Religion Requirements

General Requirements

General Religion Requirements are as follows:

Religion Requirement for the Baccalaureate Degree
Courses Credit Hours
Two Book of Mormon courses 4
One Doctrine and Covenants course 2
One New Testament course 2
Elective courses 6

 

Transfer Students

Transfer students must fulfill the BYU graduation requirement in religion. All students must complete a minimum number of religion credits taken at BYU, according to the following table, regardless of the number of religion hours completed elsewhere.

Total Hours Transferred to BYU Religion Hours to take at BYU Courses Required for Graduation**
0-14.9 14

Book of Mormon (121 and 122) - 4 hours

Doctrine and Covenants (324 or 325) - 2 hours

New Testament (RelA 111 or 200 or 211 or 212 or 310 or 311) - 2 hours

15-29.9 12
30-44.9 10
45-59.9 8
60-74.9 6

Book of Mormon (121 and 122) - 4 hours

Doctrine and Covenants (324 or 325) - 2 hours

75-89.9 4*
90 or more 2* Book of Mormon (121 and 122) - 4 hours

 *More credits may be needed if the subject matter requirement has not been completed.

**These courses can be taken at BYU-I, BYU-H, and Institutes of Religion.
 
Do courses offered at BYU that deal with religion or are related to religion count for BYU religion credit? 
 
No.  Only courses with the REL designation receive religion credit.
 
Why can’t I count more than four hours of religion credit in a given semester toward my religion requirement? 
 
The Undergraduate Catalog states, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always maintained that education is not complete without proper integration of secular and religious knowledge and values.  All students at BYU should include regular gospel study as a continuous part of their university experience” (p. 57, emphasis added). 
 
Furthermore, the Class Schedule states, “It has always been the view of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that education is not complete without proper integration of secular and religious knowledge and values. 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.  Ideally, students should take one religion class each semester of enrollment” (Winter 2003 Class Schedule, p. 9, emphasis added).
 
The Board of Trustees and Administration of BYU maintain that a student should have a religious experience throughout their undergraduate career.  To prevent students from taking all their religion classes at once to “get them over with,” no more than four hours of religion credit per semester may be counted toward the religion requirement.
 
How can I tell if I am “on course” for graduation?
 
You may refer to the first page of your progress report, which you can access anytime through AIM.  Your report will show which core religion classes you have completed under the heading of “Religion Requirement.”  It will display either a YES or a NO next to each requirement, indicating whether or not you have completed that core requirement.  Below that, it will show the “Religion Hours at BYU” that you have completed.  Here, you can see how many total residency religion hours you are required to take, how many you have completed, how many hours you are deficient, and how many you are currently registered for. 
 

Petitioning Process/Deadlines

Is there a deadline for petitions regarding religion credits? 
 
Yes.  Currently, the University’s deadlines to complete petitions for graduation are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog (p. 8-11) as follows:
 
“Last day undergraduates may submit to the Records Office all incompletes, T grades, special exams, GE challenges, military credit, official transcripts of work completed at other schools, and any other information pertaining to [your semester] graduation.”
  • December Graduation deadline: November 22*
  • April Graduation deadline: March 28
  • August Graduation deadline: July 11*
 
*These deadlines may not be exact. Please refer to the most current Undergraduate Catalog for University deadlines. 
 
In order to have time to process the petition and send it to the Records Office before this deadline, it is requested that you file your petition with the Religious Education Dean’s office one month before the posted deadline in the Undergraduate Catalog.
 
How do I petition religion credits?
 
Contact the Religious Education Dean's office at (801) 422-2735 for information about how to petition religion credits.
 

Core Requirements

Am I required to take specific religion courses to graduate from BYU?
 
Yes.  Every BYU student must complete a regimen of “core” courses.  Beyond the “core,” students may choose from all other religion courses to fulfill the required religion hours.
 
If you have taken all your coursework at BYU or transferred no more than 59.9 hours of credits from any other institution, you are required to take the following “core” courses to graduate:
  • Book of Mormon (121 and 122) – 4 hours
  • Doctrine and Covenants (324 or 325) – 2 hours
  • New Testament (111 or 200 or 211 or 212 or 310 or 311) – 2 hours
 
If you have transferred 60 or more hours of credit from another institution to BYU, the required “core” courses are listed below:
 
Total Hours Transferred to BYU Courses Required for Graduation
60-89.9

Book of Mormon (121 and 122) - 4 hours

Doctrine and Covenants (324 or 325) - 2 hours

90 or more

Book of Mormon (121 and 122) - 4 hours

 
Can I graduate without taking Book of Mormon (Rel A 121 and 122)?
 
No.  Every student who graduates from BYU must take Rel A 121 and 122 at some time in their undergraduate career. 
 
Do religion courses taken from an Institute, Stake Institute, BYU-Idaho, or BYU-Hawaii count as a religion “core” credit? 
 
Yes.  Corresponding Institute, stake institute, BYU-I and BYU-H courses may fulfill the “core” religion credits at BYU.  Such courses do not, however, fulfill the “residency” religion requirement. (See Residency Requirement)
 
Do religion courses taken by independent study count as a religion “core” credit?
 
Yes. Independent study courses do fill the “core” religion credits at BYU.  They also fill the “residency” religion requirement.
 

Residency Requirements

What does the term “resident hours” mean?
 
“Resident hours” refers to the religion hours completed at BYU.  Every student is required to complete a specific number of BYU (Provo) religion hours regardless of the number of religion credits completed elsewhere.  Only BYU (Provo) religion courses fulfill the “residency” requirement.  There are no exceptions.  (See Undergraduate Catalog, p. 57)
 
How many “resident” religion hours are required to graduate from BYU?
 
