Admissions & Application Process

The MIRL program aims to identify candidates that possess the moral character, religious integrity, academic ability and personal qualities necessary both to serve and lead the Muslim community in America. The admissions committee reads applications holistically to identify those applicants who have the ability, interest and maturity to manage the rigors of the program, as well as the potential for future scholarly and professional growth and effective service to the community. Meeting minimum criteria does not guarantee admission. Conversely, admission may be granted to applicants lacking in certain discrete criteria if other indicators suggest probable success in the program.

Criteria for Consideration of Admissions

  • Application Form: The form must be submitted by the application deadline.
  • A Bachelor’s degree: From an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Four Letters of Recommendation: Two from an accredited academic program or workplace in the past 5 years; and two from a mosque, Islamic center, or other such organization. Additional references may be requested as needed.
  • Personal Statement: The statement should address the candidate’s reasons for pursuit of the Master of Islamic Religious Leadership degree, intended future goals, etc. (approx. 700 words)
  • Interview: Applicants may be contacted for a remote interview during the initial phase of review. Shortlisted candidates for admission will be invited to spend a weekend at the Seminary for a full round of personal interviews, placement tests, and other activities and evaluations.
  • Written and Oral Evaluations: The evaluations will cover Qur’anic recitation and memorization, Sciences of the Qur’an and Hadith, the fundamentals of Fiqh, Aqida and Tazkiyya, and familiarity with basic Islamic concepts, both linguistically and theoretically.
  • Arabic Test: Ability to read and write in Arabic at a beginner’s level at minimum, to be assessed by a written evaluation and oral interview.
  • Final Decision: Upon successful completion of the steps above, final decision will be made regarding admissions.

Some students may be admitted without qualifying written, oral and Arabic evaluations upon the Admission Committee’s discretion. Admitted students who did not pass some of the evaluations will participate in the BIS Foundations Program and take a second evaluations test in August to qualify for starting the program in the Fall.

How to Apply

The application period will open online on April 24, 2021, and close on July 31, 2021. Students who wish to be considered for scholarships must submit their applications by May 31, 2021.

Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend a weekend retreat and open house; oral and written exams as well as interviews will be conducted during the weekend retreat. Final decisions will, inshaAllah, be made by August 15, 2021 for Fall 2021 enrollment.

The following application materials should be submitted prior to the July 31 (May 31 for scholarships) deadline:

  • Application form.

  • Official transcripts from institutions of higher education attended for credit.

  • Four letters of recommendation (two from an accredited academic program and two from a mosque, Islamic center, or other such organization in the US). Additional references may be requested as needed.

  • Personal statement addressing the candidate’s reasons for pursuit of the Islamic Religious Leadership degree, intended future goals, etc. (approx. 700 words).

  • Résumé/CV detailing the candidate’s professional and voluntary experience, and community involvement.