Southern Utah University
Cedar City, Utah
Southern Utah University (1897) provides a personalized, career-ready experience that prepares students to be successful upon graduation. The valuable educational opportunities ensure students enter the job market with a competitive advantage. Students come first at SUU, where small, personalized classes are the norm. Its 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio and more than 140 undergraduate programs and 21 graduate and certificate programs make SUU an incredible place to grow.
SUU is the “University of the Parks” thanks to its close proximity to several outdoor recreational areas and its educational partnerships with the National Park Service. SUU’s safe, residential campus allows more than 12,000 students to create lifelong friendships as they pursue once-in-a-lifetime outdoor adventures in conjunction with innovative academic endeavors.
Students cheer on the athletic teams who play in the Big Sky Conference, join (or launch) any of the 130 clubs and organizations, and take advantage of the outdoor adventures that surround campus.
With graduation rates 10 points higher than the national average, SUU’s graduates go on to top companies, start their own businesses, or attend the best graduate schools in the country.
Founded in 1897, Southern Utah University is a public, coeducational, nonsectarian university with full accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
“SUU doesn’t just provide opportunities, but it showed the many doors available to me and actually opened them, allowing me to then do what it takes to step through. The high standards of education and quality of the faculty are why I have been able to push myself further each day.” – Skyler Clark, Computer Science Major & Chemistry Minor.
Get to know Southern Utah University
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- Concert band
- International Student Organization
- Jazz band
- Literary magazine
- Music ensembles
- Musical theatre
- Pep band
- Radio station
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- Student-run film society
- Symphony orchestra
- Television station
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Common Intellectual Experiences
- Learning Communities
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Faculty Mentors
- Disability Services
- Multicultural Engagement Center
- Health Services
- Academic Tutors
- Financial Aid Advisors
- Student Success Initiative
- Veteran Services
- Peer Mentors
- Gender & Sexuality Center
“The best four years of my life were spent at Southern Utah University. Being from out-of-state, I was quite nervous to go to college away from home. When I arrived, I was immediately welcomed into the SUU family. SUU does an amazing job at ensuring that students are given the proper resources and connections to excel in academics, extracurricular activities, and your personal life.
Not every university can say that their professors take the time to get to know their students and their future goals and help them reach those goals. I still to this day communicate with my professors from SUU. Your professors want the best for you.”—Sunny Sims, 2019 SUU Graduate
PERSONALIZED CAMPUS EXPERIENCE
At SUU, it is understood that education is personal, and students thus are encouraged to create an education tailored to their unique needs and dreams. SUU does this by providing caring academic advisors and smaller class sizes. Many classes also include individual interest projects that help students explore their passions and prepare for their future careers.
3-YEAR BACHELOR DEGREE
The 3-year bachelor degree is an optional program that saves students time and money by accelerating the traditional undergraduate process. By graduating in three years instead of four, students can enter the workforce (or graduate school) earlier while still gaining the professional hands-on experiences needed for the job market.
With fellowships and grants available to undergraduate students, opportunities abound for in-depth research projects across all disciplines. Professors act as mentors outside of the classroom to provide project-based learning to passionate students. During annual symposiums, students and faculty showcase their extracurricular research and prepare for future presentations at conferences across the nation.
The Office of Learning Abroad follows SUU’s core themes of explore, engage, and excel. Students have opportunities to travel during a full semester, the summer session, or winter and/or spring break. SUU boasts an International Affairs office, welcoming students from more than 30 different countries on campus. With more than 44 partnerships with universities around the world, classrooms are rich with diversity and global perspectives.
FYE AND ORIENTATION
The First-Year Experience and Orientation program at SUU provides personal attention to each incoming student. Support is provided by student ACES (Assistant Coaches for Excellence) who help new students with their class schedule, find clubs to participate in, and become acquainted with the campus.
The Southern Utah University Student Association (SUUSA) enriches each student’s overall college experience. With the idea of finding and pursuing passions in mind, SUUSA offers a student-run council of elected cabinet members who coordinate finances, academic decisions, activities, and events.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 123 | 10-19: 295 | 20-29: 344
30-39: 181 | 40-49: 99 | 50-99: 80 | 100+: 6
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 7%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 2%
White, non-Hispanic: 69%
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 1%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 1%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 11%
Students at Southern Utah University have more than 140 majors, minors, certificates, and graduate degrees to choose from. SUU proudly offers relevant, hands-on learning opportunities through which students gain quality professional experience and a competitive edge for the job market.
“Developing a relationship with someone in the classroom is extremely valuable and very satisfying. Students at the university bring their lives to the table, you’re not starting with a clean slate. My role, I feel, is to begin to add to that. I’m going to learn from them, and they are going to learn from the material that I brought in for the day.”—Professor Greg Powell, Management
The Writing Center helps students with writing across all disciplines. Staffed with student tutors, the center has resources available to assist students with grant proposals, persuasive essays, research papers, and class writing assignments. Tutors walk students through each step of the writing process, from brainstorming to sentence construction to practicing grammar concepts.
