The Master of Islamic Religious Leadership (MIRL) application for the 2022-2023 academic year is now available! Get started here by entering your contact information, and then follow the system prompts.

The priority deadline to submit your completed application and all required materials is February 15, 2022. After this deadline, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until May 1st, 2022. See below for full details.

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.

  • Applications for admissions should be submitted through the online application portal, made accessible on this webpage when applications are open.
    • Please note: applicants will first be prompted to complete a short contact information form. Once this initial form is submitted, the applicant should follow the system prompts and instructions to complete the application. An email with unique login credentials will be generated, allowing the applicant to start and stop filling out the application as needed.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all application materials online. However, in circumstances where that is not feasible, printed documents can be mailed* to:

Boston Islamic Seminary
ATTN: MIRL Admissions
60 Willow Street
Chelsea, MA 02150

*Materials sent by US Mail must be postmarked on or before the application due date in order to be  considered. 

  • Electronic transcripts or other application materials can be emailed to mirl@bostonislamicseminary.org. Please make sure all applicants’ names are in all emailed documents, not just in the body of the email.
  • Recommenders must submit their letters of recommendation online. Once the applicant submits his/her application, a letter of recommendation form will be sent to each listed recommender at the email address provided by the applicant. Please be sure your recommenders are aware of this process and that they add mirl@bostonislamicseminary.org to their safe senders list. Once the recommenders submit their form, it will be automatically added to your application.
  • Applications are considered incomplete until all materials are submitted. Incomplete  applications will not be considered.
  • Application accounts created or started but not submitted by the deadline of the program will be deleted prior to the start of the new application cycle. Application data and any associated supplemental materials are not retained.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants to the Master of Islamic Religious Leadership (MIRL) program must show promise of their ability to pursue advanced study and research in Islamic Studies and Leadership by meeting the following admissions criteria:
    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
    • Qur’anic Memorization: Ability to recite at least one thirtieth (juzʾ) of the Qurʾān 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. (See admissions retreat section below for evaluation information.)
    • Arabic: Ability to read and write in Arabic at an intermediate level. (See admissions retreat section below for evaluation information.)

    Applicants who were subject to disciplinary action or non-academic dismissal at a prior  university/college will not be considered for admission. 

    Required Application Submissions:

    • Completed Online Admissions Application, available on this webpage when applications are open.
    • Application fee of $50.
    • Four letters of recommendation: two from an accredited academic program and two  from a mosque, Islamic center, or other such organization in the U.S. Applicants are asked to provide the name and email address for each of the recommenders during the application process. Once the application is submitted, an email will be generated to the applicant’s recommenders directing them to fill out the electronic letter of recommendation form. References should be from individuals who are qualified, through direct experience with the applicant’s academic or professional work, to comment on their ability to undertake graduate study in Islamic Leadership.
    • Current Résumé/CV detailing the candidate’s professional experience and community involvement.
    • Official transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate programs, excluding BIS courses. The Office of Admissions already holds internal transcripts of all its students. If transfer credit shows on the degree transcript, the applicant must also request a transcript from the original credit-awarding institution. A transcript is official when it comes directly from the institution. If an applicant is submitting an official transcript, it must be in a sealed envelope from the institution indicating that it is an official document. If the envelope has been opened prior to arriving at the Office of Admissions, it is no longer considered an official transcript. Institutions that send electronic transcripts should send them directly to the Office of Admissions at mirl@bostonislamicseminary.org.
      • BIS requires official college transcript evaluations from one of the following agencies. Evaluations done by the agency must be course-by-course evaluations and provide verification that the degree the applicant holds is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from the United States.
    • An essay or goal statement addressing the candidate’s reasons for pursuit of the Islamic  Religious Leadership degree, intended future goals, etc. In approximately 700 words, the candidate should describe what they they perceive are some of the biggest challenges being faced by the American Muslim today and how do they understand leadership in today’s context.

