Overview of Programs
The Department of Biology provides quality lecture, laboratory, and field instructional experiences that foster student inquiry into science. We also provide a personalized learning environment where students are educated in critical thinking, effective communication, and lifelong learning skills. To produce well-rounded students, the Department of Biology provides their students with competitive opportunities for research, scholarship, internships, and employment with experienced and qualified faculty mentors. This combination of coursework and experiential learning will prepare students for post-baccalaureate pursuits including: professional health programs, graduate programs, science teaching careers, and other biology-related careers.
The mission of the Department of Biology is to provide our students with personalized, participative educational experiences over a broad range of biological disciplines that promote critical thinking, effective communication, and lifelong learning skills. We provide learning opportunities where students can gain the knowledge, develop integrity, and acquire the empathy needed to become independent researchers in the advancement of science.
The Department of Biology strives to provide its students with quality lecture, laboratory, and field instructional experiences which foster student inquiry into science, and prepare them for post-baccalaureate pursuits.
Department/Program Learning Outcomes
- Maintain a highly qualified faculty, with diverse areas of specialization covering the scope of the biological world.
- Foster student inquiry into science and experiential education using a variety of pedagogical approaches including laboratory and field-based activities.
- Provide a personalized learning environment where students are educated in critical thinking, effective communication, and lifelong learning skills in scientific literacy.
- Provide opportunities for research, scholarship, and other professional experiences with qualified faculty mentors.
- Prepare students for post-baccalaureate pursuits including:
- graduate programs
- professional health programs
- science teaching careers
- natural resources management
- other biology-related careers
- Provide service courses for general education purposes that adequately prepare students for acceptance to and success in other academic programs.
- Establish short-term and long-term goals defining the future direction of the department and establish specific policies to describe departmental governance.
- Develop departmental criteria to define excellence in teaching, exceptional service, and outstanding scholarly activities and establish support mechanisms to encourage and reward those efforts.
- Periodically review and modify curriculum to ensure that we are meeting our students’ needs while remaining current within our discipline and with the evolving goals of SUU.
- Students in biology must earn a grade of “C” (2.0 or above) in all major/minor coursework before it can be counted in a biological science major or minor or as a prerequisite for any other course.
- All graduating biology majors must complete 40 credit hours from the department’s offerings, with a minimum of 20 credit hours of upper-division department offerings.
- All Biology majors must show a minimal level of competency as demonstrated by the ETS® major field test in Biology. All students must satisfactorily complete the ETS® field test in Biology before taking any capstone course in the Department of Biology (BIOL 4070 , BIOL 4220 , BIOL 4400 , BIOL 4410 , BIOL 4500 , BIOL 4650 ).
- Courses may not be repeated more than two times without instructor approval.
- Credits over 10 years old may not be accepted.
Recommendations for Baccalaureate Degrees
Although not required, we recommend all Biology majors take the following variable credit courses:
- The Jim Bowns Herbarium: A repository of plant specimens available for teaching and research. Specimens date back to the 1890s and emphasize species found in the Southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau regions.
- The Joe and Beverly Burgess Molecular Genetics Laboratory: A modern molecular genetics lab with DNA sequencing capability.
- The Don & Sylvia Bulloch Anatomy Laboratory: A fully equipped lab for teaching all aspects of anatomy, including cadaver practicum.
- The Cline M. and Jane O. Dahle Greenhouse Terrace: A climate-controlled environment housing an extensive educational collection focused on plant diversity and space to accommodate faculty and student research projects.
- The Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History: A facility displaying national and regional natural history specimens with a focus on outreach and education. (This facility is shared with other units within the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering.)
- The Nakken Family Histology Laboratory: A fully equipped lab to prepare and observe the anatomy of cells and tissues.
- Animal Care Facilities: These fully licensed facilities were specifically designed to house animals being used as part of faculty and student research projects.
- Cooperative Educational Agreements with National Park Service and other agencies providing students with many opportunities for hands on internship and research experiences.
- Study Abroad Opportunities: Periodic offerings are made available, giving students experience in a diversity of biological environments.
- A unique geographical location providing countless outdoor classrooms.