The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsors BYU to provide a university education in an atmosphere that nurtures spiritual growth and a strong conviction of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Church programs are closely correlated at all levels with the activities of the university, and students will find many opportunities to grow spiritually.
All students at BYU should include regular gospel study as a continuous part of their university experience. Full-time undergraduate students take one religion class each semester of enrollment until a total of 14 semester hours of religion credit has been earned. See The University Core section of this catalog for more information.
University devotionals, held throughout the year on Tuesdays at 11:05 a.m., form an inspirational and integrative part of the university experience. These assemblies are occasions to celebrate the shared sense of values and community in the university. Participation in these gatherings will renew spiritual commitment and extend knowledge of significant religious, intellectual, and cultural matters. Devotional speakers, selected from the General Authorities and other leaders of the Church as well as university personnel, come to teach the gospel and affirm the spiritual dimension of the university experience for students, faculty, and staff.
Most campus offices and services are closed during university devotionals and forums so that members of the university community may participate.
BYU Stakes and Wards
To give students maximum opportunity to participate, the Church is organized into a number of BYU stakes composed of several wards of approximately 150 members each. All single students living away from home who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints become members of a Young Single Adult (YSA) ward. Single LDS students living at home have the option of attending their home ward or a designated YSA ward. Married students not living in university housing may attend either the designated BYU ward or the residential ward in which they live.
Other Religious Denominations
Approximately twenty-five other religious denominations are represented in the BYU student body. These students are encouraged to attend a congregation of their faith in the surrounding area, if possible.
The academic environment extends beyond the four walls of a university classroom. Serious students seek enrichment in the library, at university forums and lectures, and through research. Some students may choose to become involved in the Honors Program or live in one of the "quiet halls" on campus—and everyone benefits from drawing on the resources available at college advisement centers.
New Student Orientation
The purpose of New Student Orientation (NSO) is to 1) welcome new and transfer students into the BYU community of disciple-scholars, 2) help new students understand and appreciate the unique opportunities provided by a BYU education, 3) introduce key campus resources, and 4) offer new students a great chance to connect with other students, faculty members, and university staff.
NSO events and activities range from the academic through the informational to the out-and-out fun, but they are always friendly and focused on the needs of new students. NSO activities vary according to the term or semester. In addition to a welcome from the administration and a campus tour, each orientation may include a university devotional; library tour; meetings about colleges and majors, financial aid and scholarships, the Honors Program; and an introduction to several of the traditions at the Y.
Many of the activities are organized around Y Groups, small cohorts of students led by upperclassmen, which offer students personalized attention and support. Orientation at BYU balances the various needs of new students by combining appropriate resources, activities, and personnel. To become fully integrated into an institution as large and complex as BYU, active participation in NSO is vital.
New Student Orientation is held three times a year, immediately prior to winter semester, summer term, and fall semester. Please see https://fye.byu.edu/about-nso for detailed information and registration.
University forums are held on selected Tuesdays at 11:05 a.m. and are designed to enrich the general education experience. Speakers are noted authorities in the arts and humanities, sciences, media, and government, chosen for their contributions to their field and their ability to inspire and communicate. Participation in these assemblies and the associated question-and-answer sessions prompts inquiry into significant intellectual, cultural, and social issues and helps lay the foundation for lifelong learning. A forum speaker may be nominated by any member of the university community (student, faculty, or staff). Please see the nomination form.
Harold B. Lee Library
The Harold B. Lee Library (HBLL) is the University's gateway to research materials. The library website, lib.byu.edu, hosts a powerful, yet easy-to-use search tool for both electronic and print resources. Starting from one location, students and faculty have access to scholarly research materials including online databases, journals, and e-books. The system also searches the library's physical collection of materials including over 8 million books, journals, photographs, and more. Librarians and staff provide research help in person or through online chat, text, e-mail, or telephone. Students are encouraged to use the library's ready-made Research Guides for specific subjects.
The library building is a clean, quiet, and comfortable environment for studying. There are thousands of chairs and study tables spread out over 5 floors. The library provides group study rooms, collaborative work areas, as well as specialty labs for multimedia work, scanning, and 3D printing. Wifi is available throughout the building.
