- Toggle Section About
- Toggle Section Undergraduate
- Toggle Section Graduate
- Degree Completion
Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements
Admission to Biola University is on a selective basis. Only those most likely to profit from Biola University's educational program and its distinctively Christian emphasis are admitted. Because it is the purpose of Biola University to educate maturing followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the applicant should have been a Christian for at least one year.
Biola University has a strongly evangelical Christian commitment and requires that to be accepted, the applicant must be an evangelical believer. However, Biola does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability in the admission of students, employment, and the educational programs or activities it conducts. The University prohibits sexual harassment. Inquiries regarding this nondiscrimination policy and the policy prohibiting sexual harassment may be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students in the Student Services Building for further information and procedures.
Students interested in attending Biola should request an application from the Office of Admission or submit an online application (undergrad.biola.edu). Because enrollment is limited and admission is selective, applications should be made as early as possible. Decisions are made only on completed applications.
Visits to the campus are encouraged. It is recommended to email or phone the Office of Admissions well in advance of the visit. Each semester, visitation days (University Day, Spring Preview Day and others) help acquaint prospective students with the programs on campus.
Admission information—including applications, visitation days and appointments—is available at undergrad.biola.edu or by phoning 1-800-652-4652.
Admission to the University does not guarantee admission to the art, business administration, cinema media arts, education, music, nursing and psychology programs, nor to on-campus housing. Application forms for these programs are available from the department offices.
See the specific program for additional admission, enrollment and graduation requirements in the appropriate undergraduate/graduate sections of the catalog.
All applicants who are accepted to the University are required to submit an enrollment deposit. The deposit is non-refundable if the student does not enroll in and complete the term for which he/she applied. Accepted applicants, whether or not they have selected courses, must inform Biola of any change in their plans regarding enrollment. Biola undergraduate students accepted into a Biola graduate program must submit a graduate deposit to ensure a place as a Biola graduate student.
As a student continues his/her enrollment at Biola, the enrollment deposit is retained as a continuing deposit, ensuring a place in the student body. When enrolled students who have completed the term for which they applied, officially withdraw, their enrollment deposit will be applied to any balance owed at the time of departure, or will be refunded if their account is paid in full.
A Biola student who has dropped out for one semester or longer is required to file an application for re-admission. A pastor's reference will be required if the student's leave of absence exceeds two years. A student who enrolls after an absence of more than a year is required to follow the current catalog requirements upon readmission. An undergraduate student who re-admits after an absence of five years may be required to complete a full application for entrance, whereas, graduate students will be required to file a new application, and a pastor's reference. Depending on length of absence, other requirements may also be necessary. Please contact the Office of Admission for more information.
Admission of Non-Native English-Speaking Students
It is essential that non-native English speaking students are able to understand lectures in English and also are able to express their thoughts clearly in both written and spoken English. Biola University has determined English proficiency to be demonstrated by the following scores on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT): a general score of 79 or higher with a minimum subtest score of 22 in speaking and a minimum subtest score of 19 in writing required for undergraduate admissions; and a general score of 88 or higher with a minimum subtest score of 22 in speaking and a minimum subtest score of 20 in writing for graduate admissions. Admission into academic programs at Biola University is based upon the understanding that students already have an equivalent to 79 iBT (undergraduate) or 88 iBT (graduate) or higher on the TOEFL or are actively making progress in obtaining this level of English proficiency. Please know that the minimum scores listed above represent the general university-wide guideline. Any academic department or programs may set their minimum scores at a higher level.
Applicants who have not reached an English proficiency equivalent to a score of 79 iBT (for undergraduate admissions) or 88 iBT (for graduate admissions) on the TOEFL, may enter Biola University's academic programs in one of two ways:
- Biola's English Language Studies Program (ELSP) Non-native English speakers without TOEFL scores or a TOEFL score below 79 iBT (for undergraduate admissions) or 88 iBT (for graduate admissions) may enter most Biola degree programs if they have met all the other requirements for admission.1 Every non-native English-speaking student with a TOEFL score below 79 iBT but above 71 (for undergraduate admissions) or 88 iBT but above 80 (for graduate admissions) is required to take the Biola English Placement Exam (BEPE) during orientation week of their first semester at Biola. Students are assigned English courses in ELSP based on their test results, which may affect their tuition. Courses assigned may range from one semester part-time to three semesters full-time plus three semesters part-time.
- Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and score the minimum requirement for the intended academic program. Non-native, English-speaking students may be admitted in an academic program with the minimum TOEFL requirement for their program while taking required English courses. The minimum TOEFL score requirement for most undergraduate programs is 79 iBT with a subtest score of 22 in speaking and a subtest score of 19 in writing; and most graduate programs is 88 iBT with a subtest score of 22 in speaking and a subtest score of 20 in writing (See TOEFL/ELSP requirements for specific programs).
TOEFL contact and registration information is as follows:
Test of English as a Foreign Language
Princeton, New Jersey, USA 08541
Phone: (609) 771-7100, Fax: (610) 290-8972, Website: ets.org/toefl.
Since this test is administered only at certain times, the candidate for admission should inquire about testing dates well in advance of the date of anticipated school term in the U.S.
See TOEFL/BEPE requirements for specific programs.
TOEFL/BEPE Requirements for Specific Programs
The minimum TOEFL score for admission is a total of 79 iBT with a subtest score of 22 in speaking and a subtest score of 19 in writing for the undergraduate student (Exception: Education majors must have a score of 100 iBT). A student may submit an SAT I score for admission instead of a TOEFL score. Students who score below 470 on the critical reading section of the SAT exam and below 79 iBT on the TOEFL are required to take the Biola English Placement Exam (BEPE).
