University of Waterloo students. An emphasis of the program is the interdisciplinary approach to studying Islam and Muslims, exploring the history as well as contemporary issues. Within courses, students focus on projects through aspects of Islam and/or Muslim peoples. The capstone course, SI 390R draws together the questions, learning, and understandings experienced across disciplines. Studies in Islam will be of interest to any student planning to work abroad, to all Canadians in a multicultural society, and to students whose heritage is specifically Islamic. Students in any degree program can add a minor in Studies in Islam to their university experience.

A minor in Studies in Islam plan requires eight courses and an overall cumulative average of at least 65%. Students not registered in degree studies may pursue the Diploma in Studies in Islam instead. The Director of Studies in Islam at Renison University College can help students develop an appropriate sequence of courses.

SI offers a range of Arabic language courses, including introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels.  These can be counted towards the required elective courses for the various SI academic programs.  For placement at the correct Arabic language course level, students must complete an assessment form.

Required courses (4)


  • SI 251R/MEDVL 251R The History of Islamic Civilization from 1300-1800: The Islamic Gunpowder Empires
  • SI 390R Understanding Islam (at least level 3A)

Elective courses (choose 4)

Faculty of Arts

*not open to native speakers

**open to native speakers

Faculty of Environment

Faculty of Mathematics


Students may petition the Director of Studies in Islam for permission to have a course not on the list accepted as an elective.  This should happen before registration in the course is finalized.  Please consult the Director for details.