SPEECH AND PRESENTATION CENTER
The Speech and Presentation Center offers personalized help and feedback on all verbal, nonverbal, and visual aspects of a presentation. From class projects to interview skills, the staff of graduate students and interns help students, faculty, staff, and community members strengthen delivery strategies and reduce speech anxiety.
The Tutoring Center supports students through more difficult courses in an engaging and approachable way. The center utilizes tutors who bring experience, expertise, and enthusiasm for learning. Over 50 tutors, each of whom have been recommended by faculty, work with students in group or one-on-one settings to deepen understanding of the course material and develop study and test-taking skills.
“I love the hard-working students who are curious about the world around them and want to learn and serve. I love the small classes and the opportunities to get to know my students. I love that we have a beautiful campus where we are surrounded by amazing, world-class arts and theatre. And I love the town of Cedar City. It is a beautiful place to live.”—Professor Liz Olson, Anthropology
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Exchange student program (domestic)
Liberal arts/career combination
Teacher certification program
“I have loved every minute of my life since I moved to Cedar City to go to SUU and I wouldn’t change it for the world! I’ve been able to have Biology class on hikes in Great Basin National Park, Astronomy after roasting s’mores at the campfire in Bryce Canyon National Park, and Photography class using the Grand Canyon as our subject. The best part is that I can experience all of these amazing classes with my friends that I now consider my family. I chose to become a T-Bird and was welcomed in a caring family with open wings.”—Caleb O’Neill, SUU sophomore
CENTER FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) provides a space for students to stop by between classes, meet new people, and hang out. The CDI provides advising, counseling, and access to financial aid and scholarships to ethnic minority and LGBTQ students. The center also supports diversity clubs, such as the Black Student Union and the Polynesian Club.
The Outdoor Center on campus rents discounted outdoor equipment, runs the climbing wall, and plans trips and adventures. These adventures, geared to students of all skill levels, include rock climbing, hiking, canyoneering, kayaking, snowshoeing, caving, and more. The center’s goal is to ignite a passion for recreation.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
SUU focuses on the mental, physical, and emotional health of students, faculty, staff, and the community. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a resource for students who need help with stress and other conflicts that may distract them from achieving their full potential. CAPS is staffed with psychologists, counselors, and social workers who are all experienced and licensed mental health professionals.
The SUU Care and Support Team (CAST) focuses on helping students who may be experiencing emotional distress or mental health issues. The team of supporters consists of trained faculty and staff who are committed to creating and maintaining a comfortable environment.
The HOPE (Helping Our People Eat) Pantry is a resource for students who may be struggling to make ends meet. The pantry provides students with non-perishable foods and some hygiene items for no cost. Students are able to either receive or give meals through donations of nonperishable goods.
The J.L. Sorenson PE Building provides a place for students to focus on their physical well-being. Students can access an aquatic center, open recreation areas, and a climbing wall for free. They can also sign up for a class, or purchase a pass, to use the fitness center.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL INTERNSHIP COOPERATIVE
SUU believes in working with the community to prepare students for a successful career. The Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative is a partnership between SUU and 19 federal and state land agencies and the Paiute Tribe. It offers 250-300 internships in regional and public lands. Partners mentor students and provide them with real-world experiences.
The Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service is the political hub for Southern Utah University. The center is run by a student Executive Council that focuses on leadership, research, and service. The Leavitt Center provides free weekly events with a focus on educating students in the world of politics.
The Veterans Resource and Support Center retains and graduates veterans by helping them pursue educational goals. Services provided include: assistance in gaining and processing documentation necessary to attain veteran benefits; assistance connecting with mental health counselors; aid in preparing for and finding appropriate medical attention; academic advisement; free tutoring; free textbooks; moral support; and fellowship. The center staff is dedicated to helping fellow veterans succeed in their academic endeavors.
SOUTHERN UTAH MUSEUM OF ART
The Southern Utah Museum of Art on SUU’s campus contains five moveable gallery spaces, administration offices, an education classroom, and a storage and support area. Student and faculty art is displayed in some of the galleries throughout the year. The museum plans and hosts plein air festivals to offer community members and students the opportunity to display and sell their art.
UTAH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
The Utah Shakespeare Festival is a professional theatre company that has been housed on SUU’s campus for over 50 years. It offers 11 summer camps for youth, teachers, directors, and community members. Playmakers, the Festival’s youth training program, is a two-week course for students ages 6–17. There is also a yearly Shakespeare Competition for high schools, which includes various workshops for students. Professional plays are performed from late June to the end of October, including the free Greenshow, an outdoor show that features dance and music from around the world.
Every year, the Spanish Program hosts a free film series in March. At each screening, a faculty member introduces the featured film, offering insight and context. After the film, faculty lead discussions to further learning. The goal of the film series is to provide exposure to the art, culture, and history of the Spanish language.
