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. 

Biola University has a strong Christian commitment and requires that to be accepted, the applicant must be a committed follower of Christ. 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 submit an online application. Because enrollment is limited and admission is selective, applications should be submitted 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 online or by phoning (562) 903-4752.

Admission to the university does not guarantee admission to the art, business administration, cinema media arts, education, music, nursing, or psychology programs, nor to on-campus housing. Application forms for these programs are available from the department offices.

Undergraduate/Graduate Programs

See the specific program for additional admission, enrollment and graduation requirements in the appropriate undergraduate/graduate sections of the catalog.

Enrollment Deposit

Applicants

All applicants who are accepted to the university are required to submit an enrollment deposit. The deposit is non-refundable after May 1 (Fall) and January 1 (Spring) for undergraduate applicants 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.

Enrolled Students

The enrollment deposit is applied to the student account following the student's first term of enrollment. 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.

Re-Admission

A Biola student who has withdrawn for one semester or longer or has exceeded the time frame of their leave of absence is required to file an application for re-admission. Generally, any holds on the student's account (ex: academic disqualification, accounting, etc.) must be resolved by the student and corresponding department prior to being readmitted. Students departing the university for one academic year (3 consecutive terms, e.g., fall, spring, summer) or longer will be required to follow the current catalog at the time of their 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 the length of absence, other requirements may also be necessary. Please contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

English Proficiency Requirements

Admission Requirements

Evidence of proficiency in English is required for all students to support student success. Proficiency must be shown in reading, writing, speaking and listening through one of the methods described below:

Undergraduate

U.S. Applicants: Proof of English language proficiency is not an admission requirement.

U.S. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens: please consult with your admissions counselor.

International (F-1) Applicants: Minimum test scores are required to be considered for admission. 

1. Minimum test score on a qualifying standardized test.

The language exam score requirements are as follows:

Undergraduate (English Language must be taken for Core Curriculum Foreign Language):
  • TOEFL (iBT) 70+ or IELTS 6 or Duolingo 110 (other test scores may be submitted to the ELP Director for approval)
Undergraduate (English Language may be taken for Core curriculum Foreign Language):
  • TOEFL (iBT) 80+ or IELTS 6.5 or Duolingo 125+ (other test scores may be submitted to the English Language Director for approval)
    • or graduation from an American high school (4 years)
    • or at least one year in a U.S. undergraduate program
    • or either of the above, from a country where English is an official language — at the discretion of the ELP Director or a designated ELP representative
    • Meet the minimum GPA and SAT or ACT test scores for general admission to the university. At the applicant's request, official SAT or ACT test scores must be sent by the official testing service directly to Biola. For undergraduate students applying with the SAT or ACT (who have not met the minimum scores), an additional language screening test may be required. 

2. An updated TOEFL or IELTS score may be used at the end of the term if the undergraduate would prefer to take a different foreign language to fulfill their GE language requirement. 

To be considered for admission, international (F-1) applicants whose first language is not English must submit English proficiency scores that meet the minimum requirement. At the applicant's request, official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo (or other approved test) test scores must be sent by the testing agency directly to Biola. Courses in English Language or English composition taken in an institution where English is the primary medium for instruction may not be used to complete the admission requirement. International students currently attending schools where English is the primary medium of education (e.g., an international high school in China) must also submit official exam scores.

Exception: If an applicant's secondary education took place in a country in which English is the primary language of communication (e.g., Australia, Canada, or Ireland, or the U.S.), the applicant is exempt from the English language proficiency requirement. 

Undergraduate English Language Scholars

Biola’s English Language Scholars are a community of students dedicated to the highest level of English proficiency. For more information, see the Biola English Language website.

Undergraduate English language scholars take English language instead of another foreign language (i.e., Russian, Spanish, French, American Sign Language) for Core Curriculum credit. Only students majoring in Art or Music, who do not have a foreign language Core Curriculum requirement, will take English language as elective credits. English language scholars join a cohort their first year, taking the same two Core Curriculum courses in both fall and spring. 

Undergraduate Language Credit Requirement According to Degree Type

Degree Type Core Curriculum Language Requirement English Language Course Conversion
B.A. 8 credits English language courses fulfill general education language requirement
B.F.A. 0 credits English language courses count for general elective credit
B.M. 0 credits English language courses count for general elective credit
B.S. 0-4 One English language course fulfills general education language requirement; one English language course counts for general elective credit.

Undergraduate English language students take no more than 15 credits their first semester to ensure successful university transition. Requests for more credits to be taken can be submitted to the English Language Director at bonnie.vidrine-isbell@biola.edu.

Graduate Admissions

International (F-1) Applicants: Must satisfy one of the following requirements for proof of English proficiency:

1. Minimum test score on a qualifying standardized test approved by the Director of English Language. 

The language exam score requirements are as follows:

Graduate academic programs:
  • TOEFL (iBT) 90+ and IELTS 7 and DUOLINGO 125
  • TOEFL (iBT) 100+ and IELTS 7.5 and DUOLINGO 125
  • See chart below for Graduate program-specific requirements.

2. A degree (bachelor's, master's, or doctoral) issued by an institution where English is the medium of instruction. On-campus residence during the degree program is required. Regional accreditation is required from U.S. institutions, or a recognized baccalaureate degree equivalent earned outside the U.S. To verify that English is the sole medium of instruction, one of the following forms of documentation is required for institutions outside of the United States:

  • Official written communication from the institution (Registrar, Controller of Examinations Office, or Undergraduate College)
  • Official degree statements or transcripts may be accepted given English is stated as the medium of instruction
  • Official catalog verification

For universities from non-Anglophone countries, Academic English language courses will be required unless a test score is submitted. 

3. An updated TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo score may be used at the end of the term to test out of Graduate English language coursework.

To be considered for admission, international (F-1) applicants whose first language is not English must submit English proficiency scores that meet the minimum requirement. At the applicant's request, official TOEFL, or IELTS, or Duolingo (or other approved test) test scores must be sent by the testing agency directly to Biola. For more details on how, when, and where to take language tests, visit online:

Language tests are administered only at specific times, so candidates for admission should inquire about testing dates well in advance of the date of anticipated school term in the U.S.

