Undergraduate Requirements and Policies

High School Record

An applicant for regular standing must be a graduate of an accredited high school with a scholastic record (including SAT or ACT scores) which indicates ability to pursue higher education successfully.

Biola University welcomes applications from students who have been home-schooled. A transcript showing high school work completed, SAT or ACT scores, and an application essay are required. GED scores may be requested at the discretion of the Director of Admissions. Students must be 17 years of age by the time of enrollment at the university. Home-schooled students are eligible to qualify for all merit scholarships.

The applicant must have a high school diploma. The following is a recommended college prep curriculum: English (four years), mathematics (three years), science (two years, including a laboratory science), foreign language (four years), social science (two years). Additional high school course electives are recommended as well. Prospective students interested in the nursing program are encouraged to take chemistry and algebra in high school.

Applicants are urged to have at least two years in one foreign language in high school. Students who complete 4 years of high school studies in the same language may have four credits of the foreign language requirement waived, if they continue studies in the same language beyond the 100-level. Students who have completed one or more years of study in a language they will study at Biola must take a placement exam to determine their correct course placement. Students with no foreign language in high school, or those wishing to begin a new language in college to meet the Core Curriculum requirement, must take 4 to 8 credits of foreign language, depending on their major. Catalog information regarding each major will indicate any exceptions to this rule.

Admission Procedure

The following must be filed in seeking admission:

  1. The personal application form. The application for admission must be accompanied by a $45 non-refundable application fee.
  2. An official high school transcript. The applicant should request the high school to send this directly to the Office of Admissions. High school transcripts are not required for transfer students with 15 or more transferable credits.
  3. An official transcript sent directly to the Office of Admissions from each school the applicant has attended since high school. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to Biola by the previous institution(s) attended or physically delivered in an untampered envelope sealed by the institution. This includes schools attended for even part of a semester. Those applying to the education or nursing programs should have an additional copy of each school's transcript sent directly to the appropriate department.
  4. The scores of the Redesigned SAT or the ACT must be submitted. Information regarding testing dates may be secured from a high school counselor. Applicants are encouraged to take the Redesigned SAT or the ACT no later than the January testing date.
  5. An application essay. Students must send in their response to the provided essay prompt in order to complete their application.
  6. The regular application deadline for fall is March 1 and for spring is November 15. Applications may be submitted after deadlines (late fee of $55), and will be considered and processed if space is available and time allows.

Application Deadlines

Fall

File Completed By Notification
November 15 (Early Action #1) January 15
January 15 (Early Action #2) 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 (late fee of $55) and will be processed if space is available and time allows.

Spring

File Completed By Notification
October 15 Rolling Basis

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

Home-Schooled Students

Home-schooled students seeking admission can apply by one of two means:

Standard Procedure

Applicants must submit an application along with high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and an application essay. Contact Office of Admission for transcript guidelines.

Procedure Without Transcripts

Applicants must submit an application along with the GED or State Certificate of High School Proficiency, SAT or ACT scores, and an application essay.

Please contact the Biola Transfer Counselor or the Transfer Evaluator with any questions regarding courses at a community college.

Notification

Applicants who are granted acceptance are required to validate their acceptance by the payment of an enrollment deposit of $300 (non-refundable after May 1).

Accompanying the letter of acceptance will be a health form, which must be properly completed by both the applicant and the applicant's physician prior to enrollment. A medical consent form is also required of single students under the age of 18 at the time of entrance.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must present the same application forms and transcripts as those applying for freshman standing. The Office of the Registrar has final authority for the release of transfer credits into Biola University.

Transfer students with fewer than 15 semester credits of regular college work must qualify for admission on the basis of both their high school and their college record. Those transferring with 15 semester credits or more of college work will be considered primarily on the basis of their college grades. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required for admission to Biola. A minimum grade average of “C-” (1.67) is required to transfer college credits into Biola on each course attempted at the college level. Students are advised that some professional and graduate programs have a “C” minimum requirement, and students should contact their major advisor about the need to retake any courses that Biola accepted with a “C-”.

Transfer students will not be required to take the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT or submit high school transcripts if 15 or more semester credits of college level coursework is completed prior to enrollment.

Transfer students coming from institutions which are not accredited or recognized may be given the opportunity to validate credits through the College Level Examination Program, prior learning assessment (PLA), or through consultation. Information on this procedure is available from the Office of the Registrar. Provisional credit for liberal arts courses from non-accredited institutions will be granted in accordance with the policies of state colleges or universities of the state in which the institution is located. Provisional credit is considered validated only when the student performs at the “C” level or better following enrollment in Biola University.

College-level credit earned during the 9th through 12th grades will be given credit. A combined maximum of 32 credits will be awarded for all forms of advanced credit options including AP, CLEP and IB.

