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Credit Requirements

General Requirements

Graduation from BYU (and all CES institutions, such as BYU–Idaho, BYU–Hawaii, and institutes of religion) requires completion of 14 credit hours of approved religious education courses. All BYU students must complete eight credit hours of the Cornerstone Courses and six elective credit hours prior to graduation. The Cornerstone Courses include:

Required Course Credit Hours Approved Substitution
REL C 200 - The Eternal Family 2.0 NONE
REL C 225 - Foundations of the Restoration 2.0 NONE
REL A 250 - Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel 2.0 Rel A 211: New Testament (Gospels); or Rel A 311R: New Testament Studies
REL A 275 - Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon 2.0 Rel A 121: Book of Mormon I; or Rel A 122: Book of Mormon II

Transfer Students

Transfer students must fulfill the BYU graduation requirements, including residency hours in religion. All students must fulfill the Cornerstone Courses or an approved substitute (for example, one could take Rel A 121 - The Book of Mormon instead of Rel A 275 - Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon) to graduate from BYU, regardless of how many credits a student is transferring. If you are transferring less than 45 credits to BYU, you will be required to take additional courses beyond the Cornerstones. These requirements can be seen below.

Total Hours Transferred to BYU Total BYU Religion Hours to Take While Enrolled at BYU (Residency Hours) Cornerstone Courses Required for Graduation*
0-14 14

REL C 200: The Eternal Family

REL C 225: Foundations of the Restoration

REL A 250: Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel

REL A 275: Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon

or approved substitutions

15-29 12
30-44 10
45-59 8
60-74 6**
75-89 4**
90 or more 2**

* All students graduating from BYU, BYU–Idaho, BYU–Hawaii and institutes of religion must complete ALL Cornerstone requirements. Credit for these courses may be transferred from BYU–Idaho, BYU–Hawaii, and institutes of religion as per current policy.

**More religion credit may be needed if Cornerstone requirements have not been completed.

Petitioning Process/Deadlines

  • Students may utilize a petition application of circumstances. Such petitions typically invite a review of an individual’s progress towards fulfillment of religion credits.
  • Contact the Religious Education Dean’s office at (801) 422-3290 for information about how to petition religion credits. The petition form may be obtained online ( or at the Dean’s office.

Core Requirements

  • Yes. Cornerstones courses taken at other BYU campuses may fulfill the “core religion credits at BYU. However, such courses do not fulfill the “residency” religion requirement. (See Residency Requirement)
  • Yes. Independent study courses do fill the “core” religion credits at BYU. They also fill the “residency” religion requirement.

Residency Requirements

  • No. only courses with the REL designation receive religion credit.
  • 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. 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 skills 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 religion requirement.
  • 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.
  • Because 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.
  • AP credit that is accepted by the University counts as transfer credit. Students admitted to BYU and enrolled in classes prior to Fall 2019 should follow the table above which lists total hours transferred and the corresponding number of required religion hours at BYU. However, for students admitted for Fall 2019 or thereafter, AP credit will not be counted as transfer credit as it applies to religion residency requirements.
  • No. Only religion courses taken at BYU (Provo) count towards the religion residency requirement for graduation. However, Cornerstone courses taken at these institutions do satisfy core requirements.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Yes. Independent study courses count the same as any other class taken from BYU, and fulfill the residency religion requirement.
  • No. All institute credits transferred to BYU are accepted only as pass/fail grades.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • No. Because institute courses are transferred only as pass/fail, they do not affect a BYU GPA.