Natural Sciences Minors

Grand Canyon University recognizes the impact of natural sciences and how it can shape our understanding of the world. The College of Natural Sciences at GCU offers a range of specialized minor degree programs designed to meet the needs of today's dynamic and competitive academic landscape.

These distinctive programs are meticulously crafted through a synergy of academic expertise and industry relationships, aligning with the ethical values ingrained in our institution's foundation. Within each of these minor programs lies a platform for fostering innovation, facilitating cross-disciplinary exploration and nurturing the critical skills required in professional settings.

GCU student at forensic science senior capstone

Athletic Coaching and Training Minors

GCU offers a platform for students interested in the realm of sports and fitness. Through comprehensive insights into the art and science of coaching, GCU teaches the principles of effective athletic training through sports psychology, injury prevention, performance enhancement and leadership within sports teams.

The minor in athletic coaching is intended to assist the future teacher, fitness professional or other professional who wishes to coach interscholastic, intercollegiate or other sports teams in all aspects of preparation for competition.

The minor in athletic coaching at GCU is 24 credits and includes these courses:

  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology/Lab (BIO-155/L)
  • Care, Treatment and Prevention of Athletic Injuries/Lab (ATP-214/L)
  • Theory, Philosophy and Principles of Coaching (PED-337)

Choose any three of the following five courses:

  • Coaching Baseball: Theory and Practice (PED-325)
  • Coaching Basketball: Theory and Practice (PED-326)
  • Coaching Volleyball: Theory and Practice (PED-327)
  • Coaching Softball: Theory and Practice (PED-328)
  • Coaching Soccer: Theory and Practice (PED-329)

Loading

Discover this exercise science minor, where you will delve into topics like wellness, exercise basics, anatomy fundamentals and coaching for sports performance. This minor is intended to help you develop a deeper understanding of physical fitness and well-being.

The minor in exercise science at GCU is 16 credits and includes these courses:

  • Nutrition and Wellness (NSC-150)
  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (BIO-155) 
  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology Lab (BIO-155/L)
  • Sports Performance Science and Coaching (EXS-210)
  • Sports Performance Science and Coaching Lab (EXS-210/L)
  • Sports Performance Science and Coaching (EXS-250)
  • Sports Performance Science and Coaching Lab (EXS-250/L)

Loading

The minor in pre-athletic training is intended to assist the future coach, fitness professional or other professional who wishes to provide care to interscholastic, intercollegiate or other sports teams. This science minor may be ideal for students who wish to fulfill common prerequisites for athletic training programs.

The minor in pre-athletic training at GCU is 32 credits and includes these courses:

  • General Psychology (PSY-102)
  • Anatomy & Physiology I/Lab (BIO-201/L or 210/L)
  • Anatomy & Physiology II/Lab (BIO-202/L or 211/L)
  • Care, Treatment, and Prevention of Athletic Injuries/Lab (ATP-214/L)
  • Emergency Care for Acute Injuries (BIO-253)
  • Applied Nutrition (BIO-319)
  • Lifespan Development (PSY-357)
  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology (PSY-366)

Loading

Our sports performance minor will teach advanced concepts in sports performance, covering exercise fundamentals, sports coaching techniques, anatomy and exercise physiology. This minor is intended to help you qualify for the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification.

The minor in sports performance at GCU is 20 credits and includes these courses:

  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (BIO-155)
  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology Lab (BIO-155/L)
  • Sports Performance Science and Coaching (EXS-210)
  • Sports Performance Science and Coaching Lab (EXS-210/L)
  • Sports Performance Science and Coaching (EXS-250)
  • Sports Performance Science and Coaching Lab (EXS-250/L)
  • Physiology of Exercise (EXS-340)
  • Physiology of Exercise Lab (EXS-340/L)
  • Advanced Principles of Sports Performance (EXS-455)
  • Advanced Principles of Sports Performance Lab (EXS-455/L)

Loading

Students in this weight management and health minor will be taught behavior change theory, nutritional support and exercise prescription for effective weight management. Available in person on the GCU campus, this 16-credit minor can help prepare you to pursue a career in nutrition, fitness or healthcare by preparing students with the practical skills to promote sustainable health and wellness.

The minor in weight management and health at GCU includes these courses:

  • Sports Performance Science and Coaching (EXS-210)
  • Sports Performance Science and Coaching Lab (EXS-210L)
  • Applied Nutrition (BIO-319)
  • Health Risk Appraisal, Weight Control and Management (EXS-247)
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (PUB-200)

Loading


Biological and Forensic Science Minors

If you are captivated by the exploration of the natural world and its application to the criminal justice system, these biological and forensic science minors may be right for you. Students in these minors will be taught the foundational knowledge of biological processes, ecology, genetics and more while gaining insight into the techniques used to analyze evidence and contribute to solving legal cases.

