302 MSRB, PO Box 22600, (801) 378-3038
Acting Dean: James E Faulconer, Professor, Philosophy
Associate Dean: Steven Benzley, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Associate Dean: Susan Easton Black, Professor, Church History and Doctrine
Associate Dean: Douglas F. Tobler, Professor, History
Assistant Dean: Neal W. Kramer
There are three components to an undergraduate education at Brigham Young University: religious education, major education, and general education. Religion courses are provided at BYU so that students may progress in their religious understanding and convictions simultaneously with their educational progress in secular fields. Education in the major provides students with depth in a particular academic discipline. It introduces them to the type of thinking, language, and skills that prepare them for a career or further study in postgraduate or professional programs. General education is intended to provide students with intellectual breadth. General education covers the range of human accomplishments: the development of language and civilization; the arts; and the social, behavioral, physical, and biological sciences. These three aspects of the baccalaureate degree—religious education, major education, and general education—are described briefly below.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes secular understanding and skill are important attainments in life and will better serve the individual when accompanied by religious convictions, attitudes, and standards of behavior. Please refer to the Religious Education section of this catalog for more detail.
BYU offers nearly 150 undergraduate major programs. Most of these programs are centered in the more than 50 academic departments, but several interdisciplinary programs are also available. The complete list of these degrees is given in the Alphabetical List of Undergraduate Majors at Brigham Young University section of this catalog. Of the 128 credit hours required as a minimum for the baccalaureate degree, the major program typically comprises between 40 and 60 credit hours, with some exceeding 60 credit hours. Requirements for major programs are detailed under specific departments in this catalog. Students need not feel undue pressure to declare a major immediately upon entering the university, and they may wish to enroll in general education courses that can introduce them to possible areas for major study. However, some majors, including those in the natural sciences, engineering, music, and visual arts, are tightly structured. Efficient graduation from these programs requires students to undertake degree requirements during the first semester of their freshman year. Students who are considering these programs are encouraged to begin them as soon as possible. The academic departments and college advisement centers can provide advice about particular degree requirements and selection of a major.
The general education (GE) program at Brigham Young University complements the other two areas of a university education. Through its perspective, we gain vantage points from which to view the development of our own culture and how it relates to others.
Students who entered BYU fall 1995 or thereafter are automatically on the GE program described on the following pages.
The GE Program is separated into three categories called Languages of Learning, the Liberal Arts Core, and Arts and Sciences Electives.
In our modern, complex society, the ability to communicate effectively is deemed a critical skill. Under the Languages of Learning category are grouped the areas of writing, mathematics, foreign languages, and music, each of which represent an important way to convey information and understanding. Because writing at the college level is considered essential to success at the university, students are asked to complete the First-Year Writing course. Later, once students have identified an area for major study, they are provided with an opportunity to develop writing skills in that discipline. To function in a technological society, a basic knowledge of mathematics as a means of communication and problem solving is essential. All students, upon admission, are asked to certify a basic level of numeracy, either with an appropriately high score on the Mathematics section of the ACT or SAT exams or by completion of a BYU course. We then ask that students exhibit a mastery of either mathematics, music, or a foreign language at an advanced level. At this level students achieve an exposure to cultures and to the ways in which practitioners of the language structure their knowledge.
A traditional university education includes introductions to the core or fundamental areas of knowledge. These typically cover the biological and physical sciences and aspects of cultures and civilizations. Here at BYU we also include as part of our core American heritage, an introduction to the political and economic foundations of the American democratic system, and Wellness, a requirement to assist in developing one's physical and mental well-being.
The Arts and Sciences Electives are divided into three categories: Arts and Letters, Natural Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. These three divisions encompass the spectrum of human endeavors. The objective of elective courses certified to satisfy this requirement is to introduce students in a little more focused way than the core courses to specific disciplines or areas of study. Students must take one course from each of the three areas. Unless the major program dictates a specific course, students are free to select from a large list of approved courses. These courses are certified for approval by a faculty council, and students are encouraged to check a current class schedule for an up-to-date list of approved courses.
Note: This list is subject to change each semester. Some classes listed here have approval on a trial basis and may be removed from the list at a later date. Please consult a current class schedule each semester/term to ensure that the class you take is still approved for GE. Some requirements can also be satisfied via AP or IB credit. Check with the Academic Advisement Office, B-238 ASB, telephone (801) 378-3641, for the current mapping of AP/IB exams to ensure GE requirements.
