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Three Track System

Breaking Down the Three Track System

Students walking down the sidewalk on campus.

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. The two semesters of the students’ track are when they will enroll in classes. The semester that is not on their track is considered a Flex Semester where students have many options. A list of these options is in the dropdown menu below. A student's track remains with them 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).

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-staged 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 Christ. This will create a distinctive learning environment that is integral to the BYU-Idaho experience.
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 'flex semester' (the semester you aren't assigned to attend BYU-Idaho)? Consider these options:

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.


Many students will take advantage of their flex 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 are required for most BYU-Idaho degrees and can be done in any semester of the year, whether during your track or flex semester. You can contact BYU-Idaho's Academic Discovery Center for more information about when to plan your internship.


When space is available, BYU-Idaho may extend invitations to students to attend as full-time students during a student's flex 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 flex semester may be eligible for a one-time enrollment override to facilitate prompt entry into school.

Expanding Flex Semester Enrollment

Even without an override, students with 60+ credits earned can enroll in 300 and 400 level classes in their flex 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 flex semester. This usually works best for students whose flex semester is Fall or Winter. For information about transferring credits to BYU-Idaho, email or visit our transfer course matrix page. 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.
Circle divided into three parts. Two parts are highlighted, one symbolizing Spring while the other part represents Fall.
(Flex Semester: Winter)
Circle divided into three parts. Two parts are highlighted, one symbolizing Winter while the other part represents Fall.
(Flex Semester: Spring)
Circle divided into three parts. Two parts are highlighted, one symbolizing Winter while the other part represents Spring.
(Flex Semester: Fall)

Semester Dates

SemesterStart DateEnd Date
SpringMid April Mid July
Summer SessionEnd of JulyEarly September
FallMid SeptemberMid December
WinterEarly JanuaryMid April

Contact Admissions with your questions, no matter if you are a prospective, current, or Pathway student!