Torrey Honors College


The Torrey Honors College is a general education program in the liberal arts for undergraduates at Biola University. It is dedicated to forming leaders through the study of the master works of Western civilization, with a special emphasis on the Bible and Christian authors. Students in the program, who come from a variety of majors, are outstanding examples of academic ability, Christian character, and potential for leadership. They learn in a rigorous discussion group format to think and express themselves clearly in both verbal and written forms.

Program Plan

The work of the Torrey Honors College fulfills the majority of the liberal arts Core Curriculum requirements for a four-year degree at Biola.

B.A. students need 57-58 credits to satisfy their Torrey Honors College program requirements. B.F.A, B.M., and B.S. students are exempted from HNRS 467 and need 55-56 credits to satisfy their Torrey Honors College program requirements. To gain a four-year degree, students must meet all other academic, social, and spiritual requirements of Biola University. For further details, see the Torrey Course Sequence.

Torrey Honors Certificate

A student who completes the full Torrey program will be awarded the Torrey Honors College Certificate. A student need not graduate from Biola University to receive the Certificate. Certificates are presented at a commencement ceremony each spring.

Advanced Placement Credit

Although most Torrey Honors students will have earned Advanced Placement credit in high school, they will not be exempted from any Torrey required classes. Advanced Placement courses are helpful in preparing the student for Torrey, but not equivalent to Torrey classes in style, content or rigor.

Transfer Students

Applications for admission from transfer students with outstanding academic merit will be considered for the Torrey Honors College. Transferred credits may satisfy some standard Biola general education requirements, and major prerequisites not covered by Torrey coursework; however, no transfer courses will satisfy any Torrey Honors College course requirements. 

Torrey Off-Campus 

Torrey Off-Campus (HNRS 465) offers opportunities to live and study away from the Biola campus for credit. Students read books, attend lectures, participate in discussion groups, and visit cultural points of interest in the area they are visiting. Torrey Off-Campus provides the opportunity for intellectual growth in a more intensive format than is possible during the school year. Students are supervised and led by a tutor in the Torrey Honors College. Torrey Off-Campus may be applied to either HNRS 337, HNRS 339, HNRS 443, HNRS 458, HNRS 467, or as the Integration Seminar (BBST 465). 

HNRS 465Torrey Off-Campus4
Total Credits4

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Torrey Honors College, students will be able to:

  1. Oral Communication in the Great Conversation: Students will join the great conversation of the great books tradition by contributing to intellectual discussion of enduring human questions with others confidently, critically, and charitably (ULO 1, 2 and 3).
  2. Information Literacy in the Great Books Tradition: Students will demonstrate an independent, responsible reading life that discerns and uses the best resources from the past to seek true answers to enduring human questions (ULO 3).
  3. Critical Thinking with the Masters: Students will ask and explain enduring human questions and seek true answers to them by thinking with the authors of diverse and challenging master works through careful interpretation and analysis, thoughtful synthesis and evaluation, and cogent argumentation (ULO 1 and 3).
  4. Written Communication of Wisdom: Students will communicate wisdom acquired from the great books tradition through academic writing characterized by careful analysis, clear and cogent argumentation, and persuasive exposition (ULO 1).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

The Torrey Honors College is highly selective. The average applicant to Torrey is among the top ten percent of students planning to attend Biola University in terms of academic, social, and spiritual leadership. High school students wishing to apply to Torrey should take four years of each of the core disciplines. Torrey applicants should have completed successfully some honors or Advanced Placement work, if such is available at their high schools. Students wishing to enroll in any courses in the Torrey Honors College must have outstanding skills in both written and spoken English. The prospective student will demonstrate the former in the Torrey application and the latter by a personal interview.