|LANGUAGES OF LEARNING|
|Precollege Math||ACT math subscore of 22 or above; SAT math subscore of 500 or above; or Math 97, 110, 111, 112, 112H, 113, 113H, or 119||0-3|
|First-Year Writing||Engl 115, HonP 200, Phil 105, or Phil 105H||3|
|Advanced Writing||Prerequisite is First-Year Writing or its equivalent. See the list of approved courses in the current class schedule. Some majors require a specific course. Recommended to be taken during junior year.||3|
Three options: Advanced Math, Foreign Language, or Advanced Music
|Requirement to be satisfied either in mathematics, in one of three music tracks, or in a foreign language. See the current class schedule for approved math, music, and foreign language classes.||3-16|
|*LIBERAL ARTS CORE (Check with your college advisement center to know which courses you should take.)|
|One course: Biol 100; 130; Mcbio 130; HonP 260; or Zool 101 and 102||
One course each from two of the three groups:
Group 1: Biol 150, Botny 125
Group 2: Biol 276, Zool 205, 261, 276
Group 3: Mcbio 221
|Physical Science||PhyS 100; or PhyS 110A and 110B; or HonP 259||
One course each from two of the three different departments:
Chem 100, 101, 105, 111, 111H, 152
Phscs 100, 105, 121, 122, 127, 127H
Geol 101, 101H, 103, 111, 330
|American Heritage||One course: AHtg 100, 100H, or HonP 240||One of the following two-course combinations: Hist 120 and PlSc 110; or Hist 120 and Econ 110; or PlSc 110 Econ 110; or Hist 121 and PlSc 110||3-6|
|Wellness||HEPE 129 or three PE or dance activity courses (see detailed information in the current class schedule)||1.5-2|
|Civilization||One 201 and one 202 course from the approved list in the current class schedule||6|
|*ARTS AND SCIENCES ELECTIVES|
|Natural Sciences||Choose from the approved list.**||3|
|Social and Behavioral Sciences||Choose from the approved list.**||3|
|Arts and Letters||Choose from the approved list.**||3|
* Classes in the Liberal Arts Core under Option B cannot be used
to satisfy both the Liberal Arts Core and then Natural Sciences
or Social and Behavioral Sciences electives; one course or
combination of courses cannot fulfill more than one requirement.
** It is strongly recommended that the courses be taken outside the major department; please consult with your college advisement center. See the current class schedule for the approved list.
The BYU Honors Program offers a number of courses that satisfy both GE and honors requirements. These courses provide a deeper, more intense exposure to the subject matter for the student who is interested in a challenging experience. Additional information concerning these courses may be obtained from 102A MSRB, telephone (801) 378-5976, or by consulting the University Honors Program Course Guide.
To gain approval to meet a GE requirement, a course is subjected to a rigorous evaluation. Such approval is not granted lightly, and students should ensure that the courses they select are, in fact, approved for GE credit. This information is updated each semester and term and is published in the current class schedule.
In addition to completing approved courses, there are several mechanisms by which students may satisfy the components of the GE program: transferring acceptable credit from other academic institutions; receiving credit from Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations or from the College Level Examination Program (CLEP); or passing special examinations at the university.
The application of transfer credit to GE requirements is handled by the Transfer Evaluation Office (B-238 ASB). Consortium agreements have been reached with several junior and community colleges to facilitate the transfer process for students who have completed certain associate degrees. The Transfer Evaluation Office can be contacted for up-to-date information regarding the status of those agreements with a particular junior or community college.
The results of some Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams may be used to waive certain GE requirements and to obtain general university credit. AP or IB credit posted to a transfer institution will be evaluated upon BYU's standards and not those of the transfer institution. The Academic Advisement Office (B-238 ASB,  378-3641) can be contacted for details regarding credit hours and exemption from GE requirements for both AP and IB exams.
BYU will grant credit for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). For each general examination on which a student scores 610 or higher, the university will grant 3 hours of credit. Students can contact the Admissions Office (A-153 ASB,  378-2507) for additional information.
Some requirements can be accomplished by successful completion of an examination. Two types of examinations are available, the exemption exam and the challenge exam. A student may only take an exemption or challenge exam once during each exam period. Students do not have to be enrolled in a course to take an exemption or challenge exam. However, some of the exams are given early enough each semester/term so that students who are enrolled and pass the exam may drop the course. Students not enrolled in a course have an opportunity to take the challenge or exemption exams offered at the Testing Center during the middle of fall and winter semesters. Please consult the following table for specific exam dates.
(Offered for select general education courses only)
Exemption exams do not earn academic credit or grades. Exemption exams are given in the Testing Center on the dates shown on the table that follows. A fee payable at the Testing Center is required for the exams. A passing score on an exemption exam in reflected on the Advisement-by-Computer (ABC) report as fulfilling the requirement. However, no academic credit will be posted on the transcript of grades. The procedure to take an exam and request exemption from a course follows.
Some challenge exams for credit are offered in the Testing Center, and others are arranged through the department offering the course. A fee payable at the Testing Center is charged for exams offered in the Testing Center. A fee payable at the Cashier's Office in D-155 ASB is required for exams that are offered through individual departments. Check with the department to see if the exam is offered in the department or in the Testing Center. To earn academic credit and a letter grade for the course, the student must submit a Special Examination Form, provided by the Testing Center or the department, to the Records Office, B-150 ASB. No additional fees are charged to post credits to the transcript. The student's transcript and grade point average reflect the grade earned on the exam. The procedure to take exams and request academic credit follows.
Note: If you pass an exemption exam at the Testing Center, your ABC Report will be updated automatically at the end of the semester. Please retain your score report for your records.
The Testing Center, 265 HGB, offers special examinations for some GE classes.
Please contact the appropriate academic department before going to the
Testing Center for specific exam information.
(No Credit or Grade)
(Pay at Testing Center)
|Department to Contact|
|Precollege Math (Math 97)||
(score of 64% and above)
Biol 100 Office
(score of 75% and above)
(score of 60% to 74%)
PhyS 100 Office
|For information regarding all other challenge examinations, please contact the department that offers the course or exam. for information regarding other GE courses that can be challenged, please contact the General Education Office, 350 MSRB, tel. (801)378-3036.|
The essential information concerning general education is found in this catalog. Sources of additional information include the following:
Questions dealing with general education are handled in 350 MSRB, telephone (801) 378-3038.