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College of Language and Letters- Departments/Majors

BYU-Idaho provides students with a variety of majors to choose from within four departments under the College of Language and Letters: Department of English; Department of Languages and International Studies; Department of History, Geography and Political Science; and the Department of Humanities and Philosophy.


According to the English Departments website, “With an English degree, you will study literature, language, and writing to better understand the complex experiences of the human world.”

The major offers the following BA degrees:

Abbey Tena, a senior studying English, decided to major in English during her first semester at BYU-I. Tena’s emphasis is in professional writing, and she hopes to pursue editing as a career.

I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing,” Tena said.

Language and International Studies

According to their website, the Department of Languages and International Studies is designed to, “help students to build speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, as well as cultural awareness, in four languages from the beginning to advanced level.”

Career opportunities for those with an International Studies degree include:

  • Customs Inspector
  • Economist
  • Editor
  • English Teacher
  • CIA
  • Customs Service
  • Dept. of Commerce
  • Dept. of State
  • Educational Institutions

The four languages one can study are:

  • Chinese
  • French
  • Russian
  • Spanish

History, Geography and Political Science

According to the History Department’s website, “The Department of History empowers students with a sense of the complexities of the human experience and a solid understanding of U.S. and World history.”

The History Department offers the following BA/BS degrees:

  • History (BA)
  • History Education (BS)
  • Social Studies Education Composite (BS)

“I love history and it was really something that stuck with me … I can just retain it more than any other subject,” said Billy Allen, a sophomore studying history.

Allen plans on becoming a teacher because it is something he is passionate about.

According to the Geography Department’s website, “BYU-Idaho does not offer a Bachelor of Science in Geography, but students do have access to a joint program with BYU-Idaho and the University of Montana.”

However, there are minors available through BYU-I:

  • Geography
  • Geography Education
  • Geographical Information Systems

Also, according to the BYU-I Geography Department’s website, “Geographers have certain research and data collection skills that are essential in the workforce. These careers will help the world understand climate patterns, land formation patterns, and natural occurrences.”

Some of these career options include:

  • Tour Guide
  • Geophysicist
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Cartographer

According to the History, Geography and Political Science Department’s website, “students understand the political, social, cultural, and religious forces that influence the world.”

The Political Science Department offers the following BA degrees:

  • Political Science Major with an emphasis in Foreign Affairs or American Government
  • Public Policy and Administration with an emphasis in Public Policy or Public Administration

Bennett Wallace, a freshman studying political science, plans to attend law school after graduating.

“I have always wanted to be a lawyer,” Wallace said.

Wallace said he has already learned a lot in his political science classes and greatly appreciates the classroom dynamics.

“The classes are all discussion-based,” Wallace said. “I love just sitting in class and discussing political theory … expect to have (your) world view changed.”

Humanities and Philosophy

According to the Humanities and Philosophy Department’s website, the learning outcomes for this department are:

  • Learn important skills working in a professional, humanities-related field.
  • Integrate and apply concepts and skills learned in the classroom to on-the-job work settings.
  • Cultivate future employment opportunities and professional connections while gaining a greater understanding and vision of career options and possibilities.
  • Prepare for graduate/law school, professional-level employment, or other life-long learning opportunities.

Jacob Orse, a junior studying English, also minors in philosophy. He said this minor can help students in other fields of study.

“Philosophies can be associated with almost any topic,” Orse said. “It can help you reinforce what you are studying for your major.”

According to the Department’s website, “The Humanities major is designed in the spirit of the ancient and proven curriculum of the liberal arts … The liberal arts, more than any other curriculum, develop students’ abilities to understand, interpret, and evaluate complex texts, to articulate clearly their own thinking, to make effective judgments, and to solve problems.”

For any questions regarding the College of Language and Letters, visit the BYU-I website at byui.edu/language-and-letters/departments. This link leads to all of the departments and their separate websites.


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