Meet SUU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Posted: December 06, 2021 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 12 minutes

Meet SUU's College of Humanities and Social SciencesAs the largest college at Southern Utah University, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) houses several departments and major programs that are available to students at SUU. With a tradition of excellence, many graduates of the college have gone on to exciting careers from a Utah juvenile court judge to a clinical social worker through the Utah Navajo Health System.

“I am so proud of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; I’m only a little biased when I say that we have the best faculty, staff, and students at Southern Utah University,” said Dr. Jean Boreen, dean of HSS. “In the College, we are proud to offer a range of degree programs in humanities and social sciences that help students develop the skills they need to succeed in their work as well as their personal lives. Across all departments, our faculty are producers of knowledge and creative works that shape the world. They are committed to our students and provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to learn from the best. Our faculty teach the courses that serve as the educational foundation for every Southern Utah University student. In doing so, we ensure that all students on our campus develop the skills that are critical to long term career success (helping students advance their ability to think critically, applying analytical reasoning, and communicating complex ideas clearly through both written and spoken means).”

Departments in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

HSS currently includes six departments: Communication, English, History, Sociology & Anthropology, Languages & Philosophy, Political Science & Criminal Justice, and Psychology

Communication Department

As of spring 2021, SUU’s Communication department offers a Bachelor’s degree wherein students can pursue an emphasis in one of three face-to-face programs (Messaging & Human Interaction, Strategic Communication, Media Studies), or an online-only program (Strategic Message Design & Human Interaction). A communication minor is available as are three certificate programs (Social Media, Speech Writing, Sports Communication). The Department also offers a Master’s degree in Professional Communication.

“Our program is a vibrant, hands-on, student-focused experience that prepares students to message for companies of all types and at all levels,” said Dr. Matt Barton, department chair for communication. “Our students learn how to communicate with audiences, customers, and stakeholders to accomplish a variety of objectives in a rapidly changing mediated world.”

SUU’s Communication Department stays current with professionally trained faculty and staff who employ an experiential, action-based approach to learning. Students traditionally rank high in regional and national competitions for journalism and broadcasting. Additionally, communication graduates have a broad array of career options after graduation. Learn more about SUU’s Communication Department.

English Department

As of spring of 2021, SUU’s English department offers a bachelor’s degree with four options for emphasis, one certificate, and a minor with four options for emphasis.

“The English Department at Southern Utah University provides students with a wide variety of opportunities to read different texts from various regions and histories in all kinds of modes and media and to write various genres, including personal narrative, expository, analysis, and rhetorical, both creative and nonfiction,” said Dr. Kyle Bishop, English program department chair. “The faculty are well published and very knowledgeable about their fields of expertise, and they are all at SUU because of their love for teaching.”

SUU English majors explore language and literature through a number of degree emphases with award-winning faculty mentors. Paired with small class sizes and individual faculty mentorship, the variety of experiences offered at SUU help English majors develop skills in high demand by a range of employers and graduate programs. Learn more about SUU’s English Department.

History, Sociology, & Anthropology Department

As of spring of 2021, SUU’s History, Sociology, & Anthropology department offers five bachelor’s degrees and six minors.

“The History, Sociology, & Anthropology (HSA) department offers some of the most diverse, and in my opinion, interesting courses on campus,” said Dr. Emily Dean, department chair for HSA. “In any given semester you can learn about ancient Greece and Rome, native American history, documentary filmmaking, human evolution, archaeology, gender studies, the criminal justice system, and cross-cultural approaches to medicine and religion. HSA faculty are award-winning teachers and published experts in their field who genuinely care about the success and well-being of our students. We also offer a number of study abroad options and internships.”

The Department of History, Sociology and Anthropology is an intriguing blend of the old and the new. Faculty help equip students with analytical and communication skills which enable them to investigate past and present human cultures and societies. Graduates from this department have many career opportunities and options. Learn more about SUU’s History, Sociology, & Anthropology Department.

Languages & Philosophy Department

As of spring of 2021, SUU’s Language & Philosophy department offers five bachelor’s degrees and four minors.

