Frequently Asked Questions

Application Program

When is the first day of the program?

The first day of the upcoming cohort three is September 05, 2023. The Seminary academic calendar, which includes course registration dates, holidays, and other administrative dates, can be found here.

What accreditation/approval does BIS have to this program?

The master’s program has been approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, and BIS has been granted the authority to grant the Master in Islamic Religious Leadership (MIRL) degree.

At its conclusion, insha’Allaah, the accreditation will enable our master’s graduates to pursue Ph.D. programs at BIS or other academic institutions nationwide which we anticipate by the end of 2024.

And since the accreditation is assigned to the institution itself, all graduates before or after the date would benefit from the accreditation status of BIS. 

Can credits by transferred to other institutions?

Yes, credits from BIS can be transferred to other institutions. A maximum of 12 credit hours with a minimum grade of ‘B’ may be considered for  transfer credit evaluation.  Transfer applicants must submit an official transcript, as well as a catalog course description or  course syllabus for all courses for which transfer credit is being sought. Grades earned in  courses accepted for transfer will not be calculated as part of the GPA at the seminary.  However, the credits earned will count toward the total number of credits required for  graduation.

Would there by any changes to the class list on the website?

There may be minor changes to the order of the courses and some class options may be added to the program, but the core courses will remain the same.

Are there pre-requisites of the program?

Yes, there are some prerequisites, which can be found in detail on our website.

Applicants must have earned a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. They are expected to be able to read and write in Arabic at an intermediate level.

Shortlisted MIRL candidates will be invited to Boston for an in-person interview and placement test to assess their abilities in the following areas: 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.

Some students may be admitted without qualifying written, oral and Arabic evaluations upon the Admission Committee’s discretion.

Students who are admitted to the program but do not pass the placement test will be required to complete the Islamic Foundations Certificate program at BIS. You can learn more about admissions criteria on our website.

All students are also expected to be fluent or native English speakers, as the program is taught in English. Non-native speakers who did not complete their bachelor’s degree at an English-language college or university will be required to submit TOEFL scores as part of their application.

Academic Program

Who will be teaching it?

BIS boasts a diverse list of acclaimed world-class educators from throughout the US. A list of our affiliated faculty profiles can be found here.

What subjects will I learn?

The subjects taught will be in three broad categories:

1- Islamic Sacred Sciences and Spirituality

  1. Qur’an & Hadith (2 courses)
  2. Hadith & Sira (2 courses)
  3. Social & Intellectual History (2 courses)
  4. Aqida (2 courses)
  5. Fiqh (5 courses)
  6. Tazkiyya & Ethics (3 courses)

2- Contemporary Context

  1. Intellectual Foundations of the Modern World
  2. Islam in America
  3. Religion in Contemporary America
  4. Religious & Social Movements in American History
  5. Contemporary Muslim Challenges

3- Practical Skills

  1. Leadership (2 courses)
  2. Communication (4 courses)
  3. Counseling (3 courses)
  4. Internships (2 Summers)

What books and resources are you using?

All books and materials are identified and chosen by the faculty according to the main objectives and nature of each topic.

How much Arabic do I need?

Applicants are expected to be able to read and write in Arabic at a beginner’s level at minimum, to be assessed by a written evaluation and oral interview as part of the application process.

How is the program different from men vs women?

The program is open for everyone who meets the requirements and has the passion to be an exemplary religious leader to serve the Muslim American community.

Do I get a certificate if I only do one year?

The Master’s program does not feature any certificates. BIS has a separate part-time Certificate Programs, which can be found here.

Can the MIRL program be completed on a part-time basis?

Yes, students have the option to complete the program part-time. They can elect to take courses in the mornings or evenings. The program will take longer than three years to complete.

   Full-Time  Part-Time
 Day Classes X (can choose)
 Evening Classes X (can choose)
 Scholarships/Financial Aid X X
 Internship Program X X
 Extracurriculars X X
 Total time to graduation 3 years Up to 6 years

What is minimum number of classes can I take?

The students can take as little as one course per semester.

However, doing so may affect a student’s BIS Scholarship if he/she receives one (you are not eligible for a BIS scholarship during a semester where you only take one course).

Where will classes by taught?

The program will be fully virtual/remote for the next MIRL cohort (class starting in Fall 2023).

Can the program be completed remotely online?

Yes, the program is currently offered completely online, with some mandatory in-person retreats, trips, and programs for participants to attend.

Can I work full-time and be a full-time student?

BIS’ MIRL program is very rigorous, with 200 minutes of class time per week for four (4) credit classes and 150 minutes for three (3) credit courses. Working full-time outside of the program is highly discouraged when pursuing the full-time track.


What is the tuition per credit hour?

The tuition is $500 per credit hour, and students can take as little as one course per semester.

However, doing so may affect a student’s BIS Scholarship if he/she receives one (you are not eligible for a BIS scholarship during a semester where you only take one course).

How much does the MIRL program cost?

For the 2023-2024 Academic year, the cost to attend the Master’s program (MIRL) as a full-time student is $20,750.00 per year. The part-time student’s tuition depends on the classes enrolled; the cost per credit is $500. (read more here)

The breakdown of the costs as a full-time student is as follows:

  • Tuition: $16,000.00 ($500 per credit hour)
  • Student services and activities fee $250.00
  • Health insurance $3,000.00 (remote students can be exempt)
  • Books and materials $1,500.00

TOTAL: $20,750.00

Do you offer scholarships?

Merit Scholarships are available and will be awarded to students who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in their Islamic Studies and who show a high potential to succeed in the program. The application will be made available on February 22, 2023, and made available after the application is submitted.

Do you offer financial aid?

The Boston Islamic Seminary does not currently offer need-based scholarships, but but will accept any external scholarships that students provide. Here is a list of some great options.

Will I be eligible for Federal or other students loan to complete this program?

Boston Islamic Seminary does not participate in federal or state sponsored grant or loan programs; students who need tuition, room and board assistance for the MIRL program should apply external scholarships.

Program Contact Info

Masters in Islamic
Religious Leadership (MIRL)

60 Willow Street
Chelsea, MA 02150

(781) 584-0883

Mon – Fri 9:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.