The minimum for admission to Biola's graduate schools is a total of 88 iBT with a subtest score of 22 in speaking and a subtest score of 20 in writing. The following graduate programs have different requirements:
CSICS ALT Programs (See Applied Linguistics and TESOL section)
- TOEFL (required): 100 iBT
- Not accepted through ELSP
- TOEFL: 100 iBT
- Not accepted through ELSP
School of Education
- TOEFL (required): 100 iBT
- BEPE: Not Required
Talbot Th.M., D.Min, Ph.D. (see individual programs for details)
- TOEFL: 100 iBT
- BEPE: Not Required
Talbot M.Div. and M.A. Spiritual Formation and Soul Care
- TOEFL: 100 iBT
- BEPE: Not Required
Talbot M.Div. (Charles Feinberg Center: Messianic Jewish Studies concentration only)
- TOEFL: 100 iBT
- Not accepted through ELSP
CSICS reserves the right to waive a retake of the TOEFL test for Ph.D. international student applicants who enter CSICS with Talbot School of Theology degrees who have met Talbot's requirements for International students and CSICS. Requests to waive this requirement must be made to the CSICS doctoral committee.
The Biola English Placement Exam (BEPE) is administered to determine which course(s) ( ENGL 151, ENGL 152, ENGL 161, ENGL 171), if any, students must take. The course(s) must be taken during the student's first semester until the student has successfully passed ENGL 152 and ENGL 171 with a grade of B or above. There is a fee of $25 to take the exam.
Since admission to the University is based on the understanding that the student will successfully complete the ELSP sequence, students will not be allowed to graduate or continue at Biola if they do not complete their ELSP requirement. Undergraduate students must pass ENGL 171 with a grade of B or above before taking ENGL 100, ENGL 113 or before credit from other schools can be granted.
- An application for admission, references and a $55 non-refundable undergraduate application fee, graduate application fee is $65.
- Official Transcripts:
Undergraduate students are required to have completed the equivalent of 12 years of education. Transcripts from all secondary schools and post-secondary institutions must be sent directly from the school to Biola's Office of Admission in order to be considered official. All transcripts must be official and accompanied by a certified English translation that documents coursework and examinations taken, indicates grades received, identifies passing and maximum marks and shows evidence of secondary graduation. International students must have successfully completed college preparatory courses in their home country. If the student has attended a university in his/her home country and would like transfer credit, he/she must have transcripts evaluated by a professional credential agency. Undergraduate transfer international students must have completed satisfactory course work with a 2.5 academic GPA. Information is available in the Office of Admission or the Office of the Registrar.
Official transcripts of all colleges, universities or seminaries attended must be sent directly from the school to Biola's Office of Graduate Admission to be official. All transcripts must be accompanied by a certified English translation that documents coursework and examinations taken, indicates grades received, identifies passing and maximum marks, and evidences completion of a Bachelor's degree.
- A completed Affidavit of Support form that certifies the student has sufficient funds to study in the U.S. must be on file prior to acceptance and issuance of the I-20. The Affidavit of Support form must be notarized and accompanied by supporting bank statements or tax return forms. In addition, a deposit is required prior to issuance of the I-20.
- Reference forms—Undergraduate students are required to provide one reference from a pastor/minister who has known the applicant for at least one year. Reference forms are provided by the University and are included with the application. Graduate students are required to provide references appropriate to their program.
- A TOEFL score of 79 iBT (speaking 22; writing 19) or an SAT I or ACT test for undergraduates. Graduate programs vary but start with a minimum score of TOEFL 88 iBT (speaking 22; writing 20). Students will be referred to the English Language Studies Program for preparatory courses in English if scores are below requirements.
Official documents presented for admission or evaluation become part of the student's academic file and cannot be returned or copied for distribution.
Biola University accepts international applications only for the fall semester. Spring admission is only open to current F-1 students transferring from another college/university in the United States or to students applying through ELSP. Graduate Admissions deadlines vary, please check the individual program's website for the correct deadline, each graduate school's webpage is available at biola.edu/grad.
|File Completed By||Notification|
|November 15 (Early Action #1)||January 15|
|January 15 (Early Action #2)||February 15|
|March 1 (Regular Deadline)||April 1|
Files completed after March 1 will be processed on a bi-monthly basis with notification of admittance beginning after April 1. Applications are considered late after March 1 (late fee of $55) and will be processed if space is available and time allows.
|File Completed By||Notification|
|November 15||Rolling Basis|
The application process may take 3–6 months. Applicants are encouraged to apply well before the deadlines. Applicants interested in financial aid must apply several months before the stated deadlines. Late applicants will assume expenses for documents needing express postal delivery to and from the University. See ELSP section for program deadlines.
Financial Responsibility of International Students
The student must supply information attesting to their ability to provide United States dollars in the minimum amount required to support the costs of tuition and room and board, in excess of the cost of a round-trip fare from his/her native country.
Applicants who do not have the finances to pay all of their expenses must come under the sponsorship of an approved agency. Sponsorship must include financial responsibility toward the sponsored student for the entire cost of the program.
International students admitted to the United States on a student visa are required by law to be registered as full-time students (undergraduate students: a minimum of 12 credits; graduate students: a minimum of 9 credits). Full-time ELSP students are required to take a minimum of 14 credits.
No off-campus employment is permitted for international students without written permission of the United States Immigration authorities.
Biola University is approved as a degree-granting institution for the attendance of veterans under Title 38, United States Code. This includes the programs covered in chapters 30, 31, 33 and 35 of Title 38, relating also to the education of disabled veterans and war orphans, and 1606 of Title 10. The Bureau for Private Post secondary and Vocational Education under the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs has also authorized the University for the attendance of veterans and veterans' dependents.
Veterans or dependents of veterans who plan to enroll in the University are urged to contact the veteran's coordinator in the Office of the Registrar well in advance of enrollment so that the necessary arrangements may be made with the Veterans Administration.
