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 programme 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 programme begins in October. Up to fifteen doctoral students are admitted annually, ten of whom are awarded scholarships provided by the Graduate School.
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 Freie Universität Berlin. The participating institutions are Freie Universität Berlin (Speaker university), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Institute of Asian and African Studies), and, the non-university institution Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin.