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A Unique Environment

Fostering an Enriched Environment Policy

“The mission of Brigham Young University—founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life. That assistance should provide a period of intensive learning in a stimulating setting where a commitment to excellence is expected and the full realization of human potential is pursued” (Mission Statement).

To this end, the university seeks qualified students of various talents and backgrounds, including geographic, educational, cultural, ethnic, and racial, who relate together in such a manner that they are “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). It is the university’s judgment that providing educational opportunities for a mix of students who share values based on the gospel of Jesus Christ and who come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences is an important educational asset to BYU.

Religious Environment

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.

Religion Classes

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

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 at 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 General Officers 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.

Young Single Adult and Married Student Stakes and Wards

To give students maximum opportunity to participate, the Church is organized into a number of 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 may attend either a married student 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.

Academic Environment

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

Orientation to BYU actually begins long before students arrive on campus. Following notification of admission, all students will be contacted by an assigned peer mentor from the Office of First-Year Experience. This mentor is a student guide who successfully negotiated their own first year and can be of great help to new students and to their parents. Peer mentors will send periodic email, texts and even make phone calls to students. Mentors are available to answer questions, provide suggestions, and help make the transition from high school to college a smooth one. 

A few weeks after you receive your acceptance notification you will be sent a link by the FYE office to a series of online orientation modules. These modules contain very important information about resources, programs and services available to you as a full-time student. They were developed to help your transition to BYU be as smooth as possible. The modules will take between 90 minutes to two hours and can be completed at your own pace. However, it will be important for you to complete all modules prior to arriving on campus. These modules are only part of your orientation to BYU, make sure you plan and register to attend the in-person NSO described below.

Immediately prior to the first day of every semester and term, an event referred to as New Student Orientation (NSO) is held. The purpose of NSO is to 1) welcome new and transfer students into the BYU community. 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 and meet their peer mentor.

NSO events and activities are designed to be both informative and fun. 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 groups of students led by peer mentors and other 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.

Please see for detailed information about NSO and to register for an NSO event.

University Forums

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). 

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.

Experiential learning grants are available in each academic college. Each college will customize the grant program to best fit their area. Please contact your dean’s office to learn when and how you can get involved.


Center for Service and Learning

2010 WSC and 2330 WSC 
(801) 422-8686

The mission of the Center for Service and Learning is to "provide every student with a meaningful service 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

Student Development Services offers courses under the title Student Development. These courses are designed to help students meet the challenges of university life in four areas: academic skills, career exploration and development, leadership, and personal growth, mental health and wellness. Courses in the academic skill area help students build study skills, improve reading ability and comprehension, and enhance time management and academic performance. Career courses are designed to help students explore majors and careers, obtain internships and prepare for graduate school and ultimately qualify for careers of their choosing. Leadership courses provide training and instruction to those already in campus leadership roles or for those hoping to gain further knowledge and skill to become more effective leaders. Finally, several courses are designed to help students make important life decisions, clarify values, and improve their overall mental health and well-being. All Student Development courses can be found in the BYU Undergraduate Catalog. For further information contact Student Development Services or visit

2518 WSC
Telephone: (801) 422-6291

Academic Support Office

2500 WSC 
(801) 422-2723 

The university experience is rigorous by design. However, all students admitted to the university have the potential to succeed academically and many students that experience academic challenges, go on to be successful at the university. The mission of the Academic Support Office (ASO), a department of Student Life, is to assist undergraduate degree-seeking students who are experiencing academic difficulties. The ASO utilizes the combined resources of the university to help students on academic warning, probation, or continued academic probation (CAP) resolve academic and related concerns.

Students experiencing academic difficulties have often encountered challenges in one or more of the following areas: (1) Personal concerns outside the academic realm such as mental health or adjustment challenges, physical illness or injuries, adverse events, relationship or family concerns, financial hardships, etc. that impact academic goals, (2) Insufficient academic preparation to meet the rigors of a university experience, (3) Learning strategies that were effective in high school but are less effective at the university.

ASO advisors and peer coaches support students in addressing non-academic challenges by helping students identify concerns, assess needs, access needed resources, implement appropriate intervention strategies and by providing ongoing support as students work through challenges to improve academic performance. They also provide one-on-one training to help students develop effective study skills and learning strategies. ASO advisors and peer coaches routinely assist students in developing time management, test-preparation, test-taking, reading, note-taking, memory and other academic strategies. Students who experience academic difficulties, who are on warning, probation, CAP, or are facing academic suspension or dismissal from the university are strongly encouraged to contact and enlist the support of the ASO.

2590 WSC
Telephone: (801-422-2689)

Graduate Studies

105 FPH 
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

For more information about master's and doctoral degree programs or how to apply, visit

For information regarding admission to the J. Reuben Clark Law School, see the Law School section of this catalog.

Cultural Environment

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, Frank Wildhorn, Renee Fleming, The Utah Symphony, Frederica von Stade, Kelli O'Hara, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lea Salonga, Theater Mitu, The Salzburg Marionette Theatre, Martha Graham Dance Company, Chanticleer, The King's Singers, Chris Thile, 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 100,000-square-foot Museum of Art has been a crown jewel of BYU’s campus for almost a quarter century. Generously funded by private donors, the museum not only houses the university’s engaging collection of world-class art, but functions as a dynamic experiential space for students on campus. Whether taking advantage of interactive gallery tours and special lectures, attending musical performances, enrolling in the university courses taught in the museum’s classrooms, or simply stopping by the café for lunch, the MOA is a place of social uplift, and intellectual and spiritual contemplation for our community.

The Museum staff organizes ambitious exhibitions that both edify and challenge the mind by offering direct engagement with masterworks from the permanent collection. The MOA’s collection of American art features the work of prominent artists such as Maynard Dixon, Mahonri Young, Minerva Teichert, and J. Alden Weir. Their significant holdings of European and American religious works contain notable paintings, sculpture and works on paper by artistic noteworthies spanning six centuries. The museum is also committed to exhibiting and exploring the art of our time, regularly showcasing work by highly-acclaimed living artists such as Gabriel Dawe, Jann Haworth, Ai Weiwei, Kehinde Wiley, and Rachel Whiteread. The museum also participates in travelling exhibitions that feature artwork from fine collections across the globe. In recent years, a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of the Danish painter Carl Bloch and a blockbuster run of American artist and illustrator Norman Rockwell brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to BYU, demonstrating the scope and quality of the museum’s programming.

In addition to the Museum of Art’s dedicated professional staff, student employees and volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the museum’s success. Interns in the curatorial, registration and fabrication departments play a major role in behind-the-scenes activities, while student educators and museum store employees interact with the public on a daily basis. This diverse team of collaborators works with one goal in mind: to serve the BYU campus and greater community by creating connections and inspiring life-long learning through art. 



M. L. Bean Life Science Museum

Duke S. Rogers, Director 
Leigh Johnson, Associate Director 
Marta Adair, Assistant Director 
2103 MLBM

The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Its vast teaching and research collections include more than three million arthropods, nematodes, tardigrades, arachnids, 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 700-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 
Susannah Larsen, Education and Programs Manager 
122 B67

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 coursework 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.

Recreational Environment

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.

Intercollegiate Competition

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.

Extramural Competition

The extramural sports program at BYU provides opportunities for students to participate on an intercollegiate level in team sports not designated NCAA. Extramural sports teams do not currently travel outside the United States.

One of the best organized and most respected programs in the country, BYU's extramural sports program offers sports for men (lacrosse, racquetball, rugby, and soccer) and sports for women (racquetball, rugby, and lacrosse). Many of the teams have been nationally ranked during the last several years.

Athletic Facilities

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.

Intramural Activities

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.