Student Services

Biola recognizes that education does not take place exclusively in the classroom; rather, the individual student is viewed as a "whole person." We are committed to contributing to student development in the social, personal, physical and spiritual areas of life, as well as that of the intellect. Toward that end, a number of departments and programs are devoted to student development. The Division of Student Development is responsible for programs and services for both residential and commuter students. Also, it is involved in such areas as:

  • chapel programming and accountability
  • housing placement; discipline
  • spiritual and character formation
  • leadership development and advisement to student organizations
  • learning skills development
  • services to students with disabilities
  • international student services

The Division of Student Success partners with Student Development to provide academic and career advising in the Advising Center and the Career Center, as well as support for a limited number of fully online programs through success coaching through the office of Online and Graduate Student Success.

The Auxiliary Services Department is responsible for the business management of the residence halls and apartments, food services, health services, the bookstore, computer store, ID cards, the duplicating center, fitness center, and the swimming pool.

Student Enrichment and Intercultural Development (SEID)

The mission of the Student Enrichment and Intercultural Development (SEID) office is to enhance the academic success and personal development of students from diverse backgrounds through holistic support.
The students served through this office range from first generation college students, to students of color, and many other students from diverse backgrounds. The SEID office is committed to supporting and serving students in the following ways:

  • Lending Library: Textbooks are available to borrow for a semester for students who are financially stretched.
  • BiolaShares: We desire to ensure that all students have their basic needs met so they can thrive while receiving a college education. Snacks, light meals, and a limited amount of Cafeteria meals are offered to students who may need support.
  • Mosaic Cultural Center: A space for all students to study and hang out in Rose Hall across from Talbot East.
  • SEID Send Off Ceremony: A multicultural culminating event to mark the significance of students’ achievements while at Biola.

Moreover, SEID also seeks to educate and empower students through professional, leadership, and identity development opportunities throughout their time at Biola. Opportunities include:

 At the SEID office, our heart is to see every student thrive and grow in their understanding of their God-given identity as we embrace and live out God’s diverse kingdom here at Biola.

Student Development

The Division of Student Development is committed to see every student at Biola empowered, transformed and thriving. The team exists to create an integrated learning experience that promotes the whole-person development of all students. This area is comprised of the Commuter Life, Residence Life & Housing, Student Care, Student Programming & Activities, Student Government Association, Global Student Programs and Development, the Learning Center, Student Health Center, Title IX Coordinator and Spiritual Development. 

Commuter Students

Students who live off campus are a valued and important part of the Biola community. The Department of Commuter Life serves Biola's Off-Campus Community members via special Orientation Events, Good Morning OCC!, the bi-weekly OCC Update, Commuter Lockers, OCC Events and the Collegium, our home-away-from-home for off-campus students, located centrally in the upper Student Union. The Commuter Life Team — Director, Assistant Director, Coordinator, and 20 peer leaders — work together to facilitate connection within Biola's vibrant campus community, as well as connection to valuable campus and local community resources. We want off-campus students to be community-connected, resource-connected, and information-connected, thriving spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and academically throughout their time at Biola.

Residence Life

The residence halls and apartments are more than a place for students to sleep and study. We also see the halls and apartments as a place for students to develop in all areas of life. For this reason programs and staff are available to provide an environment for such growth. The residence halls and apartments are an exciting and challenging place to live. Resident Directors and Resident Advisors, or Resident Coordinators, are available in each hall to serve as a resource for students. For details on Residential Facilities, see “Auxiliary
Services/Residential Facilities.”

Housing

Residency Requirements

Students under 20 years old by the first day of Fall classes are required to live on campus for the entire academic year, unless commuting from home. Students commuting from home are required to complete the online "Request to Commute" application located on My Account. Students enrolled in less than 12 credits are not required to live on campus unless they contracted to live in University housing. Incoming students 20 years and older or with less than 12 credits may live in residence halls or apartments on a space-available basis. Students who turn age 20 during the academic year are not permitted to cancel their Housing Contract and move off-campus to non-Biola Housing, unless electing to move to their parents' home, in which case cancellation fees will apply. See the Contract Cancellation section of the Housing Handbook. Requests for exceptions are to be directed in writing to the Housing Office in Student Development (undergrad.housing@biola.edu).

Housing Reservation

Once University applicants have paid the $300 enrollment deposit, they will pay the $250 Housing Deposit at the same online location they paid their enrollment deposit. Housing applicants must pay the housing deposit in order to access the online housing application located on My Account.

