Funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Global Islamic Studies Center (GISC) at the University of Michigan, the Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum (DISC) is a unique initiative that seeks to provide students at Big Ten Academic Alliance member institutions a robust curriculum specializing in Islamic studies. In collaboration with  faculty liaisons at over a dozen Big Ten Academic Alliance member institutions, this program strives to define, create and implement a curriculum that will offer a broad set of courses that investigate Islam as a religion, as a civilization, as a myriad of cultural and historic traditions, and as the basis in some settings for political ideology.

Video Technology used in pilot course "Islam in Africa"
Video Technology used in pilot course “Islam in Africa”


As a student-and-faculty-based collaborative project, DISC is working to create a community of scholars focused on promoting an interdisciplinary approach to Islamic studies on a global level.  Specifically, this program ensures that particular Islamic studies courses are offered continually from year to year and works to increase student access to specialized courses. As a result, DISC is able to offer for the first time coherence and continuity to students interested in the field.  Furthermore, DISC focuses on collaboration between institutions to present various opportunities for networking among students and faculty, opening doors that go far beyond the classroom.


butch ware
Butch Ware leads a class discussion

It is this sense of community, collaboration, and coherence that is the foundation on which DISC is built. Over the course of the coming years, we will grow from one pilot course into a curriculum that will consistently offer over a dozen courses to each partner university within the Big Ten Academic Alliance. This vision enables unprecedented resource sharing and provides a groundbreaking model for a new approach to education in the digital age.


Join us in our journey by checking out our courses, contacting your institutions’ faculty liaison, or requesting more information at digital.islam@umich.edu or (734) 615-9558.

We hope to see you in one of our virtual classrooms soon!