Beginning in April 2024, BYU-Idaho and Ensign College are offering three-year online bachelor’s degrees exclusively through BYU-Pathway Worldwide. For students, that means a 25 percent lower cost and a 25 percent faster path to improved employment and self-reliance.
“This is revolutionary in higher education today,” says President Ashton. BYU-Idaho and Ensign College, supported by BYU-Pathway, are the first institutions in the United States to receive accreditation for three-year bachelor’s degrees.
The new degree programs require 90 credit hours instead of the traditional 120, and they are designed specifically to provide knowledge and skills that employers are seeking. To achieve this without diminishing the degree, the programs forgo 30 elective credits while maintaining a robust general education program.
“Students would get all of the core . . . [and] general education classes done, but we still couldn’t give them a degree because they had to take another 30 elective credits,” says Boyd Baggett, director of institutional effectiveness and accreditation at BYU-Idaho. “It’s really hard to tell somebody that when they are going without food so they can have internet service.”
Elder Clark G. Gilbert, Commissioner of the Church Educational System, adds: “This optimized degree structure will make completing a degree a possibility for many more people, particularly those who have not felt higher education was a viable option for them.”