Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a list of questions our office receives on a daily basis. The information provided is not intended to replace the value of one-on-one advising but may help you find answers to your questions without having to have an appointment or stop in; please feel free to do so with any follow-up questions you may have.
Please click on the question for an expanded answer:
I’m Having Trouble Choosing a Major...Does BYU Offer Interest or Personality Tests to Help Me Decide?
The Career and Academic Success Center offers a number of interest and personality tests to help you decide on a major and career path, including the Campbell Interest and Skill Survey, the Strong Interest Inventory, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. These tests last an average of 35 minutes, and do require small fees. They can be completed in 2590 WSC.
You can also set up an appointment with an advisor from the University Advisement Center to discuss the results of these tests, along with possible careers that might fit you well. These appointments last for one hour. For more information on career interest and personality tests, please contact the Career and Academic Success Center at (801) 422—2689, or by visiting them in 2590 WSC.
To declare a major, go to the College Advisement Center that administers your desired major, and complete a Change of Major Form. If you are unsure of which college administers your major, please ask a University Advisement Center receptionist. Students must select and declare a major by the time they have 60 earned BYU credit hours (excluding language exam credits). Once a student has 75 earned BYU credit hours (excluding language exam credits), they will not be allowed to change their major, unless special permission is granted.
To add a minor, go to the College Advisement Center that administers your desired minor, and complete a Minor Clearance Form. Once complete, take this form to your major advisement center to attain your advisor's approval to add the minor.
Second majors (exclusive of some language second majors) are rare and must be approved by the college advisement center supervisors involved and the dean of the college responsible for the primary major. The second major proposal and approval process requires an evaluation of all University Core and major requirements and a time-to-graduation analysis. Petitions for a double major must be submitted prior to earning 75 BYU hours (excluding language exam credits). College advisement centers are prepared to assist interested students in this process. Courses used to satisfy the requirements of a student's major can also be used to satisfy the requirements of an approved second major, unless not permitted by the requirements of the proposed second major. Students who graduate with a second major only receive one degree (the one associated with the primary major) and one diploma. Only the primary major will be listed in the university commencement program and on the diploma.
BYU requires all students to live up to the standards described within the university’s Honor Code, including residential living standards, dress and grooming standards, and the Academic Honesty Policy. To ensure that students are maintaining these standards, BYU requires all students to have a current Ecclesiastical Endorsement on file. All LDS students must meet with their current bishop to discuss the Honor Code and gain his endorsement to attend BYU.
If you are a student of another faith, you must meet with your current ecclesiastical leader if you are an active participant in his/her congregation. You may also meet with the bishop of the LDS ward in which you geographically reside, or the University Chaplain. You and your religious leader must sign the Ecclesiastical Endorsement, stating that you are currently living the standards described therein, after which it must be submitted to the Honor Code Office. All students are required to attain one Ecclesiastical Endorsement for each year they attend BYU, usually due in March. For more information, please visit the Honor Code Office website at http://honorcode.byu.edu/. The Honor Code Office can also be found in 4440 WSC, or by calling (801) 422—2847.
BYU does offer challenge and exemption exams for some GE requirements. Challenge exams will give you graded credit for the University Core requirement, while exemption exams will only fulfill the GE, without giving you university credit. There are fees required to take challenge and exemption exams, payable at Student Services, D-155 ASB.
Standardized challenge and exemption exams are available at the Testing Center for Biology 100 (for more information, see biology.byu.edu, call 801-422-4339, or visit 109 HRCB), Physical Science 100 (ps100.byu.edu, 801-422-3301, N252 ESC), and American Heritage 100 (americanheritage.byu.edu, 801-422-6076, 166 SWKT). If you would like to take challenge or exemption exams for other classes, you must contact the departments administering the courses. For example, if you want to test out of Math 112, you will need to contact the Math Department for information on departmental policies.
How Many Credit Hours Must I Have to be Considered a Full-Time Student? What about 3/4-Time or Part-Time?
