General Education

Depending on the particular major, every Biola student will take approximately 52 credits of general education. These classes will ensure a robust academic experience and lay the groundwork for your major and biblical studies. General education classes span a variety of disciplines, including English, math, science, history, language, communications, fine arts and physical education.

In some cases, you might have the opportunity to take classes in addition to the general education, biblical studies and major course requirements. These electives provide you the chance to explore different fields of interest. Because of a high number of credit requirements, some majors leave no room for electives.

Total GE Requirements

Behavioral Science 3 credits
Communication 3 credits
English 6 credits
Fine Arts 3 credits
First Year Seminar* 1 credit
Foreign Language 4-12 credits
History 6 credits
Literature 3 credits
Philosophy 3 credits
Physical Education 4 credits
Science / Mathematics 8 credits
Total Requirements 44–52 credits

First Year Seminar is required of all first-time students with fewer than 12 transferable credits from a college (excluding AP, IB, dual credit, or CLEP).

General Education Requirements

Behavioral Science (3 credits)

Any one of the following will meet this requirement:

ANTH 200 General Cultural Anthropology
PSYC 200 Introduction to Psychology
SOCI 220 Sociology
SOCI 362 Social Problems

Communication (3 credits)

Any one of the following will meet this requirement:

COMM 100 Introduction to Public Communication
COMM 170 Small Group Communication
COMM 181 Intro to Argumentation & Debate
COMM 280 Oral Interpretation

English (6 credits)

The following will meet this requirement:

ENGL 100* Basic Studies in Critical Thinking and Writing
or ENGL 112 Critical Thinking and Writing I
and ENGL 113 Critical Thinking and Writing II

* All students who do not satisfy the minimum SAT or ACT scoring standards in this area must enroll in ENGL 100 and then move on to ENGL 113. Otherwise the combination of ENGL 112 and 113 can be taken.

Fine Arts (3 credits)

Courses must be taken at Biola unless otherwise specified. Options:

  • ARTS 100*, 107, 108, 110, 111, 210, 211, 213, 221
  • COMM 160*
  • MUSC 001†, 002†, 003†, 005†, 007†, 008†, 010†, 012†, 101*

*These courses may be transferred from other colleges.
†Ensemble participation is by audition only, and count for one credit.

Foreign Language (12 credits)

Your foreign language units must be completed in the same language. Biola offers modern language classes in Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, German and American Sign Language, as well as biblical languages, Greek and Hebrew.

The number of years of language you have taken prior to your first year at Biola will help determine how many foreign language credits you will be required to fulfill. Your course placement will also be determined by a standardized placement test, where available, that will be issued prior to registration, or by a conversational assessment by a faculty member. A placement exam may also be required if you do not maintain continuous enrollment in a language program.

Years Completed Required for a B.A. Required for a B.S.
1 year high school 4-12 credits
(Up to the 201 level)
4 credits
2 years high school 4-12 credits
(Up to the 201 level)
3 years high school 4-12 credits
(Up to the 201 level)
4 years high school None None

History (6 credits)

To fulfill the six-credit history requirement, choose either History 108 or History 109 or Political Science 225 as well as either History 207 or 208.

HIST 108 or 109 US History To 1865 or US History Since 1865
or POSC 225 Survey of American Government
HIST 207 or 208 Civilization I or II

Literature (3 credits)

Any one of the following will meet this requirement:

ENGL 220 Film and Literature
ENGL 230 Literature in Context
ENGL 251, 252, or 253 British Literature
ENGL 281 or 282 American Literature
ENGL 283 Race & Ethnicity in American Literature
ENGL 290 World Literature

Philosophy (3 credits)

Any one of the following will meet this requirement:

PHIL 210 Introduction to Logic
PHIL 211 Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 212 Introduction to Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 213 Introduction to Modern Philosophy
PHIL 214 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 215 Introduction to Ethics
PHIL 216 Introduction to Philosophy and Aesthetics

Physical Education (4 credits)

Four credits of P.E. are required containing three different activity skills:

PEED 101 Health and Wellness
PEED 110 Physical Education Skills and Techniques
PEED 130 Intermediate Physical Education Skills and Techniques
PEED 140 Physical Education Skill and Techniques: Aquatics
PEED 150 Advanced Physical Education Skill and Techniques

Science / Mathematics (8 credits)


  • ANTH 222, 223
  • BIOS 100, 103, 110, 112, 120, 130, or 290
  • CHEM 100, 104, 105, 112
  • MATH 101, 102, 103, 105, 120 or 130, 190, 210, 318
  • PHSC 101, 102, 103, 109, 110, 111 & 117, 115 & 119, 132 & 134, 250

Please consult the Degree Requirement Sheet specific to your major before taking any General Education courses.

Detailed information on G.E. requirements, categories, and course descriptions can be found in our Course Catalog.