Admissions & Application Process

The Master of Islamic Religious Leadership (MIRL) program aims to attract candidates that possess the moral character, religious integrity, academic ability and personal qualities necessary to both 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. 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. In such cases, students may be granted conditional admission or be required to take BIS Islamic Foundations certificate courses.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Bachelor’s Degree From an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Qur’anic Memorization: Ability to recite one juz (thirtieth) of the Qur’an from memory.
  • Foundational Islamic Knowledge: foundational knowledge of the Sciences of the Qur’an and Hadith, and the fundamentals of Fiqh, Aqida and Tazkiyya; familiarity with basic Islamic concepts, both linguistically and theoretically.
  • Arabic: Ability to read and write in Arabic at a beginner’s level.

Application Requirements

Applications are open and admissions will continue on a rolling basis, with a first round deadline of July 31, 2021. Applications received after July 31st will be considered if space remains available. Limited scholarships are available on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview and take placement exams.

The following application materials should be submitted prior to the deadline(s):

  • Application Form: The application form must be submitted by 11:59pm EDT on July 31, 2021 to be guaranteed consideration. Applications received after this date will only be considered if space remains available. “If the form does not go through, please use a different browser (Chrome or Firefox work best).”
  • Four Letters of Recommendation: Applicants must provide contact information for four references in the application form. Candidates are advised to request letters from their references well in advance, and that their references be on the lookout for an email request from Letters of recommendation must be sent to by August 5th. Please note, two letter writers should be 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)
  • Résumé/CV detailing the candidate’s professional and voluntary experience, and community involvement.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended for credit must be submitted directly from these institutions to by July 31st. Please note that some schools require five business days to process transcript requests. Contact with questions or concerns.
  • Interview: Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for a remote interview.
  • 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: written evaluation and oral interview to assess the candidate’s ability to read and write in Arabic at a beginner’s level at minimum.
  • Final Decision: Upon successful completion of the steps above, final decision will be made regarding admissions.