Table of Contents

Wheaton in Profile

Undergraduate Student Life

Undergraduate Admissions

Undergraduate Academic Policies and Information

Special Programs

Arts and Sciences Programs

Conservatory of Music

Graduate Academic Policies and Information

Graduate Programs

Financial Information


College Calendar








Graduate Academic Policies & Information

Graduate Education Mission Statement

Graduate Admissions

Admission Requirements

Admission Procedure

Application Deadlines

Advance Deposit

Classification of Students

International Students

Accelerated M.A. Program


Academic Requirements

Graduation Requirements for the Master of Arts


Biblical and Theological Studies Requirement

Official Communication

Banner Self Service

Electronic Mail

Academic Information

Graduate Programs


M.A., Ph.D., and Psy.D. Thesis/Applied Thesis/Action Research/Dissertation


Spouse Audits

Course Load


Grading System

Incomplete Grades


Integrity of Scholarship

Gender Inclusive Language


Leave of Absence

Withdrawal from Graduate School

Academic Probation/Dismissal

Involuntary Leave

Academic Transcripts

Distributed Learning

Graduate Student Life

New Student Orientation

Student Handbook

Graduate Student Ministries

Student Organizations

Student Activities

Student Services


Food Service

Student Health Services

Academic and Disability Services


Career Planning

Other Services

Family Rights and Privacy Act

International Students

Alumni Association

Standards of Conduct


Graduate Education

The graduate programs of Wheaton College focus on areas of strategic importance to church and society where our historic strengths enable us to make distinctive contributions to the world of Christian higher education. These strengths include clear commitments to the supreme and final authority of the Scriptures, a tradition of excellence in academic pursuits rooted in the liberal arts, and a commitment to bringing Christian faith and learning together in the context of a dynamic community of faith.

These carefully planned graduate programs seek to bring Christian belief and perspectives to bear on the needs of contemporary society. Students have the opportunity to work closely with accomplished teacher-scholar-practitioners and where possible, with accomplished scholar-practitioners outside of Wheaton. We provide academic and professional preparation that will enable the committed Christian student to articulate a biblical and global worldview and to apply it to service for Christ and His Kingdom.

The graduate programs are designed to enable our graduate students to:

*       develop an appropriate graduate-level mastery of an academic discipline and of its methods of scholarly inquiry and professional application;

*       develop a biblical framework for understanding their discipline in order to integrate faith, learning, and practice effectively;

*       develop interdisciplinary breadth and inquiry through our required component of biblical and theological study and through exposure to the broader liberal arts emphases of our academic community;

*       pursue their own holistic development in the context of this dynamic community of faith in order to prepare to serve Christ and His Kingdom throughout the world;

*       effectively serve to improve society and building the church—locally, nationally, and globally—in their chosen vocations by using critical thinking skills in the disciplines.


Since the integrating core of all of our graduate programs is our institutional commitment to grounding academic study in Christian truth (i.e., “integrating faith and learning”), foundational knowledge of the Scriptures is a prerequisite to successful study here. Many students bring rich experience from domestic and global Christian ministry to their graduate studies at Wheaton College, and many Wheaton College graduate alumni have in turn made distinctive contributions to church and society around the world.

Graduate studies at the master’s degree level are available in Biblical Archaeology, Biblical Exegesis, Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, Theology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Christian Formation and Ministry, Teaching (Elementary and Secondary), Intercultural Studies, TESOL and Intercultural Studies, Evangelism & Leadership, Missional Church Movements, and Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biblical and Theological Studies and a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in Clinical Psychology are also offered.

Several non-degree graduate level certificate program are also available: Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Certificate in Global Engagement and a Certification in Cross-Cultural Ministry.

Graduate Admissions

Building from its historic liberal arts base, Wheaton College offers graduate programs which aim at the professional education of its students. Regardless of their professional or academic focus, the graduate programs at Wheaton College endorse the importance of a broadly based liberal arts education as the optimal preparation for graduate study at the College.

Students who are selected for admission to Wheaton College Graduate School should evidence a vital Christian experience, personal integrity, social concern, and academic ability. The College seeks students who desire a commitment to the educational outcomes valued by the graduate departments. These values include:

*       Commitment to the centrality of the Word of God;

*       Preparation in one of the distinct departmental disciplines;

*       Commitment to liberal arts study within the Christian evangelical framework;

*       Integration of the content (as well as the skills and attitudes) of the chosen discipline with theological foundations;

*       Sensitivity to the special needs of the evangelical community.