The English Language Director finalizes and approves all placement decisions for all students who need language proficiency placement (see above). Cambridge English Proficiency and Pearson English Language tests may also be considered.

Consultation will occur with graduate committees when appropriate. In certain cases, the program may require a locally administered English language placement exam. Placement decisions may be appealed and revised based on new official TOEFL/IELTS/DUOLINGO scores. Appeal cases will be considered at the ELP Director's discretion. 
 
Faculty recommendations or student requests may lead to additional on-campus evaluation and affect course placement.

Graduate English Language Scholars

Biola’s Graduate English Scholar are a group of students who work together to professionalize their English. These students take academic English courses at the highest level to refine their language for dissertation writing, conference presentations, publication, teaching K-12, or sermon delivery. For more information, see the Biola English Language website.
 
Graduate English language courses also satisfy the English Language Proficiency requirement for graduate students. New students entering Biola without a qualifying test score will be required to take an English language proficiency screening test for placement before registering for graduate English language classes. Results of the screening will require between 1-3 language courses. An extra fee is charged for each course in addition to regular tuition at the graduate level. The cost per credit for a language course is $596.
 
See chart below for Graduate program-specific requirements.

Language Exam Score Requirement According to Degree Type

Program Level TOEFL iBT IELTS DUOLINGO
Crowell School of Business 100+ 7.5+ 125+
Business Administration, MBA
Leadership and Innovation, M.A.
Professional Accountancy, MPAcc
Graduate Certificate in Personal Financial Planning
Rosemead School of Psychology 100+ 7.5+ 125+
Clinical Psychology, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology, Psy.D.
School of Education 100+ 7.5+ 125+
Education, M.A.Ed.
Teaching, M.A.T.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Publication, M.S.C.I.P.
Special Education, M.S. Sp.Ed.
Credentials
Child Development Permits
Institution-Sponsored Certificates
School of Science, Technology, and Health 100+ 7.5+ 125+
Master of Public Health
Speech-Language Pathology, M.S.
Talbot School of Theology 90+ 7.0+ 125+
Master of Arts (Bible Exposition)
Master of Arts (Biblical and Theological Studies in the Eurasian Context/Kyiv Extension)
Master of Arts (New Testament)
Master of Arts (Old Testament)
Master of Arts (Philosophy)
Master of Arts (Spiritual Formation)
Master of Arts (Theology/Greek or Non-Greek)
Christian Ministry and Leadership, M.A.C.M.L. (Biblical and Pastoral Ministry)
Christian Ministry and Leadership, M.A.C.M.L. (Ministry and Leadership)
Christian Ministry and Leadership, M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling)
Intercultural Studies, M.A.
Master of Divinity, M.Div. (Evangelism and Discipleship)
Master of Divinity, M.Div. (Missions and Intercultural Studies)
Master of Divinity, M.Div. (Pastoral and General Ministries)
Master of Divinity, M.Div. (Pastoral Care and Counseling)
Intercultural Studies, D.I.S.
Talbot School of Theology 100+ 7.5+ 125+
Master of Divinity, M.Div. (Messianic Jewish Studies)
Master of Divinity, M.Div. (Spiritual Formation)
Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, M.A.S.F.S.C.
Christian Apologetics, M.A.
Science and Religion, M.A.
Classical Theology, M.A.
Ministry, D.Min.
Educational Studies, Ed.D.
Educational Studies, Ph.D.
Intercultural Education, Ph.D.
Intercultural Studies, Ph.D.

Application Guidelines

The following are required: an application for admission, transcripts and a $45 undergraduate application fee (waived with the code found in the application). Depending on the program selected, additional supplemental items may be required. The graduate application fee is $65.

Official Transcripts

Undergraduate Students

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 or physically delivered in an untampered envelope sealed by the institution to Biola's Office of Admissions 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 Admissions or the Office of the Registrar.

Graduate Students

All transcripts not originally in English should be accompanied by a certified English translation that documents coursework and examinations taken, indicates grades received, and identifies passing and maximum marks. To confirm accreditation and equivalency, a third-party agency credential evaluation may be required prior to admission. The following are also required: 

  • 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 issuance of the I-20. The Affidavit of Support form must be accompanied by supporting bank statements, along with a copy of current passport with a minimum of 6 months before it expires. In addition, a tuition deposit may be required prior to issuance of the I-20.
  • Reference forms – Reference forms are provided by the university and are included with the application. Graduate students are required to provide references appropriate to their program, which may include pastoral, character, or academic references.
  • An official TOEFL or IELTS score (see requirements above, under English Proficiency Requirements).
  • Additional application items, such as essays, resume, and other test scores may be required. See the specific admissions requirements for each program.

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

Master's Degrees and Rosemead

An official transcript which shows a conferred bachelor's degree and all other transcripts containing a conferred degree are required. Official transcripts should be sent directly from the school or physically delivered in an untampered envelope sealed by the institution to Biola's Office of Graduate Admissions to be considered official. In addition, transcripts with prerequisites, leveling courses, advanced standing, and any other courses relevant to your desired program should be submitted. For certain degrees, additional or all transcripts may be requested or required as Talbot requires all transcripts that reflect graduate credits. Review the admissions requirements of your individual program or contact Graduate Admissions for details.

TEACHING CREDENTIALS

An official transcript which shows a conferred bachelor's degree and all other transcripts containing a conferred degree are required. Official transcripts should be sent directly from the school or physically delivered in an untampered envelope sealed by the institution to Biola's Office of Graduate Admissions to be considered official. In addition, transcripts with prerequisites, leveling courses, advanced standing, and any other courses relevant to your desired program should be submitted. For all foreign transcripts, an official third-party evaluation from a CTC (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing) approved agency must also be submitted as part of application to the credential program.