Full-time, 3/4-time, and part-time statuses are important, as they impact how much tuition you will be charged, what campus services are available to you, and your eligibility to receive financial aid. These statuses may also impact how much you are charged for health insurance. Full-Time, 3/4-Time, and Part-Time statuses with their associated credit hour requirements are listed below. If you have any questions about which services may be affected by dropping below a full-time status, please contact the University Advisement Center.
|Fall/Winter Semester||Spring/Summer Term|
|Full-Time||12-18 credit hours||6-9 credit hours|
|3/4-Time||9-11.5 credit hours||4.5-5.5 credit hours|
|Part-Time||.5-8.5 credit hours||.5-4 credit hours|
BYU requires that all 3/4-time and full-time students be covered with health insurance. If you do not have health insurance, BYU will automatically enroll you in the university’s health plan and charge you accordingly. If you already have health insurance, you must provide the university proof of coverage by logging onto Route Y, then clicking on the “School,” then “Student/Private Health Plans” links. You will be required to provide the name of your insurance provider and the policy number. This must be done by the tuition billing date of fall semester.
BYU’s health plan covers students for one year, beginning on the first day of fall semester. If you are on BYU’s health plan and get married or have children, you must notify the Student Health Plan Business Office immediately. For more information on BYU’s insurance policies, please contact the Student Health Plan Business Office at (801) 422—7737, or visit them at 2310 SHC.
I’m Planning on Coming to BYU in the Future...How Can I Increase My Chances of Being Admitted to the University?
Admissions Services at BYU serve all students hoping to come to the university in the future. To better service high school students, BYU has created the Office of High School Relations. This office helps to excite prospective students about coming to BYU, and offers recommendations of courses to take during your high school experience, to enhance your application to BYU. The Office of High School Relations suggests that students complete 2-3 years of high school history or government classes, 2-3 years of lab sciences, 4 years of English, 4 years of math, and 2 years of a foreign language. To speak with a representative from the Office of High School Relations, please call (801) 422—4431, or go to room 206 of the Hinckley Center. You may also call Admissions Services at (801) 422—5000 for further suggestions on how to better your chances of being admitted to BYU.
If you are hoping to transfer to BYU from another college/university, please visit the Admissions and Transfer Evaluation Office, located in D-155 ASB, or call them at (801) 422—2507. There, you can make an appointment to speak with an admissions counselor to discuss how and when to apply to the university, in addition to strategies enhancing your application to the university. The Admissions and Transfer Evaluation Office will also evaluate your transcripts from differing universities, deciding which courses previously taken will give you credit at BYU.
Independent Study courses are available to students seeking high school and university credit, in addition to anyone seeking personal enrichment. Some courses are set up to be taken through paper materials mailed to the student, and others are to be taken exclusively online. Students are given one calendar year to complete an Independent Study course. The fees associated with these courses are based on the number of credits each class is worth, as well as the student’s purpose for taking the class. For example, students hoping to receive university credit for an Independent Study course will be charged more than those seeking only personal enrichment.
For more information on Independent Study courses, associated fees, and how to enroll, please contact the university’s Independent Study Office at (801) 422—2868. You can also visit the Independent Study Office in 120 MORC, or visit their website at http://ce.byu.edu/is/site/index.cfm.
Regarding religion credits, all students must fulfill two requirements in order to graduate:
- Students must complete a certain number of religion credit hours exclusively through BYU (these are called “residency” credit hours). These credits can be completed through daytime, evening, Salt Lake Center, and Independent Study religion courses. 14 residency hours are generally required of all students, though this number decreases by 2 credits for every 15 credit hours transferred into BYU from elsewhere.
- Students must complete specific religion core classes. Rel A 121 and 122 (2 semesters of the Book of Mormon), Rel C 324 or 325 (one semester of the Doctrine and Covenants), and Rel A 211 or 212 (one semester of the New Testament) are generally required of all students. However, students transferring credits from other colleges/universities may have some core class requirements waived, depending upon how many credit hours were accepted by BYU.
