The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies


The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies

The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS) investigates the plurality, changeability, and global connectedness of Muslim cultures and societies.

The area of study includes Muslim societies in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, as well as Muslim communities in Europe and North America. The Graduate School examines, in a systematic and comparative way, concepts, practices, and institutions variously understood as Islamic.

Special attention is given to relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as forms of inter- and intra-cultural communication. In close cooperation with its partner institutions in Germany and abroad, the Graduate School offers doctoral candidates a broad educational program of exceptional quality coupled with intensive mentoring for individual dissertation projects, training that will qualify graduates to hold leading positions in academia, the media, and politics. The Graduate School’s three-year doctoral program begins in October. Up to fifteen doctoral students are admitted annually, ten of whom areawarded scholarships provided by the Graduate School.

Local Partners

Since 2007 the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies has been funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments and by Free University of Berlin. Participating institutions are Free University of Berlin (Speaker university), Humboldt University of Berlin (Institute of Asian and African Studies), and, as the only non-university institution, the Center for Modern Oriental Studies in Berlin.

Berlin, with its wide-ranging variety of academic and cultural institutions, provides a unique environment for the Graduate School. Doctoral candidates will benefit from this wealth of resources. Berlin boasts of excellent libraries and manuscript collections, especially the Staatsbibliothek, as well as two museums that house important collections relevant to the area of study. With its Foreign Office, embassies, political foundations, and major think tanks – notably German Institute for International and Security Affairs – Berlin is at the centre of German decision making vis-à-vis the Muslim world.

The Graduate School can also build upon a well-established and successful history of collaboration among many of the Principal Investigators, who are mainly affiliated to Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin and Center for Modern Oriental Studies. They offer doctoral candidates opportunities to meet fellow researchers and to find additional research contexts related to their projects. Contacts students make and activities in which they engage will allow them to acquire the expert knowledge essential for academia, politics, journalism, and social involvement alike.

Partners in Berlin

Other Partners in Germany

Management Committee


Publications authored by the doctoral students and postdocs of the BGSMCS are listed here. We would like to draw particular attention to the monographs, which are the product of completed doctoral theses, as well as to the edited volumes and contributions to volumes which are the result of collaborations between supervisors, postdocs, and doctoral students. You can find different formats – such as collections of material or conference reports – and selected PhD dissertations under the heading Online Publications. Articles on current topics in the press authored by members of the graduate school can be found under Journalistic Contributions.


Seminars and Workshops


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