Doctoral Degrees

An official transcript which shows a conferred master's degree and all other transcripts containing a conferred degree are required. Official transcripts should be sent directly from the school or physically delivered in an untampered envelope sealed by the institution to Biola's Office of Graduate Admissions to be considered official. In addition, transcripts with prerequisites, leveling courses, advanced standing, and any other courses relevant to your desired program should be submitted. For certain degrees, additional or all transcripts may be requested or required. Review the admissions requirements of your individual program or contact Graduate Admissions for details.

Application Deadlines

Biola University accepts undergraduate international applications for Fall and Spring semesters. Graduate admission deadlines vary. Check the individual program's website for the correct deadline.

UNDERGRADUATE DEADLINES & NOTIFICATIONS

Fall

File Completed By Notification
November 30 (Early Action #1) 1 January 15
January 15 (Early Action #2) 1 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 and will be processed if space is available and time allows.

1

If a student submits their application by an Early Action deadline, they will learn about admittance earlier than the standard application and notification dates. Early Action is non-binding.

Spring

File Completed By Notification
October 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.

GRADUATE DEADLINES & NOTIFICATIONS

Graduate admission deadlines vary. Check the individual program's website for the correct deadline.

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, room and board, and health insurance, in excess of the cost of a round-trip fare from his/her native country, visa fees, books, and other course fees.

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.

Enrollment Requirements

International students admitted to the United States on a student visa are required by law to be registered as full-time students (undergraduate and credential students: a minimum of 12 credits; graduate students: a minimum of 9 credits; doctoral students: a minimum of 6 credits). All EL-only students, taking EL courses preparing for undergraduate or graduate programs, must be enrolled in 12 credits.

Employment

No off-campus employment is permitted for international students without written permission of the United States Immigration authorities. On-campus employment, while not guaranteed, is permitted for international students up to 20 hours per week.

Veterans

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 Department of Veterans 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 Military Educational Benefits Coordinator in the Office of the Registrar well in advance of enrollment so that the necessary arrangements may be made with the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Eligible students who have provided a current and valid certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under chapter 31 or 33 of Title 38, United States Code will be considered to have met the tuition related portion of their down payment obligation to the university if/when their level of current certified eligible benefits will meet or exceed the total charges of their tuition and related fees. This provision will be valid for up to 90 days after the university has certified the student's tuition and fees with the US Department of Veterans Administration. Any late fees or penalties incurred by a certified student for failure to meet their required down payment obligation will be reversed for this 90 day period. 

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

For information about Veteran and Military Affiliated Student Programs, see Student Development - Community Life listed under Student Services.

Registration and Enrollment 

Registration dates are posted on the academic calendar. Students should register (add courses to their schedule) and enroll (complete all enrollment tasks on MyAccount) online during scheduled registration and enrollment periods. Students are responsible for verifying that their enrollment is correct and complete by the posted deadline. Course registration and payment for courses do not equal full enrollment.

Enrollment is finalized when students have completed all enrollment tasks and paid the required tuition down payment. Enrollment status is checked on the MyAccount enrollment task list.  

Late enrollment requires a fee of $200. Late fees will be assessed when enrollment is not completed by the posted deadline. Late fees will only be reversed due to a sudden disabling illness or accident (documentation is required) or if there is an error by the University (for example, Financial Aid adjustments, scholarship amount adjustments, etc.). Appeals for late fee reversal should be submitted to the University Registrar via the Late Enrollment Fee Appeal form. Appeals should include why a student could not meet the term's registration deadline. All appeals must be received by 10 business days after the first day of courses for the term in question.

Enrollment is mandatory for Rosemead School of Psychology students in all phases of the program, including students in an internship and those who have completed all requirements except the dissertation.

Add/Drops

Registration changes are made online.  

A student who stops attending a class will not be automatically dropped from the class and will receive a grade of UW (Unofficial Withdrawal) for the course.

Full Term Courses

  • Courses may be added during week one of the semester.
  • Courses dropped during weeks one and two will not be recorded on the student’s transcript.
  • Courses dropped during weeks three to eight will be recorded with the grade of W.
  • Courses dropped after week eight will be recorded with the grade of UW.
  • Reference: Refund Schedule

Session A and B Courses

  • Courses may be added during week one of the session.
  • Courses dropped during week one will not be recorded on the student’s transcript.
  • Courses dropped during weeks two to four will be recorded with the grade of W.
  • Courses dropped after week four will be recorded with the grade of UW.
  • Reference: Refund Schedule

Leave of Absence

Students enrolled in online bachelor’s programs (i.e., Psychology, B.S; Bible, Theology, and Apologetics, B.S.; Business Management, B.S.) who are in good standing in their last completed term may take a maximum leave of absence (LOA) of two compulsory consecutive terms (fall and spring, or spring and summer, or summer and fall) before they are officially withdrawn from the university. After this time, readmission is necessary to return to the university. Biola University’s leave of absence policy does not meet the definition of a Title IV Approved Leave of Absence as defined under 34 CFR 668.22 (d). As such, a student will not be reported to the National Student Loan Data System as attending the university during their leave of absence.

Requests for a leave require university notification via a Leave of Absence form. This form must be completed prior to the student’s absence from the university. Students who do not complete the required form or do not register at the end of the approved leave will be officially withdrawn and will be required to complete the readmission process and abide by any applicable changes in admissions, financial aid, and degree requirements. 
 
Students are encouraged to connect with the Financial Aid Office regarding their financial aid status prior to their leave of absence as well as their academic advisor to understand the impact of their leave on their desired path to graduation.

Withdrawal

Official Withdrawals

Students who wish to officially withdraw from the university must submit an official withdrawal form. See the refund schedule for details regarding dates, tuition and grades. 

Unofficial Withdrawals

Students who stop attending class are considered unofficially withdrawn. Unofficial withdrawals receive no tuition refund and are given “UW” or “F” grades for their courses.

Medical Withdrawals

Students who are withdrawing for health reasons and wish to apply for a medical withdrawal may do so by submitting the official withdrawal form. See the Medical Withdrawal Policy and Procedures page for more information.

Students departing the university for longer than one academic year (3 consecutive terms, e.g., fall, spring, summer) will be required to follow the current catalog at the time of their readmission. 

