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Course Materials

What You Should Already Know

This course deals with US history from the 1930s to the year 2001. Although there are no prerequisites for this course, it is helpful to have a general background in United States history before this time period.

Learning Outcomes

When you complete this course, you should be able to:

  1. Describe historical events that led to the development of America, its people, and its government.
  2. Describe history from a variety of viewpoints.
  3. Use skills that will help you in other areas of your education and life.

Course Materials

This course contains all of the material that you will need to successfully complete the unit quizzes and the final examination. You will need access to a library or online collection of historical documents or information to complete your instructor-graded assignment. An online atlas will also be helpful as we refer to places around the world and in the United States.

Please note: Any first person references (I, me, my, etc.) in the course content refer to the author of the course, not your instructor.

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There are six units in this course. The units are set up to follow each other. Review the instructor-graded assignment before beginning your studies so that you will have an idea of what project you might like to work on.

Although the course is in chronological order, please read Appendix A first (found in the Course Resources folder), because it will familiarize you with many of the terms that are used throughout the course.

Pay close attention to the “What Do You Think?” questions. They are designed to analyze the information that has been presented. Although these thought questions are not graded, they will help you to study for the unit quizzes and final exam.

Unit Quizzes

To study for the unit quizzes, go back and make sure that you understand all of the big ideas in the thought questions. Unit quizzes do count toward your course grade, so you should study first and then try to do your best on them.

The final quiz in the course is a practice final exam. It is only worth 2 percent of your grade so that you can relax and really use it as an opportunity to see if you are well prepared for the actual final exam. Take it in a quiet environment without distractions. If you do well on the practice exam without using any notes or books or other resources, you should be ready for the final exam.

Instructor-Graded Assignment

The instructor-graded assignment is a project that will probably take you anywhere from ten to twenty hours to complete, depending on the project you choose. Start thinking about it early in your course and leave yourself plenty of time to complete it.

You will need to receive a passing grade on the project before you can take the final exam. Refer to the Instructor-Graded Assignment folder for detailed instructions and submission information.

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The final exam is worth 40 percent of your final grade, and it will have about 50 questions that are each worth one point. The test will cover the entire course of study units 1–6), and it will have between 5 to 9 questions from each unit in the course.

Remember that you will not be able to take the final exam until you have received a passing grade on the course project.

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Your final course grade will be a combination of scores from the unit quizzes, instructor-graded assignment, practice exam, and final exam.

Assignment Percentage Breakdown
Unit 1 Quiz 8%
Unit 2 Quiz8%
Unit 3 Quiz 8%
Unit 4 Quiz 8%
Unit 5 Quiz8%
Unit 6 Quiz 8%
Instructor-Graded Assignment10%
Practice Final Exam2%
Final Exam (Comprehensive)40%

Grading Scale

A 100 93
A− 92 90
B+ 89 87
B 86 83
B− 82 80
C+ 79 77
C 76 73
C− 72 70
D+ 69 67
D 66 63
D− 62 60
E (Fail) 59 0

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


7 computer-graded assignments, may be resubmitted once for a fee; 1 instructor-graded assignment submission, may be resubmitted once for a fee


1 proctored computer-graded exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass with at least a 60 percent in order to pass the course

Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course, but if you need more than a year, you may purchase one 3-month extension. Because of the nature of some assignments, you will not be able to complete this course in less than 2 months.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor.

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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