This STEM minor will teach you a broad and thorough background in life sciences at the organismal level. This minor may be an ideal option if you wish to enhance your knowledge of biological sciences while boosting your ability to transition into a graduate school, professional school, teaching or a variety of other STEM fields.

The minor in biological sciences at GCU is 24 credits and includes these courses:

  • General Biology I/Lab (BIO-181/L)
  • General Biology II/Lab (BIO-182/L)
  • Fundamentals of Ecology/Lab (BIO-320/L)
  • Analysis of Biological Diversification (BIO-342)
  • Vertebrate Zoology/Lab (BIO-415/L)
  • Animal Behavior/Lab (BIO-328/L)

Loading

The minor in forensic science will teach students the basics of how crime labs use science to solve crimes. Additionally, students enrolled in this STEM minor will be taught techniques and tools that are used in forensic labs around the globe. If you are interested in forensic pathology and investigations, this may be a good choice for you.

The minor in forensic science at GCU is 24 credits and includes these courses:

  • Critical Analyses in Forensic Science (FOR-150)
  • General Biology I/Lab (BIO-181/L)
  • General Chemistry I/Lab (CHM-113/L)
  • Forensic Photography and Reconstruction (SCI-220)
  • Crime Scene Processing/Lab (SCI-255/L)
  • Physical Evidence Analysis/Lab (SCI-330/L)

Loading


Chemistry, Life and Physical Science Minors

If the captivating realms of chemistry and the life and physical sciences excite you, these science minors may be right for you. You will be taught the fundamental scientific principles, ranging from chemical reactions and molecular structures to biological systems and physical phenomena. Study the intricate connections between these disciplines, fostering a holistic perspective on the natural world. If you are looking to deepen your scientific knowledge, these minors can teach you the skills needed to pursue a journey into the heart of scientific exploration and discovery.

The minor in chemistry for chemical and structural analysis will teach students majoring in non-chemistry disciplines a solid foundation in chemical science. This minor is particularly suitable for students who are studying laboratory sciences such as forensic science or environmental science.

The minor in chemistry, chemical and structural analysis at GCU is 40 credits and includes these courses:

  • Applications of College Algebra (MAT-154)
  • General Biology I/Lab (BIO-181/L)
  • General Chemistry I/Lab (CHM-113/L)
  • General Chemistry II/Lab (CHM-115/L)
  • Organic Chemistry I/Lab (CHM-231/L)
  • Organic Chemistry II/Lab (CHM-232/L)
  • Analytical Chemistry/Lab (CHM-315/L)
  • Structural Determination (CHM-333)
  • Principles of Biochemistry/Lab (CHM-360/L)
  • Advanced Biochemistry/Lab (CHM-460/L)

Loading

The minor in chemistry for life sciences can give students majoring in non-chemistry disciplines a solid foundation in chemical science. This minor is particularly suitable for students in life sciences but may interest anyone seeking to learn more about the relationship of chemistry with life processes.

The minor in chemistry, life sciences at GCU is 52 credits and includes these courses:

  • Applications of College Algebra (MAT-154)
  • General Biology I/Lab (BIO-181/L)
  • Microbiology/Lab (BIO-205/L or BIO-215/L)
  • General Chemistry I/Lab (CHM-113/L)
  • General Chemistry II/Lab (CHM-115/L)
  • Organic Chemistry I/Lab (CHM-231/L)
  • Organic Chemistry II/Lab (CHM-232/L)
  • Analytical Chemistry/Lab (CHM-315/L)
  • Principles of Biochemistry/Lab (CHM-360/L)
  • Instrumental Analysis/Lab (CHM-365/L)
  • Pharmacology I (CHM-451)
  • Pharmacology II (CHM-452)
  • Advanced Biochemistry/Lab (CHM-460/L)

Loading

The minor in chemistry for physical science and engineering teaches students in non-chemistry disciplines a solid foundation in chemical science. This minor is particularly suitable for students in physical science and engineering disciplines but may suit anyone seeking a strong physical chemistry experience.

The minor in chemistry for physical science and engineering at GCU is 40 credits and includes these courses:

  • Applications of College Algebra (MAT-154)
  • Pre-calculus (MAT-261 or MAT-250)
  • Calculus for Science/Engineering (MAT-262)
  • University Physics I/Lab (PHY-121/L)
  • General Chemistry I/Lab (CHM-113/L)
  • General Chemistry II/Lab (CHM-115/L)
  • Survey of Organic Chemistry/Lab (CHM-235/L)
  • Instrumental Analysis/Lab (CHM-365/L)
  • Physical Chemistry I/Lab (CHM-441/L)
  • Physical Chemistry II/Lab (CHM-444/L)

Loading

The minor in pre-medicine teaches the standard science coursework required to apply for admission into most graduate medical programs. It also provides the foundational concepts that may be covered in entrance exams (MCAT, PCAT, DAT, OAT, etc.).

