The Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Dr. Stan Wiatr, Chairperson
Sci 139, (406) 657-2031
Anatomy & Physiology: Castles
Botany: Khaleel, Wiatr
Cell & Molecular Biology: Butler, Toenjes
Earth Science/Geography: Suits
Inorganic Chemistry: Tayer
Organic Chemistry: Dillman
Physical and Analytical Chemistry: Wickun
Physics: Snyder, Wiles
Professors Emeritus: Carpenter, Elliot, Grant, McRae, Schoenthal, Zwick
Sciences at MSU Billings
Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science are core programs in the sciences at MSU Billings. Biology is the study of living organisms. Biologists study interactions among and within organisms in order to understand processes characteristic of life. Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science are physical sciences exploring the composition, structure, properties and interactions of matter. Chemistry is the study of differences and similarities of elements in order to understand how they interact to produce diverse molecules. Physics examines the properties of atoms and laws governing the makeup of matter. Earth Science is the study of minerals and soils, their origin, change and distribution.
Science faculty at MSU Billings encourage undergraduate students to participate in research. Every student is given the opportunity to explore a research problem in the sciences under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. Faculty conduct research in molecular genetics, animal physiology, topics in laser spectroscopy, plant physiology, plant systematics and ecology and evolution. Active involvement in research with faculty is an important part of student success in the sciences at MSU Billings.
Undergraduate Degrees and Majors
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science
Majors: Biology, Broadfield Science, Chemistry
Options: Environmental Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science, Biology Teaching Licensure, Broadfield Science Teaching Licensure, Chemistry Teaching Licensure
Minors: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Geography, Physics
Teaching Minors: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Geography, Physics
Pre-Professional Programs: Medicine, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Pre-Engineering
Associate of Science Programs of Study in: Allied Health, Environmental Science, Pre-Engineering
Programs offered through the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences share many outcomes. Upon program completion students will:
- Understand the basic principles and laws governing our world and have a global awareness of their discipline.
- Demonstrate basic competency in laboratory, field and computer skills related to the sciences.
- Be familiar with accessing and interpreting the scientific literature.
- Be proficient in written and oral communication in the sciences.
- Understand scientific methodology, and conduct scientific investigations using it.
- Be prepared to participate in professional activities.
Most students who graduate from MSU Billings in the sciences typically receive a Bachelors degree in Biology or Chemistry. In some instances our graduates directly enter the job market. For example, our Biology and Chemistry teaching licensure programs allow students to enter the teaching profession with appropriate expertise and licensure to teach in Montana. Our new program in Medical Laboratory Science will allow students to achieve national certification for a career in clinical/medical laboratory science. Students seeking jobs with private industry, state (e.g. Fish, Wildlife & Parks) or federal (e.g. FBI) agencies have also been successful. Alternatively, many of our graduates choose to continue their training beyond a four year undergraduate program. They have been accepted in professional programs in the health sciences (medical, dental, pharmacy & veterinary medicine) and major university graduate programs leading to a master’s degree or Ph.D. in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Academic advising for all freshmen Arts and Sciences majors is initially provided through the Advising Center on campus. Science majors are then assigned a faculty advisor in the Sciences with expertise matched to their interest. Students meet with their faculty advisor each semester to review their progress and make any changes required for a complete and accurate Plan of Study to satisfy program requirements in a timely manner. Faculty advisors also work with students to explore internships, cooperative education placements and opportunities in research to enhance the student’s academic program. In addition, faculty advisors provide assistance in selecting elective courses which support the student’s interests, career plans and Plan of Study. Students are ultimately responsible for meeting degree requirements, and science faculty at MSU Billings believe very strongly that academic advising is a vital component to ensuring student success.