Should a student complete his/her core classes through BYU (requirement #2 above), they will also count towards the student’s residency hours requirement (requirement #1). Students completing classes through CES Institutes of Religion may transfer those credits into BYU to fulfill their core religion class requirements. However, these classes will NOT help to fulfill students’ religion residency hours requirement. For example, a student can take a New Testament class through institute and fulfill the New Testament core requirement. But the institute class will NOT lower the student’s residency hours yet to be completed.
To receive university credit for a work experience, you must first speak with the internship coordinator from your department, and attain departmental approval to receive credit for your experience. You must then enroll in an academic internship course and complete all necessary assignments. For information on finding an internship and receiving university credit, please visit the Internship Office, 130A B-34, or call them at (801) 422-3331. You can also visit https://intern.byu.edu/ or email questions to email@example.com.
If you do not have a major selected, or if the desired internship is not within your field of study, please meet with the Exploratory Internships Coordinator, Jeff Buell. Please call (801) 422-3826 to set up an appointment with Brother Buell, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve Studied a Foreign Language in High School and on my Mission...Which Language Class at BYU Should I Register For?
BYU offers online language placement exams for students with French, German, Spanish, Russian, and ESL experience. To take a placement examination for one of these languages, go to http://webcape.byuhtrsc.org/ and select Brigham Young University from the pull-down menu. A dialog box will appear asking for an account password. The password is “cougars1”. After logging in with account password, select your desired language and follow the instructions on the screen. Prior to leaving the online testing program, you will receive a score for the exam with information on which language class is appropriate for you, given your experience levels.
BYU also has several classes tailored specifically to returned missionaries and others who are fluent in a foreign language. For some languages, you can take a challenge exam worth up to 16 credits of lower-level language courses. For more information on the placement and challenge exams, please contact the Center for Language Studies in 2086 JFSB, or call them at (801) 422—1201.
BYU allows students to register for up to 18 credit hours during the Fall and Winter Semesters, and up to 9 credit hours during the Spring and Summer Terms.
If you wish to take more than the maximum number of credit hours allowed during a semester or term, you must first meet with an advisor from your major to discuss the implications of such a heavy course load. If your advisor deems it appropriate, he/she will give you approval to add more than the maximum credit hours allowed. If you are an Open-Major student, you must meet with an advisor from the University Advisement Center to discuss your course load. To speak with an Open-Major advisor, please visit 2500 WSC or call (801) 422—3826 to set up an appointment.
Each major at BYU is administered by a College Advisement Center, with academic advisors available to aid students in scheduling future semesters and preparing for graduation. Your CAC will make sure you have fulfilled all University Core and major requirements. To check if you are on track for graduation, simply visit with your CAC, and they will show you exactly what requirements you have yet to fulfill.
You will also apply for graduation at your CAC. They can provide you with information on how and when to apply, as well as information regarding commencement exercises, cap and gown fees, etc.
BYU’s policies are such that the university will not award a second undergraduate degree to students. For information on the Masters and Doctorate degrees offered at BYU, please visit the Graduate Studies Office, 105 FPH, or call them at (801) 422—4091. You can also find information on BYU’s advanced degrees by searching at http://www.byu.edu/gradstudies/.
If a student has already completed a Bachelor’s degree but still requires prerequisite work for advanced programs, he/she may enroll at BYU as a Post-Baccalaureate student. For information on how to apply as a post-baccalaureate student, please visit the University Admissions Office, D-155 ASB, or call them at (801) 422—2507.
Students having already received a Bachelor’s degree also have the opportunity to take undergraduate classes at BYU as an evening student. However, the student will be charged graduate-school tuition. The student must meet the minimum age requirement and all others stipulated by the Division of Continuing Education. For further information and to apply as an evening student, please contact the Division of Continuing Education at (801) 422—4149, or visit them at 399 HCEB.