“The department of Languages and Philosophy comprises a group of vibrant, energetic educators in French, German, Philosophy, and Spanish,” said Dr. Kris Phillips, Languages & Philosophy department chair. “Each program provides a rigorous curriculum and a supportive community of faculty and students whose work extends well beyond the classroom. Offering a number of extracurricular activities (including honors societies, study abroad programs, conferences, film festivals, and clubs), the Department of Languages and Philosophy has something for everyone. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, there has never been a greater need for the sort of skills our programs offer: whether that’s cultural competence, linguistic competency in a second (or third!) language, or careful analytical skills and critical thinking, the department of Languages and Philosophy has you covered. Come study with exceptional, distinguished scholar-educators and set yourself up for success with a strong foundation placing you in the perfect position for whatever comes next.”

The Languages & Philosophy Department provides exciting programs of studies on both ends of the department. The language side of the program provides students with a rigorous program in which students perfect their abilities to communicate in the languages they study. In addition to proficiency in the language, studying a language also cultivates cultural and literary skills that apply to other areas of study. The philosophy side provides students with a rigorous foundation in the core areas of philosophy and nurtures students' critical thinking abilities. Learn more about the Languages & Philosophy Department.

Political Science & Criminal Justice Department

As of spring of 2021, SUU’s Political Science & Criminal Justice department offers two associate degrees, two bachelor’s degrees, one certificate, three minors, a master’s degree with three options for emphasis, and an undergraduate legal studies program.

Graduates of SUU’s political science and criminal justice programs have been admitted to some of the finest law schools in the country, wear badges from many different law enforcement agencies, are employed in government positions, and are engaged in running political campaigns. The curriculum is diverse and enlightening, as well as practical. Learn more about SUU’s Political Science and Criminal Justice Department.

Psychology Department

As of spring of 2021, SUU’s Psychology department offers a bachelor’s degree with one option for emphasis and one minor. In fall of 2022, the Psychology Department will offer the first doctorate degree in SUU history.

“Psychology permeates our world,” said Dr. Grant Strosser, Psychology Department chair. “Whether a student wants to help address the mental health needs of others, pursue a career researching prejudice and discrimination, or gain employment in business and industry analyzing the workplace environment or computer/user-interface experience, our courses, degrees, and faculty expertise will prepare students for this range of possibilities. The Psychology Department at SUU provides outstanding internship, research, and study abroad experiences to all interested students, which in turn helps our students outperform the crowd when applying for graduate studies and employment. We welcome you to reach out to us anytime to see how a psychology degree from SUU could benefit you.”

SUU’s psychology program explores the fascinating science of behavior and mental processes. Students may choose a research-focused course of study or the clinical/counseling-focused option. Psychology professors are deeply involved in helping students choose courses that support their career goals and form strong mentoring relationships with students in classes. Potential careers and career fields for psychology graduates are expansive. Learn more about SUU’s psychology Department.

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

HSS also houses the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program - which allows students to integrate parts of any majors and courses offered within the entire university. Students, through a variety of methods, can currently earn an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, a number of undergraduate and graduate certificates, a minor, and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.

“Our interdisciplinary studies programs offer students a unique opportunity to craft a sequence of study that is unique and that meets their educational interests and educational needs,” said Dr. Grant Corser, interdisciplinary studies program director. “This degree program allows students to integrate important aspects of multiple majors to broaden their knowledge and provide appropriate depth of understanding. For example, a student interested in both psychology and engineering could create a program of study that would merge these subject areas.”

The Interdisciplinary Studies program allows students to craft a degree program individualized to their interests and career goals. Interdisciplinary students select two or three disciplines and construct a degree path that fits their needs and meets the program requirements. The interdisciplinary degree is available on both the bachelor’s and master’s level. Learn more about SUU’s Interdisciplinary Studies program.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Student Projects

HSS houses several student-managed projects including the following:

KSUU-FM Thunder 91

KSUU-FM Thunder 91 is SUU’s commercial-free radio station airing everything from alternative rock to APEX radio hour shows. Functioning as a teaching tool to provide students practical skills to enter the professional broadcasting field, KSUU was the first licensed FM radio station in the Cedar City area and has been operating for over 50 years. Tune in from Cedar City and the surrounding area at 91.1 FM or online.