Curriculum Requirements

Program Courses
HNRS 101
HNRS 102
Argumentation & Critical Thinking I
and Ancient Civilizations: Greek & Hebrew 1
HNRS 105
HNRS 106
New Testament Literature & Early Christian Theology
and Argumentation & Critical Thinking II 1
HNRS 210
HNRS 215
Medieval & Reformation Theology
and Studies in Pauline Epistles 1
HNRS 230
HNRS 231
Western Philosophy Survey
and Dramatic Arts 1
HNRS 324
HNRS 326
American Political Theory and Its Origins
and Old Testament Literature 1
HNRS 337
HNRS 339
Rhetoric & Oral Communication
and Theodicy
HNRS 443Literature of Cosmic Order4
HNRS 458Epistemology & Modern Thought 24
HNRS 467Colloquium 32
BBST 465Integration Seminar 43-4
or HNRS 465 Torrey Off-Campus
Total Credits57-58

Elective Course Options

Beginning in the Junior Spring semester, students may elect to replace the standard curriculum with optional electives, with permission of a faculty mentor and the program director. 

Students may receive credit for the corequisite courses HNRS 337 and HNRS 339 via registration for HNRS 465, HNRS 467, HNRS 490, or HNRS 491, totaling no fewer than 6 credits.

Students may receive credit for HNRS 443 and HNRS 458 via registration for HNRS 465, HNRS 467, HNRS 490, or HNRS 491, totaling no fewer than 4 credits.

Students may receive credit for HNRS 467 via registration for HNRS 465, HNRS 490, or HNRS 491.

Students may combine HNRS 465, HNRS 467HNRS 490, or HNRS 491 to replace a maximum of 14 upper-division credits throughout their undergraduate career, while taking no more than 12 credits of HNRS 465, HNRS 490, or HNRS 491, and no more than 8 credits of HNRS 467. Any requested substitution beyond this is subject to written approval from the program director. HNRS 465 can also be used to satisfy Biola's Integration Seminar requirement (BBST 465).

Program Departures

If a student does not complete all Torrey Honors program requirements but continues at Biola, the following Biola Core Curriculum requirements are satisfied by passing grades in the following Torrey courses.

Torrey Course and Biola Core Course Granted Upon Torrey Program Departure
HNRS 101Argumentation & Critical Thinking I (Satisfies ENGL 100/ENGL 112)4
HNRS 102Ancient Civilizations: Greek & Hebrew (Satisfies BBST 103)4
HNRS 105New Testament Literature & Early Christian Theology (Satisfies BBST 210, BBST 306/BBST 316/BBST 326/BBST 336)4
HNRS 106Argumentation & Critical Thinking II (Satisfies COMM 281)4
HNRS 210Medieval & Reformation Theology (Satisfies BBST 165, BBST 251)4
HNRS 215Studies in Pauline Epistles (Satisfies BBST 354)4
HNRS 230Western Philosophy Survey (Satisfies PHIL 214)4
HNRS 231Dramatic Arts (Satisfies ARTS 100)4
HNRS 324American Political Theory and Its Origins (Satisfies POSC 225)4
HNRS 326Old Testament Literature (Satisfies BBST 209, BBST 300/400 elective)2

Students who depart Torrey Honors after completing their fifth paired semester (HNRS 324 & HNRS 326) will not be granted any further substitutions in Biola's Core Curriculum than those listed above. There are no transfer substitutions for HNRS 337, HNRS 339, HNRS 443, HNRS 458, HNRS 465HNRS 467HNRS 490, and HNRS 491.

NOTE:  This is a suggested sequence only. Because of the differences in Torrey students' degree options, students should consult with both their major department and Torrey Honors College for customized course sequencing and degree planning.

First Year
HNRS 1014HNRS 1054
HNRS 1024HNRS 1064
Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4
GNST 1021KNES 107
 13 12
Total Credits 25
Second Year
HNRS 2104HNRS 2304
HNRS 2154HNRS 2314
Science (see Core Curriculum)3MATH 1221
MATH 1211 
 12 9
Total Credits 21
Third Year
HNRS 3244HNRS 3374
HNRS 3262HNRS 3392
KNES Activity (see Core Curriculum)MATH 1231
 ENGL 3133
 Writing Competency Requirement
 Graduation Petition due in Registrar's Office
 6 10
Total Credits 16
Fourth Year
HNRS 4434HNRS 45824
BBST 46513HNRS 46732
 7 6
Total Credits 13