World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Brigham Young University–Idaho

Article Id: WHEBN0000543502
Reproduction Date:

Title: Brigham Young University–Idaho  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: David A. Bednar, Church Educational System, List of Brigham Young University–Idaho buildings, Brigham Young University, Stew Morrill
Collection: 1888 Establishments in Idaho Territory, Brigham Young University–idaho, Buildings and Structures in Madison County, Idaho, Education in Madison County, Idaho, Educational Institutions Established in 1888, Universities and Colleges Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Universities and Colleges Affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Universities and Colleges in Idaho, Visitor Attractions in Madison County, Idaho
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Brigham Young University–Idaho

Brigham Young University–Idaho
Former names
Ricks College, Ricks Academy
Motto Rethinking Education
Established November 12, 1888
Type Private not-for-profit
President Clark Gilbert
Students 17,562 (Fall 2015)[1]
Location Rexburg, Idaho, United States
Campus Rural, 400 acres (1.6 km2)[2]
Colors Blue, Gray
Affiliations The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Website .edu.byuiwww

Brigham Young University–Idaho (BYU–Idaho or BYU–I) is a private university located in Rexburg, Idaho. Founded in 1888, the university is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), transitioned from a junior college to a four-year institution in 2001, and was known for the greater part of its history as Ricks College.

BYU-Idaho offers programs in Church Educational System (CES), sponsors sister schools in Utah and Hawaii. The university's focus is on undergraduate education, hosting 18 associate and over 70 bachelor's degree programs; and it operates using a three-semester system also known as "tracks".

Students at BYU-Idaho 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). Approximately 99 percent of the university's students are members of the LDS Church, and a significant percentage of the student body take an 18- (women) or 24-month (men) hiatus from their studies to serve as missionaries.[3] A BYU-Idaho education is generally less expensive than similar private universities, due largely to a significant funding by LDS Church tithing funds, helping keep tuition rates low.[4]

Since becoming a four-year institution, BYU-Idaho no longer hosts intercollegiate athletic teams but instead organizes intramural programs, as part of the larger student activity program.


  • History 1
    • The Bannock and Fremont Stake Academies 1.1
    • Ricks College 1.2
    • BYU-Idaho 1.3
  • Campus 2
  • Organization 3
  • Academics 4
  • Athletics 5
    • Ricks College Vikings 5.1
    • Athletics as a four-year university 5.2
  • Student life 6
    • LDS atmosphere 6.1
    • Culture 6.2
    • Honor Code 6.3
  • Alumni 7
  • References 8
  • Sources 9
  • External links 10


The original Ricks Academy building, completed in 1903

The Bannock and Fremont Stake Academies

On November 12, 1888, the LDS Church created the Bannock Stake Academy in Rexburg. The precursor to BYU-Idaho, like several other colleges and universities across the mountain west, was established as a "stake academy" first, as Mormon settlers colonized the eastern Snake River Plain in the 1880s. As a stake academy, its purpose was that of a modern secondary school as public schools had not yet been established. As the population grew, it became necessary to divide the geographical area designated by the LDS Church as the Bannock Stake. The Fremont Stake was created, and thus in 1898 the school was renamed the Fremont Stake Academy.[5]

Ricks College

In 1903, the school was renamed again as Ricks Academy in honor of Thomas E. Ricks, the Bannock Stake

  • Official Website of BYU–Idaho
  • Online collection of BYU–Idaho, Ricks College, and Bannock Stake Academy photographs
  • Online collection of BYU–Idaho and Ricks College student newspaper, the Scroll

External links

  • Crowder, David L. (1997), The Spirit of Ricks: A History of Ricks College, Ricks College Press,  


