Postgraduate Certificate in Islamic Studies (Bridge to MA)
> Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is an English language certification like TOEFL or IELTS required?
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.
What will happen to the uncommon courses when I change my stream? Will my grades for such courses be recognized and mentioned in my final transcript.
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.
If my transcripts are not in English, will you still accept them?
What is the level of English required to join the IOU Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS)?
Please note that If you realize later that you are not capable of understanding the courses being taught and need to drop out from the program, then no refund of fees will be possible due to the modest amount being charged. Therefore, we request that you proceed to make your payment only after careful consideration.
Can the IOU BAIS students who have Bachelors degrees in other fields and have completed some or all of the 14 core BAIS courses which are taught under the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) change their stream to Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) and be eligible for MAIS?
However, we suggest that the BAIS students complete all the 48 BAIS courses before moving to MAIS so that they may benefit from the other BAIS courses which are not taught under MAIS.
Does Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) have a Course Waiver system?
Is there any fee involved before the exams?
How do I take exams?
What are the tuition fees?
Please see here for details
Click here and select your country of residence to see the course fee
This is the only MODEST fee we charge per semester. The course is completely tuition free and the course material is also provided free of cost. Plus, there is an E-Library provided as a study aid for the Bridge Diploma for MAIS students.
For first time registrations (new students): No matter when the semester is scheduled to start, once you complete the payment procedure you will be given access to the lessons taught in the first semester, Insha'Allah.
When does the late registration period start?
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.
When will enrollment and classes begin?
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.
What does the enrollment process entail?
What is the procedure to join the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS)?
IOU Admissions are open throughout the year. You will be enrolled into the present semester,if the enrollments for it are open. In case the enrollments have closed for the present semester, you will be accepted for the next semester. Insha’Allah.
The registration form is available here:
Please select the stream Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS)
You will get a reply from the registrar regarding your admission confirmation and fee payment details in a few days, Insha'Allah.
Before you start the registration process, make sure you have the required document scans (a scan of your degree certificate, a recent color photograph, a scan of your passport of national ID card) ready on your PC
Is there a separate campus/learning area for Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS)?
Is It possible to complete the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) in less than 1 year?
What is the time required to complete the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS)?
Can a student who doesn't have the minimum required qualification join the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS)?
Please click here for more details
What are the minimum required qualifications to join theHigher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS)
(1) Graduation in any field other than Islamic Studies.
(2) Post Graduation or above in any field other than Islamic Studies.
(3) Graduation/Post Graduation in Islamic Studies, for those who want to enhance their understanding of the courses and familiarize themselves with the IOU study patterns before the IOU MAIS begins, Insha’Allah
Is the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) an accredited program?
Yes, the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) is an accredited program. Students who successfully complete BMAIS will be given a certificate.
There are three options for graduates of the BMAIS program:
- Students are automatically eligible for the IOU MAIS degree program the following semester.
- Students may join the MAIS degree program later if they choose to take some time off.
- Students may follow the MAIS program with any other institution of their choice.
For more information click here.
What if i have a slow internet connection?
Where does the study take place?
What is the IOU Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS)?
When IOU’s site says it is accredited globally, does it mean IOU's degrees will be accepted by universities in all countries including US, Canada, Australia, UAE, etc.?
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.
May I know the universities where IOU's graduates were able to take admission in higher/postgraduate studies based on IOU's issued degree?
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.
How is it that IOU is accredited by the Somalia's Ministry of Culture and Higher Education however, the institution as per the credentials is located in The Gambia? So is IOU following the Gambia standards and legislation or Somalia?
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.
As IOU has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with various universities, will the graduates of IOU be eligible for the admission/credit transfer in the said university automatically?
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.
What if one fails to complete the curriculum in the maximum assigned duration?
The maximum duration allowed for completing the accredited BMAIS program is 4 years and 6 months.
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 which were taken before the maximum time period allowed.
Is International Open University an accredited university?
The National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) has granted the International Open University a three year Provisional License to operate as a higher education institution in The Gambia effective 29 April, 2019. This license also serves as an institutional accreditation of International Open University, the Gambia, by National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority.
Moreover, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology has granted to the International Open University a license to operate an online university in The Gambia with effect from May 13, 2014.
For more information about accreditation click on the given link https://iou.edu.gm/stream/accreditation/
Is there a separate fee for learning materials?
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.