Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University (BYU) is the largest religious university in the USA, and is the third-largest private university in the USA. BYU is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS Church). 98% of BYU’s student population is LDS members, and a full one-third of its American students come from the state of Utah.
Due to its religious nature, BYU has a strict honor code. This honor code mandates behavior that is in line and/or compatible with LDS teachings, include abstinence from extramarital and premarital sex and the consumption of illegal drugs and/or alcohol. BYU students are required to be academically honest and adhere to specific dress and grooming standards.
BYU offers programs in liberal arts, engineering, law, management, and agriculture. There are 11 colleges or schools on the Provo campus, and 2 satellite campuses in Jerusalem and Salt Lake City. The parent organization of BYU (known as the Church Educational System) sponsors sister schools in Hawaii and Idaho. BYU’s main focus is on undergraduate education, but they do offer 68 masters’ degree programs and 25 doctoral degree programs.
BYU has one of the most multilingual student bodies in the United States, primarily due to the practice of young LDS members taking a 2 year break from their studies to serve as Mormon missionaries around the world. Many BYU students speak foreign languages during their Mormon missions, and 31% of them enroll in foreign language classes offered at BYU. Over 75% of the student body has some proficiency in a foreign language, and 107 different language courses are offered at BYU.
BYU’s athletic teams are collectively known as the BYU Cougars, and they compete in Division I of the NCAA.
BYU is held to have been founded on October 16 1875 which is when its founder Brigham Young—then president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints–purchased the building. Classes began at BYU on January 3 1876.
More than 20 BYU graduates have served in the US Senate or the US House of Representatives. Current presidential candidate (and former governor of Massachusetts from 2003 through 2007) received his 1971 bachelor’s degree in English from BYU. He then went on to Harvard to get a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration in 1975. Other well-known BYU alumni include Philo Farnsworth (inventor of the electronic television), Harvey Fletcher (inventor of the hearing aid), and two-time Super Bowl winner Jim McMahon.