Registration (Phase 1)
Registration for the fall semester is held during the months of April and May, and for the spring semester in November and December. All students are required to register for courses if they plan to return to school the next semester.
Enrollment (Phase 2)
Students should enroll on my.Biola.edu during scheduled enrollment days. Late Enrollment requires a fee of $200. Enrollment is finalized when students have completed all of the enrollment steps and have paid the required tuition down payment. Students will receive credit for courses officially enrolled through the Office of the Registrar.
Enrollment is mandatory for Rosemead students in all phases of the program including students in an internship and those who have completed all requirements except the dissertation.
Registration changes are made online on my.Biola.edu (free) or in person ($5) by submitting an Add/Drop form to the Office of the Registrar. Courses may be added to the student's schedule during the first full week of the semester only. Course fees are non-refundable after the second week of the semester.
Courses may be dropped until the end of the eighth week of the semester. There is a $15 fee for each approved Late Add/Drop. A student who stops attending a class will not be automatically dropped from the class and will receive a grade of Unofficial Withdrawal (UW) for the course. Courses dropped during the first two weeks of the semester will not be recorded on the student's permanent record.
Courses dropped between the third and eighth week will be recorded with the grade of "W." Courses may not be dropped after the eighth week of the semester.
Official withdrawal from enrollment in the University is made by submitting a completed Departure Form to the Office of the Registrar. Students may officially withdraw until the end of the eighth week of the semester. Students who drop from enrollment at any time during the semester without submitting a Departure Form, or withdraw from enrollment during the ninth through the 15th week of the semester, are considered unofficially withdrawn. Unofficially withdrawn students will not receive a refund of any portion of tuition or fees and will receive grades of "UW" for their courses. Students departing the University for longer than one year will be required to follow the current catalog at the time of their readmission. Students may petition for an exception.
Enrollees are advised that the University maintains school and student records for no longer than a five-year period beyond the student's final term of enrollment, with the exception of the transcripts and the academic record. Except in cases of clerical error, students' academic records are closed upon graduation.
Regular class attendance is expected of all students. Classes are conducted in a manner that will encourage academic excellence and the growth of Christian character. The final authority for attendance and any effect that it might have upon grades rests with the individual faculty member. This is due to the tremendous variety of class size and purpose, and the specific requirements in attendance. Students who fail to meet the minimum attendance requirement of a course will be assigned a grade of "UW" (Unofficial Withdrawal) which will influence the GPA the same as an "F."
Visitors and current students may visit a class for a maximum of one week (or the equivalent thereof, based on a 15-week course). After one week, registration in credit or audit status for the course(s) is required.
The grade point average of a student is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points at Biola by the total number of credits attempted at Biola. (This calculation does not include courses transferred from another institution and starts anew for graduate programs).
To graduate with a baccalaureate degree, a student must achieve at least a 2.0 in both cumulative and major (some programs require higher) undergraduate coursework. Higher standards are required for graduate degrees, as stated elsewhere in this catalog.
Biola's policy requires that when computing the GPA, the GPA is recorded at the third number beyond the decimal point without rounding up.
Quality of course work is graded on the following scale, with a system of grade points used to determine a student's general grade point average (GPA) or standing:
|A||Highest Passing Grade||4.00|
|D-||Lowest Passing Grade||0.67|
|Applies to undergraduate courses only. Lowest passing grade for graduate coures varies by program. See specific graduate department.|
|A "UW" indicates an unofficial withdrawal. Students who register for courses but do not attend classes are given the grade of "UW" which will influence the GPA the same as an "F."|
Graduate students should see the appropriate section of the Catalog for further grade information.
Special Grade Notations
The following grades are also used with special significance in certain programs and are not used in computing the GPA:
|A credit "CR" indicates the completion of course work with academic performance equal to or higher than the "satisfactory" standard for the degree program (normally "C" 2.00 for undergraduate programs and "B" 3.00 for graduate programs.)|
|A temporary mark of "RD" (report delayed) will be issued in special cases when approved by the Vice Provost of Academic Administration for undergraduate students or the dean of the respective graduate school. RD grades are normally completed no later than five weeks in the fall/six weeks in the spring after the end of the term. In the event of the inability of a student to complete the coursework by the approved deadline, the Office of the Registrar will assign a "W" (official withdrawal) for the course grade.|
|RG||Registered in Course3||0.00|
|IP||Internship in Progress1||0.00|
|A "W" indicates an official withdrawal (within the third to eighth week) from a course and does not affect the student's grade point average.|
|NR||Not reported by faculty2||0.00|
No grade points/credit given
No grade points/No credit given
No grade points
The following codes are listed on each course to designate how the course will be graded at the end of the term:
|A||Letter Grade A-F|
|N||No Grade Given|
|T||Transfer No Grade Given|
Undergraduate students are permitted to repeat courses in which they have earned a D+ or lower grade. Graduate students are permitted to repeat courses in which they have earned a C+ or lower grade. All instances of a repeated course must be taken at Biola in order to impact the student's GPA. Both grades continue to show on the student's academic record. Only the higher grade earned is included in the computation of the student's GPA, and the credits are counted only once.
When a course is repeated the exclude indicator (E) will occur in the Course Repeat Indicator column (R) of the excluded course, and the include indicator (I) will occur in the Course Repeat Indicator column of the included course on the student's academic transcript. The adjustment to the student's GPA is reflected on the academic transcript beginning with the first term in which the course was taken.
Undergraduate students who have earned a grade higher than a D+, or graduate students who have earned a grade higher than a C+ may still be permitted to repeat the same course with approval of the Office of the Registrar if their major or degree program requires a higher grade in order to progress in the major or degree program. (See respective major or degree program requirements.)
Students are permitted to repeat a course a maximum of two times. A student unable to pass a required course for their major or degree program after the third attempt is normally required to select another major or degree program not requiring the failed course.