    Additional Submissions

    • Any ijazat or certifications from an Islamic Institute.

    Admissions Interview:

    Applicants may be contacted by the Admissions Committee for a remote interview during the initial phase of review.

    Admissions Retreat:

    Short-listed candidates will be invited to spend a long weekend at the seminary for a full round of personal interviews, placement tests, and other activities and evaluations. Written and oral evaluations will be administered to assess:

    • Basic competencies in the core Islamic sciences  including Qur’an, Prophetic Traditions (Hadith), Prophetic Biography (Sira), Islamic  Jurisprudence (Fiqh) and Islamic Spirituality (Tazkiyya)
    • Intermediate level in Classical Arabic
    • Quranic recitation and memorization level

    Submission of Application:

    Upon receipt of the electronic application, the Office of Admissions sends all applicants an email containing their link to their application form, which can be revisited until completion. Applicants are responsible to ensure that all supporting materials arrive at the Office of Admissions and are postmarked by the application deadline.

      • Applications are considered incomplete until all materials are submitted. Incomplete  applications will not be considered.
      • Application accounts created or started but not submitted by the deadline of the program will be deleted prior to the start of the new application cycle. Application data and any associated supplemental materials are  not retained.
    • Applicants are encouraged to not wait until the deadline to submit their application. Submitting the application at the deadline means an applicant may not have the ability to check on their application and determine what Admissions has received or what is still missing. Applicants are encouraged to submit an online application early and to send supporting documentation to complete the application prior to the admissions deadline.

    Ability to read and write in Arabic at a beginner’s level.

Transfer Admission

All applicants who are currently (or who have previously) attended a graduate program and who have earned at least 3 credit hours with a minimum grade of B are considered transfer applicants and may apply for transfer admission to BIS. Transfer applicants may apply for Fall admission and are required to  submit the following:

  • Complete Online Admissions Application.
  • Final, official and certified university transcript(s) of highest degree earned as well as  official transcripts for any additional coursework completed beyond the previously  earned degree

Transfer applicants must submit all appropriate application materials and supporting  documents to the Admissions Committee by the admission deadline.

 

Transfer of Credit

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.

 

Immunization Law

The State of Massachusetts requires that students under the age of 30 who plan to enroll in a graduate program or pursue studies on a full-time in-person basis show proof of vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella. Additionally, students who plan on living on-campus must receive the meningococcal (meningitis) vaccination. Students studying entirely online do not need to submit proof of vaccination.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit the admission application and all required  documentation as early as possible. Applicants are reminded that all documents required to  complete the admission process must be submitted to the Admissions Committee by the  appropriate deadlines, and applications will not be accepted after the published application  deadline. A comprehensive listing of admission application deadlines can be found on The BIS  website at: https://www.bostonislamicseminary.org/mirl_application/.

 

Dates and Deadlines 

The following dates and deadlines reflect the 2021-2022 application cycle. Please note that dates and deadlines may vary slightly per academic year.

 

November 15, 2021 

Online Applications made available.

February 15, 2022

The Priority Deadline for submitting all application materials. Applications may be submitted after this deadline on a rolling basis.

May 1, 2022

Final deadline to accept rolling applications for Fall 2022.

 

For orientation and additional dates, please consult our academic calendar.

Financial Aid

The 2022-2023 Application for Financial Aid will be available by the end of February, 2022. All Master of Islamic Religious Leadership applicants who have applied for admission by the admissions deadline will receive an email message from the BIS Office of Financial Aid with instructions on how to apply. This single application is for both merit-based and need-based grants.

 

Financial Statement 

Boston Islamic Seminary is committed to delivering the best educational experience to 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. Boston Islamic Seminary does not participate in federal or state sponsored grant or loan programs.

 

BIS offers several full scholarships for students in the MIRL program. Awards are based on demonstrated academic and leadership merit, as determined by the MIRL scholarship committee.

Students who wish to be considered for a scholarship must submit their applications as early as possible.