May 18, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalog [Current] 
2023-2024 General Catalog [Current]

Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Natural Sciences

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Person IconDean
Bill Heyborne – SC 310A
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CONS Advisement Website
Admin Assistant IconBusiness Manager
Patricia Palmer – SC 310
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In an increasingly science-based world, we provide scientific education in learning environments that encourage exploration, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication; preparing students and the community to be scientifically literate citizens.


We will be nationally and internationally recognized as forward-thinking leaders in experiential science education; inspiring generations of professional scientists, scientific educators, health professionals, advocates, and entrepreneurs who invigorate communities for the betterment of civil societies.


  1. Science is the experiential, process-oriented activity that advances our knowledge and understanding of the universe;
  2. Diversity and inclusion of science practitioners;
  3. Diversity of thought emphasizing ethics, scientific reasoning, and research methods;
  4. Policies and practices that promote and advance data-driven decision making;
  5. Faculty, students, and staff collaboratively engaged in scientific activities;
  6. Collegiality and positive work environments, promoting intellectual discourse and engagement among diverse topic areas;
  7. Mentor-mentee relationships that support student learning, from hypothesis development to experimental design and analysis to communication of outcomes;
  8. Classroom environments that utilize high-impact practices, inspiring future generations of scientists; and
  9. Community engagement both within and outside the SUU campus, and using science to support the welfare of its stakeholder communities within and external to SUU.

Departments, Programs, & Centers

Department of Biology

Go to information for Department of Biology.


Bachelor’s Degree


Department of Chemistry and Physics

Go to information for Department of Chemistry and Physics.


Bachelor’s Degree


Department of Geosciences

Go to information for Department of Geosciences.


Bachelor’s Degree

Certificate of Proficiency (Undergraduate)


Centers & Special Learning Environments

The College of Natural Sciences operates, or partners with, several special programs that provide students opportunities for enrichment of their classroom learning:

  • The Cedar Mountain Science Center offers summer science camps for children and courses for pre-service teachers and in-service teachers, held at the College Cabin on the SUU 2,629 acre mountain ranch property.
  • Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit provides students and faculty with opportunities among all state and federal lands. Cedar Breaks National Monument, the U.S. Forest Service, and the BLM all have Cedar City offices and work closely with SUU.
  • The SUU Ashcroft Observatory offers college credit courses and weekly community astronomical viewing activities located near the SUU Valley Farm. Call (435) 586-1409 for more information.
  • The GIS Lab offers college course work and services to community and regional planners requiring expertise in geospatial mapping.
  • The Garth & Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History offers campus and community members the opportunity to view museum specimens from our regional ecosystems. For more information call (435) 865-8549.
  • The SUU Water Lab is a certified analytical lab that offers students specialized training in analytical techniques and services to the public for their water quality needs. Call (435) 586-7914 for more information.
  • The Utah Health Scholars Program is an enhancement program for pre-health students planning to apply to graduate-level programs. These students include but are not limited to the following: pre-medical, podiatry, optometry, dental, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and nursing. The program provides opportunities for students in the following areas: research, community service, job shadowing, patient exposure, MCAT/DAT/PCAT prep, application assistance, enhanced advising, cultural immersion experiences in health care, medical skill training, medical Spanish, and special seminars. Call (435) 865-8520 or see for more information.
  • The Alliances for Education (between SUU and Bryce Canyon National Park and the Zion Canyon National Park Group) is a ground-breaking educational partnership with the National Park Service that provides SUU students and faculty with opportunities to conduct research, classes, internships, and other educational activities with and within the National Parks.
  • Great Basin Observatory (GBO) is a state-of-the-art, remotely operated, optical astronomical telescope. As a member of the Great Basin National Park Astronomical Observatory Operational Cooperative, SUU students and faculty have access to the observatory to conduct research. Set at an elevation of 6,825 feet, with no significant man-made light for 70 miles in all directions, GBO is the first research-grade observatory ever built in a U.S. National Park.
  • The SUU Center for STEM Teaching and Learning was established in the spring of 2014 with the mission to bring together people and resources to facilitate cutting-edge STEM Initiatives that enhance teaching and learning in the preK-16 environment. With three strategic areas of influence – professional development, student engagement, and college & career readiness – our center works in a six-county area of southwestern Utah. Projects are facilitated by a dedicated cadre of SUU faculty and student volunteers.

Other Information


The Chemistry program is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the established national chemical oversight organization. Approval of our Chemistry degrees assures that SUU graduates meet national standards in curriculum and preparation for graduate studies. ACS-approved programs offer a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that gives students intellectual, experimental, and communication skills to become effective scientific professionals.


Many companies and governmental institutions provide exceptional opportunities for students to develop skills in a professional environment. Students’ internship assignments are jointly supervised by company management and Southern Utah University faculty members. Academic credit is awarded for internships and financial compensation may be available. More information is available from the departments.

Pre-Dental, Pre-Medical, Pre-Veterinary, & Other Health Professions Curricula

Note that the courses that you take toward a pre-professional program are determined in part by the intended transfer institution (e.g. the U. of Utah’s Medical School or the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State U., etc.). Therefore, you should coordinate closely with the admission requirements of the institution to which you plan to apply as well as the requirements for graduation from SUU. Undergraduate research experience is essential for admission to most of these programs.

Pre-Graduate School

Plan your SUU baccalaureate degree with sufficient math and science courses to qualify you for admission to the graduate program of your choice. Be cognizant of the admission requirements of the graduate program of your choice. Undergraduate research experience is essential for admission to graduate school programs.

Something to Consider

Many students either find themselves waiting a year for graduate/professional school acceptance, or recognize that a graduate-level credential would improve their career preparation. The MBA program in the SUU Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business welcomes applicants with undergraduate degrees in any program. There are admission requirements, but they are minimal and relatively low cost. Please contact Nathan McNamee, MBA Program Director, at (435) 865-8578, or Miranda Gubler, the Online and Graduate Coordinator for the School of Business, at (435) 586-5462.


Scholarships are available to students demonstrating potential for excellence in disciplines within the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Natural Sciences. Interested students should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, Sharwan Smith Center, Room ST 167, (435) 586-7735.

Student Organizations

The way to get the best SUU experience is to participate in one of the excellent college student organizations. Among the many student organizations of interest to Science and Engineering majors are the following:

  • American Chemical Society Student Affiliate Chapter (ACS) / Chem Club
  • Animal Ambassadors
  • Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) (National Biological Honor Society)
  • Kappa Omicron Nu
  • Sigma Gamma Epsilon (National Earth Science Honorary Society)
  • Geo Club
  • National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
  • Pre-medical Society and Southern Utah University
  • Women in Science and Engineering (WISE)

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