Final grades will be available at the end of each academic term on my.Biola.edu. Any discrepancies must be brought to the attention of the Office of the Registrar within 90 days from the date the grade is posted.
Grade changes are only allowable for computational or recording errors.
It is the student's responsibility to bring any error in grades to the attention of the instructor within ninety days following the issued grade.
It is the instructor's responsibility to catch and correct any error in grades no later than ninety days following the submission of a student's grade.
Undergraduate students achieving a semester GPA of 3.6 or better while enrolled in 12 or more credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better, will be placed on the semester Dean's List.
Students wishing to audit must complete the audit application and follow registration procedures. Auditing students cannot register for a course until after the second week of the semester. An auditor only participates in lectures, and they are not allowed to submit papers or take exams. A course taken for audit cannot be repeated for credit at a later date. Students wishing to audit graduate-level courses must have earned, be/been enrolled in, or been admitted to a graduate program of equal or greater academic level. For instance, a student wishing to audit a master's level course must at least have earned, be/been enrolled in, or have been admitted to a master's level degree program. Doctoral level courses are not typically open to auditors. All auditors must pay the appropriate per credit fee. If permitted, doctoral level auditors are subject to full doctoral level tuition. (See Financial Information for fees.) Auditors must receive permission from both the Office of the Registrar and the instructor of the course. Audit fees are non-refundable. Audit applications with further instructions are available in the Office of the Registrar or online at: biola.edu/registrar/forms.
The minimum full time load is 12 credits at the undergraduate level. Those carrying less than the full time load but 9 or more credits are considered three-quarter time. Undergraduate students with 6 or more credits are considered half time students. And, undergraduate students carrying less than 6 credits are normally considered less than half time.
An undergraduate student who is on academic probation may be limited to 13 credits or less depending upon their grade point average. A minimum of 10 credits must be taken by those living on campus. Generally an undergraduate student is limited to 18 credits per regular term. After the first semester a student with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher may petition the Office of the Registrar to carry a maximum of 21 credits.
The minimum full time load is 9 credits for those in graduate degree programs. Those carrying less than the full time load but 7 or more credits are considered three-quarter time. Graduate students with 5 or more credits are considered half time students. And, graduate students carrying less than 5 credits are normally considered less than half time. A Talbot student is normally permitted to carry a maximum of 12 credits each semester.
The minimum full time load is 6 credits for those in doctoral degree programs in Talbot School of Theology and Cook School of Intercultural Studies. Those carrying 5 credits are considered three-quarter time. Doctoral students in these programs carrying 3 or more credits are considered half time. And, those carrying less than 3 credits are normally considered less than half time. D.Min. students must complete 6 credits per semester, 12 credits per year in their program. Doctoral students can be considered full time for a maximum of two to four semesters in the dissertation phase of their program depending on their program (see specific program for details).
The normal expected course load for a Rosemead student is 15 to 16 credits per semester, but not less than 9 credits. Without the advisor's approval, a student may not carry over 16 credits in any semester. Registration of less than 9 credits is permitted only after a student has been admitted to candidacy. Rosemead does not admit part time students to its degree programs. For the purposes of enrollment reporting, as with graduate students the minimum full time load is 9 credits for those in Rosemead School of Psychology degree programs. Those carrying less than the full time load but 7 or more credits are considered three-quarter time. Rosemead students with 5 or more credits are considered half time students. And, Rosemead students carrying less than 5 credits are normally considered less than half time.
Special Note: Dropping or adding credits may change a student’s enrollment time status (e.g. Full Three Quarter Time, Half Time, Less than half time, etc.) as defined above. Students are responsible for understanding how their Enrollment Time Status impacts their eligibility for various benefits, services, and programs such as, but not limited to financial aid, athletics, immigration, veteran’s and military benefits, social security benefits, and educational loan deferment. Students uncertain as to how their Enrollment Time Status will impact their eligibility should refer to the appropriate part of the University catalog and/or inquire of the appropriate University office(s).
Credit Hour Policy
A single credit hour at the undergraduate level represents a minimum of three hours (50 minutes per hour) of substantive learning time per week over the course of a fifteen-week semester. Terms or courses shorter than 15 weeks adjust the distribution of the substantive learning time yet still represent the same total number of substantive learning hours.
A single credit hour at both the graduate and doctoral level represents a minimum of four hours (50 minutes per hour) of substantive learning time per week over the course of a fifteen-week semester. Terms or courses shorter than 15 weeks adjust the distribution of the substantive learning time yet still represent the same total number of substantive learning hours.
A "substantive learning hour" is considered to be the equivalent of 50 minutes of faculty-student interaction, classroom instruction, online or distributed learning, appropriate experiential learning, and/or studying, writing, reading, or research.
Independent Study/Arranged Course
An Independent Study is a course which is initiated by the student, who then works independently toward the goals and objectives outlined by the professor on the Arranged Course form. Students who are in good standing are eligible to enroll in an Independent Study. A maximum of 6 credits, may be taken by a student in Independent Study, and/or arranged coursework during the student's degree program. An Arranged Course Fee is required at the time of registration.
For Talbot students a distinction is made between these two kinds of courses. Please see the Talbot School of Theology section for more information.
Classification of Students
A student's classification is determined at the beginning of each semester according to the following plan:
Freshmen: 26 credits or less completed
Sophomore: 27–56 credits completed
Junior: 57–87 credits completed
Senior: 88 credits or more completed
Graduate Student: All credits earned at the postbacclaureate, graduate, or doctoral levels.