SUTV-9 is SUU’s cable TV station operated primarily by students in the Department of Communication. SUTV airs 24 hours a day on channel 9 through TDS Cable in Cedar City in addition to their live stream videos and webcasts. Also functioning as a teaching tool, students train on the latest digital video equipment and electronic newsroom systems. SUTV-9 is affiliated with UCTV, CNN, and the Classic Arts Showcase.

The University Journal

The University Journal is a monthly fall and spring semester publication by and for SUU students. The University Journal includes its regular print editions in addition to online publications and podcasts on their website, The print journal is distributed for free through newsstands across the SUU campus.

Speech & Presentation Center

The Speech & Presentation Center is a free resource on-campus for students, faculty, staff, and community members. The Speech and Presentation Center provides individualized support and assistance in the process of writing and presenting speeches. Anyone can book an appointment online Monday through Friday.

Writing Center

The Writing Center is another free resource on-campus for students (undergraduate and graduate), faculty, staff, and community members. Managed by Dr. Julia Combs, Bethany Bibb, and student tutors enrolled in ENGL 3890, the Writing Center can assist students with any of their writing projects. Recently, the space was renovated and redesigned based on research by the tutors. Appointments can be booked online Monday through Saturday.

Kolob Canyon Review

The Kolob Canyon Review (KCR) is SUU’s student-managed literary journal. KCR is run in a dual effort by the English department from HSS and the Art & Design department from CPVA. The journal publishes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art submitted by students, faculty, staff, and alumni on a yearly basis. More information is available on the Kolob Canyon Review website.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Projects

“The College of Humanities and Social Sciences also houses two special projects that support the interests of students, faculty, and the wider community,” said Dr. Boreen. “The Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values -- directed by Dr. Danielle Dubrasky -- allows us all to consider the importance of humanities in conjunction with an understanding of how we articulate our own and humankind’s place in the world. Project Archaeology allows us to appreciate the science and history of the region to better understand how we best support and sustain it.

“We also value the pursuit of educational studies that reach far beyond our campus and affect our culture and our world in meaningful ways; to that end, our faculty develop and oversee study abroad opportunities during academic semesters as well as during the summer that allow our students to better understand their role as citizens of the world.”

HSS also has a few programs managed by university faculty:

Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values

The Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. SUU’s Tanner Center is one of many that exist across prestigious universities around the world. The Center encompasses a special reading room in the library, a series of lectures throughout the academic year, an annual scholarship program for students, a certificate program for human values, and many more exciting opportunities for students, faculty, and the community.

Project Archaeology

Project Archaeology is a nationwide educational organization dedicated to teaching students and equipping teachers with tools for scientific and historical inquiry, cultural understanding, and the importance of protecting our nation’s rich cultural resources. Each state is home to an active or developing program for Project Archaeology, and SUU has been the base for Utah Project Archaeology due to its excellent location since 2015.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Students, Faculty, & Alumni

HSS students are always doing exciting things, and embarking on wonderful endeavors. Learn about Elizabeth Lee, a fourth-generation SUU alumna who is currently attending law school at Boston College.

HSS professors are truly lifelong learners, always seeking out new challenges and experiences. Learn about Dr. Christensen, a recently retired English professor who completed a Fulbright Scholarship in Taipei, Taiwan.

HSS alumni continually enjoy dynamic careers and take part in exciting initiatives. Learn about Mayor Jenney Rees, an SUU alumna who was named Best of State in the Mayor category for the state of Utah.


For more information about SUU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, visit Academic Advising. Ask about booking an appointment with someone from the college in your area of interest to learn more about the program.

Request information about Southern Utah University.

Tags: Criminal Justice College of Humanities and Social Sciences Communication Psychology Political Science Languages and Philosophy History English

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