International Student Education

A division of the Cook School of Intercultural Studies


Director: Kitty Purgason

The Department of International Student Education provides multiple programs for international students, including the following:

International Student Exchange Program

Biola University values experiential and cross-cultural learning, and is committed to providing opportunities for students to participate in study abroad programs. These programs are vital to fulfilling the mission to educate students in mind and character to impact the world for Christ.

The International Student Exchange Program offers opportunities for Biola students to study abroad in Christian universities in Asia and for students from those Asian universities to study at Biola.

Biola English Summer Program

Biola University offers non-credit summer English special programs on its La Mirada campus for international students and teachers. The experience includes intensive study of the English language and daily activities that increase understanding of American culture.

English Language Support Courses

These courses are designed for students who have been conditionally admitted because of their academic English and other students who need support in academic English. Their goal is to increase academic English proficiency and prepare undergraduate and graduate students for success in their Biola programs.

The Biola English Placement Exam (BEPE) is offered at the start of each semester and is the basis for placement in courses ENGL 151, ENGL 152, ENGL 161, ENGL 162, ENGL 171. See Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements for additional information.

All Biola degree students for whom English is not the primary language must take the Biola English Placement Examination (BEPE) for appropriate level placement. Participation in English language support courses is required for all students whose examination scores indicate a need for skill development. International students who have previously achieved a TOEFL score of 79 iBT (undergraduate) or 88 (graduate) are not required to participate in these courses.

Students who pass ENGL 151 and ENGL 171 with a "B" grade can continue to pursue Biola University degrees without taking the TOEFL exam. Exception: students applying for the Master of Theology degree must achieve a TOEFL score of 100 iBT prior to admission to the Th.M. program. Other advanced degree programs may also require minimum TOEFL scores (see admission requirements for individual degree programs).

Students at level ENGL 151/ENGL 152 and above may enroll in academic degree courses as they receive advanced language and academic support.

Students taking degree coursework are subject to normal Biola University academic requirements and standards. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their English language support courses.

Students who submit a TOEFL score of 79 iBT (undergraduate) or 88 (graduate) may exit the program upon successful completion of the current semester's classes.