Applicants who have paid the Housing deposit but decide not to attend Biola or obtain exemption from the residence requirement may request a refund of this deposit by contacting the Housing Department in writing (undergrad.housing@biola.edu). The Housing Department must receive this notification by the deadlines listed below. Failure to notify the Housing Department by the designated dates will result in forfeiture of the deposit.

Fall applicant deposit refund deadline:

  • Incoming students: July 1
  • Continuing students: prior to selecting/being assigned a room

Spring applicant deposit refund deadline:

  • Any new housing applicant: December 15

Once the contract year begins, incoming students will be considered continuing students.

Continuing residents must have a $250 Housing Deposit balance. This deposit will be considered refundable if residents fulfill the Housing Contract for the full duration of the contract year. Refunded deposits will be credited to the student's University account balance within three months of the fulfillment of the contract.

The $250 housing deposit will be kept by the University to hold a space in on-campus housing until such a time as the student withdraws, graduates, or fulfills the academic year housing contract. Residents who do not fulfill the academic year housing contract will forfeit their housing deposit. In the case of withdrawal, the student must submit a written request for cancellation to be considered for a refund of the housing deposit to the Housing Office by the deadlines listed above, otherwise the housing deposit will be forfeited.

Procedure for Reserving Campus Housing

Continuing on-campus students desiring to reserve on-campus housing for the Fall must sign up for the room of their choice according to the Housing Selection schedule in the Spring semester prior to the Fall semester. Commuter students desiring to live on campus need to contact the Housing Office at undergrad.housing@biola.edu, or call (562) 903-6000 ext 5838 to discuss availability.

Health Services

Services

The Student Health Center provides acute, ambulatory health services for all Biola University students enrolled in any residential academic program, regardless of insurance status. The facility is located adjacent to the library. Consultation with a physician or a nurse is free; however, there are assigned fees for medications or specific treatments. There is no third party billing service available. Payment is required at the time of each visit by cash, check or credit card. Student Health Center fees are not payable through student account billing. Children's services are not available at the Student Health Center. Consult the Student Health Center's website for specific hours of operation and other information.

Insurance Requirement

Health insurance is required of all students enrolled in 7 or more La Mirada campus credits and/or with living arrangements in housing with a residence life program. All students that qualify under this requirement are automatically enrolled in the Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan and charged all applicable fees. Students that are enrolled in an acceptable private health insurance plan can submit their insurance information to Biola University in order to apply for waiver of the student insurance plan. Students that desire to apply for waiver must do so at the time of enrollment. Guidelines for what is considered acceptable coverage can found at the Student Health Center website.

For students that waive coverage, Biola University reserves the right to audit the coverage parameters of any health plan at any time, and to revoke any prior waiver if it is determined that the required conditions are not satisfied.

Unless alternative acceptable coverage is submitted, Biola University reserves the right to enroll students in the Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan should coverage submitted under a waiver lapse during the course of an academic year, and students will be charged all applicable fees.

Health Requirements

All students, both undergraduate and graduate, must complete a Meningitis Advisory Form, Health History Form, and Tuberculosis Screening Form. All completed forms should be submitted to the Student Health Center.

All of the above forms are available through the Student Health Center or available via download from the Student Health Center website. Completed forms may be faxed to the Health Center at (562) 906-4512.

Please check with the Student Health Center staff for assistance or other specific information at (562) 903-4841.

Global Student Programs and Development

The department of Global Student Programs and Development (GSPD) exists to serve, educate and empower global students toward whole-person, intercultural development. Our enduring vision is to see global students thriving in a more globally-minded community at Biola University.

Global Student Programs and Development serves a unique population of students who have spent portions of their developmental years outside of the United States. These students include:

  • international students on an F-1 Visa
  • third-culture students
  • students from missionary settings

These students come to Biola from over 40 different countries, and each one is a distinct and valuable gift to our community. The diversity that comes from their experiences enhances our environment of faith and learning. Their presence and scholarly contribution will assist the University in attaining its pursuit of becoming a recognized global center for Christian thought.

The GSPD Department serves all global students by providing the following programs for them:

  • Fall and Spring Orientation for new students
  • Global Student Community events
  • Cultural celebrations
  • Global Student Voices Chapels
  • Global worship events
  • Personal and small group mentoring on global student challenges
  • Financial/Tax workshops
  • Phase-Out/Transitions workshops and celebrations

Moreover, GSPD seeks to educate and empower global students with unique leadership development and identity development opportunities. During their time at Biola, global students can choose to be part of the Global Student Leadership Team. Involvement in this opportunity includes:

  • Personal and small group mentoring by GSPD Director
  • Experiential learning experiences for building an intercultural community
  • Developing peer leadership skills
  • Self-awareness of intercultural identity development

Finally, we desire for global students to be empowered to be global leaders in other areas of the University as well as in the world. Therefore, GSPD seeks to partner with many of the departments/divisions on campus, as well as churches, organizations, volunteers, and academic institutions outside the Biola campus in order to maximize cultural engagement, provide intercultural training, and promote learning and development.

