Brigham Young University

January 30, 2012 by staff 

Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University (often referred to as BYU, or sometimes just the Y) is a private university located in Provo, Utah. It is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and is the United States’ largest religious university and third-largest private university.

Approximately 98% of the university’s 34,000 students are members of the LDS Church, and one-third of its American students come from within the state of Utah. BYU students are required to follow an honor code, which mandates behavior in line with LDS teachings (e.g., academic honesty, adherence to dress and grooming standards, and abstinence from extramarital sex and from the consumption of drugs and alcohol). Many students (78% of men, 10% of women) take a two-year hiatus from their studies at some point to serve as Mormon missionaries. Many BYU students speak foreign languages during their Mormon missions, and approximately 31% of the student body enroll in foreign language courses, making it one of the most multilingual student bodies in the United States. A BYU education is also less expensive than at similar private universities since approximately 70% of tuition is funded by LDS Church tithing funds.

BYU offers programs in liberal arts, engineering, agriculture, management, and law. The university is broadly organized into 11 colleges or schools at its main Provo campus, with certain colleges and divisions defining their own admission standards. The university also administers two satellite campuses, one in Jerusalem and one in Salt Lake City, while its parent organization, the Church Educational System, sponsors sister schools in Hawaii and Idaho. The university’s primary focus is on undergraduate education, but it also has 68 master’s and 25 doctoral degree programs.

BYU’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the BYU Cougars. They are independent in football, with other sports in the West Coast Conference and MPSF, and have won ten national championships.

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