Overview of the Biology Department

Westfield State University is ideally situated on the edge of the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts. The area offers a low cost of living and a high quality of life. Hiking, canoeing, and ski areas are minutes away, yet the campus is in close proximity to the thriving cultural centers of Springfield, Northampton, and Amherst, and is less than two hours from both Boston and Albany. Westfield State considers teaching and a focus on student learning to be the primary duties of faculty.

The department offers a collegial work environment where classes are relatively small. Research, particularly projects involving undergraduates, is also encouraged. Tenure-track faculty are eligible for a one semester sabbatical during their first three years to carry out research and other preparations for tenure review.

Twelve full-time faculty members teach courses in the Biology Department. Additional courses and laboratory sections are taught by adjunct faculty. An administrative assistant, two laboratory technicians, and several work-study students provide support for the Department. We currently have over 150 biology majors, but also provide courses for majors in Environmental Science, General Science, Movement Science, Psychology, and others. The Biology Department also teaches courses that satisfy College Common Core requirements in the Science section.

The Department is proud to host the Westfield River Environmental Center. The goal of the Center is to bring together WSC students, faculty, surrounding K-12 schools, community members, and local organizations to better understand the interactions between people and the environment of the Westfield River Watershed. The Environmental Center serves as a conduit for faculty to involve students in fieldwork and research in the environment.