The Global Student Programs and Development office is located in Rose Hall, next to the Mosaic Cultural Center. See the Global Student Programs and Development website for additional information.

Immigration Services

Issues related to compliance with U.S. Immigration laws for F-1 International Students and his or her dependents are being undertaken by the Immigration Services of the Office of the Registrar. For Immigration Services assistance, please contact (562) 777-4007.

Learning Center

The Learning Center exists to provide students with assistance in achieving and maintaining an adequate level of academic proficiency in order to be successful within Biola University's competitive and rigorous intellectual environment. We aspire to cultivate and equip holistically minded learners with the life skills, academic tools and personal resources to be their best self.

The Learning Center also provides programs that assist students in becoming effective and intentional learners. Programs offered include:

  • Disability Student Services: The Learning Center is committed to ensuring equal treatment, educational opportunity, accessibility, and human dignity for all students with learning, physical, and psychological disabilities. The Learning Center actuates this commitment by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities and medical conditions, assisting in advocacy, educating the Biola community, and by ensuring legal compliance with state and federal disability laws (the Americans With Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act).
  • Strategies for Academic & Personal Success (GNST 001): Instruction in success strategies for navigating the rigors of college and life beyond. Particular attention is given to time management, personal self-awareness, strengths based living/learning, moderation, critical thinking, test-taking and holistic living. 
  • Undergraduate Tutoring: The tutoring programs provide academic assistance for most Core Curriculum (GE) courses and select major emphasis courses. Tutoring is available in individual and small group formats (a minimal fee is required).

Additional resources are available for students through the Learning Center website. For more information, contact the Learning Center as (562) 906-4542.

Student Success

The Division of Student Success exists to empower all students to thrive academically and vocationally. This area is comprised of the Academic Center, Career Center, and Online and Graduate Student Success. The team in Student Success is committed to inclusive practices that support all students in the achievement of their goals and an engaging, successful experience at Biola University.

Academic Advising and the Advising Center

Biola University believes that academic advising is a significant experience throughout the academic journey. While the student holds the ultimate responsibility in educational decision-making, advisors play an intentional role by guiding students in their academic progress, plans, and engagement. Advisors partner with students in the larger community of Biola to provide resources for student success and challenge students to take a Christ-centered approach in their academic endeavors (Ephesians 4:11-16). The following are anticipated learning outcomes for academic advising. Students, over the course of their college career, will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop a relationship with faculty member(s) outside of the classroom setting.
  • Independently navigate university policies and procedures regarding course selection, registration, academic standing, the progression of curriculum, and fulfillment of graduation requirements.
  • Learn how to identify program and curricular paths that are consistent with their abilities, career, interests, life goals, and sense of calling.
  • Learn how to utilize critical thinking and decision-making skills in managing and planning their lives.
  • Have tools to develop and implement a meaningful educational plan with awareness of high impact educational practices (ex: writing-intensive courses, research opportunities, capstone experiences, internships, and cross-cultural experiences).
  • Pursue and discover connections within the Core Curriculum (GE), Bible, and major coursework.
  • Reflect on the deeper work God may be doing in their hearts and minds through their academic learning, and identify how they might respond and cooperate with the Holy Spirit in this work.

Academic advising for undergraduate students is achieved through a faculty-based advising model. Students with a declared major are assigned a faculty or staff advisor in their discipline. It is required that students meet with their assigned advisor once per semester.

The Advising Center has full-time advisors assigned to all undeclared students and those seeking additional help. Students should utilize the services of The Advising Center if they are:

  • Thinking of changing their major
  • Considering adding a second major or minor
  • Transfer students needing clarification regarding transfer credits
  • Students who have already met with their advisor in their discipline but have further questions

Additionally, students who have been placed on first semester academic probation (see catalog section on Academic Probation) or were provisionally admitted to the University are required to meet with an advisor in The Advising Center.

Advisors, both faculty and staff advisors, are available as a resource, but the student is ultimately responsible to ascertain and fulfill graduation requirements.

Additional resources are available for students through The Advising Center website.

