Application Process

When is the first day of the program?

The first day of the program is September 13, 2021. 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 do this program?

Alhamdulillah, on December 15, 2020, BIS received unanimous approval from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (MDHE) granting BIS the authority to award the Master of Islamic Religious Leadership (MIRL) graduate degree.

Can credits be transferred from BIS to other institutions?

Yes, credits from BIS can be transferred to other institutions. However, students should note that graduate degree credit transfer policies vary across schools and programs, and the ability to transfer credits is at the discretion of the target institution. Students are advised to review their target institutions’ policies.

Is the class list on the website set in stone?

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.

What is the application timeline?

Applications are currently open and will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

June/July 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.

July 31, 2021- Final decisions will be made for Fall 2021 enrollment.

You can learn more about the application process and admissions criteria on our website.

The application form can be found here.

Are there prerequisites for 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 a beginner’s level at minimum.


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?

The BIS is building a team of faculty who complement one another academically, spiritually, intellectually and organizationally.

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, and are approved by the academic committee.

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 for 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?

No, there is no option for receiving a certificate. However, BIS has other part-time Certificate Programs.

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. However, 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


How much do I have to pay?

For the 2021-2022 Academic year, we expect the cost of attending Boston Islamic Seminary to be $20,750.00.

The breakdown of the costs are as follows:


  • Tuition: $16,000.00
  • Student services and activities fee $250.00
  • Health insurance $3,000.00
  • Books and materials $1,500.00

TOTAL $20,750.00

Do you offer scholarships?

Scholarships 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.

Do you offer financial aid?

Boston Islamic Seminary is committed to delivering the best educational experience to each of its students. The Seminary views its financial aid and scholarship program as an investment in students and their futures, and thus will make an effort to support all admitted students who demonstrate financial need.

You can learn more about the financial aid application process on the BIS website. Applications will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee.

Will I be eligible for Federal or other student loans 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 for Financial Assistance and demonstrate that they meet the necessary criteria.


Where will classes be taught?

The program will be fully virtual/remote for the first MIRL cohort (class starting in Fall 2021).