If you have taken all your coursework at BYU or transferred less than 15 hours of credits from any other institution, you are required to take a minimum of 14 hours of religion at BYU (resident hours) to graduate.
 
If, however, you have transferred 15 or more hours of credit from another institution to BYU, the number of religion hours required to take at BYU (resident hours) is listed below:
 
Total Hours Transferred to BYU Required Religion Hours at BYU
0-14.9 14
15-29.9 12
30-44.9 10
45-59.9 8
60-74.9 6
75-89.9 4*
90 or more 2*
*More credits may be needed if the subject matter requirement has not been completed.
 
Why does BYU have a “residency” requirement for religion courses? 
 
Since BYU grants the undergraduate degree, it is felt that students should take courses at BYU (Provo) to have the “BYU experience.”  While one may argue that other religion courses provide the same quality and depth as BYU religion courses, the point is not quality but sponsorship.  It is expected that BYU students have a BYU experience.  Thus, residency ensures that BYU students will be afforded the experience of which they sought admittance.   
 
Can AP hours reduce my required “residency” religion hours?
 
Yes.  AP credit that is accepted by the University counts as transfer credit.  Thus, you should follow the same table above which lists total transfer credits, and the corresponding number of required religion hours at BYU.
 
Do BYU-Idaho or BYU-Hawaii religion courses count towards the “residency” religion requirement at BYU (Provo)?
 
No. Only religion courses taken at BYU (Provo) count towards the religion residency requirement for graduation. 
 
Do Institute classes count towards the “residency” religion requirement at BYU (Provo)?
 
No. Only religion courses taken at BYU (Provo) count towards the religion residency requirement for graduation. 
 
What if I am not a transfer student but I take an institute course while I am at home during the summer? Will this course fulfill my “residency” requirement?   
 
No. If the course is taken for credit, meets the CES Institute standards, corresponds with an existing BYU religion course, and if your institute sends an official transcript to the Admissions Office at BYU, then the institute class will count as two hours towards your total university hours.  It may also fill part of your “core” requirement.  For example, a New Testament institute class may fill your core requirement to take New Testament.  However, it will not count towards the “residency” requirement at BYU.
 
Do religion courses taken at BYU-Salt Lake Center count toward the “residency” religion requirement at BYU (Provo)?
 
Yes.  The BYU Salt Lake Center is an extension of the BYU (Provo) campus.  It was created to provide those tied to the Provo campus an opportunity to study in a geographically convenient location.  The BYU Salt Lake Center maintains the same policies, procedures, instructional value, and grading standards as the BYU (Provo) campus.  Therefore, a religion course taken at the Salt Lake Center is considered the same as taking a course at BYU (Provo) and fulfills both “core” and “residency” requirements.
 
Do independent study courses count toward the “residency” religion requirement at BYU (Provo)?
 
Yes.  Independent study courses count the same as any other class taken from BYU, and fulfill the residency religion requirement.
 

Institute / Transfer Credits

Do religion courses taken from an Institute, Stake Institute, BYU-Idaho, or BYU-Hawaii count as a religion “core” credit? 
 
Yes.  Corresponding Institute, stake institute, BYU-I and BYU-H courses may fulfill the “core” religion credits at BYU.  Such courses do not, however, fulfill the “residency” religion requirement.  (See Core Requirements)
 
Do institute credits transfered to BYU effect my GPA? 
 
No.  All institute credits transferd to BYU are accepted only as pass/fail grades.
 
Do Institute or Stake Institute classes count towards the “residency” religion requirement at BYU (Provo)?
 
No. Only religion courses taken at BYU (Provo) count towards the religion residency requirement for graduation. 
 
Do BYU-Idaho or BYU-Hawaii religion courses count towards the “residency” religion requirement at BYU (Provo)?
 
No. Only religion courses taken at BYU (Provo) count towards the religion residency requirement for graduation. 
 
What is the difference between “Stake Institute classes” and “Institute classes?”  Do they count for BYU credit? 
 
Stake Institute classes were created to provide religious instruction for those not directly affiliated with a college or university.  CES (Church Education System) encourages college and university students to take religion courses from the program affiliated with their college/university.  Ideally, a student at the University of Texas, for example, would take courses at the university institute; a BYU student would take religion courses at BYU, etc.  Qualified stake institute courses receive institute credit and thus could be transferred to BYU.  Like any religion course from another institution, they may fulfill the “core” requirement but they do not fulfill the residency hour requirement at BYU.  
 
What does it mean to take an Institute course for “transfer credit?”
 
A student who desires to transfer institute credit must contact the institute instructor at the beginning of the semester/term and request to take the course for credit.  This requires the student to complete the academic requirements of the course (exams, assignments, etc.) for transfer credit. The only grade accepted for transfer to BYU is pass/fail.
 
How does an Institute course appear on my BYU transcript? When?  
 
Your Institute director or instructor must send an official “Institute Transcript” to the Admissions Office at BYU.  After they receive it, the course is reviewed and posted on a BYU transcript within two or three days.
 
Do religion courses offered from other universities (except BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii, and CES Institutes of Religion) fulfill the “core” religion requirement at BYU?
 
No.  For example, New Testament taught at Baylor does not have the same emphasis as New Testament at BYU, and will therefore not receive any religion credit nor fulfill the core requirement at BYU. (See Core Requirements)
 
Are qualifying religion courses transferred from another institution figured into my GPA and count as total hours at BYU?
 
No. Because institute courses are transfered only as pass/fail, they do not effect a BYU GPA.