Admission Requirements

Master of Arts applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university at a level indicative of quality scholarship (minimum 2.75 grade point average on a 4.00 scale).

Doctoral applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university at a level indicative of quality scholarship (minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.00 scale). Ph.D. applicants should have a minimum 3.5 GPA from master’s-level work.

All applicants from approved international colleges and universities are required to have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor-level degree. Applicants from non-regionally accredited schools may be admitted on a provisional basis, pending completion of possible deficiencies, and will be considered for full admission to a degree program on an individual basis. Each applicant's case will be considered on its own merits. All entering students must have facility in the reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension of English to adequately complete graduate work. Admission exceptions, though rare, may be made on a case by case basis.

Optimal preparation for graduate study at Wheaton will be achieved by the student who has done undergraduate course work in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, and foreign languages. This type of course work forms the core of a liberal arts education. These liberal arts studies are recommended for all entering graduate students. The theological studies courses required of all students presuppose some basic exposure to the humanities and sciences.

Each of the academic departments of Wheaton College Graduate School maintains its own requirements for admission beyond the completion of a U.S. bachelor's equivalent (see requirements for academic departments). In most cases, these must be met by formal educational experiences.

Admission Procedure

Applicants are able to submit their application directly online at https://www.wheaton.edu/graduate-school/admissions/

Items you submit online

*       General Application Form

*       Application Fee (by credit card)          $30.00 for M.A.; $50.00 for Doctoral

*       Recommendations

*       Personal Essays

*       Résumé (overview of volunteer or work experiences)

*       Research Paper (doctoral applicants, M.A. Biblical Archaeology applicants, and Accelerated applicants)

*       Personal interview with faculty (doctoral applicants and CMHC and MFT applicants)


Items you request to be submitted to our office

In order for your application to be evaluated in a prompt and efficient manner, please request that the following items be submitted to:

Graduate Admissions Office

Wheaton College

501 College Ave.

Wheaton, IL 60187


*       Transcript(s) - Transcripts must be sealed in an official university envelope issued by the institution. Certified E-Transcripts are preferred.

*       Test scores - Test scores are sent to us directly from the testing organization. However, you may include a photocopy or self-report of your scores with your application for evaluation purposes. The official report is required before enrollment (Wheaton College code is 1905).



Items you request to be submitted to our office

*       Transcript(s) - Transcripts must be sealed in an official university envelope issued by the institution. Certified E-Transcripts may also be submitted.

*       Test scores - Test scores are sent to us directly from the testing organization. However, you may include a photocopy or self-report of your scores with your application for evaluation purposes. The official report is required before enrollment (Wheaton College code is 1905).


The following materials are required for Master of Arts applicants:

*       Official transcripts of all academic credit since high school graduation.

*       Recommendations from an academic advisor or college professor, a pastor or church leader, an employer or professional acquaintance. Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy applicants must also submit a recommendation from a mental health professional.

*       A résumé that provides an overview of volunteer or paid work experiences.

*       Psychology, Biblical Archaeology, Biblical Exegesis, and Theology applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test. All other M.A. applicants can submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Please note some M.A. programs may waive test scores based on professional or ministry experience and/or the student's academic profile. Information concerning the GRE examination may be found at www.ets.org or toll-free 1.800.GRE.CALL. Information concerning the MAT can be found at www.milleranalogies.com.

*       Biblical Archaeology applicants must submit a research paper.

*       Signed Statement of Faith and Community Covenant.

*       $30.00 application fee.

*       Applicants who are granted admission must confirm their acceptance by submitting a $100 advance deposit (see section on Advance Deposit).


The following materials are required for Doctoral applicants:

*       Official transcripts of all academic credit since high school graduation.

*       Ph.D. applicants must submit three academic recommendations and one church leader recommendation. Psy.D. applicants must submit recommendations from an academic advisor or college professor, a pastor or church leader, and an employer or professional acquaintance.

*       Applicants must submit a sample of their academic writing, e.g., a copy of a class research paper. (Ph.D. minimum 20 pages; Psy.D. minimum 10 pages).

*       An employment résumé or curriculum vitae.

*       Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test. Information concerning this examination may be obtained by requesting the GRE Bulletin from the Educational Testing Service, Box 955, Princeton, NJ 08540. Website: www.ets.org or toll-free 1.800.GRE.CALL.Signed Statement of Faith and Community Covenant.

*       Essays (Ph.D. must include mentor choice and dissertation topic).

