Jan 17, 2022  
2012-2013 General Catalog 

Department of Biology

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Department Information

Interim Department Chair: Paul Larson
SC 303C ~ (435) 586-7931 & 865-8244

Administrative Assistant: Kimberly S. Kennedy
Science 303 ~ (435) 586-7944

Academic Advisors:
(A-G) Brian Godfrey, briangodfrey@suu.edu, SC 304C ~ (435)586-5420
(H-N) Reko Hargrave, rekohargrave@suu.edu, ELC 115 ~ (435)586-5420
(O-Z) Brittney Berge, brittneyberge@suu.edu, SC 304B ~ (435)586-5420

Website: http://www.suu.edu/cose/biology/

Faculty: Associate Professors: Helen C. Boswell; Ronald M. Martin; Paul Pillitteri; Assistant Professors: Betsy Bancroft, Laurie Cotroneo, Fredric Govedich, William Heyborne, Terri Hildebrand, Jonathan Karpel, Paul Spruell, John Taylor, Matthew Weeg Debra Hanson (NTT); Lecturer: MaryJo Tufte (NTT); Professional Staff: James M. Crouch

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science


Botany Emphasis, B.A. 
Botany Emphasis, B.S. 
Education Emphasis, B.A. 
Education Emphasis, B.S. 
Forensics Emphasis, B.S. 
Zoology Emphasis, B.A. 
Zoology Emphasis, B.S. 

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies 
(See Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering , and
Other Programs of Study )

A customized degree combining either two or three areas of student interest. Recent examples of customized combinations of coursework include Natural Resources/Range Management, Environmental Studies, GIS, Criminology, Spanish, Business, and History.



Pre-Health Profession
Recommended Biology Courses (See Other Programs of Study  for Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, and Pharmacy)

Overview of Programs

The Department of Biological Sciences offers a diverse academic program to prepare students who wish to continue their education in graduate or professional degrees, who wish to teach K-12, as well as students who are interested in pursuing careers in wildlife, fisheries or management positions. We have a high success rate in placing students into post-graduate programs including medical schools and graduate programs and have many students placed into government agency jobs and in local or regional K-12 schools.

The Department of Biological Sciences has dedicated and highly qualified faculty representing the diverse disciplines within the life sciences. We offer students experiential learning opportunities both in the classroom and in conducting undergraduate research.


The Department of Biology maintains a highly educated and an academically, philosophically, and culturally diverse faculty in order to:

  1. Offer all students the opportunity to understand and use scientific thinking and techniques in the study of living things, to realize the relationships of science to other modes of thought, and to become familiar with contemporary models of biological functions and with regional ecosystems of Southwest Utah and its neighbors,
  2. Offer interested students the rigorous opportunity to prepare for advanced study in biology and for careers in agriculture, health care, secondary teaching and biological aspects of land management,
  3. Build partnerships for service within the regional community,
  4. Foster productive scholarship by students and faculty, and
  5. Create a collegial department atmosphere with free exchange of ideas.
  6. The department provides undergraduate programs in biology with emphases in botany, forensics, teaching, and zoology. Prescribed course work in the department supports the general education  program of the University, builds a solid basis for graduate or professional study, prepares public school teachers, and provides the instructional foundation necessary for careers in many fields.


Provide our 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

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of interactions and adaptations within biological systems.

  1. Students will be able to use appropriate tools to carry out investigations in their intended field.
  2. Students will be able to communicate effectively in oral and written formats.
  3. Students will be involved in regional service partnerships.
  4. Students will be prepared for post-baccalaureate plans.

Because there is considerable freedom of choice to design a program of study to meet individual objectives within the biology major, all students are strongly urged to consult a member of the department faculty for advisement within their emphasis every semester. This consultation should begin before the student enrolls for the first semester of her/his undergraduate work. In order to complete the requirements for the degree in eight semesters, students must begin taking courses in the major during the first year of undergraduate work. This is especially important for students who intend to pursue postgraduate training in health care professions because these students must be prepared to take entrance examinations at the end of the third year of instruction in order to enter professional training in a timely fashion.

Other Information

Degree Requirements

All Graduating Biology Majors:

  1. must satisfy university requirements.
  2. will successfully complete all necessary coursework as outlined in one of the areas of emphasis
  3. must complete all General Education Core Courses, University Requirements, and other courses as outlined within the chosen emphasis.
  4. must earn sufficient additional credit hours from the department’s offerings to total 40 credit hours; a minimum of 20 must be upper division department offerings; additional upper division university offerings to total 40 upper division credit hours.
  5. must complete all major coursework with a “C-” grade or above. (A course with a grade below “C-” will not be accepted in the major.)
  6. must take a national biology exit examination.
  7. are strongly encouraged to participate in cooperative education, internship, or undergraduate research experiences.
  8. Minor not required for biology students.
  9. Credits over ten years old may not be accepted.

Recommendations for Baccalaureate Degrees

Although not required, we recommend all Biology majors take the following variable credit courses:

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