International Students

Joshua Esau

Thank you for your interest in Cook School of Intercultural Studies. We want to know you and help you navigate the application process. Have questions? Contact our International Admissions office!

Joshua Esau, Senior International Admissions Counselor


Admission Deadline: June 1 *

* Please note that some programs have earlier application deadlines. Check here for the specific application deadline for your program.

Admission Requirements

  • Biola University accepts applications only for the fall semester.
  • You must have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree from an accredited, recognized institution.
  • All admissions items must be received by June 1 prior to the fall semester for which one is applying.*


Required Documents

The following documents must be received before an application can be considered:

  1. Application completed with application fee of US $65 (check, money order or foreign draft).

  2. Official transcripts of all colleges, universities or seminaries attended. The transcripts must be sent directly from the school to Biola's Office of Graduate Admissions to be official. These records should include the grading system, grades earned, courses, and/or examination marks. All International transcripts need U.S. grade equivalencies noted, so you must have them evaluated by the World Education Services (WES). Be sure to choose "course by course report" and have WES send them directly to Biola University (13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, CA 90639) in order to be considered official. This process takes an average of four to six weeks and costs approximately US $300.

  3. You are required to display English proficiency before being admitted into the graduate programs at Biola University. You are required to submit standardized test scores (TOEFL) for application to Biola. TOEFL Scores of 88 IBT and above will go into regular Master’s level programs. A score of 100 IBT is required for all Doctoral, MA TESOL, MA Applied Linguistics and MA Linguistics and Biblical Languages programs. MA TESOL, MA Applied Linguistics, and MA Linguistics and Biblical Languages also accept the IELTS: students must achieve a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS test. Students who do not have a score of 88 IBT will not be considered for a graduate program. Students who don't yet meet this requirement should consider Biola’s English Language Program.

  4. Three References (see application).

  5. Affidavit of Support for each individual source of funding. You need to find a sponsor (or sponsors) who will pay for your educational expenses, or you must have the funds yourself (note: Copies of the Affidavit of Support may be made if more than one person will serve as sponsor for your expenses). The forms must be notarized and sent with supporting bank statements or copies of income tax return forms.


Admittance to the PhD program requires the following scores on the TOEFL 100 IBT. The admissions committee may require an oral interview.

CSICS reserves the right to waive a retake of the TOEFL test for Ph.D international student applicants who enter CSICS with Talbot School of Theology degrees who have met Talbot's requirements for International students and CSICS. Requests to waive this requirement must be made to the CSICS doctoral committee.

If you have a TOEFL score below 88 IBT, you may be admitted into the English Language Program at the English Language Institute (ELI) which is not graduate studies level.

The following MA programs require a TOEFL score 100 IBT and do not allow for the option of being admitted with enrollment in English courses:

  • MA in Applied Linguistics
  • MA in Linguistics and Biblical Languages

Affidavit of Financial Support

Before we can consider your application you must be able to demonstrate a substantial amount of financial support from your own resources. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not allow us to issue I-20 forms (used to obtain student visas) without documented proof that the student has sufficient funds to study in this country. This means the applicant must raise 100% of the necessary costs. The affidavit of support form assures us that you will receive support from a sponsor or your parent(s) for the necessary funds to support your education at Biola. We require that an official or notary public notarize the form. We also require that corresponding bank statements be attached.

Download the Affidavit of Financial Support (PDF).

Financial Aid

It is important to understand the cost of attending a private university in the United States before beginning the application process. This section attempts to answer questions about financial aid available to international students.

  • Before requests for financial aid can be considered, the applicant must complete and return the application with the required transcripts, references, Affidavit of Support, etc. and be accepted for admittance by June 1.

  • It is essential that the University clearly understands the applicant's qualifications and sponsor's financial resources before evaluating eligibility for scholarship assistance. Incomplete or unnotarized affidavits will be returned to the applicant.

  • Applicants who wish to be considered for financial assistance should specify this request with their completed application forms.

  • Please check the Financial Aid website for further information regarding grants and scholarships.

Employment Opportunities

International students on F-1 visas may work on campus but not off campus. Accompanying spouses in the U.S. are not permitted to work unless also full-time students. Do not plan on any other employment while in the United States. Biola has around 680 on-campus jobs, but it is not guaranteed that you will get a job on campus.


English Language Program

Whether you plan on attending one of Biola’s top undergraduate or graduate programs or are simply interested in growing your English skills, Biola University’s English Language Program (ELP) can help you advance your academic English comprehension and communication.

Available Tracks


  • This track allows domestic or international students to improve their English-language proficiency to reach their university, career or ministry goals. Students who successfully complete ELP Level 3 and pass the final exit exam will receive a language waiver to Biola’s graduate programs. *This track is required for provisionally accepted students.

  • Minimum TOEFL/IELTS score:

    • TOEFL iBT: 55+ / IELTS: 5.5

    • Depending on the score, students will either be placed into Level 1, 2, or 3

  • Please contact with questions.

Academic English Program (AEP)

  • This track offers all students (monolingual and bilingual) the opportunity to improve their academic English skills while taking graduate courses at Biola.

  • Upon the ELP Director’s evaluation, students will be required to take 1-3 ELP courses

  • Minimum TOEFL/IELTS requirement:

    • For programs that require TOEFL iBT 90/IELTS 7.0, the AEP qualification is 80/High 6.5

    • For programs that require TOEFL iBT 100/IELTS 7.5, the AEP qualification is 90/7.

  • Please contact with questions.

Transitioning to the States and College Life

Please refer to the Global Students page on Biola's website for information and resources designed for our international students!


Questions? If you have any questions or would like more information on any graduate program at Biola, we're here to help! Please email us at or call 1-888-985-9858.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639