*       $50.00 application fee.

*       Personal interviews for all doctoral application finalists.

*       Applicants who are granted admission must confirm their acceptance by submitting an advance deposit (see section on Advance Deposit).

Application Deadlines


Program, Classification, or Course




International Students

All M.A. programs

Jan 1


Doctoral Programs

Ph.D. in Biblical & Theological Studies

Jan 1


Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Dec 15


Master's Programs

Biblical Archaeology

Jan 15


Biblical Exegesis

Feb 1


Biblical Studies part-time cohort

Jun 1


Christian Formation & Ministry

Mar 15


Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Mar 1


Marriage & Family Therapy

Mar 1


Evangelism & Leadership

Mar 15

Nov 1

Mar 15

History of Christianity

Mar 1



Mar 1


Intercultural Studies

Mar 15

Nov 1

Mar 15

TESOL & Intercultural Studies

Mar 15

Nov 1

Mar 15


Apr 1


Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership


Mar 15

Certificate Programs


Mar 15

Nov 1

Mar 15


Jun 1


Global Engagement

Mar 15

Oct 1


Certification in Cross-Cultural Ministry

Mar 15


Special Students

Special Student

Aug 15

Dec 1

May 1

Special Student for Evangelism & Leadership courses



Any course

First day of class each term


Advance Deposit

A nonrefundable advance deposit of $100 must be submitted with the M.A. applicant's reply accepting admission to the Graduate School. The advance deposits for doctoral programs are $200 for Psy.D. applicants, and $500 for Ph.D. applicants. This will be credited toward tuition when the student enrolls.

Classification of Students

Regular students include all applicants who are admitted to the Graduate School in a degree or certificate program.

Special students are applicants who are not seeking a degree or who have missed the degree-student application deadline. Special students may apply only 12 credit hours toward a degree if they apply later as degree-seeking students. The Graduate School is not obligated in any way to accept a special student for degree status.

Modular Students are students enrolled in a degree or certificate program composed entirely of intensive and online courses. Intensive courses consist of compressed “in-seat” class time (typically one or two weeks) with significant pre- and post class academic work.

Auditors are students attending graduate classes for personal enrichment and not for academic credit. Auditors must file the appropriate application form with the Registrar's Office, register as an auditor, and pay the audit fee. Audited courses may be included on a student's academic transcript if attendance and instructor's expectations are met (see transcript audit application).

International Students

International students of high scholastic standing are invited to apply for admission to the Graduate School. Applications (except for Canadians) will be accepted for the fall semester only (other desired entry terms will be evaluated on a case by case basis). The deadline for the formal application is January 1.

The following requirements apply to all international students and to permanent residents of the U.S. whose native language is not English.

Applicants may choose to take one of the following language proficiency tests: the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper based test, the TOEFL internet based test, or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) The tests and our minimum requirements are outlined below. Scores must be no more than two years old.

Language Proficiency Test

All Other Master of Arts Applicants

M.A. TESOL, Teaching, MFT and Doctoral Applicants

TOEFL – Paper Based Test

TOEFL – Internet Based Test


Minimum score of 18 points for each of 4 sections

Total cumulative

minimum of 80


Minimum score of 20 points for each of 4 sections

Total cumulative

minimum of 100


Minimum score of 6.5

Minimum score of 7.0

Exceptions to the required test scores may be made in the following instances:

*       The student is a citizen of Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the British West Indies, and is a native speaker of English (GRE or MAT scores may be required).

*       The student has studied in one of the countries mentioned above, or in the U.S., within the past two years and has a good academic record at the school attended (GRE or MAT scores may be required).

*       The student has a recent TOEFL score (less than two years old). In this case the student will not be required to retake the TOEFL. Special arrangements may be made to take a written exam.


For information on the TOEFL, write to: Test of English as a Foreign Language, CN 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, USA. (Website: www.ets.org).

In order for the applicant to receive the Certificate of Eligibility (Immigration form I-20) required of all international students entering the United States, the following conditions must be met:

*       The applicant must be formally admitted to a graduate degree program.

*       Applicants which attended international schools need to submit a transcript evaluation completed from one of the following international credential evaluation agencies: WES (www.wes.org) or ECE (www.ece.org). Official transcripts from all post-secondary level schools attended, outside the U.S., from which academic credit was received. The report must include general equivalency, course by course evaluation, and grade point average (GPA).

