Eukaryotic cells respond to intracellular and extracellular cues to direct asymmetric cell growth and division. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae undergoes polarized growth at several times during budding and mating and is a useful model organism for studying asymmetric growth and division. In recent years, many regulatory and cytoskeletal components important for directing and executing growth have been identified, and molecular mechanisms have been elucidated in yeast. Key signaling pathways that regulate polarization during the cell cycle and mating response have been described. Since many of the components important for polarized cell growth are conserved in other organisms, the basic mechanisms mediating polarized cell growth are likely to be universal among eukaryotes.