Student's Records

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.

Attendance

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."

With the permission of the instructor, 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.

Intercollegiate Athletics Class Attendance Policy Addendum

Student-athletes will be excused to miss class only under the following circumstances per NCAA Division II rules and regulations. “Excused” means that the student-athlete will be given the opportunity to make-up any missed assignments or class work without penalty. The following information is provided to student-athletes, head coaches and faculty members and is intended to summarize Biola policies on missed class time due to athletics contests.

  • Student-athletes are not permitted to miss class for home practice activities including but not limited to: practice, weights/conditioning, film study, promotional events, or community engagement events. There are two exceptions:
    • When a team is traveling to an away-from-home contest and the practice is in conjunction with the contest. Bylaw 17.1.
    • Championship Practice. Student-athletes representing Biola at a conference or NCAA championship shall be permitted to miss class time to attend practice activities in conjunction with the event. Bylaw 17.1.
  • Student-athletes are permitted to miss class for competition, home and away, during the regular season and/or playoffs. No class time shall be missed for competition, including activities associated with competition, outside of the regular season and/or playoffs, per Bylaw 17.1. Student-athletes are not excused from classes that end prior to departure time on the day of travel.
  • Student-athletes are responsible to notify faculty within five business days after the first day of class concerning any future missed class time due to athletics contests using the Class Absence Reporting Form. This will ensure the individual faculty member has been notified of sport-related absences PRIOR to missing class. The form includes a section requesting accommodations for completion of any missed assignments. This must be completed fully by the faculty member and returned to the student-athlete within 72 hours of receipt. All missed class work and assignments must be completed according to the schedule established by the faculty member teaching the course. Per institutional decision, faculty members are expected to provide substantive learning assignments on this form for any missed in-class work and not penalize the student-athlete for missing class.
    • Note: Any student-athlete who does not complete the form correctly or on time is not protected from missed class penalties under this policy.
  • In the case of last minute travel itinerary changes due to unforeseen circumstances, the student-athlete is responsible to promptly notify faculty (within 24 hours of the change).

Individual faculty members will judge the validity of student-athlete absences from class and may require documentation for excused absences. In such cases the student-athlete will submit a written request to the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance to request that documentation be sent to the faculty member. For classes requiring mandatory attendance incompatible with the number of planned absences, student-athletes will be advised to register, if possible, during a semester in which they will not be participating in the university sanctioned activity.

If a faculty member already has a policy in place that allows for a minimum number of absences, missed in-class assignments, and/or late assignments, then absences due to athletics contests will apply toward that policy first.

As with any academic issue, student-athletes may exercise their right to appeal adverse attendance decisions. Should the faculty member and student-athlete be unable to agree on appropriate accommodation under this policy, either party shall have the right to request mediation. The person seeking mediation should contact the Faculty Athletics Representative. He or she may ask the student or faculty member to pursue resolution by meeting with the following individuals (in order) until the issue has been resolved: the Department Chair, Academic Dean, and the Vice-Provost. The Faculty Athletics Representative may also work to mediate the request for accommodation on behalf of the faculty member or student, and may choose to collaborate with the Director of Athletics in this process.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Class Attendance Policy Addendum was developed in order to ensure collaboration between faculty members and the student-athlete in order to achieve graduation requirements.

Grades

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:

Grade Quality Points
A Highest Passing Grade 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B Good 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C Satisfactory 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D- Lowest Passing Grade 0.67
Applies to undergraduate courses only. Lowest passing grade for graduate courses varies by program. See specific graduate department.
F Failure 0.00
UW Unofficial Withdrawal 0.00
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:

Grade Quality Points
CR Credit 1 0.00
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).
IN Incomplete Grade 2 0.00
A temporary “grade” of “IN” (Incomplete Grade) will be issued in these special cases when approved by the University Registrar. IN grades are normally completed no later than five weeks after the end of the term. In the event of the inability of a student to complete the coursework by the approved deadline, the student will be assigned the grade which was earned by the end of the class. Submission deadlines: Students must submit a request on the appropriate form for an Incomplete (IN) Grade for Full-Term courses by the Friday before finals week. For Session A and B, the deadline is the Friday before the end of the class.
NC No Credit 2 0.00
S Satisfactory 1 0.00
US Unsatisfactory 2 0.00
RG Registered in Course 3 0.00
R Research 1 0.00
IP Internship in Progress 1 0.00
UC Unofficial Withdrawal 2 0.00
A "UC" indicates an unofficial withdrawal from a credit/no-credit course. Students who register for credit/no-credit courses but do not attend classes are given the grade of "UC." A grade of "UC" does not affect the student's grade point average.
W Withdrawal 2 0.00
A "W" indicates an official withdrawal (within the third to eighth week for full sessions courses; within the second to fourth week for session A or session B courses) and does not affect the student's grade point average.
AUD Audit 2 0.00
NR Not reported by faculty 2 0.00
NO/NG Non-graded Course 1 0.00
1

No grade points; credit given

2

No grade points; no credit given

3

No grade points

Grade Mode

The following codes are listed on each course to designate how the course will be graded at the end of the term:

Grade Mode Description
A Letter Grade A-F
C Credit-No Credit
D Variable Credit/Research
I Variable Internship in Progress/Credit-No Credit
N No Grade Given
P Post Baccalaureate
R Research
S Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory
T Transfer No Grade Given
U Audited
V Variable Letter/Research

Repeated Courses

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. If the student is repeating a topics course, the topic must be the same as the previous topic completed in order to be eligible for a repeat.

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

Final grades will be available at the end of each academic term on My Account. 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

Grade changes are only allowable for computational or recording errors.

Student Responsibility

It is the student's responsibility to bring any error in grades to the attention of the instructor within 90 days following the issued grade.

Faculty Responsibility

It is the instructor's responsibility to catch and correct any error in grades no later than 90 days following the submission of a student's grade.