*       The applicant must submit a Certification of Finance form and payment for tuition, room, board, and health insurance for their *first semester, by June 1 prior to enrollment in order for a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) to be issued. If the student can verify s/he will not use college housing, and/or meal plan, that amount does not need to be sent.

*       On the Certification of Finance form applicants must be able to demonstrate sufficient financial support to cover the total projected costs of education for the entire time of enrollment, for both billed and personal costs, and for family, if applicable. The student must also provide signed certification from the bank or sponsor(s) verifying the accessibility of funds. Strict government regulations require that Wheaton College verify the financial resources of international applicants.

*       An international student will not be allowed to enroll for the next semester and continue graduate study if the student's tuition (also, housing and/or meals if applicable) is not paid by the first day of classes. Failure to make payment will result in immediate withdrawal from Graduate School. International students may also participate in the Wheaton installment plan.

Accelerated M.A. Program

Wheaton College offers an Accelerated M.A. in the following programs: Biblical Archaeology, Biblical Exegesis, History of Christianity, Theology, Christian Formation and Ministry, Teaching (Elementary and Secondary License), Evangelism and Leadership, Intercultural Studies, and TESOL & Intercultural Studies. Wheaton College undergraduate students can earn a B.A. and M.A. in five years by taking graduate credit courses during their senior year. An application should be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office prior to earning 90 undergraduate credit hours. After acceptance, students will be able to register for graduate-level courses after completing 90 undergraduate credit hours. Up to eight hours of graduate credit may be taken each semester (16-hour maximum taken as an undergraduate). The student will be given a graduate advisor, but will retain the undergraduate advisor and be classified as an undergraduate until the bachelor's degree is earned. Earning a graduate degree by this method have a financial advantage. Courses taken toward this accelerated master's degree program cannot be counted toward the student's bachelor's degree requirements.


Regular students who have not registered for one semester and modular students who have not registered for two semesters and a summer, consecutively, must submit a “Re-enrollment Application” to the Graduate Admissions Office. Students seeking re-enrollment will need to submit transcripts for work undertaken elsewhere in the interim, update medical and contact information, and may be required to submit an Action Plan. The Graduate Admissions Director and graduate program faculty will decide whether to approve, defer or deny re-enrollment. A student readmitted after the program limit (M.A.—five years; Ph.D.—six years; Psy.D.—seven years) must fulfill graduation requirements for the catalog of the year of readmission. Credits earned more than eight years prior to readmission may not be allowed to fulfill degree requirements except with department approval.

Doctoral students with an approved Leave of Absence need only to submit an “Enrollment Application” to the Graduate Admissions Office in order to initiate the process to resume their active status. The primary purpose of this form is to update information needed by support departments.

Academic Requirements

Upon satisfactory completion of the requirements for graduation, Wheaton College confers upon the student the degree of Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Doctor of Philosophy, or Doctor of Psychology.

A certificate of post-baccalaureate study will be awarded to those students who complete specific certificate program requirements. Certificate students are subject to the same academic standards as M.A. students, and a 2.80 cumulative GPA is required.

A student is subject to the requirements listed in the catalog for the year in which the first enrollment occurred or to the requirements of a subsequent catalog under which the student is enrolled for credit as a degree-seeking student. All requirements must be met, however, under the same catalog.

A student who completes degree or certificate requirements in December, May, or August may participate in the annual May Commencement unless the academic department prescribes restrictions on participation, and will receive the diploma or certificate when all requirements are finished.

In a graduate school setting, research is of critical importance. The student is expected not only to reach a certain level of expertise in a chosen field of interest, but also to contribute to the ever-expanding fund of knowledge that this field encompasses. The research involved in that contribution is to be of the highest order in terms of theory, as well as technique, with excellence at every stage as its proximate and ultimate goals. It is only as such standards are applied and such results attained that the term graduate can be used properly to describe an educational experience. For this reason research projects, theses, and internships are an integral part of the graduate program.

Graduation Requirements for Master of Arts

(Note: Graduate students should consult the appropriate handbook for additional information on graduation, candidacy status, research project requirements, as well as various procedures and protocols in the Graduate School.

The following requirements must be met for graduation:

*       A minimum of six semester hours must be taken in Bible and Theology courses. The courses are to be taken in residence at Wheaton College, and are to be selected only from the approved list noted later in this section of the catalog.

*       A cumulative grade point average of 2.80 must be maintained for all courses taken which apply toward the degree.