The library houses the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, whose non-circulating collections include rare and unique materials which are available for research by students and faculty.
The library is open during fall and winter semesters from 7:00 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and from 8:00 a.m. to midnight on Saturday.
BYU students and faculty may also use the facilities of other college and university libraries in Utah as well as select libraries in other states thanks to cooperative agreements implemented through state and national library consortia.
Research and Creative Activities at BYU
One of the most exciting and valuable learning experiences available to both undergraduate and graduate students at BYU is the opportunity to participate in original research and creative activities. BYU has accomplished faculty members in all areas, many of whom enjoy international reputations for the quality of their creative endeavors. Many professors enlist the help of undergraduate students, who work side by side with faculty mentors and graduate students in a laboratory or studio setting.
A wide variety of research experiences are available in many departments across campus. For example, the student might be involved in the synthesis of a new medicinal drug in the chemistry laboratory or participate in the discovery of a new species of dinosaur on a Colorado mesa. Other examples of programs involving student participation include the study of robotics systems, computer architecture, battery technology, high-energy physics, international business methods, child psychology, educational methodology, molecular genetics, social implications of drug use, stability and satisfaction in marriage, Church history, and a host of other topics. Students who are interested in participating in research programs are encouraged to contact their major department chair or speak directly with individual professors.
The Office of Research and Creative Activities (ORCA) manages, on behalf of the administration, two programs whose purpose is to bring together students and faculty in mentored experiences. The first is the ORCA Mentoring Grants for Undergraduates Program. Requests for proposals go out to all undergraduate, full-time students. One-third of all proposals are usually funded at $1500 each. Awards are made early in the semester following application. The second is the Mentored Environments Grants Program. Faculty are encouraged to submit proposals to create or enhance a mentored environment for undergraduate and graduate students. Awards range from $2,000 to $20,000, and proposals are collected in late fall and awarded in midwinter.
For more information, contact any department or college, or contact ORCA:
Telephone: (801) 422-3841
Internships and other applied learning experiences, such as clinical and field studies, integrate academic studies with professional or career-related work experience. They are required by some degree programs and recommended by others to strengthen or complement a student's major or minor field of study. In addition to experiences within the United States, opportunities in international settings are also available when approved by the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies.
Students who want or need academic credit for internships and other formal applied, cooperative learning experiences must receive prior department and university approval and complete formal registration before commencing. Course offerings vary according to student and program needs. Registration in a department's 199R, 299R, 399R, 496R, 599R, or 688R course is required for internship credit. Individual departments specify course numbers for clinical, practicum, or other applied, cooperative learning courses. Credit varies, generally ranging from 0.5 to 12 credit hours. Grades are based on both academic and work-related accomplishments.
To learn more about the opportunities and benefits of applied, cooperative learning experiences, contact a college or department internship coordinator, visit or call the BYU Internship Office:
Center for Service and Learning
2010 WSC and 2330 WSC
The mission of the Center for Service and Learning is to "provide every student with a meaningful service opportunity...to instill in the heart and mind a desire to give lifelong service." In order to provide every student with a meaningful service opportunity, the Center administers over 70 community service programs. These programs, which are led and staffed by student volunteer program directors and service council members, serve individuals and organizations in the local community. As student volunteers learn to serve their community, their desire to be engaged in lifelong service becomes an integral part of their character.
Students choose to make service a part of their lives for academic, leadership, recognition, social, and spiritual reasons. Students are encouraged to enroll in Student Development 290: Learning Through Service, which links theories of service with actual service experiences. They can also develop their leadership skills by serving on the student service council or as a program director. By completing the requirements for any of three recognition programs, they can receive official documentation and certification of their service. They can socialize with other students as they serve, and can recognize the spiritual aspects of service as they participate in reflection events.
Students enrolling in Student Development 132: Tutoring Level 1 and Student Development 133: Tutoring Level 2 have the opportunity to earn tutoring certification as they improve their tutoring skills.
