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BYU Religion Credit Requirements

General Requirements

All BYU students must complete eight credits of the Cornerstone Courses prior to their graduation. The Cornerstone Courses include:

Religion Requirement for the Baccalaureate Degree
Courses Credit Hours
REL C 200 - The Eternal Family 2
REL C 225 - Foundations of the Restoration 2
REL A 250 - Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel 2
REL A 275 - Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon 2

Transfer Students

Transfer students must fulfill the BYU graduation requirements 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 Religion Hours to take 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*

* All students graduating for the respective BYUs and LDS Institute must complete ALL cornerstone requirements. Credit for religion courses may be transferred from BYU-I, BYU-H, and LDS Institutes according to current policy.

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

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    Do all 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.
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    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. 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.
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    How can I tell if I'm “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
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    Is there a petition process regarding religion credits?
    Students may utilize a petition application of circumstances. Such petitions typically invite a review of an individual’s progress towards fulfillment of religion credits.
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    How do I petition 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 on line or at the Dean’s office.
Core Requirements
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    Do Cornerstones Courses taken from BYU-Idaho, BYU-Salt Lake Center or BYU-Hawaii count as religion “core” credit?
    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)
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    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 require 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
90 or more
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    Why does BYU have a “residency” requirement for religion courses?
    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.
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    Can AP hours reduce my required “residency” religion hours?
    AP credit that is accepted by the University counts as transfer credit. Students admitted to BYU 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.
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    Do BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii or Institute of 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. However, Cornerstone courses taken at these institutions do satisfy core requirements.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Do institute credits transferred to BYU affect my GPA?
    No. All institute credits transferred to BYU are accepted only as pass/fail grades.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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)
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    Are qualifying religion courses transferred from another institution figured into my GPA and count as total hours at BYU?
    No. Because institute courses are transferred only as pass/fail, they do not affect a BYU GPA.