International Students

Admission Deadline: June 1*

*Please note that some programs have earlier application deadlines. Check here for the specific application deadline for your program.

Admission Requirements

  • Biola University accepts applications only for the fall semester.
  • You must have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree from an accredited, recognized institution.
  • All admissions items must be received by June 1st prior to the fall semester for which one is applying.*

Before You Begin Your Application

A Pre-application must be completed no later than February 1 for preferred consideration. The pre-application must be approved by the Graduate Admissions office before you begin your application. You will be notified of approval within 2-3 weeks after submitting the completed pre-application. The pre-application is comprised of information regarding your Christian testimony, academic background, English proficiency (TOEFL), and financial resources as part of your application.

Required Documents - Do Not Submit Unless Your Pre-Application Has Been Approved

The following documents must be received before an application can be considered:

  1. Application completed with application fee of US $55 (check, money order or foreign draft).
  2. Official transcripts of all colleges, universities or seminaries attended. The transcripts must be sent directly from the school to Biola's Office of Graduate Admissions to be official. These records should include the grading system, grades earned, courses, and/or examination marks. All International transcripts need U.S. grade equivalencies noted, so you must have them evaluated by the World Education Services (WES). Be sure to choose "course by course report." This process takes an average of 4-6 weeks and costs approximately US $300.
  3. Evidence of English Proficiency. You are required to display English proficiency before being admitted into the graduate programs at Biola University. You are required to submit standardized test scores (TOEFL)* for application to Biola. Those without passing TOEFL scores are required to take the Biola English Placement Exam (BEPE) to determine which English course(s), if any, students must take during their first semester. For information about TOEFL, contact either:
    • American Embassies and Consulates, United Information
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language, Box 6154, Princeton, NJ 08541-6154, USA
  4. Three References (see application).
  5. Affidavit of Support for each individual source of funding. You need to find a sponsor (or sponsors) who will pay for your educational expenses, or you must have the funds yourself (note: Copies of the Affidavit of Support may be made if more than one person will serve as sponsor for your expenses). The forms must be notarized and sent with supporting bank statements or copies of income tax return forms.


A minimum TOEFL score of 100 IBT/600 paper/250 computer is required for admission to all graduate programs.

If you have scores between 79 and 99 IBT, you may be admitted into a Master of Arts** program while taking required English courses. If so, you will have to show an extra $3,000 per year for English courses on the Affidavit of Support.

If you have a TOEFL score below 79 IBT, you may be admitted but will be considered an English Language program student.

** The following M.A. programs require a TOEFL score 100 IBT and do not allow for the option of being admitted with enrollment in English courses:

  • M.A. in Philosophy
  • M.A. TESOL
  • M.A. in Applied Linguistics
  • M.A. in Linguistics and Biblical Languages
  • M.A. in Teaching
  • M.A. in Education

Affidavit of Financial Support

Before we can consider your application you must be able to demonstrate a substantial amount of financial support from your own resources. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not allow us to issue I-20 forms (used to obtain student visas) without documented proof that the student has sufficient funds to study in this country. This means the applicant must raise 100% of the necessary costs. The affidavit of support form assures us that you will receive support from a sponsor or your parent(s) for the necessary funds to support your education at Biola. We require that an official or notary public notarize the form. We also require that corresponding bank statements be attached.

Download the Affidavit of Financial Support (PDF).

Financial Aid

It is important to understand the cost of attending a private university in the United States before beginning the application process. This section attempts to answer questions about financial aid available to international students.

  • Before requests for financial aid can be considered, the applicant must complete and return the application with the required transcripts, references, Affidavit of Support, etc. and be accepted for admittance by June 1st.
  • It is essential that the University clearly understands the applicant's qualifications and sponsor's financial resources before evaluating eligibility for scholarship assistance. Incomplete or unnotarized affidavits will be returned to the applicant.
  • Applicants who wish to be considered for financial assistance should specify this request with their completed application forms.
  • No financial aid is available for students of the School of Professional Studies.


The International Student Aid Grant is available to international students who have been accepted to Biola University. Eligibility is based on academic achievement and financial need. Amount is $800 per year for master's level education and $2000 per year for doctoral studies. There is no application necessary, however full financial sponsorship must be shown before you can be considered for this grant. The grant cannot be considered as part of your financial support documentation.

Employment Opportunities

International students on F-1 visas may work on campus but not off campus. Accompanying spouses in the U.S. are not permitted to work unless also full-time students. Do not plan on any other employment while in the United States. Biola has around 680 on-campus jobs, but it is not guaranteed that you will get a job on campus.

Transitioning to the States and College Life

The department of Global Student Programs and Development(GSPD) is available to help with any questions and concerns you may have about your transition to Biola. The mission of GSPD is to serve, equip, and empower global students through comprehensive support services and programming.

Visit the graduate student section of the GSPD website (click here) for more details about orientation and mentoring programs, as well as continuing opportunities for involvement.

You can also contact GSPD with specific questions by emailing, or by calling 1-562-903-6000 ext. 5804


Questions?If you have any questions or would like more information on any graduate program at Biola, we're here to help! Please email us at or call 1-888-985-9858.