More than 23,000 students are engaged in service each year through Center programs. These programs provide a variety of services, including serving children and adults with cognitive or physical disabilities, mentoring at-risk youth, tutoring children in the public schools, tutoring other BYU students in their college classes, helping build houses for low-income families, or providing manual labor to clean up and maintain community neighborhoods. These programs are under the leadership of more than 250 student volunteer leaders who are learning leadership skills as they administer their programs. In addition to these formal community service programs, Stop-n-Serve is available in 2330 WSC for students to drop in and perform service in the few minutes they may have between classes.
Student Development Course Work
The Counseling and Career Center offers courses under the title Student Development. These courses are designed to help with the personal challenges and tasks facing college students. Some of the relevant student-centered topics are college study skills, life planning, time management, decision making, and test taking strategies. Several courses are designed to help students decide on a college major and career and to make the transition from college to the world of work. Each class has material to help students identify their values, develop character, and make progress with their personal goals for life. The BYU Undergraduate Catalog and the current class schedule list these courses under Student Development.
For further information contact the Counseling and Career Center:
Telephone: (801) 422-6291
Academic Support Office
All students admitted to the university have the potential to succeed academically; however, some students have difficulty achieving the level of success required to remain in good academic standing. The mission of the Academic Support Office (ASO) is to assist students in maintaining that level of academic success. The ASO, a department of Student Life, uses the combined resources of the university to help students who are on the academic standing of warning, probation, or continued academic probation (CAP) resolve most academic problems.
Students with academic problems often have difficulties in one or more of the following areas: (1) Personal concerns outside the academic realm such as adjustment problems, illness, or relationship problems that distract from academic goals. Such problems may be addressed by helping students refocus on their goals and giving referrals to appropriate on-campus resources. (2) Inadequate academic preparation to meet the rigors of a university experience. Study-skills training helps students identify strategies appropriate to the university experience. (3) Learning styles that worked in high school but are not productive at the university. Assessment and advisement may help students identify and use academic strengths more successfully.
Advisors and peer coaches are trained to assist students with time management, study skills, learning style, and other academic concerns. Students who experience academic difficulties and are on warning, probation, CAP, or are facing academic suspension or dismissal from the university are encouraged to contact the ASO. Students on good or previous academic standing who would like access to these kinds of resources should visit the Career and Academic Success Center (CASC):
Phone: (801) 422-4091
To the student seeking advanced study, Brigham Young University offers a variety of graduate degree opportunities. Excellent graduate programs can be found in each of the colleges and schools, and successful completion results in the awarding of a master's or doctoral degree.
The master's degree requires advanced course work, demonstrated mastery in vital aspects of a discipline, skill in research methodology and theory, and preparation for future creative work. In certain disciplines, graduate programs blend scholarly insight with technical knowledge and skill. Integrative examinations, a major culminating piece of written work or performance, and an accompanying oral defense of that work may be required.
The doctoral degree requires the student to demonstrate an impressive scholarly competence, which includes the ability to conduct and report research in a highly effective manner. Advanced systematic study in a discipline is also essential and is followed by comprehensive examinations that require students to integrate and understand the collective knowledge of their disciplines. A dissertation resulting from independent research is defended in a concluding oral examination.
Students who are interested in pursuing advanced degrees are encouraged to become involved in research and creative activities during their undergraduate experience.
For information about master's and doctoral degree programs, students should consult the BYU Graduate Catalog online at http://graduatestudies.byu.edu.
Application information is available online at http://graduatestudies.byu.edu, through Graduate Studies, and through individual departments. For information regarding admission to the J. Reuben Clark Law School, see the Law School section of this catalog.
Students can immerse themselves in culture at BYU. Dance, theatre, music, art exhibits, museums—all nourish the soul seeking after "anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy."
As part of their educational experience, students, both individually and in groups, present concerts, exhibitions, films, plays, recitals, and productions which are available to the community. Classical, contemporary, and original works are offered throughout the year. Each of the performance areas also have ensembles that perform on and off campus.
The BYU BRAVO! series presents some of the most celebrated artists in the world. Concerts and productions are scheduled throughout each year in the Harris Fine Arts Center and other venues.