The Pre-Professional Advisement Center is dedicated solely to helping Pre-Med and Pre-Law students get into professional schools. They can provide you with information on prerequisite courses and entrance exams, as well as contact and application information for various medical and law schools around the country. Advisors are available to help students wanting to go into chiropractic, dental and dental hygienist, medical, occupational therapy, optometry, PA, pharmacy, physical therapy, podiatry, and law schools.
Both Pre-Med and Pre-Law advisors can be found in 3328 WSC. To set up an appointment with a Pre-Law advisor, please call (801) 422—2318. Advisors for students going into medical fields can be reached at (801) 422—3044.
Full-time students can rent computers through the Office of Information Technology. OIT offers both Macs and PCs, in desktop and laptop models. For more information, please contact OIT at (801) 422—4000, or visit them in room 104 of the Leo B. Ellsworth Building.
For faculty and staff, part-time students, as well as non-students, the BYU Bookstore Computer Repair Desk rents both PC and Mac laptops. For more information, please go to the Computer Repair Desk on the third floor of the BYU Bookstore, or call (801) 422—9736.
I Don’t Like One of My Grades From Last Semester...Can I Repeat a Class? What Happens to My Transcript and GPA if I Do?
Students may repeat any course taken at BYU if the course is still being taught or an equivalent course exists.
- Beginning Fall semester 2011: ALL grades will be averaged into the grade point average (GPA) and ALL credit will be counted in the total hours.
- Previous to Fall semester 2011: only the last enrollment of a repeated class (R-suffix courses excluded) will count in the grade point average (GPA) and total credit hours.
BYU does have a Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, with advisors able to answer questions on how to apply for Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, and other forms of federal financial aid. They can also give you information on university scholarships including scholarship requirements, deadlines to apply, and how to defer a scholarship. The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office is located in D-155 ASB, and can be reached at (801) 422—4104.
For information on external scholarships and how to apply for them, please visit the Office of Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships, located in 102B MSRB. They can also be reached at (801) 422—6136.
The Student Employment Office administers all on-campus and Missionary Training Center jobs. To work on campus, you must be enrolled in at least 6* credit hours during the Fall and Winter Semesters (international students must maintain the legal minimum of 12 credit hours to maintain their VISAs). If working over the Spring/Summer Terms, you must be registered for at least 6 credit hours during the next Fall Semester, or at least 3 credit hours for either the Spring or Summer Term (international students must again maintain the minimum hours required to maintain VISAs). You are permitted to hold up to three employment positions at a time, but you may not exceed 20 hours of work per week without prior university approval.
Many on-campus jobs will require you to take the Office Skills Test, measuring both speed and accuracy in word processing and data entry. The Office Skills Test can be taken at the Student Employment Office, 2024 WSC. To view job postings, please visit the Student Employment Office, or go to http://www.byu.edu/hr/.
* Subject to change. Please contact the Student Employment Office to confirm minimum credit hour requirements.
I Want to be More Competitive in the Job Market...What Services Does the University Offer to Help Me?
University Career Services is dedicated to helping students transition from the university experience to their career field. Students wanting information on different career fields corresponding to their areas of study can set up appointments with UCS advisors. UCS also offers workshops to help you in writing résumés, preparing for job interviews, and networking within your field, providing you with strategies to make yourself more attractive to employers.
University Career Services hosts scores of employers each year for the University Career Fair. Employers will also frequently visit campus to interview potential employees. For more information on meeting with employers or to set up an appointment with a University Career Services advisor, please call (801) 422—3000, or visit them in 2410 WSC.
MyMap is a useful tool offered to students to help them plan courses to take in future semesters, covering both University Core and major/minor requirements. By clicking on the “Plan MyMap” tab, you can select courses to take that will fulfill both GE and program requirements. After having selected courses to take, click on the “Organize MyMap” tab to plan out during which semester you will take these courses, effectively developing a map for yourself leading to graduation.
