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Core Curriculum (Traditional Undergraduate Students)

Biola's core curriculum represents a comprehensive program of liberal arts and sciences integrated with a robust biblical and theological studies requirement. These classes ensure a robust academic experience and lay the groundwork for your major. Core curriculum classes span a variety of disciplines, including biblical studies, 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 core curriculum, 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.

Note for Torrey Honors College students: The Torrey Honors College curriculum replaces the majority of your humanities and Bible core curriculum classes. Torrey Honors College does not replace the requirements for math, science, modern languages and physical education.

Core Curriculum (Traditional Undergraduate) Credit Requirements

Biblical and Theological Studies 18–30 credits
First Year Seminar* 1 credit
Behavioral Science 3 credits
Communication 3 credits
English 6 credits
Fine Arts 0–3 credits
Foreign Language 0–8 credits
History 3–6 credits
Kinesiology & Health Science 2 credits
Literature 0–3 credits
Mathematics 2–3 credits
Philosophy 3 credits
Science 2–3 credits
Total Requirements 59–74 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).

Total Arts and Sciences Requirements

Please refer to the Academic Catalog for the complete Core Curriculum Requirement Credits by Degree Type.

First Year Seminar (1 Credit)

GNST 102 First Year Seminar

Note: First Year Seminar is required of all incoming students (freshmen and transfers) within their first two semesters at Biola.

Behavioral Science (3 credits)

Any one of the following will meet this requirement:

ANTH 200 General Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 310 Linguistic Anthropology
PSYC 200 Introduction to Psychology
SOCI 220 Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 262 Social Problems

Communication (3 credits)

Any one of the following will meet this requirement:

COMM 200 The Rhetorical Act
COMM 235 Interpersonal Communication
COMM 280 Oral Interpretation
COMM 281 Argumentation and Debate

English (6 credits)

The following will meet this requirement:

ENGL 100* Studies in Critical Thinking and Writing with Studio
or ENGL 112 Studies in Critical Thinking and Writing
and ENGL 313 Writing in the Disciplines

* All students who do not satisfy the minimum SAT or ACT scoring standards in this area must enroll in ENGL 100. Students for whom English is not a primary language may need to take ELP coursework prior to enrolling in ENGL 100.

Learn More about the English Writing Program

Fine Arts (3 credits)

The following will meet this requirement:

  • ARTS 100, 107, 108, 110, 111, 112, 210, 211, 213, 221
  • CNMA 110
  • MUSC 001†, 002†, 003†, 005†, 007†, 008†, 010†, 011†, 012†, 014†, 101, 115, 314
  • THTR 160

†Ensemble participation is by audition only, and count for one credit.

Foreign Language (0–8 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 8 credits 4 credits
2 years high school 8 credits None
3 years high school 8 credits None
4 years high school 8 credits None

History (3–6 credits)

To fulfill the history requirement, B.A. students should choose History 100 or 101 and History 200 or 201 or Political Science 225 for a total of six credits. B.S. students should choose History 200 or 201 or Political Science 225 for a total of three credits.

HIST 100 or 101 World Civilizations I or II
HIST 200 or 201 US History To 1865 or US History Since 1865
or POSC 225 Survey of American Government

Kinesiology and Health Science (2 credits)

To fulfill the two-credit requirement, you must take:

KNES 107 Lifetime Wellness
KNES 101, 110, 130, 140 or 150 Lifetime Wellness Activity*

* Note: First Aid and CPR do not count as KHS activity credit.

Literature (3 credits)

Any one of the following will meet this requirement:

ENGL 220 Literature and Film
ENGL 230 Topics in Diverse Literatures
ENGL 283 Race & Ethnicity in American Literature
ENGL 290 World Literature

Mathematics (3 credits)


  • CSCI 104
  • MATH 117, 120, 125, 140, 150, 180, 190, 210, 318
  • MATH 121, 122 & 123

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
PHIL 217 Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 240 Philosophical Topics
PHIL 340 Philosophical Topics

Science (3 credits)


  • ANTH 222
  • BIOS 100, 103, 120, 121
  • CHEM 100, 105, 107, 120
  • PHSC 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 109, 110, 111 & 117, 115 & 119, 132 & 134, 250

Additional Information

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

View more information on Core Curriculum Bible Courses