Substitution Policy

Substitution requests must be initiated by the student and submitted to the Office of the Registrar through the Substitution Request Form. Any course substitution requests for major requirements must be from the same discipline as the major unless otherwise approved by the University Registrar. Major course petitions are not transferable to other majors. Substitutions are limited to up to 25% of the program requirements. 

Course substitution requests for Core Curriculum must be submitted through the Core Substitution Request Form and will be routed to the academic department and the Associate Provost for Curriculum and Instruction. 

All course substitution requests should include a rationale of how the course being taken fulfills the program learning outcomes. 

Current students who plan to take a transfer course to fulfill a Biola degree requirement should review the Transfer Equivalency Tool to view courses approved for transfer. Any courses that are not included on the Transfer Equivalency Tool should be petitioned to the Office of the Registrar through the Transfer Petition Form to ensure that the student knows how the credit will transfer before registering for the course. All transfer courses are subject to the policies stated in the Undergraduate Transfer Policy.

Dean's List

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.

Audit Students

Current students and Biola alumni wishing to audit must complete the audit application and follow registration procedures. All auditors must have completed at least one semester of successful academic work at Biola before they will be allowed to audit a course. Biola alumni may audit one 3-credit course free of charge by way of a certificate provided by the Office of Alumni Engagement​.

Stipulations in the audit policy:

  • Students may audit a course only if space is available.
  • Auditing students are registered for an audit course after the second week of the semester.
  • An auditor only participates in lectures, and they are not allowed to submit papers or take exams.
  • Only lecture courses delivered in-person (on Biola’s campus) may be audited.
  • Audit registration will not be included in computing a full-time academic load.
  • 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. If permitted, doctoral-level auditors are subject to full doctoral-level tuition.
  • All auditors must pay the appropriate per credit fee (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.

Contact the Office of the Registrar for an audit application and further instructions.

Academic Load

The minimum full time load is 12 credits at the undergraduate and credential level. Those carrying less than the full time load but 9 or more credits are considered three-quarter time. Undergraduate students carrying 6 to 8 credits are considered half time students. And, undergraduate students carrying fewer 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 fewer 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 carrying 5 to 6 credits are considered half time students. And, graduate students carrying fewer 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. Those carrying 5 credits are considered three-quarter time. Doctoral students in these programs carrying 3 to 4 credits are considered half time. And, those carrying fewer 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. Without the advisor's approval, a student may not carry over 16 credits in any semester. Registration of fewer than 6 credits is permitted only after a student has been admitted to candidacy. Rosemead does not admit part time students to its degree programs. 

The normal expected course load for a School of Education master's student is 3 to 9 credits per semester. Without the advisor's approval, a student may not carry over 12 credits in any semester.

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. Please note, there are special circumstances in which the above definitions do not apply. 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

Undergraduate

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.

Graduate/Doctoral

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/arranged course 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 Permission Form. Students who are in good academic standing are eligible to enroll in an independent study/arranged course. A maximum of 6 credits, may be taken by a student in independent study/arranged coursework during the student's degree program. An independent study/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:

Undergraduate

Freshman: 26 credits or fewer completed
Sophomore: 27–56 credits completed
Junior: 57–87 credits completed
Senior: 88 credits or more completed

Graduate

Graduate Student: All credits earned at the post baccalaureate, 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, 3000s and 4000s Undergraduate, upper-division, baccalaureate level courses
500–799 Graduate level, normally indicating first through third year beyond baccalaureate
800–999 and 8000s Postgraduate level, indicating fourth 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 ensure 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:

  1. 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's website). 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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." Some elements of personally identifiable information designated by the university as "Directory Information" are made available to third partied 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.
  4. 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." 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:

  • Photo
  • Name
  • 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, 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.

Physical Location Policy

The University requires that students report both physical address and permanent mailing address. Students living off campus or completing online programs are required to provide their physical address. Students are responsible for updating their addresses via My Account. Students are required to notify the university of a change in location immediately after the change occurs.

Determination of Student’s Location when Enrolled in a Fully On-campus Program

If the student plans to live on campus, their local address will default to their on campus address once the semester begins. If the student is living off campus, location will be determined by their local address (if applicable). 

Determination of Student’s Location when Enrolled in a Hybrid or Fully Online Program

A student’s physical location is determined by a student’s permanent mailing address in the system of record.

Name Changes

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.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)/Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Biola University follows the guidelines developed by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) to award credit or advanced standing for documented and experiential learning. CPL/PLA is designed to assist adult learners in attaining academic and career goals by validating college-level experiential learning through demonstrating mastery of course-level learning outcomes. 

  • PLA methods at Biola consist of challenge exams and portfolios. 
  • Select courses may be fulfilled by CPL/PLA. Visit the PLA website and contact the Office of Educational Effectiveness for details. 
  • Undergraduate Degrees - A maximum of 25% of an undergraduate degree may be fulfilled through all forms of PLA (excluding external standardized examinations such as AP, CLEP, IB, etc.). The process for PLA credit must be completed prior to the beginning of the student’s last semester required for degree completion.
  • Graduate Degrees - Graduate degrees require a minimum of 24 credits to be taken at Biola University in the degree program. Credit for prior learning may be awarded above and beyond the minimum 24 credits. 

In order to be eligible for credit through PLA, students must:

  1. Be fully admitted into a Biola degree program.
  2. Have discussed PLA options with an academic advisor, success coach, and/or department chair.
  3. Apply and be approved to participate in PLA.
  4. For PLA portfolios, students must successfully complete the Biola LEARN course entitled Designing Your Experiential Learning Portfolio.
  5. Enroll in the appropriate challenge exam or portfolio course and pay the assessment fee.

PLA Portfolio Appeals Process

Students who have been denied credit or waiver of course requirements based on their original portfolio submission may appeal within 30 days of the decision. To appeal, a student must complete the following steps: 

  1. Students must complete the PLA Appeals Form. 
  2. Upon approval of the PLA Appeals Form, students must submit their PLA portfolio with clarification in the learning narrative and/or additional supplemental documentation.
  3. Students are required to pay a fee for resubmission of the PLA portfolio. 

