Interim Director’s welcome

Ronald Carter, Ph.D.

We are very pleased that you have chosen to continue your education at Loma Linda University in a graduate program coordinated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). The FGS is an organization of scholars, scientists, and educators whose mission is to enhance the quality of research, scholarship, and discovery throughout the University. It cooperates with the eight schools in providing graduate programs that strive to meet the highest academic and intellectual standards.

Loma Linda University is a health-sciences campus dedicated to creating learning environments that enable students to develop personal wholeness, to train for careers that serve local, national, and international communities, and to accept every person as having equal worth in the sight of God. Its mission is embodied in the Good Samaritan sculptures, a tableau that occupies a central position on the campus.

The FGS encourages students to engage in original research and creative study that will expand opportunities for wholeness, service, and mutual respect. You will find vigorous academic programs among the degrees sponsored by the faculty—studies that will stretch your mind and that will encourage you to expand the boundaries of knowledge, understand your world, and apply Christian principles to your life and profession.

Our faculty and staff are here to assist you as you prepare for a career of creative service. Feel free to contact us by email at

Ronald Carter, Ph.D.
Provost and Interim Director, Faculty of Graduate Studies

Foundations of graduate study

Recognizing the need to provide advanced education, the College of Medical Evangelists (CME) organized its School of Graduate Studies in 1954. The new school conferred a Ph.D. degree in 1958—the first Ph.D. to be awarded by a Seventh-day Adventist institution of higher education.

In 1961, when CME became Loma Linda University, the University assumed oversight of the graduate education conducted by La Sierra College in Riverside, California. By 1963, the School of Graduate Studies had been renamed the Graduate School, with a home in a new building named Frederick Griggs Hall, in honor of a former department chair. The two campuses comprising Loma Linda University—La Sierra and Loma Linda—separated in 1990.

In 2005, the Graduate School was restructured as the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Since then, FGS has continued to provide oversight of graduate programs, supported by other schools of the university, promoting and encouraging independent judgment, mastery of research techniques, contribution to scholarly communication, and intellectual achievement in the service of humankind.


In the FGS at Loma Linda University, the essential concern of both faculty and students is the quest for meaning. Because this quest is served by knowledge, graduate students are obliged to achieve both broad and detailed mastery of their fields of study. They also participate with faculty in the process by which knowledge is augmented.


The FGS seeks to create an environment favorable to the pursuit of knowledge and meaning by:

  1. Making available the education necessary for scholarly careers in the sciences and health professions to graduate students who wish to study in a Seventh-day Adventist Christian setting.
  2. Encouraging development of independent judgment, mastery of research techniques, and contribution to scholarly communication.
  3. Relating intellectual achievement to the service of humankind.

Students of the university are responsible for informing themselves regarding policies and regulations pertinent to registration, matriculation, and graduation, and for satisfactorily meeting those requirements. Section III provides the general setting for school programs. Subject and unit requirements for admission to individual professional programs are also outlined. It is important to review specific program requirements in the context of general requirements applicable to all programs (Section II).

Application and admissions

Program admissions committees of the university intend that an applicant to any of the schools is qualified for the proposed curriculum and is capable of profiting from the educational experience offered by the university. The admissions committees of the schools accomplish this through examination of evidence of scholastic competence, moral and ethical standards, and significant qualities of character and personality. Applicants are considered for admission only on the recommendation of the program in which study is desired.


Applicants are expected to present an undergraduate record with a grade point average of B (3.0) or better in the overall program and in the major field. Some students with an overall grade point average between 2.5 and 3.0 may be admitted provisionally to graduate standing, provided the grades during the junior and senior years are superior or other evidence of capability is available. International applicants are not eligible for provisional admission.

From master’s to Ph.D. degree

Bypassing master’s degree

A graduate student at the university may proceed first to a master’s degree program. If at the time of application the student wishes to qualify for the Doctor of Philosophy degree program, this intention should be declared, even if the first objective is to earn a master’s degree.

If, after admission to the master’s degree program, a student wishes to go on to the doctoral degree program, an application form should be submitted, along with letters of reference, to respective school(s) deans. If an award of the master’s degree is sought, the student will be expected to complete that degree before embarking on doctoral activity for credit. A student who bypasses the master’s degree may be permitted, on the recommendation of the guidance committee and with the consent of the dean, to transfer courses and research that have been completed in the appropriate field, and that are equivalent in quality and scope, to their doctoral program.

Financial information

The student is expected to arrange for financial resources to cover all expenses before the beginning of each school year. Previous accounts with other schools or this university must have been settled.

Registration is not complete until tuition and fees on the required installment are paid.  Students should be prepared to make these payments during scheduled registration for each academic year. There may be adjustments in tuition and fees as economic conditions warrant.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies oversees the following doctoral and master’s degrees, as well as combined degrees programs.

Master’s degrees

  • Anatomy — M.S.
  • Biology — M.S.
  • Bioethics — M.A.
  • Cancer, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology — M.S.
  • Endodontics — M.S.
  • Geology — M.S.
  • Implant Dentistry — M.S.
  • Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation — M.S.
  • Neuroscience, Systems Biology, and Bioengineering — M.S.
  • Nutrition — M.S.
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics — M.S.
  • Pediatric Dentistry — M.S.
  • Periodontics — M.S.
  • Prosthodontics — M.S.
  • Religion and Society — M.A.

Doctoral degrees

  • Anatomy — Ph.D.
  • Biology — Ph.D.
  • Cancer, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology — Ph.D.
  • Earth Science — Ph.D.
  • Epidemiology — Ph.D. (currently in teach-out mode)
  • Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation — Ph.D.
  • Medical Scientist Training Program — M.D./Ph.D.
  • Neuroscience, Systems Biology, and Bioengineering — Ph.D.
  • Nursing — Ph.D.
  • Nutrition — Ph.D.
  • Physical Therapy — Ph.D.
  • Psychology (clinical psychology) — Ph.D.
  • Rehabilitation Science — Ph.D.
  • Social Welfare and Social Research — Ph.D.
  • Systems, Families and Couples — Ph.D.