Letter from the Chair

Dr. Joseph Maness

Dear Student and Parents:

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Biological Sciences at Southwestern Oklahoma State University!  We offer you three undergraduate and two graduate degree programs that provide a wide array of career options.  Thirteen faculty from seven states and five countries holding a combined 37 graduate biological sciences degrees will help prepare you for a successful future. The Department of Biological Sciences offers you a number of advantages:

  • Achieving career goals. Biological Sciences graduates are employed with state and federal agencies, private industry, research laboratories and biotech companies, hospitals, medical laboratories and clinics, colleges, universities, and public schools, and the military.  Over the past 15 years, 90% of biological sciences majors who applied to graduate and professional colleges and universities have been accepted!
  • Dedicated faculty.  Twelve of thirteen faculty in our department have earned Ph.D.’s and over 190 years of combined teaching experience.  Eleven of thirteen faculty conduct research that involves students and regularly accompany students to state, regional, national, and international scientific meetings.  Dr. Andrea Holgado recently received the McNairy National Research Mentoring Award from NIH.  Each faculty member is regularly available to provide individual assistance and tutoring to students.
  • Specialized and personal advisement.  The thirteen biological sciences faculty provide students with one-on-one academic and career counseling for over 50 biological science related careers.  They work closely with professional and graduates schools and regularly attend workshops to provide the best and most current career plan for you. 
  • Small class size.  All laboratories are taught by faculty and have no more than 20 students in each section.  Most lecture classes are also relatively small with 15-16 students in junior and senior level classes.
  • Clubs and Organizations.  The Biology Club and Medical Professions Club are multidisciplinary clubs providing activities of special interest to biology students and others.  Tri-Beta (Delta Sigma chapter, est. 1930) is a national biological science honor fraternity that offers lifetime membership to outstanding biology students.  Delta Sigma Chapter has been recognized as a national and regional outstanding chapters. Two SWOSU students recently received research awards and a biological science faculty member was honored for service as a sponsor at the 2012 national convention in Puerto Rico.
  • Experience beyond the classroom.  All biological sciences majors are expected to participate in service learning as part of their degree program.  In addition to student research in the department, biological sciences faculty assist students in obtaining summer internship, work training, and research internships that contribute to career development and ultimate post-graduation success.

If you would like additional information about programs in the Biological Sciences at Southwestern, please let us know.  I invite you to come and tour the department, sit in on a class or two, or visit with one of our faculty about pursuing your career interests at SWOSU.


Joseph D. Maness
Chair and Associate Professor of Biology

Department of Biological Sciences
100 Campus Drive
Weatherford, OK 73096
(580) 774-3293
Fax: (580) 774-7140