The French Film Festival has been a yearly event since 2007. The festival is free and open to the public to serve as an opportunity for cross-cultural discussion across campus. There are six screenings, all of which are shown in French with English subtitles.
With adventure around every corner, Southern Utah University stands within a five-hour drive of 20 national parks, monuments, and recreation areas. Nestled in the red rocks of Cedar City, Utah, SUU is a tree-lined campus surrounded by mountains, lakes, and trails. Students travel to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City in a less-than-three-hour drive or catch one of the daily flights from the Cedar City airport.
The 100-acre university is an eco-friendly, safe, residential campus that keeps nearly 90 percent of the student body within walking distance. SUU is home to the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Southern Utah Museum of Art, and the Utah Summer Games.
Southern Utah University’s Athletic Department offers 15 Division 1 sports, including five men’s sports (basketball, cross country, football, golf, and track & field) and eight women’s sports (basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, track & field, and volleyball). The athletic program adheres to the policies and procedures of the NCAA and competes in the Big Sky Conference.
The school colors are red and white with Thor the Thunderbird as the school mascot.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 34.2%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
Special housing for disabled students
Special housing for international students
Southern Utah University offers students an opportunity to obtain one of the top educations in Utah, enriched with hands-on learning, extensive internships, and projects that display their educational endeavors. SUU educates students to become leaders in their field.
SERVICE-LEARNING, COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING
SUU strives to be a leading university in service and community-based learning. SUU’s Community Engagement Center provides students with alternative breaks immersed in service and community service opportunities. The school’s Community Engagement Center has maintained its Carnegie Community Engagement Classification and was recognized in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for five years.
Hands-on experiences have helped SUU graduates not only learn in their field, but work there too. SUU’s Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service provides students with internships on a local, state, and national level. These students can obtain both financial support while in school as well as three to 12 credits depending on the internship. SUU also offers internship programs for students through the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative, a program that allows students to utilize their interests to work professionally.
On top of internship experiences, SUU students are able to participate in practicums in their field. Students have real-world work experiences in areas of media, advertising, and psychology across every college. And along with these practicums, students also work in offices throughout campus. Examples include jobs in outdoor education, finance, management, graphic design, and marketing.
CAPSTONE COURSES AND PROJECTS/SENIOR EXPERIENCE
Regardless of a Thunderbird’s major, they are encouraged to enhance their senior year with a capstone or senior project. The senior capstone gives students a hands-on project that they can later display to future employers. Department heads and faculty help students develop and execute their capstone courses and senior experiences. Science majors may spend time on research-based projects that can be displayed at an annual symposium, while visual arts majors will spend more time on a BFA exhibition.
The Career & Professional Development Center helps students and alumni set post-graduation goals, find jobs, and network with potential employers. Students land permanent positions or internships, explore majors, check résumés and cover letters, and receive advice about careers. The center helps students in their career development process and helps them learn to enhance their potential.
The small class sizes in SUU’s Computer Science and Information Systems program allowed Matt Wilde to develop a personal relationship with his professors that greatly benefitted him throughout his education. Matt now works for Amazon as a cloud support engineer.
Kierra Dotson remembers coming home from school as a young girl and turning on the news instead of cartoons. When it came time to go to SUU, she got involved in the communication department and found that SUU reignited her passion for the news industry. Kierra is currently the Digital News Manager at ABC4 where it is her responsibility to disseminate news on their website and social media.
Payden Adams chose SUU after visiting the campus several times for various vocal workshops and competing in the High School Shakespeare Competition. Through the support of caring mentors, Payden learned how to express himself, assert his beliefs, and defend his artistic ideas. His complete understanding of theatre, dance, and production guided him to a successful career at the Walt Disney Company.
Dr. Megan Freestone-Bernd
When it was time to research colleges, Megan Freestone-Bernd found that SUU had an excellent reputation for helping students get into medical school through a quality science department. Through the guidance of supportive and invested faculty, Megan worked with the Rural Health Scholars and participated in several research, networking, and shadowing opportunities with area physicians. After graduation, Megan finished her medical education—specializing in pediatric anesthesiology—and now works as a licensed physician in Boise, Idaho.
Application closing date (fall): First day of the semester
Priority date: Dec. 1 of current year
Academic GPA | Standardized test scores
Level of applicant’s interest
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 510 | 75th Percentile: 630
25th Percentile: 515 | 75th Percentile: 610
25th Percentile: 20 | 75th Percentile: 27
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 20 | 75th Percentile: 27
25th Percentile: 6 | 75th Percentile: 8
Tuition & Cost
Tuition (in-state): $6,006
Tuition (out-of-state): $19,822
Room & Board: $7,374
The SUU Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships helps navigate the sometimes complicated process of paying for school, including grant and loan program information, FAFSA forms and deadlines, and accepting financial aid awards. With scholarships available to freshmen, transfer, graduate, and all other current students, SUU scholarships are made possible through donor gifts to the university.
What Others are Saying
Send a message to Southern Utah University
Fill out the form below and a representative from Southern Utah University will get in touch.