Department of Natural Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences


Full-time Faculty:  - Chair, P. Barnhart, C. Brevik, K. Ogawa, K. Reeping, J. Steffan, C. Whippo


The Department of Natural Sciences provides coursework, degree programs, and expertise in biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental sciences, and physics to the university, region, and state with the goals of training graduates for successful careers in these areas and contributing to the intellectual, economic, and cultural development of Southwestern North Dakota. 

Participation in Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing in the Disciplines

By completing the designated courses for the Biology, Chemistry, Composite Science Education, Environmental Health, or Environmental Science programs, the student will have completed the requirements for the university’s writing program as described in the Academic Affairs section of the catalog for Writing Across the Curriculum/Writing in the Disciplines. See the Writing Across the Curriculum section of the catalog for the designated courses used to meet writing requirements for your program plan or option. Course descriptions will also identify courses that are part of the writing program.

Guidelines from accrediting agencies and professional societies are used in designing programs and courses:

For all degree programs within the Department of Natural Sciences, no on-line classes will be accepted in place of face- to-face courses with laboratories. Students can file for an exception with the Department Chair if it can be demonstrated that all 3 of the following conditions have been met:

  1. The required science class was not offered at least TWO times over the course of a standard eight-semester college experience.
  2. The student can provide documentation of the conflict(s) that prevented enrollment in the face-to-face course when it was offered.
  3. The student can provide evidence that they have met with and followed the recommendations of their appropriate, assigned post-freshman advisor prior to the required course offerings.

University policy states that science labs cannot be offered as directed studies and lower level courses (100 and 200) will not be offered through directed Studies unless special circumstances warrant such an offering  ( DSU Policy No. 530.004).

Note to Biology Majors and Minors:

Any biology course not specifically listed as a required course for the degree may be counted as an elective, except for Pathophysiology (BIOL 357) and Environmental Health Economics, Law and Public Policy Development (BIOL 375).


Course Rotations and Degree Plans for Programs Below