CIS Admission Requirements | HBKU

Now accepting applications for Fall 2023. Please visit for further information.

CIS Admission Requirements

Admission and Application Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the graduate programs at the College of Islamic Studies should have a strong academic record (minimum 3.0 GPA out of 4.0) from a recognized university.

Applicants to the masters programs should have a bachelor’s degree while applicants to the PhD program should have a master’s degree.

PhD applicants must demonstrate strong evidence that they possess the qualities to become successful researchers and professionals. This includes outstanding performance in relevant coursework, as well as a proven track record of high motivation and commitment to innovative and original research. Applicants with prior research and work experience in financial services and related fields are preferred.

Program Required Field of Study Language Requirements
Program: MA in Contemporary Islamic Studies:
Specialization in Fiqh and Society  
Required Field of Study: Shari’a, Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, or a related area within Islamic Studies, Usul al-Din and Qanun. Must demonstrate proficiency in Arabic through studies (e.g. completing an undergraduate degree in  which the language of instruction was Arabic or by completing a proficiency examination offered by CIS)
In addition, students need to prove their English language proficiency by providing a score equivalent to: TOEFL 35-45 or IELTS 5. Exemption is possible if applicants have studied in English.  
Program: MA in Contemporary Islamic Studies:
Specialization in Contemporary
Islamic Thought  
Required Field of Study: Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Religious Studies; or relatable areas within the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences with appropriate experience. All applicants are required to submit a valid IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL score of 79 in order to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Applicants may be exempt from this requirement if they provide an official letter confirming that they obtained their degree from a university where the medium of instruction is English.
Program: MA in Islam and Global Affairs Required Field of Study: All fields
Program: MA in Applied Islamic Ethics
Program: PhD in Islamic Finance and Economy Required Field of Study: Economics, Business, Finance, Accounting, Shari’a, or a related field
Program: MS in Islamic Finance
Program: MS in Islamic Art, Architecture
and Urbanism
Required Field of Study: Art, History, Archeology, Interior Architecture/Design, Architecture, and Urban Planning




The online application form can be accessed here.

Please note that this application is for admissions only. Information on how to apply for funding (where applicable) is provided to students who have been admitted to the program.

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit all required documents at the time of application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Academic transcripts

Official electronic copies of transcripts should be submitted as part of the online application. Final transcripts and graduation statements are required for all previous university studies. All transcripts submitted should include an explanation of the grading system.

For those who have not completed their current studies, transcripts must include results from the last completed semester of coursework. Transcripts in languages other than English or Arabic must be accompanied with an official translation.

Applicants who are admitted to the program based on incomplete or copies of transcripts will be required to provide original transcripts upon enrollment in order to register for courses.

Standardized test results

Official copies (where required) must be sent directly to HBKU. Please refer to the institutional codes below: 

  • TOEFL: 4981
  • IELTS: No code required. Students should ask the IELTS center where they tested to send the IELTS TRF to Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Applicants should also submit copies of their test scores with the online application.

Letters of recommendation

Applicants should provide two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from an academic referee. Applicants will receive the link to request recommendation forms once they have submitted the online admission application.

Personal statement of interest

Applicants should submit a personal statement (300-500) as part of the online application. The statement should explain why they are applying and how their studies will contribute to the achievement of their personal objectives, including information about the applicant's research interests and achievements. Incomplete personal statements will not be accepted.

Resume/curriculum vitae

Applicants should submit a copy of their current resume or curriculum vitae as part of the online application.

This should include the following information, where applicable:

  • Academic Qualifications 
  • Professional Experience 
  • Publications
  • Research Projects 
  • Academic Awards or Honors 
  • Conference Presentations

Identification document

All applicants should submit an electronic copy of their passport as part of the online application. Nationals and residents of Qatar should also submit their valid Qatari ID.

Tuition and Student Funding

The College of Islamic Studies provides opportunities for scholarships and funding on a competitive basis. Further information will be provided to applicants who are admitted to the program.

To view tuition fees, please click here .

Admission inquiries

  • Please do not submit any additional application materials which are not on the list of required items. Any additional materials received will be automatically discarded.
  • HBKU cannot return documents to the applicant once they are submitted.
  • All documents submitted through the online application must be in PDF format. Any documents submitted in a different format will not be accepted
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