Undergraduate Transfer Policy

  1. Biola University will accept credit for equivalent courses from schools accredited by regional or national agencies recognized by CHEA (Council for Higher Education Administration), including distance education courses.
  2. Biola University measures all courses in semester credits. Quarter credits are converted to semester credits by reducing the quarter credits by one-third. Such a reduction does not mean loss of credit.
  3. A maximum of 70 transferable semester credits are acceptable from two-year community colleges.
  4. Incoming transfer students may fulfill their Core Curriculum (GE) requirements by completing Biola University's Core Curriculum (GE), completing the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), or completing CSU Breadth. 

    The completed IGETC/CSU Breadth model for either the University of California (UC) or the California State University (CSU) systems is accepted by Biola University with the following provisions:
    1. The current foreign language requirement for all bachelor’s degrees cannot be completed by the IGETC/CSU Breadth certification.
    2. The current ENGL 313 (Writing in the Disciplines) requirement cannot be fulfilled by the CSU Breadth certification.
    3. The minimum of 120 credits for graduation will remain the same.
    4. In addition to IGETC/CSU Breadth certification, students must take all major-specific Core Curriculum (GE), prerequisite, and support courses if not met through IGETC/CSU Breadth.
    5. Official documentation certifying IGETC/CSU Breadth completion must be received by the Office of the Registrar by the graduation petition deadline (March 15 for Spring, November 15 for Fall) prior to receiving commencement and/or graduation clearance.
  5. Partial IGETC, CSU Breadth, or General Education Coursework Completion: If a student at a California community college transfers before full completion of the IGETC or CSU Breadth transfer patterns, all coursework taken at the community college to meet the pattern guidelines will transfer to Biola University in satisfaction of Core Curriculum (GE) requirements for that area, with the exception of upper division, modern language, or program-specific requirements. Similarly, with the same exceptions, coursework taken at any regionally or nationally accredited institution to meet the general education guidelines of that institution will, in most cases, satisfy requirements for the comparable subject area in Biola's Core Curriculum.
    1. Only students who are not currently enrolled, and who have not been previously enrolled at Biola may use these curriculum paths to meet the Core Curriculum requirements at Biola. The intent of this provision is to honor prior coursework taken before a student's matriculation to Biola University.
    2. Once admitted, continuing students are subject to Biola University's Core Curriculum and program-specific requirements as essential to the mission, vision, values, as well as institutional learning outcomes of Biola University. Continuing students should consult with their departments, academic advisors, and submit Transfer Preapproval Forms to the Office of the Registrar, before considering coursework outside Biola for potential transfer credit.
    3. In addition to Core general education requirements, all students who transfer to Biola University will be required to take thirty (30) credits of Bible/Theology. (See the Bible Minor section for more information.)
  6. All students are required to take a minimum of 24 credits of upper-division coursework in their major, 15 of which must be taken at Biola University.
  7. Biola has a residency requirement for biblical studies. Of the 30 credits of Bible coursework required for all students, 15 credits must be taken at Biola.
  8. Grades do not transfer — only earned credit amounts. A student's grade point average is computed only on work completed at Biola University.
  9. Courses may not transfer for several reasons: repeat of work already taken, low grades ("D+" or lower), technical or vocational courses, remedial courses, etc.
  10. College-level credit earned during the 9th–12th grades will be given credit, including Advanced PlacementInternational Baccalaureate and CLEP exams.
  11. A non-music major is limited to a maximum of 8 credits in applied music (including ensembles), and a non-physical education major is limited to 8 credits in physical education or skill courses.
  12. The combined total of transferred credits plus completed Biola credits determines student level:
  • Freshman: 0-26 credits
  • Sophomore: 27-56 credits
  • Junior: 57-87 credits
  • Senior: 88 credits and above

Transfer of Credits

Upper-division credit cannot be allowed for courses taken at a community college. Final authority for the acceptance of transfer credits into Biola University rests with the Office of the Registrar. Current students taking courses at local community colleges while enrolled at Biola should request written prior approval of courses in order to assure that transfer credit will meet the needs of their curriculum. No course below a “C-” (1.67) grade will be transferred from another institution. Students are advised that some professional and graduate programs have a “C” minimum requirement, and students should contact their major advisor about the need to retake any courses that Biola accepted with a “C-”. Vocational or technical courses will not be accepted for university credit. Admission counselors are prepared to give academic advisement to those attending, or planning to attend, community colleges with the intention of transferring into Biola University.

Transcripts must be official transcripts from an accredited institution or approved non-accredited school1 sent directly from the institution to Biola or physically delivered in an untampered envelope sealed by the institution in order to be recognized and officially evaluated for credit transfer. Any transcript that is hand carried or mailed from the student must be sealed by the sending institution without signs of tampering. Any opened transcript or envelope with signs of tampering will be considered unofficial and the student will need to re-order a new transcript.

