The School of Natural Sciences (NSCI) at St. Edward's University encompasses the traditional natural sciences; computational sciences; clinical laboratory science; and bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary research area at the intersection of biology, mathematics, and computer science.
Our Natural Science programs provide in-depth knowledge of scientific fields while taking into consideration broader aspects of the liberal arts education — an emphasis on creativity, critical thinking and writing.
Our curriculum also places a strong emphasis on collaborative, hands-on learning. Classwork and research are conducted in world-class classrooms, labs, and in the Wild Basin Creative Research Center. We formed the Institute for Interdisciplinary Science (i4), an educational and professional framework that aids in building cross-sector partnerships and interdisciplinary collaborations through funding mechanisms for NSCI faculty and students. In addition, study abroad opportunities have been integrated into our programs so students can explore the world without extending their degree completion timelines.
The School of Natural Sciences is committed to establishing, sustaining, and fostering:
The John Brooks Williams North building is home to the University's cutting-edge laboratory instrumentation, including a Confocal Microscopy system by Olympus, compound and dissecting fluorescent scopes, and a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance room. The building's rooftop is equipped with two separate transgenic greenhouses.
A Makerspace expected to be fully operational in Spring 2022 will be home to "making" resources for teaching, research, and workshops.
The John Brooks Williams South building houses high-powered computing laboratories that support projects in robotics, environmental science and bioinformatics. Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) program awarded its 3-star rating to the building for its environmentally sensitive design. The sun penetrates southern-facing windows in the winter to increase solar heat intake, while large overhangs and window screens limit solar radiation in the summer.
St. Edward’s Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve serves as an interdisciplinary research lab and a hands-on learning center for students. Wild Basin extends over 227 acres within the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve system with hiking trails, volunteer opportunities and events open to the public.
The Center for Teaching Excellence most recently (2018-19) chose 3 of our faculty members among their 6 chosen award recipients, through a rigorous selection process "evaluating candidates' course offerings, curricular designs, instructional methods, classroom performances, and interactions with students." Chemistry and Computer Science professor Dr. Richard Kopec received the Sister Donna Jurick Distinguished Career Award. Computer Science professor Dr. Bilal Shapiro and Forensic Science professor Dr. Casie Fisher each received the Delayne Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction.
Check out the following links for a glimpse into the history of science at St. Edward's University:
The mission of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Science (i4) is to build capacity in interdisciplinary sciences, informatics, and emerging technologies as we increase students’ readiness for the 4th Industrial Revolution.
The Institute coordinates on-campus interdisciplinary events, organizes cross-sector cooperative agreements with public and private entities, networks STEM majors with employers and graduate programs through guaranteed internships, and more.
The Science Living Learning Community (Science LLC) gives new SEU Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors an opportunity to get a head start on their studies and create a community of like-minded students. Benefits in joining include early move-in, cohort scheduling, free tutoring, workshops, summer research opportunities, etc. To reserve your place, apply as soon as possible.
The Senior Seminar Symposium, an annual event dating back to 1993, gives Natural Sciences senior students an opportunity to present their research at the end of the academic year. Students graduating with degrees in Biological Sciences, Computer Science, or Mathematics are encouraged to participate.
Our most recent 2022 symposium featured Dr. Ilya J. Finkelstein, Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, as keynote speaker in association with our Institute for Interdisciplinary Science (i4).
The Lucian symposium honors the late Brother Lucian Blersch, CSC, a longtime professor of Engineering at St. Edward’s. An endowment in his name provides support for research endeavors of the NSCI professor chosen as Lucian Chair. Since 2001, the Lucian Chair has helped to organize a symposium open to the public that brings noted scientists to campus and highlights natural science research.
View the Zoom recordings from the 2021 Lucian Symposium: Global Health Challenges - Healthy Inequity here.