Numbering of Courses
The course numbering system is designed to indicate the relative academic level of courses in this manner:
|000-099||Remedial or developmental courses|
|100-299||Undergraduate, lower-division, baccalaureate level courses|
|300-499||Undergraduate, upper-division, baccalaureate level courses|
|500-799||Graduate level, normally indicating first through third year beyond baccalaureate|
|800-999||Postgraduate level, indicating forth year beyond baccalaureate|
Biola University reserves the right to change any and all student charges, modify its services, or change its curriculum or programs of study should economic conditions, curricular revisions, or other relevant factors make it necessary or desirable to do so. While every effort is made to insure the accuracy of the information in this catalog, Biola University has the right to make changes at any time without prior notice.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
A student should submit to the appropriate office, a completed Student Request to Inspect Educational Records form that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect (this form, and all forms referenced in this document can be accessed through the Office of the Registrar website; studenthub.biola.edu/ferpa). The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by that office, the student may contact the Office of the Registrar to inquire about the correct official or department to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should submit a completed Appeals Form to the Office of the Registrar clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed and specifying why it should be changed. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. "Directory Information" however, is generally available to third parties unless otherwise requested by the student.
In general, a signed consent of release is necessary for the release of any "Non-Directory Information." The Transcript Request Form, Enrollment Verification/Graduation Verification Form, and General Student Consent of Release of Educational Record(s) may all be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for this purpose. Some elements of personally identifiable information designated by the University as "Directory Information" are made available to third parties unless otherwise requested by the student. (See Directory Information Public Notice below for more information regarding "Directory" and "Non-Directory" information and your right as a student to request heightened confidentiality.)
The University discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exceptions for disclosure, such as release to school officials with a legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student or volunteer serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University.
Upon request, the University also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
Directory Information Public Notice
Under the standard protection of FERPA, a signed consent of release is necessary for the release of any "Non-Directory Information." The Transcript Request form, Enrollment Verification/Graduation Verification form, and General Student Consent of Release of Educational Record(s) form can all be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for this purpose. Certain information designated as "Directory Information" may be disclosed without the consent or knowledge of the student unless the student has notified Biola in advance that such information is not to be released (see below). "Directory Information" at Biola is defined as:
- Telephone Listing
- E-Mail Address
- Date and Place of Birth
- Major Field of Study
- Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports
- Weight and Height of Members of Athletic Teams
- Student Status (e.g. Enrolled, Withdrawn, Graduated, etc.)
- Enrollment Time Status (e.g. Full Time, Half Time, etc.)
- Student Classification (e.g. Freshman, Junior, Graduate First Year, etc.)
- Dates of Attendance
- Degrees and Awards Received
- Most Recent Previous Educational Agency or Institution Attended
The purpose of establishing this definition of "Directory Information" is to notify the student of the types of personally identifiable information included in this definition of "Directory Information" and to allow the student to prevent the disclosure of this information should he or she wish to do so. The student may request that his/her "Directory Information" remain confidential and therefore be treated as "Non-Directory Information." To do so, the student must change his/her confidentiality level to Total Confidentiality. Students may request changes to their level of confidentiality in writing with the Office of the Registrar.
Implications of Requesting Total Confidentiality to Student Records
Students requesting Total Confidentiality should familiarize themselves with the various implications associated with this heightened, optional level of privacy. The following are some, but not all, of such implications. All students who do not request Total Confidentiality will be assigned Standard Confidentiality which entitles them to all of the regular protective provisions of FERPA as described in the Notification of Student Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) above.
Students requesting Total Confidentiality should be aware that this will prevent the acknowledgment of their enrollment and the release of any and all "Directory Information" by the University to potentially interested third parties such as parents, spouses, children, other family members, potential employers, and the like. To authorize the release of the "Directory Information" of students with Total Confidentiality, the student must complete and submit a General Student Consent of Release of Educational Record(s) form to the Office of the Registrar as described above.
Students who have requested Total Confidentiality will also be omitted from some internal University and departmental communications. Student athletes, and other students who represent the University in an official capacity should consult with the athletic team or supervising department concerning the relevant logistics of requesting and maintaining Total Confidentiality while serving as an official representative of the University. Students who have requested that their information remain confidential will not be listed on such things as honor lists (Dean's list, EKE, etc.), and they will not have their names printed on the graduation bulletin nor read at the commencement ceremony when they graduate unless a specific written request is submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
Alumni and former student educational records will be treated according to the last privacy level selected by the student prior to their graduation or withdrawal from the University.
The University is not responsible for the retraction or amendment of any and all student information legitimately released to a third party prior to the Student's request for Total Confidentiality. The requesting student is responsible to coordinate such desired retraction/amendment directly with the third party recipient and/or any other third parties the information was subsequently redisclosed to.
Request a Change to Your Confidentiality Level
Students may request changes to their level of confidentiality in writing with the Office of the Registrar.
Students or alumni may view Biola's transcript policies and request transcripts online at studenthub.biola.edu/transcripts. Telephone, e-mail, and in-office requests will not be accepted. All transcript requests require payment upon ordering and the signature of the student. Processing time is 1–2 business days. Official transcripts cannot be faxed.
A transcript cannot be released if the student owes money to the University or if a payment is outstanding on any loans obtained through the University.
This policy is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment).
All name change requests by marriage, divorce or court order must be accompanied by a copy of the legal action which changes the individual's name, only if the name change occurs during enrollment. You must provide official documentation in the form of a valid Social Security card plus an additional valid alternate identification.
All groups or individuals who represent the University must manifest satisfactory cooperation, spiritual life and scholastic attainment (the overall grade point average must be 2.00), and must be approved by the faculty.
School of Arts and Sciences
- The Bachelor of Arts degree. Offered with majors in Cinema and Media Arts, Communication Studies, English, History, Humanities, Journalism and Integrated Media, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Relations, Social Science, Sociology, Spanish, and Theatre.
- The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Offered with a major in Studio Art.
- The Bachelor of Music degree. Offered with majors in Composition, Music Education and Performance.
