missing image


Quick Links

Course Materials

What You Should Already Know

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Explore elements that contribute to the unique character of American government and citizenship.
  2. Discuss the freedoms and principles that are incorporated in the character of America and how they have been expanded and refined throughout the years.
  3. Gain an appreciation for the legacy of freedom and justice established by the Founding Fathers.
  4. Discuss the relevance of America’s significant documents and symbols to our lives today.
  5. Identify individuals who have made significant contributions to building the character of American government and citizenship.
  6. Apply what you have learned about the government and citizenship of America as you make decisions that reflect positively on you, your family, and society.

Course Materials

No additional materials are required for this course.

(Back to top)


There are 10 units in this course, each consisting of several lessons. Each lesson contains a reading and a self check; self checks are ungraded questions that will help you check your comprehension of the lessons and prepare for the unit quizzes and the final exam.

Unit Quizzes

Each unit has a unit quiz. These quizzes test your ability to analyze and interpret the reading selections. Unit quizzes are each worth 5% of your overall course grade, amounting to 50% total.

Portfolio Assignments

You will be completing portfolio assignments throughout the course. The 10 assignments are worth a total of 20% of your course grade; they will help you apply what you have learned in the unit and should be a fun way to express your learning. You will need to submit the assignments in the “Portfolio Submission” modules throughout the course before the taking the final exam.

(Back to top)


The final exam is worth 30 percent of your grade and covers reading selections and discussion material that you will study in the course.

(Back to top)


Your grade in this course is composed of your unit quiz scores, portfolio assignment scores, and final exam score. The following table shows the percentages for each assignment.

Assignment Percentage
Unit 1 Quiz 5%
Unit 2 Quiz 5%
Unit 3 Quiz 5%
Unit 4 Quiz 5%
Unit 5 Quiz 5%
Unit 6 Quiz 5%
Unit 7 Quiz 5%
Unit 8 Quiz 5%
Unit 9 Quiz 5%
Unit 10 Quiz 5%
Portfolio Submissions (after units 3, 6, and 10) 20%
Final Exam 30%
Grading Scale
A 93–100
A− 90–92
B+ 87–89
B 83–86
B− 80–82
C+ 77–79
C 73–76
C− 70–72
D+ 67–69
D 63–66
D− 60–62
E (fail) 59 or below

(Back to top)

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)

(Back to top)

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.

(Back to top)

missing image

Course Policies

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


Summary: 10 computer-graded assignments; 3 instructor-graded portfolio submissions; may be resubmitted once for a fee.

NOTE ON PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism (such as copying the work of someone else or simply pasting items from the internet) will result in receiving an incomplete on the portfolio, and you'll need to pay to resubmit your assignment. A second offense will result in failing the course AND possibly being disallowed to use BYU Independent Study in the future.

Final Exam

Summary: 1 proctored, computer-graded exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass in order to pass the course.

Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course. You may purchase one 3-month extension if you need more than a year to complete the course.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

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 t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report 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 http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.