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Biology Contact

Department Chair:

Dr. Dixie L. Smith

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Contact Person:
Kelly Borden

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Phone: 620-235-4732
Fax: 620-235-4194

Heckert-Wells Hall 223
Pittsburg State University
1701 S. Broadway
Pittsburg, KS 66762-7552

Transfer Students


There are two major issues for transfer students (more than 24 hours earned after high school graduation):

  1. The logistics of transfer - what courses will transfer and how much longer will it take to get the Bachelor's Degree?
  2. What courses should you take at a community college or other four-year institution - are you as prepared as possible to continue or start as a biology major?

PSU tries to make transferring you and your credits as easy as possible - but there are always challenges. Be prepared. The following sections are designed to summarize the most important issues.


  • Go to the PSU Admission's "Transfer" web pages for information about transfer equivalencies and a lot more about how to transfer. Someone here will make a decision about whether a course you took elsewhere is equivalent to a course here, so always be prepared - keep a copy of your previous college catalogs (at least the course descriptions) and all course syllabi - they might be needed to resolve issues about transfer credit.
  • Discuss with your advisors and instructors what you need to take and see more details below. If you graduated from a Kansas high school after 2000, you must meet the Kansas Board of Regents Qualified Admissions requirements.
  • Plan your coursework to meet curriculum needs when you finally transfer - know going into it what you will be taking out of it. Know what courses will transfer to meet not only general education requirements, but also specific biology requirements including biology, chemistry, and math (discussed in next section).
  • While many community college transfer students come to biology and can graduate in two years, careful choice of coursework before and after entering PSU is needed. Always consult catalogs, web sites, and knowledgeable counselors and faculty at your community college and here at PSU.

What coursework should you take?

The first step is to review the course requirements in biology. See the paper catalog or the on-line information at the Registrar's web page or PSU Biology's Undergraduate Program web page.

What is the best scenario for coming to PSU Biology after two years of community college?

  • Complete a two-semester introductory biology sequence similar to our Principles of Biology I and II. Why? With this two-semester sequence completed, you can start here with the mid-tier courses like genetics, microbiology, or ecology saving you time.
  • The second best is to come in with a one-semester general biology course. Your General Biology course may or may not substitute for Principles of Biology I - see your PSU advisor and bring your General biology syllabus to any conference. If your General Biology can sub for BIO I, then you can go on to Bio II.
  • You should also have taken College Algebra - it is an excellent prerequisite for chemistry!
  • You should also have taken General Chemistry, then you'll be ready for Organic Chemistry here. If you have taken Intro Organic, that's even better.

The most difficult community college transfer scenario is coming to PSU after two years without any science or math. It is a logistic challenge to get all courses in on time (two years and out) and not always possible or desirable.

Under either scenario, be prepared to double-up on some lab courses in order to graduate on-time. You may also want to consider summer school. Try to "connect" with a faculty member in your area of interest here as soon as you can - even before transferring if you can. An early visit to campus (see below) can go a long way to making the transfer smooth.

  • Most Likely to Succeed: Biology I and II with Labs, College Algebra, General Chemistry I/Lab, Introduction to Organic Chemistry/Lab.
  • Most Difficult to Succeed: no science and math.

Will I succeed?

Overall, the biology major is a very demanding curriculum and your experience at other colleges will be helpful to you here. Since many of you will have all, or close to all, of your general education requirements completed, you will tend to have a heavy science and lab schedule. This can be demanding, but understand it and plan for it and you will succeed.

How to apply? Want to visit?

Contact the Pittsburg State University Office of Admissions for all the details. We'd love to have you visit!