Courses taken as a Pass/Fail or Credit/No-Credit grade are not recommended, as they may not meet the grade requirement for transfer of “C-” or better. 

A course taken at a community college or a lower-division class from a four-year school will not be given upper-division credit toward graduation requirements, even if the course content is approved by a Substitution Request.

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. PLA is designed to assist adult learners in attaining academic and career goals by validating college-level experiential learning through demonstration of mastery of course level learning outcomes. 

  • PLA methods at Biola consist of challenge exams and portfolio. 
  • PLA credit may only be earned for approved courses in Biola’s catalog. 
  • A maximum of 25% of the degree may be fulfilled through all forms of PLA (excluding external standardized examinations such as ACE, 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. 

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 pass GNST 106 Portfolio Development for Prior Learning Assessment 1 with a “C” or better.
  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 requirement 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. 

Distance Education

Subject to department approval, Biola University will accept credit for equivalent courses from schools accredited by regional or national agencies recognized by CHEA (Council for Higher Education Administration), including online or correspondence courses.

Bible Residency Requirement

Biola has a residency requirement for biblical studies. Of the 30 credits of Bible required of all students, 15 credits must be taken at Biola. Transfer credit, credit for prior learning, or credit by examination may not be used to fulfill the minimum residency requirement. Majors other than Bible, Theology, and Ministry may count a maximum of 30 Bible (BBST) credits toward graduation.

Readmission and Core Requirement Retention

Students who withdraw from the university retain previously completed Core requirements, according to the catalog year of initial admission, if they apply to readmit within five years of withdrawal date.

Advanced Placement Program

Biola University, as a member of the College Entrance Examination Board, recognizes the merits of the Advanced Placement Program and will grant credit for Advanced Placement exams taken in high school. Credit will be given when the Advanced Placement examination grade is 3 or better.

A maximum of 32 credits can be awarded for all forms of advanced credit (AP, CLEP, IB, etc.). Torrey students: Math and/or science credits are needed for Core Curriculum credit. All other AP credits will count as elective credits toward graduation.

AP Exam Number of Credits Biola Credit
Art
Art History
3 Core Curriculum Fine Arts
Studio Art: 2D Design
3 Elective
Studio Art: 3D Design
3 Elective
Studio Art: Drawing
3 Elective
Biology
Biology
5 Core Curriculum Science (or BIOS 100/BIOS 110). General elective only for biology majors
Chemistry 1
Chemistry
4 Core Curriculum Science
Computer Science
Computer Science A
3 Elective
Computer Science Principles
2 Elective
Economics
Macroeconomics
3 BUSN 201
Microeconomics
3 BUSN 202
English
English Language and Composition
3 ENGL 112
English Literature and Composition
3 ENGL 112
Environmental Science
Environmental Science
3 Core Curriculum Science
History
United States History
3 HIST 200
U.S. Government and Politics
3 POSC 225
Comparative Government and Politics
3 POSC elective (lower-division)
World History
3 HIST 100
European History
3 HIST elective (lower-division)
Human Geography
Human Geography
3 Elective
Language 2
Language and Culture for all languages (score of 3)
4 Language 100
Language and Culture for all languages (score of 4 or 5)
4 Language 200
Spanish Literature and Culture (score of 4 or 5)
4 SPAN 351
Math 3
Calculus AB 1
4 MATH 150
Calculus BC 1
8 MATH 150 and MATH 151
Statistics
3 MATH 190 or MATH 210
Music
Music Theory
3 Elective
Physics 1, 4
Physics 1
4 Core Curriculum Science
Physics 2
4 Core Curriculum Science
Physics C - Electricity and Magnetism
4 Core Curriculum Science
Physics C - Mechanics
4 Core Curriculum Science
Psychology
Psychology 5
3 PSYC 200

International Baccalaureate Program

Biola University will grant credit for IB exams taken in high school. We accept only the higher level exams when the grade is 5 or better. A maximum of 32 credits can be awarded for all forms of advanced credit (AP, CLEP, IB, etc.).

