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In examining the credentials of applicants, Admissions personnel consider the applicant’s Christian experience, commitment, character, academic ability, as revealed by an applicant’s post-secondary academic records; and writing ability, as revealed by the autobiographical essay. The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) will be required if the applicant’s college grade point average is lower than the Graduate Programs’ 2.50 requirement (3.0 for the M.S. in Educational Leadership and Administration degree program). For more information on The Graduate Record Examinations, the applicant may write to: GRE, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000; call 609-771-7670; or access the website: www.GRE.org. The code number for Philadelphia Biblical University (PBU) is 2661.
Philadelphia Biblical University admits students of any race, gender, color, age, disability, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the University. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, age, disability, or national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school administered programs.
Prospective students are strongly encouraged to visit the University. A visit to campus may include the opportunity to meet with an enrollment counselor, graduate faculty member and students; attend a class; or take a campus tour. Prior arrangement for a visit is strongly recommended. Prospective students may arrange a personal visit by calling 800.572.2472,extension 4235; or 215.702.4235; or via e-mail at email@example.com.
General Admission Requirements
To be considered for admission to the Graduate Programs at Philadelphia Biblical University, the applicant must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or seminary.
- Submit a completed application form with a $25.00 non-refundable application fee.
- Submit three reference forms completed by the applicant’s current pastor, current employer, and someone who has known the applicant for at least five years. Applicants who are self-employed may substitute a second personal reference for the employer reference. Applicants who are pastors should have a church board member complete the pastoral reference. References should not be completed by family members.
- Submit official copies of transcripts from the institution(s) from which the applicant received an undergraduate degree(s). The transcript must provide degree information, including date of graduation and degree earned, and the institution’s accreditation status. Official transcripts are those sent directly from the issuing institution to PBU Graduate Admissions.
- Have an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or higher (3.0 for the M.S. in Educational Leadership and Administration degree program).
- Submit the autobiographical essay as specified on the application for admission.
- Complete the unique admissions requirements for each graduate program as specified in the program prospectus and/or the application for admission. Each graduate program may require additional essays, assessment forms, and/or interviews in the application process.
- Applicants for whom English is a second language and who demonstrate deficiencies in English must take the TOEFL examination administered by the College Entrance Examination Board. This includes those who enter the United States on a student visa (I-20) and those who have immigrated to the United States. Official test scores of at least 550 on the paper-based test or 213 on the computer-based test must be submitted. Only official scores from tests within the last two years will be accepted. Applicants who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree in the United States and some Commonwealth countries within two years of submitting an application to the Graduate Programs may be granted a TOEFL test waiver. A test waiver is effective only when granted by PBU.
Students who do not enroll and complete at least one course for two years from the ending date of their last completed course are considered withdrawn from the University. Such students must apply for re-admittance to the University in order to continue their program, and will be governed by the curriculum that is current at the time of re-admittance.
International undergraduate students enrolled at PBU who wish to apply to the Graduate Programs will be required to submit their application by January 15 for summer admission, by March 15 for fall admission, and by September 15 for spring admission.
International applicants whose transcripts cannot accurately be evaluated by the University Registrar must send their transcripts for professional review. All fees and processing requirements are the responsibility of the applicant. Applicants will be notified if a review is necessary.
- An application should be submitted according to the instructions printed on the application form. A non-refundable application fee of $25.00 must accompany the form. A recent photo is requested but not required.
- The three reference forms should be distributed to the appropriate people for completion. References should be returned directly to PBU Graduate Admissions. Acknowledgements are sent to those who provide applicant references.
- Using the form provided in the application materials, the applicant must request that official transcripts be sent from institutions from which an undergraduate degree(s) was received, and the institution’s accreditation status. If the applicant has enrolled in additional institutions, these transcripts are also requested. The transcript must provide degree information, including date of graduation, and degree earned. Official transcripts are those sent directly from the issuing institution to PBU Graduate Admissions.
- Upon receipt of the application, the applicant will be sent an acknowledgement that will indicate what is needed to complete the application file. When a delay in an admission decision is experienced, it is often because the application has not been fully completed or all required information received.
- Master of Divinity and Christian Counseling applicants are required to complete an interview. The interview is used to assess an applicant’s emotional stability, relational maturity, and ministry potential. The enrollment counselor will notify the applicant when all required application materials are received and it is appropriate to schedule an interview. This is an important step in the application process. Applicants should be prompt for the interview. No additional paperwork is required prior to the interview.
- The applicant is notified in writing of the admission decision when the application file and group interview (if necessary) are complete and have been reviewed by the Admissions Committee. The University Admissions Office is not required to provide reasons for rejecting an applicant should that decision be made. Applicants denied admission may not re-apply for admission to the same graduate degree program for a period of one year from the date of the denial letter, unless an exception is stipulated in the denial letter. The admissions rules, policies, and procedures that govern the admissions process at that future time will be applicable.
An applicant is given unconditional admission to Philadelphia Biblical University when all of the criteria for application and admission have been fulfilled. Applicants are notified in writing concerning unconditional admission on a rolling basis throughout the year.
Provisional Admission - Academic
If the applicant has fulfilled all of the criteria for application and admission with the exception of admission requirements for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the student may be considered for provisional admission. The student may sign up for a maximum number of credits to be determined by program requirements. Upon satisfactory completion of these credits, with a grade point average of 3.0 or above, the student will be admitted unconditionally, if all other criteria for application and admission are fulfilled. Provisional admission is not automatic. Students are evaluated on an individual basis.
