Step 4

 

Three Track System

BYU-Idaho operates year-round with three distinct 14-week semesters: Fall, Winter, and Spring. Each student is admitted to a track consisting of two semesters: Fall/Winter, Winter/Spring, or Spring/Fall. Students can enroll in classes only for the two semesters of their assigned track and remain on the same track for the duration of their time at BYU-Idaho.

Students may be assigned to any of the three tracks. Some students will be assigned to begin in the second semester of a track (example: assigned Spring/Fall track starting in the Fall). Others may be admitted to start in a semester other than the first available semester indicated (example: available Fall, assigned Winter/Spring track starting in the Winter).

SemesterStart DateEnd Date
Fall September December
Winter January April
Spring April July
Summer Session July September

The Three Track System allows BYU-Idaho to admit thousands of additional students each year. The campus serves about 17,000 students in a semester and over 29,000 students over the course of a calendar year. Each student has the opportunity to complete a baccalaureate degree in four years by attending two semesters per year.

The Three Track System also helps BYU-Idaho make better use of sacred university resources. By utilizing campus facilities year-round, the relative cost per student is reduced. Faculty and staff serve student needs throughout the year, providing an equivalent experience on all tracks.

Track Decision Process

As part of the admission process, BYU-Idaho students are assigned to a specific track that remains permanent through graduation. Track assignments are carefully considered, with the goal of enrolling a balanced and varied student body across all three semesters. The university is committed to providing numerous opportunities to students who come from a variety of backgrounds and share values based on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through this commitment, the university fulfills its mission to provide an educational experience of continually increasing quality.

To further enhance the effectiveness of the Three Track System, BYU-Idaho has introduced a two-stage procedure for admission and track assignments:

  • Step 1:
    Prospective students submit a formal application that screens for admissibility. The Admissions Committee reviews each application. If the applicant is accepted, an offer is extended to attend BYU-Idaho.
  • Step 2:
    Admitted students then complete a questionnaire that gathers additional personal information to help determine appropriate track assignments. At the same time, the university carefully considers when these students are needed most on campus in order to enroll a balanced and varied student body across all three semesters. Once all the information is individually reviewed, a track assignment is made.

This two-stage process provides the essential balance BYU-Idaho is trying to achieve. Students and employees will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from others with differing geographic, educational, and cultural backgrounds. The university is committed to providing numerous opportunities to students who come from a variety of backgrounds and share values based on the gospel of Jesus Christ. This will create the distinctive learning environment that is integral to the BYU-Idaho experience.

Off Track/Semester Options

Students are required to enroll in at least one class each semester of their track assignment or defer their enrollment in order to maintain their active enrollment status at BYU-Idaho. Wondering what to do in your 'off-track' (the semester you aren't assigned to attend BYU-Idaho)? Consider these options:

Fast Grad
: Students with 50+ credits, an approved grad plan, and a minimum 2.8 GPA can request permission to attend all three semesters until they graduate by using the Fast Grad program.

Online Courses: Online courses from BYU-Idaho can be taken in any semester, regardless of track assignment, and from anywhere in the world where internet access is available. This option is frequently used by students who want to continue their education while working. For students who have been admitted and assigned a track, no separate application is required to enroll in these courses.

Evening Courses: Evening courses offered by BYU-Idaho's Continuing Education program allow students to continue their studies during their off-track semester. These courses are usually offered between 4:15 and 9:00 PM; course offerings are the same types of courses BYU-Idaho offers during the day, largely selected from BYU-Idaho's Foundations (general education) curriculum. These courses are only made available after a student has completed their first on-track semester at BYU-Idaho; no separate application is required. Admitted students may continue to live in BYU-Idaho Approved Student Housing while taking evening courses in their off-track semester.

Working: Many students will take advantage of their off-track semester to work and save money that will help offset the upcoming costs of their education. Many students have found that the Three Track System schedule provides a calendar that supports work opportunities very well suited to their future career, or which they may not have had otherwise.

Internships: Internships are required for most BYU-Idaho degrees, and can be done in any semester of the year, whether you are on-track or off-track. You can contact BYU-Idaho's Academic Discovery Center for more information about when to plan your internship.

Travel Study programs: Learning with BYU-Idaho doesn't all happen in Rexburg. Travel study programs let students experience their education on-site in a variety of locations in the United States and around the globe. These programs are available to students on any track. Learn more at www.byui.edu/travelprograms.

Overrides: When space is available, BYU-Idaho may extend invitations to upperclassmen to attend as a full-time student during a student's off-track semester as a means of helping students graduate more quickly. This opportunity is by invitation only.

Returning Missionary Program: Students who come home just before the beginning of their off-track semester may be eligible for a one-time enrollment override to facilitate prompt entry into school.

Expanding off-track enrollment: Even without an override, students with 60+ credits earned can enroll in 300 and 400 level classes in their off-track semester if there is available space on the day before classes begin.

Transfer work: Many students capitalize on the Three Track System by taking courses at other colleges/universities during their off-track semester. This usually works best for students whose off-track semester is Fall or Winter. For information about transferring credits to BYU-Idaho, email transfer@byui.edu or visit our transfer course matrix at www.byui.edu/admissions/transfer. We encourage students to work closely with the Academic Discovery Center if they want to pursue this option.

Block Classes: For convenience or scheduling purposes, some students choose to take courses offered on an abbreviated schedule called 'block classes'. These classes typically last for half the semester (about 7 weeks) and usually meet every day during that time. A student must be on-track or have an override for the semester in order to take block classes during the day.

Summer Session: BYU-Idaho offers courses between Spring and Fall semesters on a 7-week schedule called Summer Session. This option is only available after the student has completed at least one semester of study at BYU-Idaho.

If you have questions about how these options might work for you, please contact BYU-Idaho Admissions at admissions@byui.edu or (208) 496-1300.