Field Geology CourseĀ 

For the 2024 field season we are preparing one five-week, six credit face-to-face course.

Dates: May 20-June 21.

Map showing Cedar City's location in southwestern Utah.

Field Geology (GEO 4960), is a six credit course (semester system) structured to teach students the hands-on mechanics of field work and the preparation of geologic maps, cross sections and reports. This is an advanced level course designed for students who have completed undergraduate geology studies and are able to proceed into advanced mapping, analysis and interpretation of geologically complex terrains.

Experience is gained by preparing maps using aerial photos, topographic maps, the transit compasses, and GPS methodologies. Honing observational and interpretive skills is stressed. Exercises include work in sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic and mineralized terrains, many of which are structurally complex. Field trips into areas of the Colorado Plateau, and parts of the Basin and Range province enhance the experience.

To gain acceptance to the field camp program all students must have taken and passed, or be currently enrolled in, courses in Sedimentology/Stratigraphy, and Structural Geology or the equivalents.

Classes are held from Monday through Friday, for five weeks. Weekends are free, and students have the option to explore the spectacular geology, culture, and scenery of the southwestern Utah area.

Field camp students in Capitol Reef National Park Field camp students at Bryce Canyon National Park

Sponsored By:  Dominion Energy

How to Apply

After you complete the online field camp application AND submit your transcripts, we will review your application.  The review of applications will not begin until January, 2024. 

If accepted, you will receive an e-mail from one of the field camp directors. Please be patient regarding these emails, as you may not receive notification until December or January. Once you are accepted you will eventually receive further instructions to begin registration and payment for the camp.

Once you receive notice of acceptance you will also received a link to a deposit payment site and an attached PDF form to fill out for admission to SUU for the summer. If we do not receive confirmation of deposit payment you will shift to the waitlist and your spot will go to another student, as we will assume you are no longer interested in the SUU field camp.

Course Information

2024 Course Syllabus

Base Cost Estimate

  • 6-credits of tuition (flat rate for summer courses): $2108.75
  • SUU general fees: $240.00
  • SUU Field Camp Fees:$570 

Tuition and fees include class transportation while at camp and use of most equipment (transit compass, pocket stereo, Jacob Staff, tapes, aerial photos, topographic maps, clipboard, hard hat, safety glasses, and GPS units). A $200.00 deposit may be required once your application is accepted. The remaining fees are due in early May.

If you have been notified of acceptance to Field Geology, you will receive an authorization code to pay your deposit.  Once you receive your code please click on this link to access the deposit payment site:   Field Geology Deposit

When you make tuition and fees payments you will primarily deal with the SUU cashier's office.

Additional Costs: Housing and Food

Students are responsible for their own food. This allows for menu flexibility for cost, health, and cultural preferences.  Cook stoves are provided.

Weekly campground costs are included when we are in the field, but housing in Cedar City and all food are not included in the cost of the field camp. Information about housing options can be found on the  SUU Housing website.

Students must provide their own camping equipment, but you do not need expensive gear! We recognize even basic gear can still be large additional cost and are working to lower those costs with rented and borrowed gear for students.

Additional Costs: Travel

Students in the Face-to-Face session must arrive in Cedar City by the evening before the start of each session.  Students who live in the dorms during the field camp have access to student parking for personal vehicles.  All transportation during camp activities takes place in university vehicles.


Headquarters for this course is the campus of Southern Utah University. Facilities include dormitories ( SUU Housing website), physical education facilities, computer laboratories, and other typical campus facilities.

Personal Equipment

Each student will need at least the following personal equipment: a geology pick, 10x hand lens, day pack, hydration gear, tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag, sturdy hiking shoes, and field clothes. The terrain will be rough and the weather hot. A more complete equipment list is available by clicking the syllabus link above and will also be provided with your acceptance letter to the program.  Students are responsible for their own meals; cooking equipment can be provided upon request.

Health Insurance

A personal health insurance policy is strongly encouraged as you are not covered by the University during non-classroom hours. 

Once accepted to the course, all students should fill out a health history form and the SUU liability waiver and email scanned copies to the lead faculty member listed for the correct session of the camp (contact information below). 

Area Information

Southern Utah University is located in the heart of one of the world's most varied geological areas. The campus is situated at the western edge of the Colorado Plateau and the eastern edge of the Basin and Range province. The base location is a beautiful, modern university campus only 64 miles from Zion National Park, 76 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park, and 22 miles from Cedar Breaks National Monument. It is within easy driving distance of Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef and Great Basin National Parks, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and Las Vegas.

Faculty Information:

Summer Field Geology Course
Southern Utah University
351 W. University Blvd., SC309
Cedar City, Utah 84720-2498

Dr. Erich Mueller
Phone: 435-865-8326

Dr. Grant Shimer
Phone:  435-865-8429

Professor Casey Webb
Phone: 432-865-8342