Replacement Diploma

We do not make duplicate copies of diplomas. If yours has been lost, stolen, or destroyed, you may request a replacement diploma from the Office of the Registrar for a fee of $55, by using the secure online diploma service.

Transcript Requests

Students or alumni may view Biola's transcript policies and request transcripts online. 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.

This policy is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment).

Extracurricular Activities

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.

Degrees Offered

Crowell School of Business

  • The Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Accounting, Business Administration, and Business Management.
  • The Master of Arts degree in Leadership and Innovation.
  • 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 Psychology.
  • The Doctor of Psychology and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Psychology.

School of Education

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Early Childhood, Liberal Studies Elementary Education, and Liberal Studies Multidisciplinary.
  • The Master of Arts in Education (Licensure) degree.
  • The Master of Arts in Education (Non-Licensure) degree.
  • The Master of Arts in Teaching (Licensure) degree.
  • The Master of Arts in Teaching (Non-Licensure) degree.
  • The Master of Arts degree in P-12 Multilingual, Multicultural Education.
  • The Master of Science in Curriculum, Instruction, and Publication degree.
  • The Master of Science in Special Education (Licensure) degree.
  • The Master of Science in Special Education (Non-Licensure) degree.
  • Certificates in Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education (Licensure), Special Education (Non-Licensure), and Teaching (ACSI); as well as Child Development Permits (Licensure), and Teacher Preparation Program.
  • Credentials in Education Specialist Instruction, Clear Credential, PK-3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction Credential, Single and Multiple Subject Preliminary Credential, and Single and Multiple Subject Credential Intern.

School of Fine Arts and Communication

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Communication, Music, and Theatre.
  • The Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Art and Design.
  • The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in Art.
  • The Bachelor of Music degree with majors in Music Composition, Music Education (Pre-Teacher Certification), Music Performance, Music Therapy, and Worship Arts.

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, and Spanish.

School of Science, Technology and Health

  • The Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Allied Health, Biochemistry, Biological Science, Chemistry, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Computer Science, Engineering, Engineering Physics, Health Sciences, Healthcare Management, Kinesiology, Mathematics, Nursing, Physics, Public Health, and Robotics.
  • The Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology, and in Global Health.
  • The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy.
  • The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology degree.

Snyder School of Cinema and Media Arts

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Cinema and Media Arts, Game Design and Interactive Media, and Writing for Film and Television.

Talbot School of Theology

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Bible, Theology, and Ministry.
  • The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Bible, Theology, and Apologetics.
  • The Master of Arts degree.
  • The Master of Arts (Spanish) degree.
  • The Master of Arts degree - Christian Apologetics.
  • The Master of Arts degree - Classical Theology.
  • The Master of Arts degree - Science and Religion.
  • The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership degree.
  • The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership (Spanish) degree.
  • The Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies degree.
  • The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree.
  • The Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care degree.
  • The Master of Divinity degree.
  • The Master of Divinity (Spanish) degree.
  • The Doctor of Education degree, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree, both in Educational Studies.
  • The Doctor of Intercultural Studies degree.
  • The Doctor of Ministry degree.
  • The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Intercultural Education, and in Intercultural Studies.

Undergraduate Programs

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.

Undeclared Majors

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 Core Curriculum and Biblical Studies requirements, many Core Curriculum 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 to a degree program in another school, submit a full application.

Major changes submitted after the second week of the semester are effective for the following semester.

A student may not avoid a requirement of Admission by a change in status. Whenever students change major or degree, they follow the catalog for the academic year (3 consecutive terms, e.g., fall, spring, summer) in which they make the 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.

Catalog Year Policy 

Students are automatically assigned to the catalog active during their first semester of enrollment. Students departing the university for one academic year (3 consecutive terms, e.g., fall, spring, summer) or longer will be required to follow the current catalog at the time of their readmission.

Students finishing degree requirements with classes being taken outside Biola and that are away for less than one academic year will return under the catalog they were enrolled in at the time of departure.

Students may request to change to any subsequent catalog year in which coursework was completed by submitting the Student Catalog Year Change form by applicable deadlines. Once the Office of the Registrar has approved catalog year change requests, students are subject to all curricular requirements of the newly designated catalog year.

Double Degree

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 150 total credits are required for graduation with a double degree. All prerequisites, supporting courses and departmental requirements for each major must be completed. Students must confer with the departments in which they will major and with the Office of the Registrar.

Double Major

A student may graduate with two majors. The following information is for those pursuing two majors within the same degree:

  1. All prerequisites, supporting courses and departmental requirements for each major must be completed.
  2. The second major must have a 'minimum' of 18 upper-division credits unique to that major (i.e., minimum of 48 major credits and 138 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.

Minors

Students who wish to declare a minor to further hone their studies beyond 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, including minoring in the same department as the major). Students may earn a minor of a different emphasis within the same department as their major. 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

Definition and Procedure

Every undergraduate Biola student1 must fulfill the Writing Competency Requirement (WCR) in order to graduate. The WCR evaluates a student's ability to write English prose that is clear, organized, and appropriate to its given disciplinary context. The primary device by which a student fulfills the WCR is by passing, with a C+ or better, ENGL 313—a Core course every Biola student must take on the way to graduation. 

A student who passes ENGL 313 with a grade of C or lower must consult with a major advisor for an alternative method of completing the WCR. In most cases, the student in this situation will submit a portfolio of upper-division writing to the student's department for review. (Students are encouraged to take their WCR portfolios to the Rhetoric & Writing Center before submitting them to their department.) If the portfolio does not pass the department review, the student may be asked by the department to enroll in ENGL 210, a course that is cross-listed with ENGL 313. Such students may need to work with their ENGL 313 instructor to customize course content to apply to their particular WCR-related needs.  

Timeline

It is strongly recommended that all students enroll in ENGL 313 in the Fall or Spring semester of their junior year. Some majors recommend that students take the course in a specific semester; students should consult with their major advisor about this recommendation. Students who take ENGL 313 during their final semester risk postponing their graduation. It is strongly recommended that students pass or are on track to pass the WCR by the time they turn in their Graduation Application.