  1. ^ Crandall, Brett (22 October 2015). "BYU-Idaho Reaches Largest Enrollment in University History". BYU-Idaho Newsroom. 
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures". Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Quick facts". 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  4. ^ Madsen, Grant (2004-05-04). """BYU number two value after BYU-Hawaii, says "Consumers Digest. BYU News. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  5. ^ a b "General History".  
  6. ^ Crowder 1997, Chapter 4: "'Ricksie' Drops 'Normal'"
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Crowder 1997, Chapter 9: "'Lambing Sheds' for a Four-Year College"
  9. ^ Crowder 1997, Chapter 16: "Eyring, the Bicentennial, and the Great Flood"
  10. ^ "BYU-Idaho's steady, upward course continues...".  
  11. ^ "BYU-Idaho Reveals Auditorium Drawings". Local News 8. 16 May 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2008. 
  12. ^ "BYU-Idaho Campus" (PDF). Madison County, Idaho. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008. 
  13. ^ "Notable Ruffatti Installations". Retrieved 22 December 2008. 
  14. ^ "Clark Gilbert announced as new president of BYU-I", KSL January 27, 2015.
  15. ^ "Academic Colleges and Departments".  
  16. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Regional Universities Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2012. U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Steady Upward Course".  
  19. ^ "Preparing to Apply".  
  20. ^ Anthony Sheehan. "New 14-week semester may change housing prices".  
  21. ^ "Admitted Students".  
  22. ^ "College Navigator - Brigham Young University-Idaho". Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  23. ^ Home States of Students - Fall 2005
  24. ^ Ethnicity
  25. ^ "BYU-Idaho to Enroll More Students‌". 6 January 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  26. ^ "BYU-Idaho".  
  27. ^ a b "Celebrating a Century of Ricks College Athletics". Brigham Young University-Idaho. 2002. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  28. ^ "Celebrating a Century". BYU-Idaho. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  29. ^  
  30. ^ Gower, Scott (2005-11-29). "Intracollegiate sports increase in popularity". Scroll Online (Brigham Young University-Idaho Scroll). Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  31. ^ "What is a Devotional?". BYU Broadcasting. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  32. ^ About BYU-Idaho – BYU–Idaho
  33. ^ Bergera, Gary James; Priddis, Ronald (1985). "Chapter 3: Standards & the Honor Code". Brigham Young University: A House of Faith. Salt Lake City:  
  34. ^ "University Standards". Brigham Young University–Idaho. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  35. ^ "Housing & Student Living". Brigham Young University–Idaho. 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Alumni".  
  37. ^ "Gardner bio".  
  38. ^ "Lindstrom bio".  
  39. ^ Crowder 1997, Chapter 13: "New Buildings! New Status?"
  40. ^ Fowler, Glenn (1988-05-21). "Obituary: Marion G. Romney, 90, President of the Mormon Council of Twelve".  


As of August 2008, BYU–Idaho has approximately 150,000 alumni, including those from the period when the school functioned as an academy (equivalent to a modern high school).[36] The school's alumni include two-time Olympic medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling (gold in 2000) Rulon Gardner and MLB pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, Matt Lindstrom.[37][38] Another alumnus is Marion G. Romney, a former counselor in the LDS Church's First Presidency, who was valedictorian of the Ricks Academy class of 1918.[39][40]


Single students are required to live in housing that is approved by the university. All approved housing options are located within a mile of the university. Co-ed housing is prohibited according to the Honor Code, but some complexes have separate buildings for men and women. Married students are not required to live in approved housing and may live wherever they choose.[35]

All students and faculty, regardless of religion, are required to agree to adhere to an academic dishonesty. Ernest L. Wilkinson expanded the Honor Code in 1957 to include other school standards (at the time, Wilkinson, as president of BYU, and the director of the what was then the Unified Church School System, had some authority over all of the church's schools). This led to what the Honor Code represents today: rules regarding chastity, dress, grooming, drugs and alcohol in addition to academic honesty. A signed commitment to live the Honor Code is part of the application process for all LDS-affiliated schools, and must be adhered to by all students, faculty, and staff. Students and faculty found in violation of standards are either warned or called to meet with representatives of the Honor Council. In rare cases, students and faculty can be expelled from the school for excessive misbehavior.[33] In addition to the general Honor Code common at all LDS schools, the BYU–Idaho Honor Code prohibits bib overalls, baseball caps (worn inside classrooms), shorts or capri pants, flip-flops (sandals), and also any worn, faded, or patched clothing on campus.[34]

Honor Code

Rexburg is situated in a strong northern climate in which winter dominates, and as such, winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and ice hockey are popular. There are two nearby ski resorts, Grand Targhee and Kelly Canyon, which are frequented by students. However, Rexburg also experiences warm summers, and bridge jumping has become a popular activity with many summer students. Students also visit the nearby St. Anthony sand dunes frequently, where large bonfires and campouts have become popular.

