Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies

> Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

BA in Islamic Studies (BAIS) is a four year degree program (8 semesters - 6 courses per semester) which may be completed in a minimum of 3 years (6 semesters - if students take more than full course load, 9 courses per semester) and a maximum of 12 years (24 semesters). Students can take between one to six courses per semester, but the entire program has to be completed within a maximum of twelve years.

The maximum duration allowed for completing the accredited BAIS program is 12 years.
If a student exceeds the allotted time duration without completing the required number of courses, then he/she will need to repeat their oldest courses on case to case basis. So,in case if one enters in the 13th year of study he/she has to repeat their first and second semester courses. If one enters into his/ her 14th year; then third and fourth semester courses have to be retaken by the student, so on and so forth.

The International Open University offers MA in Islamic Studies and it has launched its own PhD program Alhamdulillah. The details can be found here:

The International Open University is an online educational institution. The entire program is taught online via internet. Anyone from any part of the world can join easily and benefit from it, Insha'Allah.

It is recommended that IOU students try to have a high speed internet connection. However, if a student does not have a high speed connection, he/she can download audio and video lectures which can be listened to or watched later.

Module tests and midterm exams can be taken at home within the prescribed time. The final exams must be taken only in an IOU approved exam center. There are several designated IOU centers present across the globe. You may look for a center near you before the exams begin and register for it. If there is no IOU approved exam center nearby, you can suggest an exam center, and we will approve it, even if you are the only student taking exams in it, Insha’Allah. Please read the exam center requirements by clicking on the link given below

There is no fee for examinations. Students only need to pay a small semester registration fee before enrolling into the semester. This depends on the country of residence of the student. Please click here to see the fees for your country. However, students will have to pay fees directly to the exam center, if the center administrator/manager requests it (usually the centers do not ask for any fees).


Alhamdulillah, IOU students receive a good quality Islamic education. A student who is sincerely committed will certainly acquire the correct understanding of the subjects taught and will be able to teach it to others. A student who has a degree or diploma in education will be able to teach Islamic Studies at any level after completing BAIS.


The International Open University is an online educational institution. The entire program is taught online via internet. Anyone from any part of the world can join easily and benefit from it, Insha Allaah.

Admission is open throughout the year. If a student is admitted and enrollment is closed, he/she will begin his/her studies the following semester.

The registration form is available here:

You will get a reply form the registrar regarding your admission confirmation and fee payment details in a few days, Insha Allaah.

Before you begin the registration process, make sure you have the required scans (a scan of your HSC or certificate and a recent color photograph) ready on your PC.

Course waivers are possible only for the following courses

Arabic 100

This is a beginner’s course. You do not have to take this course if you can read and write Arabic well.

English 101 and 102:

-Bachelor’s degree, taught in English, with a major in English, Or
-Postgraduate degree (masters or doctorate), taught in English, with research conducted/submitted in academic English (thesis or dissertation)
Degree in English medium only does not qualify for a waiver. Those who possess these qualifications may submit the documents related to their study, along with the syllabus for evaluation by our instructor.

Computers 101:

A waiver for Computers 101 will be given to those applicants who have taken graduate level courses in computers. Those who possess these or similar qualifications may submit their college transcript for evaluation and approval by our instructor.


  • Course waivers imply that you have sufficient knowledge in a particular area. Courses can be waived if it is determined that you have sufficient knowledge in that area to warrant a waiver. You must submit all necessary documentation to prove that you have sufficient knowledge in that area to warrant a waiver. If a course waiver is approved, the number of hours required for the degree remains the same. The waiver allows students the option of taking an elective course rather than a required core course.
  • If you possess the above qualifications, you can upload the required documents after enrolling into the course. It will take a few days to process your request. Test scores such as TOEFL, IELTS, etc., alone are not enough to qualify you for a course waiver if you do not meet the above criteria.


Upon the completion of the 3 registration steps, the payment of the fees included, you will receive an email with the enrollment instructions few days before the beginning of the semester during the regular enrollment period. If you have completed the registration before or after the regular enrollment period, you may enroll via the early enrollment system by visiting this link. Please note that you have only two attempts to enroll. Therefore, you should choose your courses carefully. Staff will be able to help you only if there is some genuine reason.


