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TMA Policies

Below are departmental policies that apply to all TMA students and faculty. We encourage all those within the Theatre and Media Arts department to be familiar and adhere to these polices, as well as the general policies of the University.



The selection, viewing and creation of media/performance is structured within the framework of the Gospel and guided by The Aims of a BYU Education. The BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts seeks to provide students with intellectual and character building experiences with media/theatre. With these principles as a framework, students experiences with the Theatre and Media Arts curriculum should be: (1) spiritually strengthening, (2) intellectually enlarging, (3) character building, (4) leading [students] to lifelong learning and service.

To this end TMA faculty members seek opportunities to help students become both spiritually strong as well as intellectually literate. Theatre and Media Arts students must know and be conversant with relevant historical and contemporary theatre and media texts. More importantly, students must learn to be vigorous in their search for and discernment of truth. A BYU graduate will not have received an Aims education if s/he leaves without spiritually-grounded critical, theoretical and practical skills, as well as practice in interpreting and evaluating the complex aesthetic, moral and stylistic elements in media/theatre texts. The Aims document provides faculty and students with a set of principles that challenges us to reach higher in fulfilling our intellectual and creative stewardships within clear, spiritually relevant and appropriate criteria. Using the Aims document’s four central principles as touchstones in the selection, viewing, discussion, and creation of media/theatre, faculty and students will be able to:

  • Explore and wrestle with complex historical, social, political, and creative issues in a spiritually strengthening setting;
  • Assist each other in moving beyond easy answers and platitudes by becoming tolerant, open-minded, and self-reliant in partnership with other members of the BYU Theatre and Media Arts educational community;
  • Contend with the onslaught of public performance and digital media that is no longer restricted to the stage or the movie theater but finds its way into the home in a variety of ways;
  • Develop a framework within which faculty and students can reason together with clear criteria, without resorting to debilitating conflict;
  • Strengthen intellectual freedom and spiritual agency by requiring a heightened sense of responsibility from both faculty and students.

As TMA faculty, our goal is to raise the standard of viewing and creation in our students by balancing the secular with the spiritual in both the viewing as well as the creation of visual media/theatre. The key is an educational environment that allows the student to understand concepts, ideas, and theories within the context of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In order to build understanding, strength of character and charity, students must go through a process of critically studying relevant ideas, texts, and processes. The process continues as students create visual media and theatre within a gospel setting. As students critically examine and create, they will grapple with the challenges of integrating cultural issues and values within the spiritual framework of the gospel. Faculty are here to help the student navigate this process in accordance with an Aims education.

Despite these clear goals for learning, faculty and students may occasionally disagree about the benefit of the media or theatre texts selected or produced in these educational settings. In an effort to prevent contention on these occasions, the TMA faculty encourages students to study the Guidelines for Selecting and Teaching Literacy and Visual Materials at BYU. Studying this document together, faculty and students can engage in direct processes and fruitful discussions that allow for charity, understanding, and growth in both parties.



Any student in a TMA major/minor or participating in a TMA class or project found in violation of the University Honor Code, with regard to cheating and plagiarism, will receive a zero for the assignment involved, may receive an E in the course and may be referred to the Honor Code Office. Execution of this policy will be at the instructor’s discretion. In addition, the offending student’s case will be reviewed by the department chair and/or associate chair. If the offense is sufficiently serious, the student may be removed from her/his major – no matter how close to graduation the student may be. A second violation of academic honesty, whether done concurrently or subsequently, will automatically result in dismissal from the major. Any theatre or pre-media arts student found cheating might be denied the opportunity to apply to a theatre or media arts program. This decision rests with the department chair. A student found by the instructor to be in violation of this cheating and plagiarism policy has the right to appeal this decision. This process follows the TMA Grievance Policy.


Students who demonstrate consistently unprofessional behavior in class may also be dropped from her/his major or not allowed to apply in the first place. Examples of unprofessional behavior include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Excessive absences
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Sleeping in class
  • Chronic tardiness
  • Reading non-course material during class
  • Playing computer games during class
  • Checking e-mail during class
  • Checking social media during class
  • Damaging property belonging to the university or others
  • Using cell phone or text-messaging during class
  • Regularly leaving class early without making arrangements with the instructor
  • Intentionally spreading false information about a student or faculty member


More serious matters such as digital, verbal or physical stalking, cruelty or abuse of other students or a faculty member are unacceptable and will be reviewed and may be reported through academic channels to the Honor Code Office and university law enforcement.


If an instructor feels he/she has a student in violation of this policy, the following procedure should be observed:

  • First Warning: This will come from the instructor. A meeting between the instructor and the student will be conducted to resolve the issues of unprofessional behavior. If the violation is excessive enough, the department may be involved immediately.
  • Second Warning: This will come from the department (either the chair or associate chair assigned to theatre or media arts). At this time, the student will be reviewed for removal from the department.

Both sides of the case will be presented to the department chair and/or the associate chair assigned to theatre or media arts. A decision will follow. A letter explaining the decision must be signed by those involved and will be placed in the student’s file. Severe cases may warrant immediate action through the Honor Code Office and university law enforcement and forfeit the warning process. If the student wishes to appeal the decision at any point of the process, he/she should follow the procedures outlined in the TMA Grievance Policy.


There may be occasions when a student believes her/his academic work or conduct has been unfairly or inadequately evaluated by the faculty. Usually such differences of opinion can be amicably resolved informally between the student and teacher. Students are strongly encouraged to talk to their instructors first. Faculty hold regular office hours and want to engage with the learning of their students. However, if differences cannot be resolved, the following procedures are intended to encourage satisfactory resolution of academic grievances with a minimum of formal procedure.

