Many opportunities exist for Biola students who are actively seeking professional education and training. An agreement currently exists (engineering) that allows Biola students to participate in a degree completion program leading to a specialized bachelor's degree. Additional opportunities are available that prepare the Biola graduate to enter the professional education/training phase with confidence. A significant number of Biola graduates are currently serving in professional capacities. They routinely cite their excellent undergraduate education programs as predictors of success in their professional endeavors.
Students who are interested in pursuing professional degrees after attending Biola should plan carefully and consult with potential professional schools concerning their requirements. In some cases, assistance from a major advisor should be supplemented by other advising resources available at Biola. The Office of Career Services assists students in various ways. The Biola Office of Health Professions Advising (BOHPA) also mentors students pursuing these careers, provides support for health professional school applications, graduate exam preparation, mock interviews and clinical shadowing experiences. If a student is unsure about pre-professional advising, help should be sought from the Office of Academic Advising, located in Sutherland Hall. The following provides some basic information about pre-professional education at Biola.
Preparation for entrance into dental school is similar to preparation for medical school. Students should contact the dental schools of their choice for specific entrance requirements. Information on the American Dental Association Dental Admission Test can be obtained from the Biola Office of Health Professions Advising.
Students who wish to pursue a career in medicine should plan to build a strong foundation in the sciences and mathematics. Courses in biology, chemistry and physics form the core of this preparation. While almost all students at Biola who are preparing to enter medical school major in biological science or biochemistry with a pre-med concentration, other majors are possible if the student completes all of the core science courses required by the medical school. These include one year of general biology, one year of chemistry, one year of physics, one year of organic chemistry and one semester of calculus.
Medical schools also expect a broad background in the liberal arts such as is provided by Biola's program in Core Curriculum. In addition, Biola's biblical and theological studies requirement and its integration of a biblical perspective in all courses equips the prospective Christian health professional in mind and character to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
A Pre-Medical Advisory Committee helps prepare students for the rigorous application process. In particular, the Pre-Medical Advisory Committee assists with preparation for medical school interviews, as well as generating a committee letter of recommendation. Information about the Pre-Medical Advisory Committee and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is available from the Biola Office of Health Profession Advising. For further information, please consult with either the Department of Biological Science or the Department of Chemistry, Physics and Engineering.
Students interested in a career in physical therapy can choose between two majors at Biola. Both of these majors are designed to meet the entrance requirements of doctoral degree programs in physical therapy.
A doctoral degree in physical therapy would be required to work in this field. The options contain a common core of courses, but differ in the courses that complement this core. The choice between the two options depends on a student's interests, abilities and ultimate career goals. Physical therapy can be practiced in a variety of settings, from sports to schools to hospitals.
The core courses common to both majors include selected courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and psychology. Pre-physical therapy students can major in kinesiology in the Department of Kinesiology and Public Health, or in health sciences in the Department of Biological Science. Consult with either of these departments for the specific details of these programs.
Students interested in pursuing Occupational Therapy should choose the Pre-Occupational Therapy concentration in the Allied Health major. This concentration is designed to meet the entrance requirements for most Master's or Doctoral degree programs in Occupational Therapy. Students will learn the fundamental theories of Occupational Therapy and the common conditions seen in the field. Additionally, they will be trained to make patient assessments and to implement appropriate interventions for these conditions. The curriculum in this concentration emphasizes clinical skills, giving students hands-on opportunities that will allow them to enter graduate programs with confidence.
Preparation for entrance into veterinary school is similar to preparation for medical school. Students should contact the veterinary schools of their choice for specific entrance requirements. Courses can be chosen that will focus more on animal biology than human biology. Many veterinary schools require students to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
Other Post-Graduate Health Professional Programs
Many students are interested in health professional careers in fields such as pharmacy, optometry, physician assistant, podiatry, medical technology, public health, and nutrition. Each of these fields has its own required basic science and Core Curriculum courses; the student is advised to determine these from the catalogs of the schools of interest. In general, Biola offers all of the prerequisite courses necessary for gaining acceptance into these programs. For further information, please consult the Biola Office of Health Profession Advising.
Biola's pre-engineering program is a 3+2 cooperative degree completion program in which a student takes three years of classes at Biola, including the foundational science and mathematics courses of a typical engineering program. In addition, the student takes the biblical studies and Core Curriculum courses to meet Biola's requirements. Biola has a formal arrangement with the University of Southern California that permits the student, if qualified, to complete the remaining two years of an engineering curriculum at USC and receive both the Bachelor of Science degree from Biola in Engineering Physics, and the Bachelor of Engineering degree from USC. Some students in this program elect to transfer to an engineering school other than USC; students interested in this option should contact the school of their choice no later than the beginning of their sophomore year.
Students interested in this program should major in engineering physics with the Department of Chemistry, Physics and Engineering.
Biola University provides an excellent background in undergraduate education for seminary training. Students would be greatly assisted in preparing for their graduate studies by undergraduate courses in areas such as biblical studies, philosophy, logic, history of Western civilization, and advanced composition. The pre-seminary student should compare the program at Biola University with the requirements of the particular seminary the student plans to enter. Talbot School of Theology at Biola University offers a number of standard seminary degree programs (e.g., M.A., M.Div., etc.) with a variety of specializations. Furthermore, Biola’s undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Theology, and Ministry offers several specialized concentrations enabling students to earn one of Talbot’s two-year master of arts degrees with just one additional year of study (commonly called 4+1 accelerated degree programs); these include M.A. in Biblical & Pastoral Ministry, M.A. in Bible Exposition, M.A. in Old Testament, M.A. in New Testament, M.A. in Philosophy, M.A. in Theology, M.A.C.M.L. in Ministry & Leadership, and M.A.C.M.L. in Pastoral Care and Counseling. A 3+2 accelerated degree program is also available incorporating the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Theology, and Ministry degree with Talbot’s Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree.
Pre-Speech/Language Pathology and Pre-Audiology
A student wishing to prepare for a career as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist should choose the communication sciences and disorders major. Coursework in this major follows the guidelines of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and provides students with an understanding of both normal communication processes as well as communication disorders. Students have the opportunity to begin their clinical training in the on-campus Biola Speech and Language Clinic that provides speech-language assessment and treatment for members of the local community in a carefully supervised setting. Students who complete this major are prepared for the graduate studies necessary to obtain professional credentials.
The communication sciences and disorders major at Biola University is a member of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders and the National Academy of Preprofessional Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders. In addition, the major has a local chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), which is the American Speech-Language Hearing Association's pre-professional organization for students in communication disorders programs.