Cook School of Intercultural Studies


The Cook School of Intercultural Studies exists to equip students to communicate, live, and work effectively in culturally diverse contexts to make disciples of all peoples and impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.


The Cook School of Intercultural Studies consists of four departments:

  1. Department of Intercultural Studies – undergraduate programs
  2. Department of Anthropology
  3. Department of Intercultural Studies – graduate programs
  4. Department of Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ALT).

The Department of Intercultural Studies - Graduate programs offers graduate programs leading to two master's degrees and three doctoral degrees. The Department of Anthropology offers a graduate program of study leading to a master's degree in Anthropology. These programs emphasize the social sciences and their relation to intercultural understanding, world mission, education and a number of technical specialties related to these topics. The Department of Applied Linguistics and TESOL (ALT) offers the three master's degree programs: Applied Linguistics, Linguistics and Ancient Languages, and TESOL. The graduate program in Applied Linguistics deals with issues involved in second-language learning, analysis, teaching and research. The graduate program in Linguistics and Ancient Languages educates students to be skilled in exegesis and translation for Bible translation around the world. The graduate program in TESOL provides professional preparation for English language teaching among speakers of other languages.

Graduate Information

Admission Requirements

All M.A.(except for M.A. Missions), D.I.S. and Ph.D. students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Applicants must have completed all bachelors requirements prior to the start of the program and must have a bachelors degree with a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average conferred from a regionally accredited institution prior to the start of the second term. Graduates from approved, unaccredited colleges, if accepted, will be granted provisional acceptance, if GPA is 3.4 or higher. Graduates from approved, unaccredited colleges may be required to take additional liberal arts course work (not applicable toward the graduate degree), if their undergraduate program did not include these courses.
  2. Those without intercultural/missions, Bible/theology, or anthropology may have additional coursework added to their program.
  3. Applicants must submit a written statement outlining their vocational objectives and how the degree will relate to those objectives. Applicants should attach a one-page letter to the application.
  4. Three letters of references on forms supplied by the school are required.
  5. Official transcripts for all previous schools attended are required.
  6. Application deadlines. M.A.: Fall is July 1, Spring is November 1; Ph.D. and D.I.S. programs: Fall is January 31, Spring is August 31.
    Applications may be submitted after deadlines (late fees apply) but will only be considered if space and time allow. Late applications may be postponed to later terms.

Official documents presented for admission or evaluation become part of the student's academic file and normally cannot be returned or copied for distribution.

Doctor of Intercultural Studies

Completion of at least three years of continuous ministry experience in a cross-cultural, multi-cultural or cross-sub-cultural setting.

An appropriate accredited master's degree of which at least 9 credits will be in biblical and theological studies. A 3.0 GPA in their previous graduate studies is required for admission.

Doctor of Philosophy

An accredited master's degree or its equivalent appropriate to the Ph.D. is required for admission. Students must have a GPA of 3.30 in their previous graduate studies. Three years of cross-cultural experience is required. Proficiency in a second language is preferred for students pursuing the Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies and the Ph.D. in Intercultural Education. Three years of teaching experience in a cross-cultural or multicultural setting or its equivalent is expected of students pursuing the Ph.D. in Intercultural Education.

Admission of International Students

Admittance to the Ph.D. programs requires the following scores on the TOEFL: 100 iBT/600 PBT/250 CBT. The admissions committee may require an oral interview. 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.

English Language Institute China (ELIC) at Biola

In cooperation with ELIC, the University offers, through the Cook School of Intercultural Studies (CSICS), a portion of the Ph.D. program in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Studies include summer courses at the La Mirada campus and January sessions in Chiang Mai. All residency requirements can be completed through on-campus Hybrid Intensive courses. Interested students should contact the Admissions Office of Biola University.

Numbering of CSICS Courses

In CSICS, courses numbered in the 500-600 level are normally considered to be master's level courses. Courses numbered in the 700 level can be taken by both MA level and doctoral level students. Courses numbered in the 800 level are normally considered to be doctoral level courses only. Master's students wishing to take 800 level classes must receive permission from the instructor. Doctoral level students wishing to take classes below the 700 level must do so by arrangement with their academic advisor and the professor of record.

Global Learning Sites

Both the Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies and the Doctor of Intercultural Studies are offered in a Hybrid Intensive format in our global learning sites. Currently, our Chiang Mai, Thailand and European sites have full accreditation through WASC and both degrees can be completed there without any time in residency on our La Mirada Campus. Students wishing to pursue either of our Ph.D. degrees through our global learning sites must complete at least one half of their coursework on campus (24 credits). Students in other on-campus programs may participate in the global learning site courses with the approval of the Distance Education Administrator and their academic advisor.

Interim Dean: Tamara Anderson, Ph.D.
Undergraduate and MA TESOL Chair: John Liang, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Intercultural Studies Chair: Kevin Pittle, Ph.D.
Graduate Intercultural Studies Chair:  Jamie Sanchez, Ph.D.
Professors: Lessard-Clouston, Liang, McMahan, Starcher
Associate Professors: Decker, Dzubinski, Greene, Pittle, Sanchez, Sappington, Yeh
Assistant Professors: Huang, Meulenberg