Foundational Documents

What makes a Foundations course a Foundations course? What are the outcomes and core principles that underlie and guide Foundations at BYU-Idaho?

In the sections below, you will find what we call our “Foundational Documents.” These documents lay out the what and the why of the program as a whole, and of each of the content areas of Foundations.

Foundations Purposes & Outcomes


  • Develop faculty
  • Implement University outcomes
  • Provide quality General Education


  • Students become disciple-leaders.
  • Students become lifelong learners.
  • Students become creative and critical thinkers.
  • Students become effective communicators.
  • Students become skilled professionals.
  • Students become engaged citizens.

Students become disciple leaders as they

  • Understand and commit to live the principles of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and the ability to cooperate with others

Students become lifelong learners as they

  • Locate, evaluate, and appropriately use needed information
  • Master strategies to continually gain and apply knowledge and skills in new situations

Students become creative and critical thinkers as they

  • Apply reflective reasoning, logic and quantitative analysis to new ideas, opinions, and situations
  • Analyze problems and challenges from fresh perspectives that offer innovative solutions

Students become effective communicators as they

  • Present ideas and arguments clearly through oral, written, and visual form
  • Listen, understand, and effectively engage others in a variety of settings

Students become skilled professionals as they

  • Develop deep learning in a discipline and broad skills leading to self-reliance
  • Develop professional and ethical values and practices 

Students become engaged citizens as they

  • Fulfill family, religious, and civic responsibilities
  • Develop empathy for their fellowmen and understanding of world religion, culture, history, literature, science, and the arts.
  • Faculty implement the principles and processes of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model.
  • Faculty work with colleagues across disciplines, colleges, and departments.
  • Faculty create significant learning and teaching experiences by working in teaching teams and participating in a culture of mutual peer observation.
  • Faculty experience significant personal and professional development as a result of the cross-disciplinary nature of Foundations.

Icon of the Taylor BuildingEternal Truths

The study of Eternal Truths is the core of academics at BYU-Idaho. It provides the basis for our very existence as one of the Lord’s universities, and every student is expected to make Religion classes an integral part of his/her studies.

  • Students will demonstrate an increased knowledge and understanding of the doctrines, principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ as explained in the scriptures, supplemented with the writing and teachings of latter-day apostles and prophets.
  • Students will demonstrate an increased knowledge and understanding of scriptural history, people, and events, as found in the standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in the history of the Church from the time of the restoration to the present.
  • Students will increase their ability to study and then teach the basic doctrines and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • As the gospel of Jesus Christ is taught by the prayer of faith and by the power of the Spirit of the Lord, faith will increase and commitment to God will become evident as students prepare to receive the sacred ordinances of the temple, serve honorable missions when called, and provide voluntary community and church service.

Icon of Mathematical SymbolsQuantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement in Foundations is designed to help students develop mathematical competency, understand collegiate-level expressions and equations, and demonstrate the ability to apply mathematical concepts and logic in thinking, action, and real-world settings.

  • Identify real-world situations (e.g. financial, family, social, and community issues) where quantitative reasoning and problem solving skills are needed to inform a decision. 

  • Identify assumptions and key variables necessary to apply mathematical models of real-world situations. 

  • Demonstrate algebraic, computational, and statistical skills necessary to use mathematical models to make informed decisions. 

icon of a pencilWriting

The Writing requirements in Foundations aims to help students develop the vital skills of critical reading, thinking, and analysis. It also assists students to improve their verbal and written communication skills.

  • Demonstrate their desire and ability to learn and improve in a higher education environment.
  • Explain and practice the writing process, and demonstrate an understanding of college-level grammar and mechanics.
  • Produce quality academic writing, including at least twenty pages of reviewed and edited writing and at least twenty pages of instructor-assessed writing, and be able to explain what makes it effective.
  • Develop critical reading and thinking abilities, including summary, analysis, and synthesis skills.
  • Develop effective research, source integration, documentation, and presentation skills.

Icon of a Science BeakerScience

The Science requirements in Foundations provide students with an introduction to the nature, practice, power, and limitations of science, as well as relationships between science and religion, and between science and society. These topics are explored through the study of selected episodes of scientific discovery that demonstrate methodical and creative aspects of scientific inquiry, and the self-correcting nature of science.

  • Students will understand science in both general and specific contexts, learning to appreciate, understand, and evaluate a variety of scientific points of view.
  • Students will learn methods of studying and comprehending the scientific aspects of current events, their consequences, and importance.
  • Building on introductory instruction, students will develop in-depth knowledge of challenging contemporary scientific issues.

Icon of WorldCultural Awareness

The Cultural Awareness requirements in Foundations provide students with the opportunity to view the world around them through new eyes and to learn how to learn about themselves, their own country, and the world.

  • Students will develop an understanding of the history and founding principles of the American experience, including constitutional, economic, and political issues.
  • Students will develop an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of world civilizations, religions, arts, literatures, music, cultures, and perspectives.
  • Students will study current events, developing a comprehension of their significance in the context of history and humanity.