IB Subject Group (Higher Level only) Number of Credits Biola Credit
Group 1 (First Language)
English A: Lang and Lit + IB Diploma
3 ENGL 112
Group 2 (Second Language)
Chinese B, English B, French B, German B, Indonesian B, Spanish B
8 Language 100, 200
Group 3 (Individuals and Societies)
History: Americas
3 Elective
History: Europe
3 Elective
Islamic History
3 Elective
Geography
3 Elective
Philosophy
3 Core Curriculum Philosophy
Psychology
3 PSYC 200
Social and Cultural Anthropology
3 ANTH 200
Business Management
3 Elective
Economics
6 BUSN 201, BUSN 202
Group 4 (Sciences)
Biology
4 Core Curriculum Biology
Chemistry
4 Science electives
Physics
4 Science electives
Computer Science
2 Elective
Group 5 (Mathematics)
Further Mathematics
3 Core Curriculum Math
Group 6 (The Arts)
Music
3 Core Curriculum Fine Arts
Theatre Arts
3 Core Curriculum Fine Arts
Visual Arts
3 Core Curriculum Fine Arts
Dance
3 Elective
Film
3 Elective

College Level Examination Program

Biola University recognizes the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) of the College Entrance Examination Board. Biola University encourages transfer students from non-accredited schools to validate certain credits on the basis of the examinations provided by this program. High school students with superior records are encouraged to take the exams prior to attending Biola University.

Credit will be awarded for CLEP exams, provided no college credits have been attempted or earned in the same field. Students should not take English composition through CLEP. English composition through CLEP does not meet the English Composition requirement.

Students should take CLEP exams as early as possible in their college program to receive the maximum value from them. Biola University reserves the right to determine the score at which credits will be released and the amount of credit awarded.

Unlike other CLEP exams, having previously attempted or completed a college level foreign language course does not preclude a student from taking the exam. A student may take a CLEP foreign language exam without pre-approval from the Office of the Registrar. To obtain credit, the student must seek a higher level of language than previously completed.

A maximum of 32 credits can be awarded for all forms of advanced credit (AP, CLEP, IB, etc.). If the same course is taken at the college level, elective credits cannot be given for CLEP exam. Biola accepts a minimum credit-granting score of 50 or higher (higher score required where designated, see below).

CLEP Exam Number of Credits Biola Credit
Behavioral Science
Introductory Psychology
3 PSYC 200
Introductory Sociology
3 SOCI 220
Human Growth and Development
3 Elective
Intro to Educational Psychology
3 Elective
Business
Financial Accounting
3 Elective
Info Systems and Computer Appls.
3 Elective
Introductory Business Law
3 Elective
Principles of Management
3 BUSN 240
Principles of Marketing
3 Elective
Economics
Principles of Macroeconomics
3 BUSN 201
Principles of Microeconomics
3 BUSN 202
Foreign Language
French Language
Score of 55
4 FREN 100
Score of 66
8 FREN 100, FREN 200
German Language
Score of 55
4 GRMN 100
Score of 63
8 GRMN 100, GRMN 200
Spanish Language
Score of 58
4 SPAN 100
Score of 68
8 SPAN 100, SPAN 200
Humanities
Humanities (score of 50 or higher)
3 ENGL 230
Literature
American Literature (score of 50 or higher)
3 ENGL 281
English Literature (score of 50 or higher)
3 ENGL 251
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature (score of 50 or higher)
3 ENGL 230
Mathematics and Sciences
College Mathematics
3 Core Curriculum Math
Pre-Calculus
3 Core Curriculum Math
College Algebra
3 Core Curriculum Math
Calculus
4 Core Curriculum Math
Biology
4 Core Curriculum Science
Chemistry 1
4 Core Curriculum Science
Natural Sciences
6 Biology (3) and Physical Science (3)
Social Sciences and History
American Government
3 POSC 225
History of U.S. I: Early Col. to 1877
3 HIST 200
History of U.S. II: 1865 to the Present
3 HIST 201
Western Civ I: Ancient Near East to 1648
3 HIST 100
Western Civ II: 1648 to the Present
3 HIST 101

Challenging a Course

A student may be able to challenge a course or requirement if the department has a challenge exam available. Check with the specific department to see if a comprehensive challenge exam is available.

By waiver: If a student's performance on a comprehensive examination demonstrates a good grasp of the course content, an exemption from taking the course may be allowed, but no credit(s) will be given.

By registration: The Nursing, Biblical Studies and Intercultural Studies departments offer some exams for which the student may be granted credits based on the successful completion of the challenge exam. The exams are listed in the course schedule. A fee rather than tuition applies. Specific information regarding these examinations is available from the Nursing, Bible, and Intercultural Studies departments. Contact the Office of the Registrar for further information.

Academic Standards

A minimum cumulative grade point average of "C" (2.00) is necessary to graduate. A grade of "D" is normally acceptable as a passing grade in a single course. However, some departments have different standards (for example: Business, Cinema and Media Arts, Communication Studies, the Conservatory of Music, the School of Education, Foreign Language, Journalism and the Nursing departments). Also, "D" quality work in general is normally insufficient to allow the student to progress from one course level to the next. Higher GPA minimums are required before admission to teaching and nursing and other major departments. To determine whether a "D" is an acceptable grade in a required course and to review admissions requirements for a major, check with the appropriate academic department. Students receiving less than a "C" grade in a major course may be required to repeat the course to progress. Transfer students from other institutions must also maintain an average grade of "C" in all work completed at Biola University as a requirement for graduation since grades from other schools are not calculated into the student's cumulative grade point average. All students must have a minimum of a "C" average (2.00) in their major coursework.

