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Transfering to BYU as an undergrad? Opinions?

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Hey everyone,

I've been on the less-active side in this forum for a while but I'm definitely glad to be back. :)

I obtained my Associate's Degree at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah this past month and now I'm preparing to leave for the Alpine German-Speaking Mission in March. While I know my Mission preparation has been going on for a long time, especially due to some health issues that delayed me (I'm turning 21 this summer), I've also wondered about what my educational future should look like when I get back. I'll be an RM from a foreign country with relatively few members, a convert and the only member in my family, and I have a 3.6 college GPA with a 3.9 in my major department prerequisits. Granted, BYU has been on the table for me and I would love to go there ('tis to say, my wallet would love it even more). But the whole idea of transfering to BYU from another public school is a bit of a scary thought for me.

Those of you who went to BYU (preferably recently) and have transfered from another school: What were some of your experiences? Was the transfer process difficult? And how did you handle the culture shock of transfering from a public school to the Y? I would assume it's different for someone like me who'd be coming straight off the Mission when it comes to the culture part, but what are some of the things I could expect as to how professors treat their students, how much the Church interferes (for the lack of a better word) with "worldly" aspects of academics, and so forth?

I'd love and appreciate just about any help and advice I can get. :)


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Some general comments---

The fact that you have formally have your Associate’s degree makes transferring to any other school a lot easier. Typically an Associate’s degree is treated like a certification at another college: you’ve studied and now this area is ‘done’. This differs from just transferring without a formal degree- in which case your credits are viewed as unfinished, debatable, and even expire after a certain time.

Because a lot of people go to Weber State then BYU, I believe the two schools have a transfer agreement: somebody already connected the dots as to what at Weber means what at BYU. Your counseling office should know about it. Also, you can apply to BYU now and then “defer” your secured seat until after you get back from Germany (such as become the norm for freshman guys).

I attended BYU-Idaho, and had friends which got AS at schools in Arizona and Utah before coming to Idaho. While these weren’t church schools, there was a high Mormon population, and it wasn’t a huge transition from my friends (besides the hassle of learning a new bureaucratic system).

Personally, I left BYU-Idaho for a public school in Colorado, and that was VERY different. No one in Colorado had even heard of BYU-Idaho. The culture was very different: BYU had group hymn singing every night, Colorado had drunken riots.

Hope that helps!

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The transfer process itself is relatively easy. To be honest, BYU is one of the better schools at accepting and processing transfers (they handle a fairly large number relative to their size).

You should look at all the factors related to your school of choice, not just cost. What program are you thinking of studying? What is BYU's reputation in that field? You specifically ask about if the church 'interferes' in the program. I don't believe that the church actively does so. In other words, you will still learn evolutionary biology at BYU. Remember however that most faculty are active church members that are dependent upon ecclesiastical recommendations to maintain their jobs. Hence, how some aspects of certain programs are presented may be very different than they would be presented at the University of Florida for example.

Some programs are more susceptible to this than others. Sociology, Psychology, Comparative Religion, etc would tend to be more influenced by this than Accounting for example.

Also, you will be required to take religion courses as part of your program. That means that compared with a similar program at another institution you will have less time (available credit hours) to explore other areas of interest outside your program. Rather than taking that Shakespeare class for example you many be in Book of Mormon 101.

Understand that these are not criticisms nor are they necessarily negatives. They are however factors that you should consider in determining which school you will enroll in. I have two daughters. I would NEVER encourage my oldest daughter to attend the "Y" and would council her strongly against it. It is not good in her program (relative to the other schools she is considering), she would not fit in well socially there as she is to outspoken and opinionated in her views, some of which go against those of typical church members. My next daughter would thrive at BYU, and I would encourage her to attend. The Y is very strong in her areas of interests, she tends to fit in very well with the dominate culture and paradigm there and it would be a great place for her to be.

Only you know how those factors will play out for you. Remember there are a lot of good schools out there, the Y is one of some areas. That is true for all the others as well.


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