Dr. Dixie L. Smith
Phone: 620-235-4732 Fax: 620-235-4194
The Department of Biology meets instructional needs for students: (1) on a variety of career tracks within biology, (2) as support for other disciplines, and (3) as a basic body of shared knowledge for general education.
We have undergraduate programs covering the range of modern biology including pre-health (pre-med, pre-dentistry, pre-vet, pre-optometry), pre-physical therapy, medical technology, cell and molecular biology, field biology and environment, ecology and organismic biology, and secondary education.
There are over 400 students in the undergraduate program and about 20 in the graduate (masters) division. The Department has 15 full-time faculty with a wide range of interests. The faculty are dedicated and committed to the University and the Department, but most importantly, to the students. Most faculty are actively engaged in research activities, national professional organizations, and in professional service.
The practice and instruction of biology depends on equipment, supplies, and facilities. Although there is much to be learned by reading, biology must be expressed as a "hands-on" science. The Biology Department's physical facilities and equipment provide opportunities for both field biology and laboratory/health science teaching and research. Today, both undergraduate and graduate students use these facilities and equipment as a part of classroom instruction or research.
The Biology Department is located in Heckert-Wells Hall just across Joplin Street from the stadium and on the east side of the oval. Locate Heckert-Wells Hall using Google Maps or the PSU Map (PDF) showing Hecket-Wells Hall and University Police and Parking Services building highlighted. The department has provided quality education in the life sciences for southeast Kansas and the surrounding region since 1909 (read about the history of the department).
Biology occupies the top two floors (with a roof-top greenhouse). The building contains faculty offices, the departmental office, and numerous teaching and research labs. Classrooms in surrounding buildings are used for lectures as are some of our lab rooms.
We offer five major degrees: four at the baccalaureate level and one at the graduate level. The degrees offered include: Bachelor of Arts in Biology (BA), Bachelor of Science in Biology (BS), Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology (BSMT), Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd), and the Master of Science (MS).
Within the BS and BA degrees are specific program areas of studies called emphasis areas. These include programs related to the broad areas of "health and laboratory sciences" and "field biology and environment".
See The Undergraduate Program or The Graduate Program for more information about these degrees and programs.
A degree in Biology prepares students for career opportunities in lab, health, education, and field biology. These include science education, industrial microbiology, medical technology, medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, optometry, quality control analysis, interpretive naturalist, park ranger, tropical biology, wildlife management, fisheries biology, environmental management, and plant and animal sciences. The coursework you take here will reflect your interests and allow you to develop your interests. We have a web page with links to help career exploration in various areas of biology.