For policies regarding Academic Standing and Disqualification, see the Academic and Behavioral Standards section of the catalog.

Core Curriculum Program

The Core Curriculum represents the comprehensive program of liberal arts and sciences integrated with the biblical and theological studies minor which are the hallmarks of a Biola education.

Mission

Biola University's Core Curriculum (general education and Bible) provides a Christ-centered, integrated, and intellectually and spiritually transformative education that fosters cultural literacy and humble, purposeful engagement in local and global communities.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Core Curriculum:

  1. Critical Thinking - Students will identify and explain a problem or issue, recognize and evaluate concepts and assumptions from multiple perspectives, ask relevant questions, analyze appropriate sources, and articulate logical, well-organized, and innovative conclusions.
  2. Quantitative Reasoning - Within a variety of authentic contexts, students will analyze or solve quantitative problems (those involving data, functions, or computations); understand, evaluate, and create well-reasoned arguments supported by quantitative evidence; and clearly communicate quantitative arguments in appropriate formats (words, tables, graphs, equations, etc.).
  3. Oral Communication - Students will organize content cohesively, use compelling language and delivery that is audience-appropriate, incorporate supporting materials to establish credibility, and reinforce a memorable central message with civility.
  4. Written Communication - Students will produce well-organized and clear writing, supported by strong, diverse evidence and precise explanation, applicable to its audience and consistent with the conventions of appropriate genres.
  5. Information Literacy - Students will ethically discover, evaluate, and use information to formulate and address research questions, explain how information is produced and valued in a given discipline, and share their results. 
  6. Intercultural Competence - Students will develop an informed understanding of cultural diversity and respectfully engage people of various backgrounds, through campus, local and global community interactions.
  7. Civic Engagement - Students will develop an informed understanding of civic roles, rights, freedoms, and responsibilities, and will respectfully communicate and apply key concepts in diverse communities. 
  8. Christ-centered Formation - Students will identify the basic contents of the Bible, explain the major doctrines of Christianity from an evangelical perspective, demonstrate how faith connects to academic disciplines, and articulate the process of spiritual formation in their lives.
  9. Applied and Integrative Learning - Students will develop an informed understanding of culture-shaping works and perennially influential works, draw connections among them, and apply that knowledge in various contexts. 

Biblical and Theological Studies Requirement

Thirty credits of biblical and theological studies must be included in the program of each traditional student (degree completion students have a different requirement, see below). Each student must take at least one course each semester until the requirement has been fulfilled. The following are required:

Foundational Courses
BBST 103Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation3
BBST 165Foundations of Christian Thought3
BBST 209Old Testament History and Literature3
BBST 210New Testament History and Literature3
Intermediate Courses
BBST 251Theology I3
BBST 354Theology II3
Select only one of the following Evangelism and Missions Exposition courses:3
Early Christian History - Acts
Gospel of John
Lukan Writings
Synoptic Gospels
Elective Courses
BBST 300/400 Bible/Theology Elective3
BBST 365Bible Theology and Integration3
BBST 465Integration Seminar 13
Total Credits30

Students may count only a total of 30 credits of biblical and theological studies courses toward the required credits for a degree (students in the Bible, Theology, and Ministry major may count unlimited BBST credits toward their degrees). Challenge exams are available for BBST 209 and BBST 210 (see Biblical and Theological Studies section). Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Portfolio is available for BBST 103.

Part-time students (fewer than 12 credits per semester) are required to include at least one biblical and theological studies (BBST) course within each 15 credits completed at Biola University, unless the 30-credit requirement has been met. Part-time students seeking a degree from Biola University must complete the entire requirement as outlined above. Of the 30 credits of Bible required of all students, 15 credits must be taken at Biola.

Online Degree Program Biblical and Theological Studies Requirement

Foundational/Intermediate Courses
BBST 103Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation3
BBST 165Foundations of Christian Thought3
BBST 209Old Testament History and Literature3
BBST 210New Testament History and Literature3
BBST 260Christian Theology3
Integration Courses
Up to five program courses of integration may be used towards the Bible requirement. However, other specific BBST courses may be required. See individual programs for details.
BBST Integrative course (specified by program)3
BBST Integrative course (specified by program)3
BBST Integrative course (specified by program)3
BBST Integrative course (specified by program)3
BBST Integrative course (specified by program)3
Total Credits30

Arts and Sciences Requirement

Students must make degree specific selections from the following courses in the arts and sciences.