Graduate medical programs may accept applications from students with a baccalaureate degree, as long as they meet all other prescribed admission requirements. While the coursework defined in this minor typically covers the standard science courses required by most graduate programs, schools may have additional requirements for admission. It is strongly recommended that students considering this minor research the admission requirements of the specific graduate programs that they are considering.

The minor in pre-medicine at GCU is 36 credits and includes these courses:

  • General Biology I/Lab (BIO-181/L)
  • General Biology II/Lab (BIO-182/L)
  • General Chemistry I/Lab (CHM-113/L)
  • General Chemistry II/Lab (CHM-115/L)
  • Organic Chemistry I/Lab (CHM-231/L)
  • Organic Chemistry II/Lab (CHM-232/L)
  • Principles of Biochemistry/Lab (CHM-360/L)
  • General Physics I/Lab (PHY-111/L)
  • General Physics II/Lab (PHY-112/L)

Loading


Food and Nutrition Minors

Pursuing a minor in a food and nutrition related program can help provide an avenue for you to delve into the world of dietary sciences and wellness. These minors discuss the relationship between food, nutrition and human health by exploring topics such as dietary analysis, nutritional needs across the lifespan, and the impact of various food choices on well-being. If you enjoy nutrition counseling, public health, healthy living and informed dietary choices, these minors can offer a pathway into the field of food and nutrition sciences.

A minor in food and nutrition management teaches the importance of understanding nutrition when dealing with food in a hospitality management setting. This nutrition minor is ideal for students seeking a better understanding of how food safety and science integrate effectively in the hospitality industry.

The minor in food and nutrition management at GCU is 24 credits and includes these courses:

  • Nutrition and Wellness (NSC-150)
  • Introduction to Hospitality (HOS-200)
  • Applied Nutrition (BIO-319)
  • Food Sciences/Lab (NSC-350/L)
  • Events and Tourism Management (HOS-455)
  • Food and Beverage Service Management and Operations (HOS-460)

Loading

A minor in nutrition teaches students the foundational knowledge of human nutritional needs and how nutrition contributes to healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. This nutrition minor is ideal for any student seeking a greater understanding of the relationship among food, nutrition and health and fits easily with most major program of study.

The nutrition minor at GCU is 16 credits and includes these courses:

  • Nutrition and Wellness (NSC-150)
  • Applied Nutrition (BIO-319)
  • Nutrition Across the Lifespan (NSC-305)
  • Advanced Nutrition (NSC-419)

Loading


FAQs for Natural Science Minors

If you’re looking for an avenue that will teach you the foundations of biological and chemical sciences, pre-medicine, athletic coaching and more natural sciences, GCU’s minors may be a good choice for you. To help you decide if a science minor is right for you, we’ve gathered a few of our most frequently asked questions below.

Forensic science can be both a minor and a major program. A minor can be added as a specialty concentration within a broader program. Pursuing a minor in forensic science allows students to complement their primary major by gaining specialized knowledge in this area.

Forensic science as a major program allows you to focus exclusively on this field of study by obtaining a bachelor's or master’s degree. GCU offers several major programs in forensic science, such as:

Yes, it is possible to major in a physical therapy degree program and minor in an athletic training program. For example, if your interests lie in sports performance and the realm of physical therapy, you might consider earning your BS in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Sports Performance complemented by a Minor in Pre-Athletic Training. For those seeking a comprehensive education in athletic training, the MS in Athletic Training can provide a valuable pathway to enhance your expertise and capabilities.

A nutrition minor can complement a variety of career paths, such as healthcare administration, culinary arts, sports coaching, public health education, food industry management and dietetics counseling by providing a strong foundation in health and dietary principles. With this minor, you will be taught specific insights into areas such as health and wellness, fitness training, school education and health advocacy, or even contribute to research and writing in the health sector. Your enhanced understanding of nutrition can be a valuable asset in promoting healthier lifestyles, whether in corporate wellness programs, nonprofit organizations, the food industry or entrepreneurial ventures.

The decision between pursuing a biology or chemistry minor depends on your interests, career goals, and how the minor aligns with your major field of study. It may also be particularly relevant if you're aiming for healthcare professions or have a keen interest in environmental sciences.

On the other hand, a chemistry minor may complement science majors, equipping you with a deeper grasp of chemical interactions, molecular structures and the intricacies of matter. This may prove invaluable for careers in research, pharmaceuticals, chemical industries or any field centered around molecular analysis and synthesis.

Get More Information

Loading Form

Find a science minor that meets your personal or professional goals. Contact us today to enroll or get answers to remaining questions about choosing your minor.