Provisional Admission - Special Circumstances
Applicants who transfer from an unaccredited institution, or who do not meet the admission criteria, may be granted provisional admission. In such cases the conditions and time limitations for full acceptance will be stipulated. When these conditions are met, the provisional status will be removed. Except for extenuating circumstances, the time limitations placed on provisional admission will not be extended.
Provisional Admission - Incomplete Application
Matriculating students whose applications are not complete will be given provisional admission but will be limited to six (6) credits. The additional paperwork must be submitted by the end of the first semester. Provisional admission will only be granted if a person is missing the autobiography, one reference form, or an official transcript. Matriculating students must submit an unofficial transcript before provisional admission will be granted.
Qualified individuals, who have earned an undergraduate degree or are within 10 credits of completing an undergraduate degree and who desire to take graduate courses but do not plan to work toward a graduate degree, may apply for admission as a nonmatriculant student. Such students will be classified as graduate nonmatriculant students. Permission to register as a nonmatriculant student is conditional based on available space.
Upon completion of 10 credits, the nonmatriculatant student must complete the application process for acceptance into a degree program to continue studies. If a nonmatriculant student is admitted to a graduate program, the credits earned in a course as a nonmatriculant graduate student may be used to meet degree requirements. In no case may more than 10 credits taken before admission to a program be used toward degree requirements.
For the Bible, Master of Divinity, Education, Educational Leadership and Administration, and Organizational Leadership programs, an applicant must complete items numbered 1 through 9 on the application for admission to be accepted as a nonmatriculant student. For the Christian Counseling program, an applicant must complete items numbered 1 through 9 on the application for admission form and be interviewed by the chair and/or core faculty of the Christian Counseling program to be accepted as a nonmatriculant student. A nonmatriculant student will be limited to four credits per semester and cannot take counseling lab courses.
An audit is the privilege to attend a course for enrichment without receiving academic credit. An auditor will be accepted upon approval of the program chair and instructor. A limited number of persons are permitted to audit if classroom space permits. No credit is granted in such cases, but attendance is recorded on a transcript. An auditor should not expect individual attention or personal evaluation from the instructor. Withdrawal from auditing a course requires the normal withdrawal process. Auditors must complete items numbered 1 through 9 on the application for admission. Christian Counseling program lab courses and advanced specialization courses and Organizational Leadership courses cannot be audited. The audit fee is 50 percent of the tuition rate for the course.
Transfer Credit/Advance Standing
A graduate of an accredited Bible college, Christian liberal arts college or university, or seminary may be eligible for up to 12 credits of advance standing for earned Bible/doctrine credits when enrolled in the Christian Counseling, Organizational Leadership, Education, and Educational Leadership and Administration programs or up to 15 credits of advance standing for the Bible or Master of Divinity programs. University Registrar’s Office personnel will evaluate official transcripts and the enrollment counselor will inform the applicant of the number of credits accepted for advance standing. An individual curriculum design will then be constructed by the enrollment counselor to determine the specific courses a student needs to complete the degree.
For students in the Christian Counseling, Organizational Leadership, Education, or Educational Leadership and Administration programs, a maximum of six (6) transfer credits appropriate to the student’s degree program will be awarded for graduate-level work successfully completed at a regionally accredited postsecondary institution. For students in the Bible or Master of Divinity programs, a maximum of 30 credits, including any advance standing Bible credits, will be awarded. The student is responsible for obtaining the official documents needed to process transfer credits. Official transcripts must be sent to the program enrollment counselor for evaluation by University Registrar’s Office personnel. Applicants who do not have any previous academic work in Bible or doctrine will be required to complete the entire program.
Transfer credit and advance standing are normally granted unconditionally for courses taken at institutions accredited by an accrediting association recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Previous work taken at an international school will be evaluated individually.
Provisional transfer and advance standing credit may be considered for courses taken at institutions not accredited by an accrediting association recognized by CHEA. Provisional credit becomes applicable to the degree program only after the student completes ten (10) PBU graduate credits with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00. Teacher certification-only candidates must hold an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college.
When advising a prospective student, an enrollment counselor may estimate transfer credits and advance standing on a preliminary basis utilizing unofficial documents. However, such estimates will be considered binding only after timely receipt of official transcripts validating the information contained in unofficial documents and after review by University Registrar’s Office personnel.
Credit for Experiential Learning
Students with extensive background in a subject or ministry paralleling PBU course offerings will be given opportunity to document their achievement and/or collegelevel competency and thus earn academic credit. This will be evaluated by the appropriate school dean, the program chair, and the University registrar. Interested students should request the C.E.L. information packet from the University Admissions Office.
New Student Orientation
Prior to the start of the fall and spring semesters, Graduate Admissions hosts a Back-to-School Night to orient students to the PBU Graduate Programs. This orientation provides an opportunity for students to meet faculty, staff, and students; complete registration; learn about student services; and handle details such as obtaining student identification cards and parking permits. Attendance is recommended. The dates for Back-to-School Nights are found in the academic calendar.
PBU is committed to providing quality service to students through continual evaluation of policies, procedures, and programs. That commitment can be seen through the relationship management approach to graduate admissions and student services. Each applicant is assigned to an enrollment counselor. The enrollment counselor serves as the primary contact for students as they move through their academic program from applicant to student to alumnus. The enrollment counselor works closely with the program chair on issues that pertain to student advising. This approach provides for the continuity of contact and service from point of entry through graduation.