In recent years the BYU BRAVO! series has included:
- Joshua Bell
- Peking Acrobats
- John Lithgow
- Audra McDonald
- Utah Symphony
- Frederica von Stade
- Brian Stokes Mitchell
- Lea Salonga
- Theater Mitu
- The Salzburg Marionette Theatre
- Parsons Dance
- Martha Graham Dance Company
- The King's Singers
- and more
This series also presents OFF THE MAP, an annual international arts festival, each winter semester.
For further information on student, faculty, the BRAVO! performances, contact the BYU Ticket Office:
Telephone: (801) 422-4322
Museum of Art
The Museum of Art was completed and opened during fall 1993. Funded by private donors, the 100,000-square-foot museum is located directly north of the Harris Fine Arts Center. A sculpture garden separates the two buildings, and together they form striking visual and performing arts centers. The museum houses the university's superb collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and works on paper.
Major bodies of work the university owns are by eminent artists such as Mahonri Y. Young, J. Alden Weir, Maynard Dixon, C. C. A. Christensen, and Minerva Teichert. Besides its rich array of American art, the collection includes 20th century and contemporary landscape, documentary and street photography and a growing collection of important religious works and rare prints by Rembrandt, Dürer, and Daumier. The museum is also committed to exhibiting and exploring the art of our time, acquiring work by significant living artists such as Dan Steinhilber, Harrell Fletcher, Georges Rousse, and Lewis Baltz.
Major traveling exhibitions and exhibitions from the museum's permanent collections are scheduled on a rotating basis. Previous exhibitions include works by Rodin, Carl Bloch, and Islamic artifacts in the exhibition entitled Beauty and Belief.
Students play an important role in the Museum of Art. Not only are they employed in service capacities in each of the museum's departments but the museum also offers a rigorous internship program that affords selected students opportunities to be mentored on significant projects in museum education, curation, registration, administration, and even fabrication. Many students also serve as volunteer docents.
The museum offers a variety of educational programs for campus and community audiences as well. Included in the museum are a print study room, a lecture room, and an auditorium. The museum also features a café and a museum store.
M. L. Bean Life Science Museum
Larry L. St. Clair, Director
Leigh Johnson, Associate Director
Marta Adair, Assistant Director
The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Its vast teaching and research collections include more than two million arthropods, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, and prepared shells, and more than 600,000 plants, lichens, and bryophytes. Specimens for these collections, which represent creative work by university faculty and students, have been gathered from around the world, making the museum one of the major repositories of scientific-quality, biological collections in the western United States.
The museum and its collections are utilized by university classes in biology, plant and wildlife sciences, education, art, and other disciplines. The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum also maintains and manages the Lytle Ranch Preserve. Located in the northernmost extension of the Mojave Desert southwest of St. George, Utah, this 600-acre desert classroom is situated in a part of Utah that is unique not only for its plant and animal communities but also for its setting at the crossroads of three major bioregions.
Public programs include temporary and permanent exhibits of natural communities that illustrate complex relationships between plants, animals, and their physical environment. Educational programs which serve more than 100,000 annual visitors and provide classes and programs for BYU students as well as public and private schools and many other organizations. Museum hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on Sunday. Admission is free.
The Western North American Naturalist, a nationally recognized peer-reviewed natural history journal, is administered by the museum. Other museum publications include professional and popular works such as A Utah Flora, Bark and Ambrosia Beetles of South America, Snakes of Utah, and Common Rocky Mountain Lichens.
Museum of Peoples and Cultures
Paul R. Stavast, Director
Kari Nelson, Curator of Education
The Museum of Peoples and Cultures (MPC) houses, cares for, and performs research on archaeological and ethnographic collections from around the world. The strengths of the museum's holdings are in prehistoric Utah, the American Southwest, Mesoamerica, Andean cultures, and Polynesia. An approved state and federal archaeological repository, the museum also holds a noncirculating library and a photographic archive documenting BYU archaeological research and artifactual materials. Collection items number well over 2 million artifacts and specimens.