*       The requirements for courses for one specific graduate program must be satisfactorily completed. Courses must be selected from course numbers 500-699. Unless otherwise limited by the academic program, and with advisor and course instructor approval, up to eight credits of 300- and 400-level courses can be applied toward a master's degree.

*       Normally, courses taken at Wheaton College will be selected from regularly scheduled courses. However, a maximum of eight credits (four credits in the Biblical and Theological Studies programs, and Christian Formation and Ministry program) may be taken as independent study courses (listed as 695) and/or tutorial courses. A course is considered a tutorial when it is listed in the catalog but taken in a semester when it is not being offered. Permission to take an independent study course is normally granted only when the student can demonstrate why the particular 695 course is needed to fulfill a requirement in the student's program. These courses must meet strict guidelines and be approved by both the course instructor and the department chair.

*       At least 75% of the total hours required for a degree program must be taken from Wheaton College. With department approval, up to 25% of the program can be graduate-level transfer or distributed learning credit, including Wheaton College distributed learning courses. Courses in which the grade was lower than B- cannot be transferred. Grades from transferred courses are not used when determining a student's cumulative grade point average at Wheaton. Credits from a conferred master’s degree cannot be transferred. Courses taken more than eight years prior to enrollment at Wheaton may not be transferable. Students must complete their last semester of study at Wheaton.

*       Some programs require that a comprehensive examination must be taken and successfully passed.

*       An Application for Degree must be submitted to the Registrar's Office according to announced deadline dates.

*       All requirements for the Master of Arts degree must be completed within five years from the date of entrance if done in regular academic sessions. Master’s degree students are expected to complete all program requirements within the allotted time limits of their degree; however, they are not necessarily expected to maintain continuous enrollment throughout their course of study at Wheaton College.


Students must submit an approved masters’ degree program plan to achieve candidacy status by the time they have completed 12 semester hours at Wheaton. Students who are not accepted into candidacy by departmental vote at that point in their program cannot register for additional degree courses without special permission.

To receive candidacy status, students must submit a degree program plan (also known as a candidacy plan), pass the academic department vote, complete all program deficiency and prerequisite courses, and have at least a 2.80 grade point average.

Biblical and Theological Studies Requirement

All students are required to take at least six semester hours in Biblical and Theological Studies courses as part of their master’s degree program at Wheaton. Building on foundational biblical and theological knowledge, this Biblical and Theological Studies (TSR) requirement, supported by the integrative focus of all of the graduate programs, prepares students to:

*       Employ appropriate hermeneutical methodology in the accurate interpretation and application of biblical texts;

*       Evaluate and construct theological statements and systems for congruence with Scripture and historical Christian orthodoxy;

*       Evaluate presuppositions, positions, and systems in their disciplines for congruence with Scripture and historic Christian orthodoxy.


All non-Bible and Theology master’s-level students must select one course from the Category I list:

Category I

BITH 565 Christian Theology

BITH 566 Foundations for Biblical Interpretation

BITH 576 History of Christianity to 1900


Students entering the graduate program with an M.Div. (or comparable M.A.) degree, or in some cases students who have had previous documented graduate-level courses with significant content overlap, may be granted permission to substitute one of the following for the Category I TSR course:

BITH 577 Modern World Christianity

BITH 638 Old Testament Theology

BITH 648 New Testament Theology

BITH 675 Advanced Systematic Theology


as well as one course from the academic discipline-specific Category II list:

Category II

BITH 521 Theology of Education (required for the Master of Arts in Teaching program)

BITH 561 Theological Anthropology (required for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy programs)

CFM 512 Bible in Ministry (required for the Christian Formation and Ministry program)

EVAN 526 Evangelism and the Gospel: Historical and Theological Perspectives (required for the Evangelism & Leadership program)

INTR 531 Theological Foundations (required for the Intercultural Studies program)

Official Communication

Wheaton College uses Banner Self Service, a component of the College's administrative database system, and College-administered student email accounts for official communicaton between students and administrative offices.

Banner Self-Service

Banner Self-Service provides online registration for classes and communication of class schedules, grades, student account balances, and financial aid information. Students access Banner Self Service through the Wheaton Portal at https://portal.wheaton.edu. Data encryption and user authentication protect students' personal information.

Electronic Mail

Students are given College email accounts upon enrollment. Official notifications will be sent to these accounts. Students are responsible for reading their College email, and must use their College email accounts in official correspondence to ensure proper identification.

Revision Date: June 1, 2017



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Wheaton College

501 College Ave.

Wheaton, IL 60187


(630) 752-5000