Career Center

The Career Center focuses on empowering students to be active agents in their career preparation and career outcomes. This involves students developing skills and mindset necessary for lifetime employability and discernment of career paths in a constantly changing world. The Career Center collaborates with various partners to help students explore career paths, develop vocational competencies, connect with  employers and professional mentors, and secure meaningful work. Students are encouraged to pursue the following learning outcomes:

  • Develop one or more relationships with a career advisor outside of the classroom setting. Discuss life direction with a career advisor at least once per year. This can be a faculty member, career counselor, career advisor, academic advisor, industry expert, or someone else.
  • Take ownership of your career preparation, which usually involves: exploring interests and skills, reflecting on life's themes, researching suitable career options, creating roadmaps, identifying prerequisite work experiences and education, making lists of potential work organizations, pursuing field experience, customizing resumes and cover letters, conducting interviews, and submitting graduate school applications (if applicable).
  • Commit to gaining 1–3 years substantive field experience (e.g., internships, research) in an area of interest prior to graduation.

Popular services in the Career Center include:

  • Handshake job and internship database
  • Career assessments
  • Career counseling
  • Job search coaching
  • Resume and cover letter reviews
  • Career expos and employer connection events
  • Events calendar
  • Interview preparation
  • Graduate school planning

Information on the above can be found on the Career Center's website.

Online and Graduate Student Success

Online and Graduate Student Success serves students in a limited number of fully online programs through success coaching and advising. Success Coaches provide a variety of types of support for students that include: academic advising and planning to ensure clear path within the program of choice, assistance during the enrollment process, guidance during course selection and registration, monitoring progress until successful completion of the program requirements, assistance with basic financial aid inquiries, support with the academic experience (e.g., navigating online learning systems, learning strategies and tips), career development advice, and spiritual and life coaching and guidance. Success Coaches serve as on-the-ground ambassadors for these online students and facilitate a seamless experience with the various offices and services Biola University offers.  For more information, visit the Online and Graduate Student Success website.

Auxiliary Services

Residence Halls and Apartments

Rooms accommodate two to three students and are equipped with individual study desks, single beds, closet space, chest of drawers, bookshelves, and a wastebasket. Each residence hall has laundry rooms equipped with card-operated washing machines and dryers. Residents receive a laundry card the first time they check into housing. All students living in undergraduate residence halls are required to participate in the food service program. Meal plans are optional for Apartment residents.

Students are expected to supply their own linens (sheets, pillowcases, towels, blankets, and pillows), school supplies, decor including desk lamps, laundry supplies and personal toiletries. No cooking equipment is allowed in the residence hall rooms except in kitchen facilities (excluding apartments). Additional information may be found in the Housing Handbook.

All University undergraduate residence halls and apartments will remain open over the Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, and Spring break.

Housing for Graduates, Married Students, or Students with Families

Biola provides furnished housing for single and married graduate students, or students with families in on-campus suite-style rooms and in off -campus houses owned by the University. The per person, per month rate is based on the number of occupants per bedroom. Unfurnished one-and two-bedroom units located in three complexes near campus provide housing for couples and families at a per apartment, per month rate. For information on availability, locations and rates contact Auxiliary Services at grad.housing@biola.edu or at (562) 944-0351, ext. 5814.

Food Service

Biola provides excellent food service for all students. A wide variety of entrees, sandwiches, soups, fresh fruits, bread, beverages, and desserts is offered. The food service staff will work out individual programs for students with special dietary requirements or weight reduction programs prescribed by a physician.

A variety of meal plans are available. All students living in the residence halls are required to choose either a 10 without flex or 10-, 12-, 15- or 20-flex meal plan (the numbers indicated are meals per week), or a 175 block plan. A "flex" plan is 10, 12, 15, or 20 meals per week at Cafe Biola, our dining room, plus "flex dollars" to purchase additional meals at any of our retail operations including Cafe Biola, the Eagles' Nest, Common Grounds, the coffee cart, The Talon Grab N Go, Heritage Cafe, and Blackstone Cafe. To add or change a meal plan, go to My Account. To purchase student dollars go to eAccounts. Student dollars can be used for printing/copying (in the library and other locations on campus) and for dining.

Commuter students or students who reside in the Biola apartments have further meal plan options.

Biola Print Shop

The Biola Print Shop, located on the South Campus, is available to students, staff, faculty and the public. The print shop has high-speed duplicating equipment and can do a variety of jobs, including thermal binding, tabs, covers, color copying, color posters and banners, etc. We will match any price. We will do projects for non-Biola people as well.

Biola Store

The Biola Store is open Monday through Saturday for the convenience of the students, faculty, staff and public. All required and recommended textbooks, as well as general books and supplies, are available. The store has a large selection of Christian books and offers Bibles in a variety of styles and bindings at substantial discounts. The Biola Store carries insignia clothing and school spirit merchandise, a large selection of greeting cards, school supplies, dorm-room furniture/accessories, gift items, theme park tickets and music are available for purchase. The Biola Store welcomes special orders via its 1-800-MY-BIOLA phone line. A convenience store (located inside the bookstore) contains a generous selection of soft drinks, juices, yogurts, ice cream, snacks, candies, sandwiches, etc.. During school breaks and vacations the store has shortened hours. Please call (562) 903-4883 for information or visit the Biola Store website.