Students with Multiple Majors

A student with more than one major is required to take only one section of ENGL 313. Such a student who passes ENGL 313 with a grade of C or lower will only be required to complete the alternative WCR in one of their majors.  

Indication of Completion

Once the WCR has been passed, a notation will be made on the student's transcript indicating that the requirement has been completed.

1

Students who have completed a full IGETC are not required to take ENGL 313, but they must complete the WCR. Such students should consult with their major advisor and complete the WCR before their last semester prior to graduation. More information about Biola’s Undergraduate Transfer Policy can be found in the Transfer Students and Transfer Credit Policies section.

First Year Seminar Requirement

All traditional undergraduate students are required to complete First Year Seminar: The Biola Experience (GNST 102). Note: This requirement does not apply to students in online bachelor's programs.

Undergraduate Graduation Application

Undergraduate students who plan to graduate must submit a Graduation Application to the Office of the Registrar during their junior year. The application is submitted as part of the student's completed grad plan (using Degree Audit Planner) with their major department’s guidance. Once submitted, a Degree Specialist will review the application, and will assign each student a degree status. The Graduation Processing Fee will be placed on the student’s account at this time. In addition, students who fail to submit their application before their graduating term will be charged a late graduation application fee. This fee will be assessed for any application submitted after the end of the second week of the semester in the student’s selected commencement term. No applications will be accepted after November 15th for Fall degree conferral and March 15th for Spring degree conferral/commencement during the student’s last term. Thereafter, the student must participate in the next available commencement ceremony.

Requirements for All Baccalaureate Degrees

  1. All baccalaureate degrees require a minimum of 120 degree-applicable credits for graduation. Each major consists of a minimum of 30 credits of which 24 must be upper-division. At least 15 of the 24 upper-division major credits must be taken at Biola University. For specific major requirements please see indicated major listings. Elective credits may be necessary to meet the minimum 120 degree-applicable credits needed for graduation. In the case of repeated courses, only the credits from one of the repeated courses apply. 
    1. A minimum of 24 of the last 30 credits must be earned at Biola University (i.e., only 6 credits may be transferred in during this time).
    2. Biola University accepts up to 70 transfer credits from accredited community colleges or up to 90 transfer credits from accredited four-year colleges and universities. No more than 90 transfer credits will be accepted.
    3. No more than 15 transfer credits will be accepted after a student matriculates (defined as the first day of a student’s first semester of coursework).
  2. All academic requirements must be completed/fulfilled. Approval of the student's Graduation Application must be obtained from the major advisor and an academic records and degree specialist in the Office of the Registrar at least one year before graduation. During their last year, students anticipating graduation should take a normal academic load of 18 credits to ensure completion of degree requirements. Those students who wish to take more are expected to notify their academic records and degree specialist. Approval for additional credits beyond the norm will be made through the Office of the Registrar.
  3. 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. Students in most traditional programs must take at least 15 Bible credits at Biola. Students in select high-credit majors and transfer students with 45 or more transferable credits completed after high school graduation at the time of enrollment must take at least 9 Bible credits 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.
  4. A maximum of 25% of an undergraduate degree may be fulfilled through all internal forms of PLA (external standardized examinations such as AP, CLEP, IB, etc. excluded). The process for PLA portfolio must be completed prior to the beginning of the student’s last semester required for degree completion.
  5. 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.)
  6. All transcripts counting toward graduation must be received by the Office of the Registrar prior to November 15th for Fall commencement and March 15th for Spring commencement.
  7. 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.
  8. Students will need to pay the Graduation Processing Fee.

Note: All graduation requirements may be met within four school years by carrying approximately 16 or 17 credits each semester. Students may still meet graduation requirements within four years if they wish to take a lighter load and enroll in Summer Session.

Graduation Honors - Undergraduate Programs

Honors at graduation for baccalaureate recipients are based on grade point average, overall performance, Christian values, and a minimum 45-credits completed in residence at Biola University. Honors are not automatically granted. The University may raise the standards at any time.

The university honors have been defined by the Academic Standards Committee as:

Honor GPA
Cum Laude 3.50–3.69
Magna Cum Laude 3.70–3.89
Summa Cum Laude 3.90–4.00

Honors recognized in the commencement ceremony/program are based on the last completed semester and 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.

Honor Society

A select group of eligible seniors are inducted 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 60 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 5% of the graduating class.

Graduate Programs

Graduate Graduation Application

Graduate students who plan to graduate must submit a Graduation Application to the Office of the Registrar one year prior to graduation. The application is submitted as part of the student's completed grad plan (using Degree Audit Planner) with their major department’s guidance. Once submitted, a Degree Specialist will review it and assign each student a degree status. The Graduation Processing Fee will be placed on the student’s account at this time. In addition, students who fail to submit their application before their graduating term will be charged a late graduation application fee. This fee will be assessed for any application submitted after the last day of the Add period of the student’s desired term of graduation. No applications will be accepted after November 15th for Fall degree conferral and March 15th for Spring degree conferral/commencement during the student’s last term. Thereafter, the student must participate in the next available commencement ceremony.

Requirements for all Graduate Degrees

Refer to individual degree programs for specific requirements for graduation.

All graduate degrees require a minimum of 30 degree applicable credits for graduation. Any approved exceptions to this minimum can be found on individual degree program pages.

  1. All academic requirements must be completed prior to graduation. Approval of the Graduation Application must be obtained from the department program advisor. The student is responsible for submitting the Graduation Application. An Academic Records and Degree Specialist, in the Office of the Registrar, will review.
  2. 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.
  3. A minimum of 24 credits must be taken at Biola University in the degree program.
  4. Credit for prior learning may be awarded above and beyond the minimum 24 credits.
  5. 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).
  6. 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 March 15th for Spring commencement.
  7. Students will need to pay the Graduation Processing Fee.

Double Emphases

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.

Change of Major or Degree

To change a major or degree a student must:

  • If changing to a degree program at the same degree level within a school, select the appropriate Change of Program Form from the bottom of the Student Hub webpage, and submit the completed form to the office of Graduate Admissions.  
  • If changing to a degree program within another school, submit a full application.