- The Bachelor of Science degree. Offered with majors in Biochemistry, Biological Science, Biological Science: Secondary Instruction, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Computer Science, Design, Engineering Physics, Environmental Science, Human Biology, Kinesiology, Mathematics, Music in Worship, Nursing, Physical Education, Physical Science, Physics and Studio Art.
- The Master of Arts degree in Christian Apologetics, and Science and Religion.
Cook School of Intercultural Studies
- The Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Anthropology and Intercultural Studies.
- The Master of Arts degree in Anthropology, Applied Linguistics, Intercultural Studies, Linguistics and Biblical Languages, Missions, and TESOL.
- The Doctor of Missiology, the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Intercultural Education, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Intercultural Studies.
Crowell School of Business
- The Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Accounting.
- The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Business Administration.
- The Master of Business Administration degree.
- The Master of Professional Accountancy degree.
Rosemead School of Psychology
- The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology.
- The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Applied Psychology (Pending WASC approval).
- The Master of Arts, the Doctor of Psychology and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Psychology.
School of Education
- The Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education; and Liberal Studies Multidisciplinary.
- The Master of Arts in Education degree.
- The Master of Arts in Teaching degree.
- The Master of Science Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and Special Education degrees.
- Certificates in Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, and Teaching (ACSI); as well as Child Development Permits and Teacher Preparation Program.
- Credentials in Education Specialist Instruction, Preliminary, and Clear Credential.
Talbot School of Theology
- The Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Biblical and Theological Studies, and Christian Ministries.
- The Master of Arts degree.
- The Master of Arts in Christian Education degree.
- The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership degree with concentrations in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Preaching and Pastoral Ministry, Sports Ministry, and Women's Ministries.
- The Master of Arts degree in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care.
- Talbot also offers the Master of Divinity degree, the Master of Theology degree, the Doctor of Ministry degree, the Doctor of Education, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Studies.
Choosing an Undergraduate Major
Every student should choose a major by the end of the sophomore year so that he or she may complete the major requirements in a timely fashion.
To help students, the University has available a number of useful resources to assist in making the decision: academic advisors, career counselors, First-Year Seminar classes conducted during the first semester of attendance, curriculum charts detailing the academic requirements for each program, and various fliers and brochures produced by each department.
The task of selecting a major (and often a minor or other complimentary specializations) becomes one of crystallizing ideas on the basis of experiences in specific courses, discussions with other students, staff and faculty. Faculty advising is a service offered to students; however each student is responsible for choosing courses and fulfilling graduation requirements.
Students must plan freshman or sophomore programs which will permit them to enter or take advanced courses in fields they may want to pursue. They should be sure to begin or complete requirements such as mathematics, chemistry or a foreign language early in their academic careers. Students anticipating graduate or professional study should exercise special care in planning undergraduate programs and seek faculty counseling in the field of interest. Advance examination of the possibilities of graduate or professional study will be helpful to students who have clear educational and vocational objectives.
The student's transcript cannot be altered to add a major or minor once the degree is completed.
Students who are uncertain about their primary educational or vocational goals may enroll as undeclared majors. However, they should consult an advisor in the Academic Advising Office prior to registration each semester. While most undeclared students will enroll in primarily general education and Biblical Studies requirements, many general education requirements are "major specific" and should be chosen with possible majors in mind. A student is not normally allowed to stay Undeclared for more than 3 semesters without approval of the Office of Academic Advising.
Planning a Major Program
When students have selected a major field, they should study all the requirements that are specified in this catalog under their chosen degree program. They should make a tentative semester by semester plan for completing the requirements, including prerequisites, and discuss this plan with an advisor in the major.
In addition to courses in the major department, related courses in other fields and supporting courses in basic skills may also be required. These should be included in the tentative semester by semester plan.
Some departments require an application to the department and acceptance; and or placement tests prior to admission to classes. The times and places for the tests are determined by the department. Students should contact departments for testing times.
Change of Major or Degree
To change a major or degree a student must:
- Obtain the form from the Office of the Registrar and obtain the signatures from your current and new majors, or
- If changing a degree program in another school, submit a full application.
- If changing a degree program at the same degree level within a school, submit the Change of Program Form to the office of Graduate Admissions (contact the office at (562) 903-4752 or go to the Admissions Front Counter in Metzger Hall), or
- If changing a degree program in another school, submit a full application.
Major changes submitted after the second week are effective for the following semester.
A student may not avoid a requirement of Admission by a change in status. Whenever a student changes major or degree, they follow the catalog for the academic year in which they make the change.
A student must be in good standing in the current major/degree program before requesting a change. Students are not allowed to change programs while on probation in their current program. They must clear their present academic status before changing to a new degree program.
Students seeking a second baccalaureate degree must complete a minimum of 30 unique credits with 24 unique upper-division credits in a second area of major studies. A minimum of 160 total credits are required for graduation with a double degree. All prerequisites, supporting courses and departmental requirements (i.e. Writing Competency) for each major must be completed. The student must confer with the departments in which he will major and with the Office of the Registrar.
A student may graduate with two majors. The following information is for those pursuing two majors within the same degree:
- All prerequisites, supporting courses and departmental requirements (i.e. Writing Competency) for each major must be completed.
- The second major must have a 'minimum' of 18 upper-division credits unique to that major (i.e., minimum of 48 major credits and 148 total credits required—see individual major requirements). Students must confer with the departments in which they will major and with the Office of the Registrar.
Students who wish to declare a minor to further hone their studies in an area outside their major are encouraged to do so. A minor requires a minimum of 18 credits, 9 of which must be upper-division. A minimum of 9 credits must also be unique to the minor (not counted toward any other requirements). For sound academic reasons and with the approval of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, a school or department may offer a minor with as few as 6 upper-division credits and/or as few as 6 credits unique to the minor. At least 6 credits for the minor must be taken as Biola coursework. Students should seek academic advising from the schools or departments in which they will minor and also confer with the Office of the Registrar regarding each minor’s specific requirements.