Institutional objectives are to interpret and help elucidate the history and culture of the peoples of the world and to convey that knowledge to the scholarly community as well as to the general public. The museum's strongest commitment lies in serving the teaching and research functions of the university. In this, BYU's "teaching museum," not only do students perform office and collections duties, but they also curate all exhibitions as part of the formal curricula taught by museum staff adjunct to the Department of Anthropology. Students plan and execute public programs and design promotional strategy as part of their course work as well. These curricula are available both in the department's undergraduate courses and the Certificate in Museum Practices program. Students concurrently enrolled in a cognate master's program are eligible to apply to the graduate program.
The MPC offers many community educational opportunites. Available for loan to classrooms and inbound populations are anthropology teaching kits that explore the native cultures of various geographical areas. The kits include replica artifacts, handicrafts, and educational books and videos. Students and civic volunteers are invited to help with educational programming, public relations, archaeological research, and public presentations. The MPC hosts an activity patch program for Scouts of all ages and other interested parties. Museum patches can be earned by visiting the museum and completing the patch requirements. For information about any of these programs, call (801) 422-0020.
Located at 2201 North Canyon Road in Provo, the museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free, and guided tours can be arranged for a nominal charge. Because scheduling is based on student employee availability, it is advisable to book tours from one to three weeks in advance. Visitors may also choose to guide themselves through the galleries, but groups larger than fifteen people should contact the museum in advance for logistical instructions. The MPC is closed on holidays.
Students can enjoy the small-town friendliness of Provo or drive 45 miles to the north for the cosmopolitan diversity that Salt Lake City offers. Whereas Salt Lake City is home to Ballet West, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Utah Symphony, the Provo area prides itself on its own Utah Valley Symphony and several fine community music, dance, and theatre groups.
BYU sponsors 21 NCAA intercollegiate sports for men and women. The men compete in 10 sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and volleyball. The women compete in 11 sports: basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and volleyball.
The Cougars are independent in football and compete in the West Coast Conference in the majority of the other sports. On September 1, 2010, BYU announced an eight-year deal with ESPN to televise Cougar football on its sports networks. BYUtv also partners with athletics to broadcast more than 135 live athletic events each year in sports such as football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball, and gymnastics.
Consistently ranked among the nation's top 30 athletic programs, BYU has won NCAA championships in football, men's track and field, men's golf, women's cross country, and men's volleyball. The Cougars have also won two NIT titles in men's basketball.
The extramural sports program at BYU provides opportunities for students to participate on an intercollegiate level throughout the United States and Canada in team sports not designated NCAA.
One of the best organized and most respected programs in the country, BYU's extramural sports program offers five sports for men (ice hockey, lacrosse, racquetball, rugby, and soccer) and one sport for women (racquetball). Many of the teams have been nationally ranked during the last several years.
BYU's athletic facilities are among the best in the nation. Major sports complexes include the Marriott Center (basketball), LaVell Edwards Stadium (football), Smith Fieldhouse (volleyball/gymnastics), Miller Park (baseball/softball), Clarence Robison Track, South Field (soccer), Richards Building (swimming/diving), and the Tennis Complex.
In 2003-04 the Athletic Department opened two new buildings, the Indoor Practice Facility (IPF) and the Student Athlete Building (SAB). The IPF is 422 by 222 feet with a height of 86 feet at the center. It is one of the largest indoor practice facilities in college athletics. It features two artificial turf fields and four batting cages.
The 126,300 square-foot SAB is home to the student-athlete academic center, athletic administration offices, strength/conditioning complex, training facilities, football offices and locker room, Legends Grille, and Legacy Hall—a three-story museum/hall of fame celebrating more than 100 years of BYU Athletics.
The campus intramural program, consisting of more than thirty events involving thousands of participants in both men's and women's activities, is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the United States. Students may participate in team activities and individual events. The intramural program offers divisions for different skill levels in each activity and provides awards for the winners in each division. Numerous employment opportunities are available as game supervisors and officials.
A Great Outdoors
The Wasatch Mountains overlook BYU on the east, and to the west lies Utah Lake. Within an hour's drive are several canyons and ski resorts; six national parks are only a half day away. Outdoor gear can be rented on campus for everything from skiing to windsurfing.