First Year Seminar 11
Behavioral Science3
Communication3
English6
Fine Arts3
Foreign Language0-8
History3-6
Kinesiology & Health Science2
Literature3
Mathematics3
Philosophy3
Science3
Total Credits33-44

Core Curriculum Requirement Credits by Degree Type

This is a general overview; some majors have exceptions to the Core Curriculum requirements. Students should refer to their major departments for more information.

  B.A. B.S. B.F.A. B.M.
Bible 30 30 30 30
First Year Seminar 1 1 1 1
Behavioral Science 3 3 3 3
Communication 3 3 3 3
English (100/112 & 313) 6 6 6 6
Fine Arts 3 3 0 0
Foreign Language 4 to 8 0 to 4 0 0
History 6 3 3 6
Kinesiology & Health Science 2 2 2 2
Literature 3 3 3 0
Mathematics 3 3 3 2 or 3*
Philosophy 3 3 3 3
Science 3 3 3 2 or 3*
Total 70 to 74 63 to 67 60 59

The courses that fulfill the Core Curriculum requirements are the following:

Behavioral Science

Select one of the following:3
Cultural Anthropology
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
Total Credits3

Check the catalog to determine which majors require PSYC 200 as a support course. PSYC 200 is required for all majors leading to a teaching credential.

Communication

Select one of the following:3
The Rhetorical Act
Interpersonal Communication
Oral Interpretation
Argumentation and Debate
Total Credits3

English

ENGL 100Studies in Critical Thinking and Writing with Studio3
or ENGL 112 Studies in Critical Thinking and Writing
ENGL 313Writing in the Disciplines3
Total Credits6

All students scoring less than 480 on the verbal section of the SAT (or 16 ACT) must enroll in ENGL 100, unless they receive a score of 510 or better on the SAT II Writing Exam. There will be a late make-up fee of $25 when placement exams are not taken on the dates indicated in the student’s acceptance letter. Students for whom English is not a primary language may need to take ELP coursework prior to enrolling in ENGL 100.

Fine Arts

Select 3 credits from the following:3
Art Appreciation
Drawing I
Figure Studies I
2-D Design
3-D Design
4-D Design
Sculpture I
Ceramics I
Painting I
Photography I-Introduction to Darkroom and Digital Processes
Film Appreciation
Biola Chorale
Chamber Music Ensemble
Symphony Orchestra
Chamber Choir
Jazz Ensemble
Symphonic Winds
Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Women's Chorus
Men's Chorus
Music Appreciation
History of Rock: A Social and Musical Revolution
History of Film Music
Theatre Appreciation
Total Credits3

Entrance into ensembles is by audition. Not all ensembles are available for Core Curriculum credit. Credit for ensemble is 1 credit, therefore 3 semesters are necessary to meet the requirement. Non-music majors are limited to a maximum of 8 credits in applied music (including ensembles).

Music majors in Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts programs must select from Art or Communication courses.

Foreign Language

Foreign Language credit requirement varies by degree type0-8
American Sign Language
Elementary American Sign Language
Elementary American Sign Language II
Intermediate American Sign Language
Arabic
(Offered pending faculty and enrollment)
Arabic Language and Culture I
Arabic Language and Culture II
Arabic Language and Culture III
Intercultural Communication in Arabic
French
French Language and Culture I
French Language and Culture II
French Language and Culture III
Intercultural Communication in French
German
(Offered pending faculty and enrollment)
German Language and Culture I
German Language and Culture 1A
and German Language and Culture 1B
German Language and Culture II
German Language and Culture IIA
and German Language and Culture IIB
German Language and Culture III
German Language and Culture IIIA
and German Language and Culture IIIB
Intercultural Communication in German
Greek
Elementary Greek Grammar I
Elementary Greek Grammar II
Intermediate Greek Grammar and Exegesis I
Intermediate Greek Grammar and Exegesis II
Hebrew
Elementary Hebrew Grammar I
Elementary Hebrew Grammar II
Intermediate Hebrew Grammar I
Intermediate Hebrew Grammar II
Russian
(Offered pending faculty and enrollment)
Russian Language and Culture I
Russian Language and Culture II
Russian Language and Culture III
Intercultural Communication in Russian
Spanish
Spanish Language and Culture I
Spanish Language and Culture IA
and Spanish Language and Culture IB
Spanish Language and Culture II
Spanish Language and Culture IIA
and Spanish Language and Culture IIB
Spanish Language and Culture III
Spanish Language and Culture IIIA
and Spanish Language and Culture IIIB
Intercultural Communication in Spanish
Basic Spanish for the Heritage Learner
Basic Spanish for Heritage Learners IA
and Basic Spanish for Heritage Learners IB
Total Credits0-8

The foreign language requirement is determined by the degree a student is pursuing and the student’s level of proficiency in a second language. All students who have taken Spanish, French or German in high school must take a placement test before registering for language classes.