Writing Competency Requirement
Before graduation from Biola, every student must fulfill the Writing Competency Requirement with a passing score. This requirement tests a student's ability to write clear and correct English prose. This requirement will not be given separately from the standard curriculum. Instead, each department has designed its requirements to suit the particular demands of its own discipline. Students with more than one major must fulfill the requirement in each major.
The Writing Competency Requirement should be met during the junior year. Students with junior status should enroll in at least one of the Writing Competency courses offered by their department. Most departments identify their Writing Competency courses in the Schedule of Classes. Several departments offer more than one Writing Competency course. If a student enrolls in more than one Writing Competency course, that student may choose the course in which he or she will attempt to fulfill the Writing Competency Requirement.
Some departments require a student to submit a portfolio of the student's written work from several upper-division courses. Students should find out from their department about its requirements.
ELSP students must have passed ENGL 171, and all students must have successfully completed ENGL 100 or ENGL 112 and ENGL 113 before attempting to fulfill the Writing Competency requirement in their departments.
Students who do not pass the Writing Competency Requirement on their first attempt must re-attempt to pass it during a subsequent semester. After their second failure, students must take ENGL 210. A grade of C+ or higher in this course will satisfy the Writing Competency Requirement. Students may not enroll in ENGL 210 unless they have failed their department's requirements twice. Delaying the fulfillment of the Writing Competency Requirement may jeopardize the student's graduation. A notation will be made on the student's transcript once the Writing Competency Requirement has been passed.
It is strongly recommended that students plan to fulfill the Writing Competency Requirement by the time they turn in their Graduation Petition.
Students will find it helpful to take their papers to the Biola University Writing Center in the Library before submitting them to their departments.
First Year Seminar Requirement
All students are required to complete a First Year Seminar (GNST 102) course. This requirement is waived for students with more than 12 transferable credits from a college or university (excluding AP, IB, dual credit, or CLEP).
Undergraduate Graduation Petition
Graduating seniors must file a "Graduation Petition" form with the Office of the Registrar, meet with their graduation counselor, and submit any departmental checklists. Graduation Petitions must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the time a student has completed 88 credits. Students who fail to submit a completed Graduation Petition by the time they have achieved 88 credits will not be able to register for future courses until their petition has been submitted. In addition, students who fail to submit their petition before their graduating term will be charged a late graduation petition fee. This fee will be assessed for any petition submitted after the last day of the Add period of the student’s desired term of graduation. No petitions will be accepted after November 15th for Fall commencement and April 15th for Spring commencement. Thereafter, the student must participate in the next available commencement ceremony.
Requirements for All Baccalaureate Degrees
- All baccalaureate degrees require a minimum of 130 degree applicable credits for graduation (124 credits for the B.B.A). Each major consists of a minimum of 30 credits of which 24 must be upper-division. The Bachelor of Music degree requires 142 credits. A degree in Nursing requires 141 credits. For specific major requirements please see indicated major listings. In the case of repeated courses, only the credits from one of the repeated courses apply.
- Completion of all academic requirements. Obtain approval of the student's graduation petition by the major advisor and a graduation counselor in the Office of the Registrar at least one year before graduation. To ensure completion of degree requirements, the normal academic load, during the last year, for a student anticipating graduation, is 18 credits. Those students who wish to take more are expected to notify their graduation counselor. Approval for additional credits beyond the norm will be made through the Office of the Registrar.
- A minimum of 30 credits must be taken at Biola University, at least 15 credits (upper-division level) in the major field. Biola has a residency requirement for biblical studies. Of the 30 credits of Bible required of all students, 15 credits must be taken at Biola. Transfer credit, credit for prior learning, credit by examination and off-campus programs may not be used to fulfill the minimum residency requirement.
- A minimum "C" average (or a 2.0 grade point average) in the major and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 taken at Biola University. (Note: GPA requirements are higher in some majors. See departmental requirements.)
- All transcripts counting toward graduation must be received by the Office of the Registrar prior to November 15th for Fall commencement and April 15th for Spring commencement.
- All students who have entered the University Fall 1986 or later and who will be graduating in Spring 1990 or later must pass the Writing Competency Exam.
Note: All graduation requirements may be met within four school years by carrying approximately 16 or 17 credits each semester. A student may still be graduated within four years if he wishes to take a lighter load and enroll in Summer Session and/or Interterm.
Graduation Honors—Undergraduate Programs
Honors at graduation for baccalaureate recipients are based on grade point average, overall performance, Christian values, and a minimum 60-credit residency. Honors are not automatically granted. Faculty may raise the standards at any time. Honors are granted by the faculty and may be denied or higher standards may be applied. The University honors have been defined by the Academic Standards Committee as:
|Magna Cum Laude||3.70-3.89|
|Summa Cum Laude||3.90-4.00|
Honors recognized in the graduation ceremony may be changed based on the processing of final grades. GPA standards for honors must be met with no rounding of numbers. Graduate students should check with their program section in the catalog for honors qualification.
A select group of eligible seniors are chosen by the faculty each year to membership in Epsilon Kappa Epsilon, the baccalaureate honor society of Biola University. To be eligible for membership, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher and must have completed 80 credits at Biola prior to the semester of graduation. Final selection is based upon scholastic performance, Christian witness and contributions to the Biola community. Membership is limited to no more than 7% of the fall graduating class and 5% of the spring graduating class.
Graduate Graduation Check
Graduate students must make an appointment with a Graduate Graduation Counselor in the Office of the Registrar to declare their intent to graduate. This should be done one year prior to graduation. Students declaring this intention late will be charged a late graduate graduation check fee of $100. This graduation check will be considered late after the last day of Add/Drop during the semester of a student's intended graduation.
