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New Student Resources

Welcome and congratulations (again!) on being admitted to one of Biola University’s fully online undergraduate or graduate programs. It is with great joy that we join you in this academic journey.

As a new student, we know there are many questions and concerns you may have. These can range from general information about how Biola University’s processes function (i.e. financial aid, class registration, buying textbooks, etc.) to more program-specific inquiries (i.e. course transfers, course availability, graduation requirements, etc.). This page is meant to help with some of those questions and concerns, though it is not a complete list of all that is available to you. 

If you would like to meet with one of our success coaches, please make an appointment. We are always looking to ensure we provide you with the right resources for your academic success so if you did not find what you were looking for, feel free to send us feedback or suggestions.

Academic Calendar

The Academic Calendar provides students with a quick and easy way to view important information about dates and deadlines for the fall, spring and summer semesters.


Biola's Bookstore has made it easy to see the list of required textbooks for your classes. Simply access their website and search textbooks using your Biola student ID. The system will pull up the list of courses you are registered for and their respective books.

Canvas Help

For help using Canvas, the learning management system used at Biola, view the Canvas Student Quickstart Guide or click the "Help" button on Canvas, choose "Search the Canvas Guides" from the drop-down menu, and enter the topic in the search box.


The Handshake app allows you to set up an appointment with your success coach at your convenience. There are 15 minute, 30 minute, 45 minute and 1 hour appointment blocks that you can choose from.

Download the Handshake app for iOS. The Handshake app for Android is coming soon! In the meantime, you can access Handshake through their website.

Learning Center (Disability Services)

The Learning Center exists to provide students with academic assistance and support by providing a number of services. 

Tutoring and academic mentors are available, as well as individualized ADA care plans and counsel for those diagnosed with medical, psychological, learning or physical conditions. When entering our center whether in-person or remotely, students can expect to be met with caring, professional staff who work hard to provide safe and personalized advocacy in a confidential and welcoming environment.

We are currently offering a hyflex model of service, adapting to the specific needs of students as we face this pandemic.


The mission of the Library is to provide access to knowledge and information to serve the research, teaching, and learning needs of the university community; facilitate the integration of on-campus and online curricula with relevant resources and robust library services; and support the university mission by fostering biblically centered scholarship.

In addition, here are services for online students.

New Student Checklist

  1. Complete Online Canvas Orientation – One of the firsts tasks to complete as a new student is the online Canvas orientation. It is very important to make sure that you go through this orientation, which gives you insights to many important parts of your student experience.

  2. Meet with Your Success Coach – After you complete the orientation, you will be asked to meet with your Success Coach. Please make an appointment through Handshake and choosing the best date and time that works for you.

  3. Complete My Account Tasks – When the time comes, you will need to complete all the required tasks in order to be fully enrolled in your classes. These requirements include tasks concerning your course registration, Title IV authorization, financial responsibility agreement and payment.

  4. Get Your Books – You do not need to wait until you have access to your classes to know which books you will need. Simply access the bookstore, insert your student ID number and find your textbooks. From there, you can either purchase the books through the bookstore or any of the many alternative methods available.

  5. Begin Your Classes – You are now ready for classes to begin. With high quality video lectures, online discussions, impactful readings and connections with your peers, you will be prepared to suceed.

Rhetoric and Writing Center

The Rhetoric and Writing Center (RWC) is available to support students, faculty and staff in their writing. A team of peer consultants provides help with any writing assignments, research reports, graduate theses, conference presentations and conversational English. Feedback is provided for writing projects at any stage—from outlines and early drafts to revisions and final edits—in a friendly, supportive environment, both face-to-face and online.

In additional to traditional academic projects, the RWC help with multimodal projects and professional documents (i.e. résumés, cover letters and statements of purpose).

Tips for Success

Here is a curated list of tips to be successful as an online student.