Admissions Requirements

Biola’s English Language Program (ELP) welcomes applications from students who are at least 18 years old by the time the program begins and have graduated high school. All applicants should have a basic knowledge of English and should be able to:

  1. Have an intermediate level in English equivalent to the following international tests: TOEFL 55 or IELTS 5.5.
  2. Be able to understand most general topics and share your personal opinions.
  3. Write and read at an intermediate level of English.

Application Steps

Review the application requirements and steps below to apply to the ELP. We strongly encourage ELP students to apply early. Transfer students are welcome.

Note: Applications for Level 1 and Level 2 are no longer being accepted for Fall 2018. Contact with questions.


  1. Submit a copy of the page in your passport with your picture, name, and birthdate
  2. Submit an official bank statement (less than six months old) and letter of sponsorship (if sponsored) confirming you have the funds necessary to cover all tuition and living expenses while you are in the U.S. Both documents must be in English. We accept photocopies, but please be ready to provide originals if asked. Please refer to the Program Details page for estimated costs per semester. Contact us if you have questions about the funds that must be demonstrated for your program.
  3. If you will bring any dependents (spouse or children), you must submit include a copy of the page in their passports with their picture, name, and birthdate. In addition, you will need to provide proof of financial funding for each dependent’s living expenses.
  4. Submit a non-refundable $45 application fee. You may submit the fee through your application portal, otherwise please send a check or money order made payable to Biola University, with the applicant's name indicated on the memo-line, to the address below:
    • Office of Admissions
      Biola University
      13800 Biola Avenue
      La Mirada, CA 90639
  5. Complete the required essay. Your essay must follow the prompt found in your application. Your application will not be reviewed until your essay has been submitted.
  6. Submit an official transcript from each secondary and post-secondary school attended, current through the time of application. Transcripts must arrive with a certified English translation documenting your coursework, examinations taken, grades received, passing and maximum marks, and evidence of secondary school graduation. Transcripts will be considered official only when sent directly from the institution to Biola either by mail or parchment service.
  7. Submit your scores from one of the following Standardized Tests:
    • TOEFL 55+
    • IELTS 5.5+

Apply to the English Language Program

Transfer Students

If you are currently studying at another U.S. school on an F-1 student visa and you would like to transfer to our school, please follow the Application Steps listed above. In addition to this application, the international admissions team will assist you with completing a transfer after you are accepted.

Acceptance Into The Program

If you are accepted to our program, we will send you an acceptance e-mail with program details. Please see the following for additional steps:

  1. Submit a $300 deposit confirming your acceptance to join the program
  2. If you are outside the U.S. and you need an I-20 to apply for an F-1 student visa, we will send your I-20 and acceptance packet to your mailing address after your deposit is paid. The acceptance packet includes information about paying the SEVIS I-901 fee and preparing for your F-1 visa interview appointment.
  3. If you will transfer to our program from another U.S. school, we will include transfer instructions in your acceptance e-mail.

After you have been accepted, get ready to come to Biola by reading our information about arrival and looking for housing.

Read About Arrival

Read About Housing

Entering the United States

You are allowed to enter the United States no more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your Form I-20. All F-1 student visa holders are required by law to begin full-time studies within 30 days of their entry into the country. Please do not attempt to enter the United States more than 30 days before the program start date; you may be denied entry.

If you have problems receiving your visa or with your flight arrangements, contact Biola admissions immediately. Fitsum Mulat or Pauline Kim will let you know if you can arrive late.

Contact the Office of Admissions

We recommend that you carry all of the following documents with you while traveling:

  • Form I-20, passport and visa
  • SEVIS I-901 fee receipt (you may be asked to show proof of payment at the U.S. port of entry)
  • Copy of acceptance letter or other evidence of admission from Biola University’s ELP
  • Proof of finances: bank statement and letter of sponsorship (if sponsored)

Arriving by Air in Los Angeles

Los Angeles World Airport, known as LAX, is located about 27 miles west of Biola’s campus. When your flight arrives in LAX, you will need to do the following:

  1. Pass Through Immigration Review
    United States Customs and Border Protection officials will need to see your passport, visa and I-20 (for F-1 visa holders). They will ask you some basic questions about the reason for your visit. You will also need to fill out some paperwork. Before you leave the airport, make sure that you received an entry stamp in your passport. If you did not receive an entry stamp, bring your passport back to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer who processed your documents to obtain one.
  2. Collect Your Checked Baggage
    Follow the signs to the baggage claim area to get your luggage. There will be a conveyor belt at the claim area marked with your airline and flight number. You may have to show your baggage claim ticket before exiting the area with your bags.
  3. Pass Through Customs
    After you collect your baggage, you will go through Customs. Remember: You cannot bring fresh food or plants into the United States. For more Customs information, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Travel page.

After you are processed through Customs, proceed to the main airport terminal. If you are coming in fall semester, you can sign up to have a friend from global student services meet you at the airport, give you a ride to campus, and help you move into your on-campus housing. Contact Global Student Programs and Development if you would like more information.

Contact Global Student Programs and Development

If you are not arriving in fall semester, there are a few options for ground transportation from the airport.

View Shuttle Options

Orientation and Welcome Receptions

Global Student Programs and Development (GSPD) offers orientations, welcome ceremonies and campus welcome friends during the fall semester for new students. Students are divided into groups by education level. If you have graduated high school, you will sign up for the undergraduate global student orientation.

View GSPD Undergraduate Information

If you have graduated college or university, you will sign up for the graduate global student orientation.

View GSPD Graduate Information

If you have any questions regarding arrival, orientation sign-up, or transition to life at Biola, contact GSPD.

Contact Global Student Programs and Development

Climate and Dress

Southern California has some of the most pleasant weather in the United States. Come prepared for sunshine, palm trees and lovely warm days.

This chart shows typical seasonal temperatures in the city.

Season Average Temperature
Autumn (September, October, November) 69ºF (20ºC)
Winter (December, January, February) 59ºF (15ºC)
Spring (March, April, May) 65ºF (18ºC)
Summer (June, July, August) 75ºF (24ºC)

Like other cities on the West Coast, dress and lifestyle are casual. Most students (male and female) typically wear jeans, slacks or shorts along with T-shirts or casual tops. Athletic clothing is also popular.

Additional Resources

Looking for more resources? Take a look at the link below to learn more.

View Resources