For students graduating in the Spring, after April 15th students will not be allowed to be added to the graduation lists regardless of payment of the fee. For the Fall, the date is November 15th, after which no students will be added to the graduation lists.
For all schools except Talbot School of Theology, students will need to meet with their department advisor(s) prior to meeting with a Graduate Graduation Counselor and bring the paperwork provided by that advisor. Doctoral students (including those from Talbot) must meet with their department advisor prior to contacting a Graduate Graduation Counselor.
Requirements for all Graduate Degrees
Refer to individual degree programs for specific requirements for graduation.
- Completion of all academic requirements and approval of the student's intent to graduate by his or her department advisor and a Graduate Graduation Counselor, in Office of the Registrar, one year before graduation. See Graduate Graduation Check above for more details.
- All course work during the final semester, which will be applied toward graduation requirements, must be taken at Biola University. Transfer credits, via an official transcript, must be received by the Office of the Registrar by the first day of a student’s graduating term.
- A minimum of 24 credits must be taken at Biola University in the degree program.
- A minimum of 24 distinct credits must be completed at Biola in any additional graduate degree at the same level. This applies to the second (or additional) degrees and double degrees taken at Biola for all graduate programs except Talbot (see Talbot section of this catalog).
- All requirements (i.e. substitution request forms, Capstones, Th.M. comprehensive exams) counting toward graduation must be received by the Office of the Registrar prior to November 15th for Fall commencement and April 15th for Spring commencement.
A minimum of 12 credits must be taken that are unique to the second emphasis. (i.e., Talbot: a minimum of 78 credits for two emphases in the M.A. and a minimum of 110 credits for two emphases in the M.Div. degree). All prerequisites, supporting courses, and departmental requirements for both of the emphases must be completed prior to the single commencement. The student must receive the approval of both the departments and approval of the Office of the Registrar.
Second Master's Degree
Students seeking a second master's degree must complete a minimum of 24 distinct credits in a second area of major study, taken at Biola University. All prerequisites, supporting courses and departmental requirements for each degree must be completed prior to graduation. The student must receive approval from both the academic departments and the Office of the Registrar. The student may choose to graduate with both degrees at one commencement or different commencements. A student may petition the Registrar and the school faculty to surrender the certificate toward a Master's or M.Div. degree.
The programs in Talbot School of Theology are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). ATS requires a minimum of 50% of coursework in a second Master of Arts or Master of Divinity degree program be taken in residency (i.e., 50% cannot be shared with any other completed master's level program). (ATS Standards, 1998).
Honors at graduation for master's program recipients are based on grade point average, overall performance, Christian values, and a minimum 24-credit residency. Honors are not automatically granted. Faculty may raise the standards at any time. Honors are granted by the faculty and may be denied or higher standards may be applied. The University honors have been defined by the Academic Standards Committee as:
Honors recognized in the graduation ceremony may be changed based on the processing of final grades. GPA standards for honors must be met with no rounding of numbers. Graduate students should check their program section in the catalog for honors qualification and honor society recognition.
Post-Graduate Transfer Credit
Normally, only 6 credits of transfer credit are allowed toward doctoral degrees. However, for the Cook School of Intercultural Studies additional course reductions will be considered for Master's and doctoral level work that duplicates some foundational and Biblical studies course work.
Students who wish to participate in a graduation commencement ceremony must submit a graduation petition and meet with a graduation counselor. All degree requirements must be completed before the student may participate in commencement ceremonies. Those students completing coursework during Interterm may not walk in the December Commencement ceremonies, but may walk in the Spring semester Commencement ceremonies of that year. For each commencement, all requirements must be completed before participating in the ceremony.
It is expected that all graduating students will be present at commencement ceremonies except in cases of extreme emergency or other similarly difficult circumstances. Permission to graduate in absentia must be secured at least one month prior to commencement from the Office of the Registrar.
Summary of University Enrollment
Fall Semester 2015
Biola University (All Programs)
|School of Arts and Sciences||240||53||293|
|School of Education and Masters||16||108||124|
|Special (Credential and Certificate)||12||57||69|
|Talbot School of Theology1||836||274||1,110|
|Cook School of Intercultural Studies||105||108||213|
|Rosemead School of Psychology||34||94||128|
|Crowell School of Business||42||18||60|
Institute for Spiritual Formation is part of Talbot School of Theology with 169 students.
Summary of University Graduating Class
2014–15 Academic Year
|Bachelor of Arts Degree||556|
|Bachelor of Science Degree||301|
|Bachelor of Music Degree||9|
|Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree||16|
|Undergraduate Programs Total||882|
|Talbot School of Theology|
Master of Arts
Master of Divinity
Master of Theology
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Education
Doctor of Ministry
|School of Education|
Master of Arts in Education
Master of Arts in Teaching
|School of Business|
Master of Business Administration
|School of Arts and Sciences|
Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics
Master of Arts in Science and Religion
|Cook School of Intercultural Studies|
Master of Arts in Anthropology
Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies
Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics
Master of Arts in Biblical Languages and Linguistics
Master of Arts in Missions
Doctor of Missiology
Doctor of Philosophy, Intercultural Education
Doctor of Philosophy, Intercultural Studies
|Rosemead School of Psychology|
Master of Arts
Doctor of Psychology
Doctor of Philosophy
|Graduate Programs Total||439|
Graduation Rate Disclosure
The average six-year graduation rate for the full-time, degree-seeking, first-time undergraduate cohorts who entered Biola University in Fall 2009 and three years prior is 68.4%. This graduation rate is used to estimate the number of graduates from a first-time undergraduate cohort who may complete their degrees. Some of our undergraduate degree programs require more credits to graduate and may require more than four years to complete.