Admission Master of Arts in Islamic Studies | HBKU
Master of Arts in Islamic Studies

Master of Arts in Islamic Studies

Admission & Application Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Arts in Islamic Studies should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution. They must also have a strong undergraduate academic record (minimum 3.0 GPA or equivalent). Applicants who wish to pursue the Contemporary Fiqh or Contemporary Quranic Studies concentration should have a bachelor’s degree in Sharia, Islamic Studies, or a related area.

Applicants who intend to pursue a concentration in Islamic Thought and Applied Ethics, Comparative Religions, or Islamic Civilization and Societies are required to submit an IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 79 to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Applicants can be exempt from this requirement if they meet one of the conditions listed below:

  • The applicant completed their studies at an institution in a country where English is the native language 
  • The applicant provides an official letter from the university where they completed their undergraduate studies confirming that they obtained their degree from an institution where the medium of instruction is English (if not otherwise exempt)
  • The applicant's first language is English

Applicants who intend to pursue a concentration in Contemporary Fiqh or Contemporary Quranic Studies must demonstrate proficiency in Arabic through previous studies (e.g. completing an undergraduate degree in which the language of instruction was Arabic or by completing a proficiency examination offered by CIS).

Students will be asked to identify a concentration at the time of application. This is to ensure that students’ language proficiency is consistent with the concentration they have selected. However, students have until the end of their first semester to finalize their selection and may change concentrations as long as they met the language proficiency requirement at the time of applying.


Academic transcripts

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

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 copies of or incomplete transcripts will be required to provide original transcripts upon enrollment in order to register for course

Upon review of the transcripts, the Office of Enrollment may request that applicants provide an equivalency letter from the Ministry of Education in Qatar.

Standardized test results

Official copies of standardized test results (TOEFL, IELTS) 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, Qatar

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


Letters of recommendation

Applicants should submit at least two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from an academic referee. Referees should send their letters of recommendation from their professional email directly to   and mention the name of the applicant and program they are applying to in the subject line of the email.  

Letters which are not directly written for this program or which are incomplete will not be accepted.

Click here to download the recommendation form


Personal statement of interest

Applicants should submit a personal statement that explains why they are applying and how their studies will contribute to the achievement of their personal objectives, including information about past achievements and challenges they have faced in their academic or professional life (minimum of 300 words, maximum of 500 words).

Applicants who intend to pursue concentrations in Islamic Thought and Applied Ethics, Islamic Civilization and Societies, or Comparative Religions should submit a personal statement in English. Applicants who intend to pursue a concentration in Contemporary Fiqh, or Contemporary Quranic Studies should submit a personal statement in Arabic.

Personal statements which are incomplete or below the minimum word count will not be accepted.


Resume/curriculum vitae

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

Identification document

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

  • 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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