Undergraduate Education supervises and fosters essential university-wide elements of the baccalaureate: First Year Experience, General Education, and the Honors Program. These interrelated programs together promote and champion teaching and learning within an integrated university education. They aim to enrich the educational experience and to benefit the life of each undergraduate student.
The BYU Mission statement specifies: "Because the gospel encourages the pursuit of all truth, students at BYU should receive a broad university education. The arts, letters, and sciences provide the core of such an education, which will help students think clearly, communicate effectively, understand important ideas in their own cultural tradition as well as that of others, and establish clear standards of intellectual integrity." The programs in Undergraduate Education support this mission.
The Office of First-Year Experience (FYE) facilitates a student's transition from high school to university life. This includes 1) providing every student with a peer mentor- a trained guide who will help orient students to the university, answer questions and make helpful suggestions, and check-in periodically with students during their first year and 2) hosting other orientation activities including Jumpstart, New Student Orientation (NSO) and the First-Year Arts Card program. These efforts span the time between students' admission notification through the end of their first year on campus.
First-Year Mentoring is designed to support all new students as they transition to, and learn to thrive in, a challenging university environment. This support spans three key periods:
Pre-Arrival (March – August):
Within 2-3 weeks following admissions notification, students admitted for fall semester, and summer term are assigned to a peer mentor who will contact them (by email, phone and text) in order to answer their questions and provide direction concerning next steps in their transition from high school to the university.
Fall Semester (September – December) and/or Summer Term (June-August):
First-Year Mentoring reserves seats in high-demand General Education classes and provides each new student with the support of an individual peer mentor based on their registration in the mentored course. All new students are expected to enroll in a mentored course.
Mentors and students will meet together and communicate via email and text messaging throughout the semester in order to answer questions, discuss their experiences, and connect with important university resources. Additionally, peer mentors work closely with the faculty members who teach mentored courses and facilitate relationships between students and the instructors.
Winter Semester (January – April):
The mentoring relationships established during fall and summer continue through periodic follow-up interviews during January through February.
Although there are very few mentored courses or reserved seats offered during winter semester, students who begin their university experience during winter semester will be assigned to a peer mentor.
Transfer students are also eligible for and welcome to the support of a peer mentor during their first year at the university; however, access to mentored courses are reserved for freshmen. Students transferring to BYU will be contacted prior to their arrival in order to request a mentor.
The Honors Program provides a rich and challenging experience for motivated undergraduate students. Its purpose is to both broaden and deepen the educational experience of students, and to develop the intellectual integrity and moral character that define disciple-scholarship. The Honors Program is comprised of three dimensions: Great Questions, Experiential Learning, and the Honors Thesis. The central focus of the program is the study of big or "great" questions (e.g., justice, human agency and responsibility) with an emphasis on interdisciplinary study. Coursework teaches and models for students modes of intellectual inquiry that draw on the knowledge and skills of different disciplines to explore unexpected connections between disciplines, leading to a deeper, more careful and precise understanding of the questions we seek to answer as life-long learners. "University Honors" is a distinction awarded to graduates of BYU who meet the Honors requirements (see the Honors Program section of this catalog for details). The University Honors designation will be recorded on the student's university diploma, on the official transcript of grades, and in the University Commencement program.
National Scholarships, Fellowships, and Programs
The National Scholarships, Fellowships, and Programs office (NSFP) assists students in finding and applying for national, externally-funded, merit-based, competitive scholarships and fellowships, mostly for graduate study, but some for undergraduate language and research opportunities, as well as certain summer and study abroad programs.
The NSFP office at BYU:
- seeks students who are qualified, interested, and ready to apply for graduate school merit scholarships.
- informs students about opportunities and requirements for competitive scholarships.
- supports and assists students in preparing application materials for merit scholarships.
The NSFP office works with a palette of about 30 scholarships and fellowships that changes from time to time. Students are encouraged to review the online information describing scholarships relevant to their educational and career objectives at nsfp.byu.edu, and to contact Fred Pinnegar in 350D Maeser Building (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.