Campus Safety

The Department of Campus Safety is responsible for law enforcement, public safety, and emergency response at Biola University. The department is staffed with professional campus safety officers, skilled administrative personnel, and a dedicated cadre of student employees.

Campus Safety Officers receive extensive training in criminal law and procedure, criminal investigations, evidence collection, traffic management and enforcement, arrest and control tactics, emergency response procedures, First Aid/CPR/AED, and a variety of other related topics. Officers also participate in continual in-service training to maintain state compliance with current statutory law. All officers must complete California Penal Code 832 training as well as certification in the use of the Taser X-26, ASP Baton, and Oleoresin Capsicum Spray (pepper spray). All of these devices are deployed for the protection of students, staff, visitors, and officers.

Campus Safety has armed personnel who participate in the department's initial and ongoing sponsored firearms training as well as other applicable training and qualifications required by the State of California.

Campus Safety Officers are empowered to arrest individuals for all crimes committed on Biola property under authority of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Los Angeles County Sheriff. The MOU is granted under the authority of Penal Code Section 830.7 and grants all powers of arrest under Penal Code Section 836. All arrestees are turned over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) for appropriate processing. Campus Safety personnel may complete and conduct selected criminal investigations on Biola property. All follow-up criminal investigations are completed by the LASD. Serious or major crimes occurring on Biola property are investigated by the LASD. Crime statistics for Biola University may be found in the Annual Security Report. Prompt reporting helps ensure that appropriate warning notices can be distributed and assist with the timely disclosure of crime statistics. These statistics are in compliance with the Department of Education's Student Right to Know Act.

The Campus Safety Department conducts administrative investigations involving University rules and regulations. These investigations may involve students, staff, and visitors on Biola property. Appropriate referrals necessitating further review and action may be made to Student Development, Human Resources, or other administrative staff.

The Campus Safety Department may investigate traffic collisions occurring on campus. Officers and Student Cadets conduct parking enforcement on campus property and issue citations. Parking citations given to student or staff personnel must be paid in a timely manner. Procedures for the collection of fees may be reviewed at the Campus Safety Department. Officers may also issue citations for driving violations on campus. These citations may be issued in person, delivered to the involved party via mail, or placed on the vehicle.

To control access to the campus at night and provide visitor parking permits, maps, and other information during the day, Campus Safety has Gatehouses at the entrances to campus on Biola Avenue and La Mirada Boulevard. At night the gate arms are down and allow access to Biola ID cardholders only-all other persons must stop at the Gatehouse to speak with the gate attendant. The Department also operates a full-service Communication Center (which consists of Emergency Dispatch and switchboard). The center is staffed 24 hours a day by trained operators and dispatchers.

The Communication Center is also equipped with a campus-wide digital video surveillance system. We also have an emergency notification system for the purpose of sending an emergency notification via the internet, cell phone, or landline phone connection. Students and employees may access Biola University's emergency notification system at any time to designate a personal cell phone number to receive text messages.

Recognizing that a Christian university is not exempt from crime, students are asked to use common sense and caution in every aspect of their activities. The University's Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (which includes crime statistics for the previous three years for all of Biola's campuses) is available on the Campus Safety website, or will be provided upon request at the Campus Safety office.

Please refer to the Campus Safety website for further information or call the Campus Safety Administrative Office at (562) 903-4877.

Psychological Services

Psychological testing and psychotherapeutic services are available to graduate and undergraduate students for a minimal fee. The center is open year round for individual, couple and group counseling. Students who struggle with any number of psychological difficulties are welcome. Inquiries may be made in person at the Biola Counseling Center, located at 12625 La Mirada Blvd. Ste. 202, or by phone at (562) 903-4800. During non-clinic hours, this same number may be used for psychological, non-medical emergencies.

Rhetoric & Writing Center

The Rhetoric & Writing Center, located in the Library, is a place where undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines and writing abilities can meet with trained writing consultants. These consultants help student writers revise current writing projects and help them develop writing skills that can be applied in courses across the academic spectrum.

Appeals and Grievances

Detailed information regarding grievances and appeals, whether in regard to scholarships, academic life, federal legislation or student conduct are found in the Student Handbook of each school. See the Undergraduate Student Handbook website for additional information.

An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau may be contacted at:

Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (916) 431-6924
Fax: (916) 263-1897