You can also register for your classes through MyMap, by clicking on the “Register” tab, selecting the semester/term desired, then clicking the “Add Classes” button. You must be cognizant of priority registration dates, to ensure that you are able to add your desired courses. MyMap also allows student to view how their previously-taken classes can fit into another major’s requirements. For example, if a student majoring in Nursing wanted to see how his/her classes would fit into the Biology major’s requirements, he/she could do that by clicking on the “Plan MyMap” link, then clicking “Explore Other Majors/Minors.” This resource can prove helpful to students with a high number of credits, who are wanting to graduate as soon as possible, regardless of his/her major.
BYU allows you to change your schedule with no penalty until the Add/Drop Deadline (this is usually during the second week of the Fall/Winter semesters and the first week of the Spring/Summer Terms). If you must drop a class from your schedule after the Add/Drop deadline, you may do so until the Withdrawal Deadline, but you will have a W placed on your transcript for that course. W grades are not factored into your GPA, but may be detrimental to graduate school applications if you have an excessive amount. W grades could also impact students’ eligibility for financial aid/scholarships, and other university services. Please see financial aid advisors in D-155 ASB before deciding to withdraw from any and all courses.
The Discontinuance Deadline is reserved for students needing to drop all of their classes for “non-academic emergencies.” If you discontinue from a semester, you will receive W grades for all of your semester classes. You must not be failing any of your classes, otherwise you will receive a WE (Withdraw-Failing) on your transcript, which is factored into your cumulative GPA as a 0.0 for the class in which you are failing. For more information on these deadlines and how to discontinue from a semester, please contact the University Registrar’s Office at (801) 422—2631, or at B-150 ASB.
The BYU Student Service Association (BYUSA) is the premier student-run association on campus. BYUSA offers all students a chance to get involved in organizing and executing dances, service projects, and other campus events. It administers more than 60 clubs with such varieties as the Freedom Society, the Nepalese and Vietnamese Student Associations, and the Fencing Club. BYUSA also works in leadership capacities, hand-in-hand with the BYU President’s Council. For information on how to get involved, please contact BYUSA in 3400 WSC, or call (801) 422—3901. Various departments around campus offer academic-related service experiences. Please contact your dean’s office for information regarding these opportunities. For additional service experiences, please contact the Center for Service and Learning in 2010 WSC, or at (801) 422—1277. They can provide you with several chances to serve, including helping in hospices, aiding the disabled, and tutoring children. You can also visit their website at http://yserve.byu.edu.
BYU requires that all students attend both the fall and winter semesters. If you choose not to attend one of these semesters, it is considered a leave of absence http://saas.byu.edu/tools/b4byu/sites/b4/?new-freshman/leave-of-absence/ . No paperwork is necessary to return to the university for a leave of absence. Missionaries are required to defer their enrollment before leaving on their mission. If you do not take classes during the fall and winter semesters and you do not defer your enrollment, the university will assume that you have dropped out, and you will need to reapply to the university as a former student in order to return and continue taking classes. If this is the case, you must adhere to all university application deadlines. Please be aware of any scholarships or financial aid, as these may be effected by a long absence from the university. Deferment forms are available online at http://saas.byu.edu/tools/b4byu/sites/b4/?new-freshman/missionary-deferm.... There are separate forms for international students as well. All questions regarding deferment must be directed to the University Admissions Office, D-155 ASB. The Admissions Office can be reached at (801) 422—2507.
It’s Been Several Years Since I Last Studied Math and I Don’t Remember Much...Which Math Course Should I Register For?
The Math Department does not offer one comprehensive math placement exam, telling you for which course you must register, given your skill level. However, there are past exams available online for Math 110, 112, and 119 (The placement exam for Math 119 will be replaced by an exam for Math 118 effective Fall 2011). The Math Department suggests that you take a final exam from these courses (there are multiple years’ final exams available), to find which course is best suited for your math experience. If you are able to score at least a 70% on one of the exams, then you have skills proficient to add the corresponding class to your schedule. To access these tests, simply go to math.byu.edu, then select the “Exams” link from the pull-down menu entitled “Courses and Services.” As you scroll down the page, you’ll find previous years’ final exams with answer keys. Any further questions should be directed to the Math Department, located in 292 TMCB. They can also be reached at (801) 422—2061.