The International Open University offers two terms each year.

Spring semester - March to July

Fall semester - September to January

The exact dates for the enrollment during the regular period, which is at the beginning of the semester, are announced on the site news before the semester begins. The early enrollment for those who want to enroll during the non-regular period can be accessed via this link.

Registration is open all year round though we advise you to register right away. You will be able to register in the current semester if the deadline has not passed. If the deadline has passed, you will be registered for the following semester and you may enroll into courses via the early enrollment system.


The deadlines of registration are broadly divided into three categories:


Early Registration Period:
Spring: beginning of October to mid-February
Fall: beginning of April to mid-August


Regular Registration Period:
Spring: mid-February to mid-March
Fall: mid-August to mid-September

Late Registration Period:
Spring: mid-March to end of March
Fall: mid-September to end of September


Registered students will be sent the exact dates of each semester a couple of weeks before the semester starts.



Alhamdulillaah, all the courses offered are completely free, but we charge affordable semester registration fees.

Please see here for details

Click here and select your county of residence to see the course fee

These are the only fees we charge per semester. The course is completely tuition free, and the course material is also provided free of cost. Additionally, there is an E-Library provided as a study aid for the students.

For new students: No matter when the semester is scheduled to start, once you complete the payment, you will be given access to course materials


The course content is explained very clearly with the help of lectures recorded by the instructors and recorded supplementary sessions conducted by the tutorial assistants. You can contact the teacher if you have any questions about course content. Although the courses are simplified as much as possible, it is preferable that you first register for a free diploma course and try to complete at least one diploma course. If you are able to understand the lectures and texts of the free diploma course, then you should be able to study in the BAIS program with no difficulty inshAllah.
Please note that If you realize later that you are not able to understand course content and need to withdraw from the program, there will be no refund. We, therefore, request that you pay only after careful consideration.


In order to make the process easy for the students, IOU has translators available who will translate your documents (for some languages). Please check with us to see if we have a translator for the language your certificate is in. If we do not have translation services available for your language, your non-English high school transcripts and certificate must be fully translated into English and notarized by a notary. You must submit the original transcript along with the translated copy. A copy of the translated notarized copy should be uploaded during the online registration process.

To apply for the BAIS program, the candidate must have at least a high school diploma. The high school diploma must be scanned and uploaded along with a recent color passport size photograph. If the diploma and photo are not uploaded, your admission will not be confirmed.


The BAIS is a degree program for students who meet all the requirements mandated by the Somalian laws. The requirement to enter a bachelor’s degree program in any country is the completion of 12 years of study. To accommodate students who do not have a high school diploma but want to study in an organized Islamic Studies program and obtain a certificate, the IOU has the Open Education Program, which offers the same courses as the BAIS program. Students from both the BAIS degree program and the Open Education Program are taught in a similar manner and given the same course materials. Students can access the same supplementary sessions conducted by the same tutorial assistants. The only difference is in the certificate provided upon successful completion of the program. For more information, click here.

The semester registration fee is the same for any of these streams you may choose; whether it be mainstream study, Open Education Program or the alternative stream of Audit Courses. This is because the manner we conduct the study for all our students is the same.


To enable the students who do not wish to take exams but acquire the knowledge of Islamic studies taught in an organized structure, we have introduced the alternative stream of Audit courses. The Audit courses stream provides all the above opportunities of studies to a student but they are exempted from taking tests and exams and submitting assignments. If they wish, they can take the tests and research and submit assignments, but they will not fail if they do not do so.

Audit courses stream is for those people who want to complete the BAIS courses without having to prepare for exams. The duration of the semester is the same as for BAIS and so is the fee structure. After the semester completes, the students are graded for auditing the courses. And at the end of their study they are given a certificate of attendance from the IOU, in sha Allah.


Arabic courses are offered, starting at the beginner’s level . In Arabic 100, a student is taught the Arabic alphabet , stroke by stroke via very well explained videos and text. As the Arabic courses progress, more concepts are introduced, which are explained very clearly. By the end of the program, a student will, Insha Allaah, be able to read, write, and understand Arabic thoroughly. The Arabic courses offered in the first three semesters are in English. In later semesters, some books are completely in Arabic, but are explained in English when necessary. The medium of instruction at IOU is English for all the courses. Arabic ,though, is given importance, and students are taught the language of the Qur'an in a very easy and effective way.