Major changes submitted after the second week of the semester are effective for the following semester.

A student may not avoid a requirement of Admission by a change in status. Whenever students change major or degree, they follow the catalog for the academic year (3 consecutive terms, e.g., fall, spring, summer) in which they make the 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.

Catalog Year Policy 

Students are automatically assigned to the catalog active during their first semester of enrollment. Students departing the university for one academic year (3 consecutive terms, e.g., fall, spring, summer) or longer will be required to follow the current catalog at the time of their readmission.

Students finishing degree requirements with classes being taken outside Biola and that are away for less than one academic year will return under the catalog they were enrolled in at the time of departure. 

Students may request to change to any subsequent catalog year in which coursework was completed by submitting the Student Catalog Year Change form by applicable deadlines. Once the Office of the Registrar has approved catalog year change requests, students are subject to all curricular requirements of the newly designated catalog year.

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 that shared credits between degrees may not exceed two-thirds of the degree receiving those credits. Additional master’s degrees from Talbot require a minimum of 18 unique credits.

Graduation Honors - Graduate Programs

Honors at graduation for master's program recipients are based on grade point average, overall performance, Christian values, and a minimum 24-credits completed in residence at Biola University. Honors are not automatically granted. The University may raise the standards at any time.

The university honors have been defined by the Academic Standards Committee as:

Honor GPA
Honors 3.50–3.69
High Honors 3.70–3.89
Highest Honors 3.90–4.00

Honors recognized in the commencement ceremony/program are based on the last completed semester and 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.

Teach-Out Policy

In the event that the decision is made by Biola to discontinue a program or a portion of a program, then new student enrollment will cease immediately in that program. No currently enrolled students will be allowed to declare that program of study. No student returning from dismissal or leave of absence will be admitted even if they are in a catalog year in which the program was formerly active. 

Biola University commits to providing a schedule to offer all courses needed by students to complete the program. Once the remaining courses have been agreed upon, the student's set plan will become the graduation contract between the student and the institution (students will still be required to complete the graduation application process). Under such circumstances, students would be required to meet the stipulations of the "teach-out" as expressed below. 

  • Students will be expected to take the courses required to complete their programs when offered. Failure of students to take required courses when offered will not obligate the institution to offer the courses again. 
  • Students that fail to complete or pass courses as scheduled may retake the failed course(s) only if they continue to be offered at the university and if students can still complete the retaken course prior to the teach-out end date. 
  • Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress and are dismissed from the program following an appeal, or fail to make an appeal, will lose their right to participate in the program under the teach-out policy. Students will be required to choose a new program if/when they are approved for re-enrollment to Biola University. 
  • Students who take a leave of absence or withdraw before or after the announcement of the teach-out, or withdraw from the program will be allowed to return to the program only if they meet the following conditions: 
    • The program is still offered. 
    • The courses required by the student for completion of the program are still offered.
    • The returning student will be able to complete those courses prior to the teach-out end date. 
    • The end date will not be extended to accommodate students returning. 

Teach-Out Length 

Teach-outs for a program or portion of a program will occur over a period of no more than three academic years (an academic year is 3 consecutive terms, e.g., fall, spring, summer) unless the program is a doctoral program or a program approved for an exception. Students must complete all degree requirements for that program within the timeframe that the courses are scheduled and offered.

Commencement

Students who wish to participate in a graduation commencement ceremony must submit a Graduation Application one year prior to the planned graduation date. After submission of a Graduation Application, students will work with an Academic Records and Degree Specialist in the Office of the Registrar to ensure graduation requirements are complete. All degree requirements must be completed before the student may participate in commencement ceremonies. For each commencement, all requirements must be completed before participating in the ceremony.

Summary of University Enrollment
Fall Semester 2023

Biola University (All Programs)

Men Women Total
2,421 2,875 5,296

Undergraduate Programs

Classification Men Women Total
Freshmen 365 464 829
Sophomores 306 401 707
Juniors 322 482 804
Seniors 379 671 1,050
Special Students 3 2 5
Total 1,375 2,020 3,395

Graduate Programs

Classification Men Women Total
Cook School of Intercultural Studies 73 60 133
Crowell School of Business 66 54 120
Rosemead School of Psychology 28 90 118
School of Education 48 170 218
School of Fine Arts & Communication 1 3 4
School of Science, Technology, & Health 6 59 65
Talbot School of Theology 823 414 1,237
Special Students 1 5 6
Total 1,046 855 1,901

Summary of University Degrees Conferred
2022–23 Academic Year

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Arts 404
Bachelor of Fine Arts 10
Bachelor of Music 19
Bachelor of Science 417
Undergraduate Programs Total 850

Graduate Programs

Cook School of Intercultural Studies
Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies
10
Doctor of Intercultural Studies
3
Ph.D. in Intercultural Education
6
Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies
7
Doctor of Missiology
1
Crowell School of Business
Certificate
5
Master of Business Administration
26
Master of Management in Nonprofit Organizations
6
Master of Professional Accountancy
11
Master of Arts in Leadership & Inovation
5
Rosemead School of Psychology
Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology
29
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
9
Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
11
School of Education
Certificate
2
Credential
77
Master of Arts in Education
12
Master of Arts in Teaching
16
Master of Arts in TESOL
18
Master of Science in Special Education
2
School of Fine Arts & Communication
Master of Arts in Public Relations & Reputation Management
6
School of Science, Technology, & Health
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
24
Master of Public Health
4
Talbot School of Theology
Certificate
13
Master of Arts
45
Master of Arts - Classical Theology
3
Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics
36
Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership
18
Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy
13
Master of Arts in Science and Religion
11
Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care
13
Master of Divinity
40
Doctor of Ministry
20
Ph.D. in Educational Studies
3
Graduate Programs Total 505
Grand Total 1,355

Exchange Students

Students coming to Biola through an exchange program may be eligible for a certificate.

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 2017 and three years prior is 70.4%. 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.