Why Usul Academy?

Usul Academy distinguishes itself from other Islamic Studies programs in several ways:

  • We offer extended learning experiences in Islamic disciplines following the classical Ottoman madrasah curriculum.
  • We are home to a distinguished community of scholars from around the world.
  • We offer a blended education experience, combining online and face-to-face classes.
  • We bring our students and scholars together in intensive summer retreats in Istanbul.
  • We adopt a holistic approach to education combining academic and spiritual development.
  • We offer social sciences classes from a comparative and critical perspective.
  • We use state-of-the-art e-learning technology similar to the EdX model.


Who can apply to the Honors Program in Comparative Islamic Studies?

Any self-motivated, studious and serious student is welcome to apply to Usul Academy. Usul Academy’s Honors Program is designed for undergraduate students currently enrolled in a university who wish to take an Islamic Studies path in parallel with their university program. It has been designed to be flexible and fit the schedule of the average university student. However, anyone may apply to the program, regardless of age and current academic or professional career.

What is the mode of teaching?

On weekdays, classes will be recorded for asynchronous learning. On Saturdays, classes can take place any time between 1-7pm GMT. Students are requested to make themselves available during these hours. During the Summer term, Usul Academy brings students to Istanbul for three weeks of intensive face-to-face study.

What is the language of instruction?

Students are expected to be proficient in both English and Arabic, as the language of instruction may vary depending on the subject and texts.

Do I need to know Arabic to enroll at Usul Academy?

No, you do not need to know Arabic to enroll at Usul Academy. Students who do not know Arabic will not be at a disadvantage during the admissions process. However, they will be redirected to the one-year Academic Arabic preparatory program

How are students graded?

Islamic Disciplines and Auxiliary Discipline classes are number graded, Social Science classes are pass/fail. Islamic Ethics classes are not graded.

What is the summer retreat in Istanbul?

The purpose of the summer retreat in Istanbul is to cultivate a sense of ṣuḥbah (fellowship) between peers. The retreat lasts three weeks, and is a chance for students to study, visit historical sites in and around Istanbul, and meet with great scholars.

Is the retreat mandatory?

Preparatory Academic Arabic Program: The retreat is mandatory during the Academic Arabic preparatory program and lasts 8 weeks. For students at a more advanced level, they may be fully or partially exempted from the summer intensive. The cost of the Academic Arabic summer intensive is $2000.

Honors Program (BA): The retreat is also mandatory in the first and last years of the Comparative Islamic Studies (BA).  The cost for the three-week retreat is $1,500 each. The cost will cover: accommodation, food, trips and transportation within Turkey. Click here to see the academic calendar.

Which program can I apply to this year?

Students are invited to apply to the Honors Program in Comparative Islamic Studies (BA).

Can I enter the Usul Academy Honors Program at the Core Studies level if I have prior Islamic Studies knowledge or degrees?

Students cannot be admitted to the Core Studies program without having completed Foundations. However, students with prior knowledge in Islamic Studies may be exempted from certain courses depending on their Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) results. Click here to view the curriculum.