Much of BYU–Idaho student life revolves around events sponsored by the school organization Student Activities, which frequently hosts dances, concerts, sports events, and service projects. A three-day series of concerts called "Guitars Unplugged," held each semester, features mainly acoustic music performed by student performers and groups who are selected by audition. The school has recently been developing a thriving jazz scene, which is aggressively promoted by students who participate in jazz area classes, such as the Sound Alliance Big Band and jazz combos, as well as music department faculty. Faculty jazz concerts and the annual BYU–Idaho Jazz festival are also becoming popular events with students. The school has featured such artists as Cyrus Chestnut, Nicholas Payton, Bob Mintzer, and Harold Jones.

Students from the BYU–Idaho Jazz Combos class performing at a local club

Despite its transition from Ricks College to BYU-Idaho, leaders of the university have maintained the desire to preserve what they call the "Spirit of Ricks," a campus tradition of service, hard work, friendliness, and compassion.[32] The school's relative geographic isolation from a metropolitan area, combined with the strong moral standards taught and encouraged by the school and its sponsoring organization, contribute to a unique student culture unlike that of many universities, but with some basic similarities to the other LDS Church-owned campuses in Utah and Hawaii. Alcohol and drug use is virtually nonexistent, as these substances are strictly prohibited by the school's honor code and the LDS Church. There is also no Greek system.


Until the construction of the Rexburg Idaho Temple in 2008, BYU-Idaho had been the only university affiliated with the LDS Church that did not have a nearby temple.

The atmosphere at BYU–Idaho is different from most other universities due to its affiliation with the LDS Church. For example, almost every Tuesday that school is in session, a devotional is held on campus. During the devotional, no classes are held, administrative offices close, and students and faculty are encouraged to attend the hour-long worship service either in person (in the BYU-Idaho Center), via campus TV, or on the radio at KBYI 94.3 FM. Speakers are selected from the campus and local communities, as well as from LDS Church general authorities who share a spiritually uplifting message.[31] Students are also encouraged to attend weekly church meetings, which are held every Sunday.

The Rexburg Idaho Temple, located directly adjacent to the BYU–Idaho campus

LDS atmosphere

Student life

Following the phasing out of intercollegiate athletics, BYU–Idaho developed a competitive intramural (or, as the school uses, "intracollegiate") athletics program which functions as part of Student Activities. Several teams from within the school compete against one another in a variety of sports throughout the year, complete with regular seasons and playoffs.[30]

Athletics as a four-year university

It was announced in June 2000 that the athletics program would be phased out as part of the change from a junior college to a four-year college, due mainly to the costs associated with running a college athletic department, and the desire to develop a more comprehensive participatory student activities program.[29]

Known as the Vikings, Ricks College fielded an intercollegiate athletics program from 1919-2002 in the National Junior College Athletic Association, earning 17 national titles, 61 individual national titles, and producing nearly 100 first-team All-Americans.[27] National title wins included Women's Cross Country (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), Men's Cross Country (1965, 1966, 1986, 1999, 2000, 2001), Women's Track and Field (1997), and Women's Volleyball (1974; AIAW).[27][28] More than 25 alumni who played football for Ricks went on to play professionally in the National Football League or Canadian Football League.

Ricks College Vikings

BYU-Idaho Stadium (formerly Viking Stadium)


There were 14,944 full-time students enrolled at BYU–Idaho during the Fall 2010 semester.[22] Students come from all 50 states and more than 50 countries. According to a 2005 survey, almost 40% of BYU–Idaho students came from the state of Idaho,[23] with the majority of students coming from five states: Idaho 38%, Utah 10%, California 10%, Washington 8%, and New Mexico 6%. Thus, the student body at BYU–Idaho is notably homogeneous—not only due to its geographic representation but also due to ethnicity and religion. During the Winter 2006 semester, 91% of the students were Caucasian, while the largest minority group for the Winter 2006 semester was Hispanic, representing 3% of the student body.[24] Moreover, during the Winter 2006 semester, 99.8% of the students were members of the LDS Church. The school's Board of Trustees approved an increase in the single semester enrollment cap, raising it from 11,600 to 12,500 students beginning during the winter semester of 2010. This cap does not include continuing education students, or students who are off track. The enrollment is planned to go up in steps reaching 15,000 students on campus between 2013 and 2014.[25] As part of the university's ongoing expansion plan, and to meet increasing admission demands, the estimated headcount between 2013 and 2014 will be roughly 17,000 students per semester, equaling more than 25,000 students annually (given the university's three-year academic calendar). Admissions to the university is deemed "less selective" for 2009 by U.S. News & World Report.[26]