Students pursuing a B.A. degree must complete 8 credits of language study in the same language starting at the level into which they place. Students who have completed four years of high school studies in a language offered at Biola will have 4 credits of the foreign language requirement waived, if they continue studies in that language and place beyond the 100-level via the department test and/or evaluation. The remaining 4 credits must be completed at the placement level. Students who have completed four years of language study in a language not offered at Biola will have 4 credits of their language requirement waived and can complete 4 additional credits in the language of their choice at the level into which they place. Only the language requirement is waived; any foreign language credits waived must be replaced by elective credits of the student's choice if needed to meet the 120 credit minimum for graduation. Students receiving 4 credits for the completion of an AP exam cannot also receive a waiver for completing four years in high school or for placing into the heritage class. A student can waive a maximum of 4 credits.

Students pursuing a B.S. degree who have completed two years or more of high school language study in the same language will have their language requirement waived. Those with one year or less of high school language must complete four credits of language study at the level into which they place.

All students are strongly encouraged to satisfy their foreign language requirement during their freshman and sophomore years; the nature of foreign language acquisition makes it difficult to retain one’s level if continuous enrollment in language study is not maintained. The department may require students who enroll at the wrong level to change to an appropriate level. Students who receive a waiver for completing the required amount of years in high school, those receiving AP credit, or those who transfer in credits from other institutions will be  required to demonstrate proficiency at the appropriate level prior to beginning coursework. Credit will not be granted toward completion of the Core Foreign Language requirement for repeating levels for which they have already received either a waiver or credit.

Students who have completed one or more years of language studies in high school, and wish to continue studies in that language at Biola, must be assessed to determine the correct course placement level. Course placement is determined by standardized placement testing prior to registration where available, or by individual conversational assessment conducted by a faculty or adjunct professor. Additionally, a placement exam may also be required if a student does not maintain continuous enrollment in a language program. Repeating a lower level for credit will forfeit all prior experience credit for that level and above. Once placement level is determined, courses taken at levels below that will not count toward the foreign language requirement.

A student may choose to study a language other than one previously studied in high school, in which case the student must complete 8 credits (B.A. degrees) or 4 credits (B.S. degrees) in the same language, starting at the level into which they place. Bible, Theology, and Ministry majors and theological studies majors should see the language requirement as stated for their major.

Transfer Courses: Biola’s Core Curriculum language courses are 4 credit classes. B.A. students who have completed 8 or more credits of language study in the same language up to at least the 200-level at other institutions before enrolling at Biola will have fulfilled their requirement. B.A. students who transfer in less than 8 credits in a language that is offered at Biola will need to take the next level classes in the same language to fulfill the remaining credits. These students will need to demonstrate proficiency at that level via a standardized placement exam and/or evaluation. Further, transfer students should have their previous coursework evaluated to determine the best avenue to complete the requirement. B.A. students transferring in 4 credits of language coursework in a language not offered at Biola can complete the remaining 4 credits in any language offered at Biola at the correct placement level, or by transferring the subsequent 4 credit course in that language. B.S. Students who transfer in at least 4 credits of any language will have their language requirement met. B.S. students who transfer in less than 4 credits will need to complete a course at the placement level in any language that Biola offers to fulfill the requirement. Students are encouraged to visit the Department of Modern Languages for advisement, should they have any questions.

Heritage Speakers: Heritage Speakers of Spanish may be assessed by the Department of Modern Languages, and upon demonstrating proficiency as a heritage learner, 4 credits of the language requirements will be waived. They must then complete the remaining 4 credits of language study (B.A. degrees) in the appropriate heritage Spanish class based on their assessed level (SPAN 215, SPAN 310 or SPAN 311). Heritage speakers of other non-English languages may also be evaluated for heritage language proficiency if there are faculty members available to assess that particular language. Students are encouraged to contact the Modern Languages Department to determine if they qualify for this exam. Upon demonstrating heritage learner proficiency, these B.A students would need to complete 4 credits of language in any language taught at Biola or transfer in credit from another institution. B.S. degree students will be waived from their 4-credit language requirement. Only the language requirement is waived; any foreign language credits waived must be replaced by elective credits of the student’s choice, if needed to meet the 120 credit minimum for graduation. There is a $50 fee for taking foreign language waiver examinations. Testing for some languages may require an additional proctoring fee. Examinations are not available in all languages.