  1. The student should initially address the grievance in writing to the faculty member responsible, requesting review and resolution. If the faculty member is unavailable or the student has a valid reason to believe the matter will not be dealt with fairly or that retribution may result, the student may submit the grievance directly to the applicable department chair. (The faculty member or department chair shall have the right to consult others regarding the matter as reasonably necessary and with due regard to the student’s right to privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. (FERPA:
  2. If the grievance is addressed to the faculty member, and it is not resolved satisfactorily, the student may submit a written request and all supporting material for review for further review to the department chair.
  3. The department chair will meet with all parties in order to seek resolution as a group. If this is not possible to resolve the issue, the chair will make a decision, which shall be given in writing to both the student and the faculty member within 30 days after receiving the student’s request.
  4. If the matter is still unresolved, the student may submit a written request for formal review to the applicable dean of the college, following the department chair’s written decision.
  5. If a formal review is requested, the applicable dean may review the grievance.


  1. Academic evaluations which are subject to this policy include grading, restrictions, limiting participation in university academic programs, dismissal from the university or a university program for academic reasons, actions arising from incidents of academic dishonesty, the withholding, and/or revocation of a diploma for academic reasons, and the withholding of or special notation on transcripts for academic reasons. Evaluations relating to admissions to the university, ecclesiastical endorsements, discipline administered by the Honor Code Office, or petitions are not covered by this policy. Persons who believe they have been unlawfully discriminated against or sexually harassed should contact the Equal Opportunity Office.
  2. For purposes of this policy, “faculty” means any teacher or other individual authorized by the university to academically evaluate students, or who has a legitimate need to know regarding the processing and disposition of an academic grievance.


The University Copyright Management Office is the university’s primary resource on fair use and other copyright issues related to university publications and library collections and services, digital reformatting, in-licensing, distance education, and course packet creation. This office develops and advises the university community regarding copyright policy, coordinates with the University Office of General Counsel regarding related legal issues and assists the Creative Works Office, Center for Instructional Design, and university personnel in their efforts to create, protect and market instructional courseware and similar products. The Copyright Management Office has a web site addressing relevant copyright issues at You should also be aware of oncampus screening of material produced in a MAL facility.


Students (a “student” is a person enrolled in BYU courses for credit) who independently develop intellectual property arising out of their participation in programs of study at the university will retain the ownership rights to such property when the intellectual property does not result from their employment at BYU and/or where there is no written agreement to the contrary. Students employed by the university will be treated in the same manner as similarly situated university personnel. However, any student not employed by the university, but either (i) engaging in research or development of intellectual property under the supervision and direction of a faculty member in connection with a program or activity subject to this policy or (ii) using substantial university resources in connection with a research program or activity agrees to grant and hereby does grant to the university, as a condition of being allowed to participate in the project and/or use university resources, a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, paid-up, irrevocable license to exploit, use, and sublicense the resulting intellectual property. Faculty using students, whether volunteer, non-employed, or employed, in their scholarly work projects should have the students sign a “Student Assignment of Ownership and Nondisclosure Agreement” form, available from Intellectual Property Services.

If in the event that either the Student or the Department would like to distribute a student’s project with the purpose of gaining revenue, the two parties will meet to discuss how revenue is distributed or shared.


In some cases, students may want to distribute/monetize their work through publishers, online streaming, DVD sales, screenings/performances, etc. If any BYU resources were used in the creation of the work (equipment, grant money, other faculty/student time, etc.), prior to initiating any negotiations, students must contact the BYU Creative Works office and work out an agreement with the University. See STUDENT OWNERSHIP OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY policy below.


23 March 2015

As a private university, Brigham Young University retains the right to determine access onto campus property. The university also retains the right to determine how campus property is used for filming and photography. This policy outlines who may or may not film or photograph on campus.


The university does not allow people or businesses to film or photograph on campus and use that media for promotional, marketing, commercial, advocacy, or similar purposes. This prohibition includes individuals whose work on YouTube or other digital platforms is aimed at generating income through advertising, music sales, lead generation, or other means.


Consistent with the university’s Political Neutrality Policy, political candidates may not use photographs or video taken on campus for campaign purposes. Groups or individuals may not film or photograph for documentaries or advocacy campaigns on campus property without university approval, which may be requested from University Communications.


To fulfill its mission, the university seeks to maintain an environment where students and employees are safe and respected. Individuals, including visitors to campus, may take video and photographs for personal use that are unobtrusive, are in keeping with other campus policies, and do not interrupt campus programs, classes, or activities. Videos that do not meet this standard are prohibited and may be referred to university police for investigation.


BYU students may film or take photographs on campus as part of an academic project if they obtain approval from their professor or another university academic advisor. Faculty members or other academic advisors who approve student plans to film or photograph on campus are to ensure that the activity complies with this and other university policies.


News organizations are generally permitted to film and take photographs in open areas of the campus. Journalists should contact University Communications beforehand as some events and venues have photography restrictions. News reporters and photographers should have media credentials to identify themselves and are expected to follow journalistic codes of conduct and ethics.


On-campus filming and photography done on behalf of a university unit should be approved through the respective dean or director. Film and photography crews should also carry credentials that include the department name and contact information. Shoots that require special accommodations because of the location or the activity should be coordinated with building supervisors in advance. Film and photography crews should be aware of and adhere to the university’s Risk Management and Safety Policy.


New Title IX Syllabus Statement (September 2017)


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.