The John Taylor building, used mainly for religious education

The academic year is divided into three equal semesters (fall, winter, spring) of fourteen weeks and is known as the "three-track" system. It was instituted in 2001 as part of the transition from Ricks College to BYU-Idaho and the school's "Rethinking Education" campaign.[18] When a student is admitted to BYU-Idaho, they are also assigned to a specific two-semester "track," (fall-winter, winter-spring, or spring-fall) based partly on preference, degree program, and availability to balance.[19] Initially, the fall and winter semesters were slightly longer (and thus more heavily attended) than the summer semester and had more class options. Beginning in January 2007, the school adjusted the academic calendar[20] equalizing the amount of time available in each semester, lengthening the class periods, and opening class offerings in the spring to allow more students to attend in the spring semester. There is also a short, 2-month summer session with accelerated class schedules. BYU-Idaho also offers "fast grad" which allows students to attend all semesters and finish their degree sooner.[21] This is usually available as an option to students who have an upper sophomore or higher standing.

Despite the change to a four-year institution, BYU-Idaho still offers several Associate-degree programs in addition to its Bachelor-degree programs. Across the six colleges, there are thirty-seven departments, offering over 70 bachelor-level programs and eighteen associate-degree programs.

University rankings
Forbes[16] 351
U.S. News & World Report[17] 13


  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Business and Communication
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • College of Language and Letters
  • College of Performing and Visual Arts
  • College of Physical Sciences and Engineering

[15] BYU-Idaho is led by

The Jacob Spori Building


In support of the fine arts and entertainment, the campus also includes the Ruth H. Barrus Concert Hall, which houses the acclaimed Salt Lake Tabernacle and Conference Center, respectively. KBYI-FM, a 100,000 watt public radio station, also broadcasts to eastern Idaho and parts of Wyoming and Montana from the campus.

The main campus includes a planetarium, an arboretum, wildlife museums, and a large family history center. The school also operates several athletic fields and facilities around campus, which are now used as part of the Activities program, an alternative to intercollegiate sports. Facilities include a baseball field, football and track stadium, tennis courts, as well as the John Hart Physical Education building, which with 4,000 seats in its main gym was used for athletic events, graduation, and concerts, and weekly campus devotional. The building also includes a small field house, pool, auxiliary gymnasiums, racquetball courts, and a workout area for students. On December 17, 2010, the BYU-Idaho Center was dedicated and opened to students. The 435,000-square-foot (40,400 m2) building contains a 15,000-seat auditorium and a multi-purpose area large enough for 10 full basketball courts.

The campus sits on a hill overlooking the city of Rexburg and the Snake River Valley and includes nearly forty major buildings and residence halls on over 400 acres (1.6 km2).[12] Off-campus facilities include a Livestock Center and the Henry’s Fork Outdoor Learning Center near Rexburg, the Outdoor Learning Center at Badger Creek in Idaho’s Teton Basin, and the Natural Science Center in Island Park, Idaho. The Teton Lodge and Quickwater Lodge near Victor, Idaho, are utilized as student leadership and service centers.

Thomas E. Ricks Memorial Gardens


On June 21, 2000, the LDS Church announced that Ricks College would become a four-year institution known as Brigham Young University–Idaho. This change became official just over a year later on August 10, 2001. Among the changes were the elimination of the intercollegiate athletic program and the institution of a larger activities and intramural athletics program. The school also established a "three-track" system, which admits students on a specific track of two semesters (including the Spring semester), rather than the standard fall and winter semesters. Among other changes to campus facilities to accommodate the associated growth, the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center was renovated and enlarged and a new auditorium building, the BYU-Idaho Center, with seating for 15,000 was built. The buildings were dedicated in December 2010.[10][11]


Although the school was threatened with closing in the 1930s because of the Great Depression, it emerged with the support of local patrons and accreditation with the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. During the 1976 Teton Dam flood, Ricks College was used as a center for disaster relief operations.[9] By the late twentieth century, the college had become the largest private junior college in the country with over 7,500 students.

[8] It would serve as a junior college for most of the remainder of the twentieth century, except for a brief period from 1948 to 1956 when it operated as a four-year institution.[7][6]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.