No, it is not allowed to complete the program in less than 3 years time period.

No. English language certification is not a requirement for any of the IOU programs. However, you should be aware that English is the medium of instruction for the entire program and you need to have a good command over the language to enroll into the program. You must display the ability to communicate effectively in terms of reading, writing and speaking fluently in English. This is vital for your success as a university student.

Yes, these uncommon courses will appear on the student's permanent academic record with the final course mark and noted as "Additional Courses". However, they are not included in calculating the student's Grade Point Average and do not count towards the degree, diploma or certificate credit.

We cannot claim that ALL universities will accept IOU's degrees, as it each country has its own practices and standards for recognition of university credits and studies, accreditation and/or recognition of prior learning (RPL). As such, IOU can only focuss on meeting requirements for registration, accreditation and endorsement in our host countries. Through international higher education conventions, a registered and accredited university of a particularly country is recognized globally, however, some countries and universities may reserve the right not to recognize another’s qualifications - which is completely beyond the control of the degree-issuing university. The Islamic Online University (now renamed to the ‘International Open University – The Gambia’) is fully registered and accredited with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education in the Somali Federal Republic. Our newly-relocated head offices are in The Gambia. We are registered with the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) of Gambia and awaiting finalization of our institutional accreditation. The ‘Islamic Online University’ also holds provisional registration with the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) in Malawi. We have multiple satellite campuses in various countries world-wide that operate under the registration and accreditation obtained in our host countries (Somali Federal Republic, The Gambia, and Malawi). Whilst every effort is made to fulfill, meet and maintain registration and accreditation requirements in our host countries; as per international practice, the recognition of IOU-issued qualifications in non-host countries is at the discretion of their relevant national councils, that have diverse criteria for accepting foreign qualifications. As such, we encourage all our students not residing in our host countries to validate the recognition of the qualification with their national authorities. IOU is governed by the regulations and quality assurance practices and policies of our host countries.

While it is quite difficult to keep track of this, we have been notified of some of our graduates pursuing postgraduate studies in Indonesia and Gambia.

IOU is registered and accredited in Somalia. This was the first country in which IOU received full registration and accreditation. IOU then subsequently applied for registration in Gambia and has established a headquarters there. The finalization of registration is underway in The Gambia. We hope to conclude the finalization soon, In sha Allah. IOU also has provisional registration by the National Council of Higher Education in Malawi. We are also busy with the finalization of registration in Malawi currently. Once full registration is granted in Gambia and Malawi, IOU will then shift completely over to their systems and legislation.

The onus lies with the applicant seeking credit transfer externally to apply using the standard IOU-issued documents. In the motivation of the application, the student may naturally refer to an MoU in place.
The other university will follow their procedures to determine the validity and scope of the MoU. If the MoU explicitly cites credit transfer/recognition, then the applicant should not face challenges.
However, there are instances where admissions departments of partner universities might not grant credit transfer of some/all courses because the MoU might not have been intended for the purpose of credit transfer, or there could have been changes to syllabi that prevents credit transfer, as courses between IOU and partner university are no longer aligned.
It would be best to check the conditions of the MoU in place with the specific partner university to explore its scope.

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is another way in which IOU aims to provide access to education for those who have not been formally educated, or have completed non formal ways of learning.
If you do not meet the set admission requirements, have extensive work experience or have previously completed courses at another institution and would like to register at IOU, you may apply for admission through the RPL process.
See more information about the RPL process here
Let me know if this requires a different task to be created instead.

International Open University is globally accredited. However, institutions may have a list of colleges and universities that they consider acceptable. So, it is recommended that you check with the institution where you might want to do further studies or seek employment.

For more information about accreditation click on the given link


There is no fee charged for course materials, which consists of a PDF file. Flash videos and mp3 audios are available for online streaming as well as for download. We also provide an E-Library for students free of charge. If a student wishes to purchase hard copies of the required texts, they may do so from external sources.

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