Founded in 1875, BYU is part of the LDS Church Educational System, which serves more than one million people worldwide in higher education, seminaries and institutes, elementary and secondary schools, and continuing education and literacy programs.
The university traces its roots to Utah's rich pioneer heritage. The original school, Brigham Young Academy, was established Oct. 16, 1875, on a little over one acre of land in today's downtown Provo. At that time, Brigham Young, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, charged that all secular learning at the institution should be fused with teachings from the scriptures. Speaking to Academy Principal Karl G. Maeser, President Young said: "Brother Maeser, I want you to remember that you ought not to teach even the alphabet or the multiplication tables without the Spirit of God."
BYU students come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 100 countries. Typically, 31 percent of the students are from Utah, 17 percent from California and 7 percent from Idaho.
The university admits persons of any sex, race, creed, religion or national origin who meet the university's admission requirements and agree to abide by standards of behavior as established by its sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Admission is based on reviews of high school transcripts; American College Test (ACT) scores; ecclesiastical recommendations; student essays; service to community, school and church; seminary/institute recommendations; and other application information.