Biola University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

About Biola University

Biola University is a 4-year, private, nondenominational Christian institution located near Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. Originating as the Bible Institute in Los Angeles in the early twentieth century, Biola moved to its current location in La Mirada, CA, in 1959 and gained university status in 1981.


Biola offers more than 145 academic programs, including 37 undergraduate majors, through six schools. In keeping with its commitment to education with a biblical focus, the university requires all undergraduates to take ten biblical studies classes. Students must also complete general education and major requirements.

In addition to its regular offerings, Biola provides study opportunities for juniors and seniors in over 20 off-campus programs in numerous countries and domestic locations. The Torrey Honors Institute is an undergraduate program designed to help participants develop critical thinking skills via discussion, writing and mentoring.

Biola offers some programs and courses online and in blended (combined online and face-to-face) formats. For instance, the MA in Christian Apologetics in the School of Arts and Sciences is offered in a blended format, while multiple master's programs in education are available online.


Applications for regular undergraduate admissions are due March 1, and prospective students are notified of admissions decisions by April 1. Applicants may also take advantage of two early action options. Applicants must provide SAT or ACT scores and high school transcripts, as well as documentation of their commitment to the Christian faith, including a standards of conduct statement, a statement of Christian commitment, a response to an essay question, and a reference from a staff member at the applicant's church.

Up to 32 total units from qualifying Advanced Placement (AP) test scores, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) test scores, and college units may be accepted, depending in part on whether equivalent courses exist at Biola. Prospective graduate students must apply to a specific program.

Of the 3,323 prospective undergraduates who applied in the fall of 2011, 77% were admitted, and of these, 37% enrolled. Undergraduates accounted for almost 70% of the total student body, and about 74% of undergraduates were from California. The racial/ethnic breakdown of undergraduates included 59% white, 16% Hispanic/Latino, 13% Asian, and 2% black or African American students.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition at Biola is $31,004 for the 2012-13 academic year. In addition to tuition, students living on campus should expect to pay approximately $4,500-$5,900 for housing and roughly $2,900-$4,200 for meals in 2012-13. Books were expected to run an additional $400-$1,000 per year. Graduate tuition varies by program, with teaching assistantships available in some programs.

Biola offers three different payment options, including two installment plans. Multiple scholarship opportunities are available for qualifying undergraduates, including academic scholarships for incoming freshmen and transfer students, as well as church matching, community service, and various departmental scholarships.

School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorates; post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates*
Religious Affiliation Nondenominational Christian**
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Suburban*
Student Body 4,132 undergraduates; 1,979 graduates in 2011**
Student Housing Freshmen and sophomores under 21 required to live on campus unless commuting from home**
Schools and Programs Six schools; over 145 programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 17 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-11:
Bachelor's: General business/commerce (91)
Master's: Divinity/ministry (63)
Doctorate: Clinical psychology (22)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates For students who started in 2005:
50% in 4 years
71% in 6 years*
Admission Rate 77% in 2011*
Entering Class Size Roughly 950 in 2011*
First-Year Retention Rates 86% for full-time students*
Average SAT and ACT Score of Admitted Students SAT: 1,115 (critical reading and math); ACT: 25 in 2011**
Application Due Date March 1 for regular decision**
Decision Notification Date April 1 for regular decision**
Tuition $31,004 in 2012-13 (not including fees)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-11: Grant or scholarship aid (93%), Pell grants (33%), federal student loans (80%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 97% of full-time beginning undergraduates in 2010-11*

Sources: *IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, **Biola University

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Biola University, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639
  • Phone: 1-800-OK-BIOLA or 1-800-652-4652
  • Website:

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