International Students: International students for whom English is not a primary language and students who have acquired a foreign language without taking high school or college classes, may be eligible for a waiver, if they pass a foreign language examination or have an SAT score in that language of 760 or above. In such cases, 4 credits of foreign language will be waived. The remaining 4 credits (B.A. degrees) may be completed in any language at the level into which they place. Credit is not given for these examinations. There is a $50 fee for taking foreign language waiver examinations. Testing for some languages may require an additional proctoring fee. Examinations are not available in all languages. For advisement, see the Department of Modern Languages. All students for whom English is not a primary language will be able to count 8 credits of English Language Program (ELP) courses toward graduation.

ELP: For students pursuing the B.A. degree, the 8 credits of ELP will satisfy the foreign language requirement unless the student is majoring in Bible, Theology, and Ministry for which the study of Greek or Hebrew is required. For students pursuing the B.S. degree, 4 credits will satisfy the foreign language requirements, and an additional 4 credits may be counted as electives. Exceptions to this policy are noted under the appropriate departments (please note the credit difference per semester for biblical Hebrew and Greek).

History

HIST 100World Civilizations I3
or HIST 101 World Civilizations II
Select one of the following:3
United States History To 1865
United States History Since 1865
Survey of American Government
Total Credits6

An alternate route for meeting the requirement for HIST 200, HIST 201 or POSC 225; and HIST 100 or HIST 101, is to take the appropriate history department proficiency examination. The examinations are given twice a year in September and February. For those students, who pass the examination, upper-division history courses will be substituted in lieu of HIST 200, HIST 201 or POSC 225; and HIST 100 or HIST 101. Appropriate upper-division coursework is determined in consultation with the Department of History and Political Science. World Civilization courses are only required for B.A. degrees.

Kinesiology and Health Science

Each student is required to complete 2 credits of Kinesiology and Health Science (KHS) to be eligible for graduation. Students must complete Lifetime Wellness and a Lifetime Wellness Activity course. 

KNES 107Lifetime Wellness1
Lifetime Wellness Activity 11
Total Credits2

Credit for varsity sports may be substituted for the Lifetime Wellness Activity. In addition to Lifetime Wellness and Lifetime Wellness Activity required for Core Curriculum, the student may complete 6 more credits (maximum of 8) to apply towards graduation. Students 21 years of age at the time of entrance to Biola are exempt from the KHS requirement.

Students studying for the multiple subject teaching credential but not selecting physical education as a minor area of emphasis, should select KNES 201.

Literature

Select one of the following:3
Literature and Film
Topics in Diverse Literatures
Race and Ethnicity in American Literature
World Literature
Total Credits3

Mathematics

Select 3 credits from the following:3
The Nature of Computing
Fundamentals of Mathematics for Elementary Teachers I (fulfills Core Math for Lib Studies, Elem Ed & Lib Studies, Multidisciplinary majors only)
The Nature of Mathematics
QR: Real-World Math Modeling
and QR: Real-World Statistics
and Quantitative Reasoning Topics in the Disciplines
Precalculus Mathematics
Fundamentals of Calculus
Calculus I
Topics in Mathematics
Business Statistics (fulfills Core Math for certain pre-approved majors only)
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Biostatistics
Statistics with Computer Applications
and Statistics with Computer Applications Lab (must be taken concurrently; 4 credits total)
Total Credits3

Philosophy

Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Logic
Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
Introduction to Medieval Philosophy
Introduction to Modern Philosophy
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Ethics
Introduction to Philosophy and Aesthetics
Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
Philosophical Topics
Philosophical Topics
Total Credits3

Science

3 credits of science are required. BIOS 100 and PHSC 101 have both been designed for the student with a limited background in science. 

Select 3 credits from the following:3
Physical Anthropology
Physical Anthropology Laboratory
Biological Principles
Introduction to Environmental Science
Current Topics in Biology
Nutrition
The Chemistry of Everyday Life
General Chemistry I
Introduction to Chemistry
Principles of Organic and Biochemistry
Physical Science Survey: Lecture
Physical Science Survey Laboratory
Geology
Geology Laboratory
Topics in Physical Science
Physics of Sound
Astronomy
Physics I
and Physics I Laboratory
Physics in Everyday Life
and Physics in Everyday Life Laboratory
General Physics I: Mechanics and Heat
and General Physics I Laboratory
Science and Origins
Total Credits3

Core Curriculum Course Substitutions

While the Core Curriculum requirement will normally be met from the courses specified in the catalog, in exceptional cases where students have the appropriate prerequisites and where the department in which the course is taught determines that the intentions of the Core Curriculum requirement would be satisfied, students may request permission to substitute an upper-division class for the lower-division course specified in the catalog. Students are to secure written approval for such a substitution prior to taking the class.