FAQ

  • General Information

    • Where can information about the General Education program be obtained?
      Details about the General Education program are found in the "University Core" section of the University's Undergraduate Catalog and Class Schedule updated online each semester and term. If questions are not answered on the web pages, additional help can be obtained from college advisement centers or from the General Education office (350 Maeser Building, 422-3037).
    • What is General Education and the University Core?

      There are three formal components to the baccalaureate at Brigham Young University : religious education, general education, and education in a major. Of these, the first two constitute the University Core. In accordance with The Aims of a BYU Education, each of the three components complements the others. They are not partitioned off from one another; none claims preeminence; together they comprise a whole, a harmony.

      This website gives information only on General Education requirements: The Individual and Society, Skills, Arts, Letters and Sciences. demonstrate competence in the Languages of Learning, the Liberal Arts Core, and the Arts & Sciences Electives. For information and help with Doctrinal Foundations and Core Enrichment Electives (Religion Electives), please visit the Religious Education FAQs.

    • Can a non-GE course be substituted for a GE requirement?
      No. The list is inclusive. In rare cases, an appeal may be filed at gesub.byu.edu.
    • What is a College Advisement Center?
      There are 11 academic advisement centers on campus: one in each academic college and the Open Major Advisement Center for students who have not yet decided on a major. Advisement centers provide students with detailed information about both General Education and major requirements, help students declare or change majors, assist in evaluating any transfer credit from another institution, provide referral services to other organizations or personnel on campus, and help students with MyMAP, a program which allows students to plan their academic career and follow their progress, semester-by-semester, toward their degrees.
  • Honors Courses and General Education

    • How do Honors classes relate to General Education and the major?
      Honors courses provide a more challenging General Education curriculum in a smaller class size.
    • Who may enroll in an Honors course?
      Students who seek additional academic challenges as part of their BYU experience are invited to satisfy General Education requirements through Honors. Any BYU student may enroll in an Honors course. However, if you would like to graduate with University Honors, the highest distinction BYU graduates may earn, please contact the Honors Advisement Center, 102A MSRB, 801-422-5497).
  • General Education Credit Through Transfer Credit or Exam

    • Transfer Credit
      • May transfer credits be applied to General Education requirements?
        Yes. If a student is currently enrolled at BYU, the student should see their college advisement center or the Transfer Evaluation Office (A-166 ASB, 801-422-2507) for details. If a student is currently attending (or planning to attend) a college other than BYU, check with the advisement office at that institution or contact the BYU Admissions Office (A-209 ASB, 801-422-5000) for transfer information. BYU has detailed articulation agreements with many colleges and universities.
      • Can transfer credit satisfy BYU religion hours?
        Yes, in certain circumstances. See the Religious Education FAQ center for information or visit your advisement center.
      • Will an Associate Degree from another college meet all the General Education requirements?
        Not by itself. Currently BYU has consortium agreements with eight schools. Under this agreement, if a student receives an Associate Degree from one of these eight schools, all the BYU General Education requirements are fulfilled with the exception of Advance Written and Oral Communication, Languages or Learning (math, foreign language, or music), and Religion requirements. The consortium schools are: BYU Idaho, Salt Lake Community College, LDS Business College, Utah Valley University, Snow College, College of Eastern Utah, Dixie State College, and Mesa Community College (Mesa, AZ). For those who transfer from non-consortium schools, General Education credit is evaluated on a course-by-course comparison basis. Please contact the Transfer Evaluation Office for more information at 801-422-2507.
    • Credit by Examination
      • Can students complete General Education requirements by examination rather than by taking a course?
        Yes, but only occasionally. Students are urged to complete the General Education requirements by enrolling in courses; these provide the breadth of a university education.
      • How can General Education requirements be completed by examination?
        There are two different kinds of examinations: exemption exams (no credit or grade) and challenge exams (graded credit). Passing an exemption exam exempts the student from a General Education and academic credit is not granted. Some departments offer challenge examinations for General Education credit. A few of these challenge exams are offered in the Testing Center and others are arranged through the department that offers the course. The grade received on a challenge exam will appear on the transcript of grades. Consult the Class Schedule under Policies for further details on these exams.
      • Can a student receive credit from Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations, and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)?
        Students with a score of 3, 4, or 5 on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam may receive credit at BYU. IB credit is given for exams from courses taken in two categories: subsidiary, for courses taught one year; and higher, for courses taught two years. A student must have a score of 5, 6, or 7 on that exam in order to receive credit at BYU. The amount of credit awarded is dependent uon the level and subject of the course. BYU does not accept CLEP exam credit. For specific equivalents and credit hours earned, please contact your advisement center for details or visit the Transfer Evaluation Office web site.
  • THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY

    • American Heritage
      • What if I know American History really well? Do I still need to take this course?
        Yes. The U.S. History AP test only covers half of the American Heritage credit.
    • Global and Cultural Awareness
      • If I have fulfilled a foreign mission, why can't this be counted for the global and cultural awareness requirement?
        University credit is only given for courses taken at this or another institution. The university does not accept life experiences as the equivalent of taking a course.
  • SKILLS

    • First-Year Writing
      • I've already taken Advanced Writing. Do I still need first-year writing?
        Yes. While it is best to take first-year writing before advanced writing, the two classes cover different material, and a student is required to take both classes before graduation.
    • Advanced Written and Oral Communication
      • Which advanced written and oral communication course should a student take?
        This varies by major. Students should check their major requirements or with their college advisement center.
      • Why is it necessary to take a written and oral communication course when students do a lot of writing in other courses?
        AWOC classes are best taken during a student's junior year. Even though there is writing in other courses (a good thing) the focus of the papers will be different. For example, most non-AWOC courses focus on the content of the particular subject; an AWOC course focuses on the writing process and gives students opportunities for multiple revisions, techniques in writing, etc.
    • Quantitative Reasoning
      • How is the Quantitative Reasoning requirement completed?
        If the student's ACT mathematics subscore is 22 or above (or the SAT math subscore is 500 or above), the requirement has already been met. If the subscores are lower, the basic requirement can be met by completing one of the following courses: Acc 200, Math 102 (a non-math based major), Phil 205, SFL 260, or Stat 105. Completion of Math 110, Math 111, or one of the following calculus courses: Math 112, 113, or 119 also fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.
      • Does the Quantitative Reasoning requirement have to be met if a student elects to do a foreign language option under the Languages of Learning requirement?
        Yes. Every BYU student must have Quantitative Reasoning skills by graduation.
    • Languages of Learning
      • Can you explain the Languages of Learning requirement? Usually languages are thought to mean foreign languages, not math or music.
        In our modern, complex society, the ability to communicate effectively is deemed a critical skill. The Languages of Learning section contains mathematics, foreign languages, and music, each of which represent an important way to convey information and understanding. Students are asked to exhibit a mastery of either mathematics, music, or a foreign language at an advanced level where they achieve an exposure to cultures and to the ways in which practioners of the language structure their knowledge.
  • ARTS, LETTERS, & SCIENCES

    • Civilization
    • Arts
    • Letters
    • Biological Science
    • Physical Science
    • Social Science