Pittsburg State University is a public university with over 7,000 students In Pittsburg, Kansas on a 223 acre campus. Home to a state of the art technology program and with a student to teacher ratio of 19:1, PSU enjoys a strong reputation as an academic leader.
The university was first founded in 1903 as the Auxiliary Manual Training Normal School. It was rebranded as a teachers college a decade later, then graduated to the status of a general university in the postwar boom of the 1950’s.
today, the university enjoys an international reputation and has global affiliations, including a sister university in Taiwan.
Colleges and Departments
The College of Arts & Sciences includes fourteen departments that offer a variety of BA, BS, and BSEd degrees among them, including Family and Consumer Sciences, Military Science, International Studies, the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing, Phsics, and Women’s Studies.
The Kelce College of Business offers a unique program in Endorsed Internal Auditing and is certified in Information Systems Security by the Committee on National Security Systems. Departments include Accounting & Computer Information Systems; Economics, Finance & Banking; and Management & Marketing.
The College of Education offers such programs of study such as technology integration specialist, school and district leadership, school media specialist, and English as a second language instruction. Departments include Health, Human Performance & Recreation; Psychology & Counseling; Teaching & Leadership; and Teacher Education.
The College of Technology is highly competitive in its field, and is well represented in national student technology competitions. Departments include Automotive Technology, School of Construction, Engineering Technology, Graphics & Imaging Technologies, and Technology and Workforce Learning.
The Graduate School provides all advanced academic degree work.
The International Programs & Services Office welcomes 400 students from 50 countries across the world. Likewise, Study Abroad opportunities are available for current PSU students that consist of several weeks to as much as one year of international study.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Family and Consumer Sciences
The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences not only includes majors in early childhood development and individual and family management, fashion merchandising but also interior design. Minors are available in early childhood development, human ecology, fashion merchandising, and interior design.
Support for Business
The Business and Technology Institute exists to further the cause of local commerce and industry. It includes individual projects and departments developed for that purpose, including the Small Business Development Center, the Kansas Polymer Research Center, and the Alliance for Technology Commercialization.
Incoming freshman applicants are required to submit a non-refundable application fee, along with official copies of ACT scores, a high school transcript, and the Medical History Form, available on the University’s website or by contacting the office of admissions.
Admissions are competitive. Applicants are required to have a composite ACT score of 21 or greater, or rank in the top one third of their high school graduating class, or complete a pre-college curriculum with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher for state residents and 2.5 for out-of-state students. The pre-college curriculum consists of four units of English, three units of natural science, three units of mathematics, three units of social science, and one unit of computer technology.
The admissions office provides applicants with online practice exams for both the ACT and the GED. Applicants who submit a GED must have scored at least 50 overall on the GED exam and have an ACT score of 21 or more. Home schooled students are held to the same requirements, but must also submit a portfolio to the Director of Admission.
Through the FAFSA, the financial aid office supports students’ acquisition of federal and state loans, grants, and work study opportunities. There are also a variety of scholarships available to students of all origins, both merit-based and need-based. In addition to scholarships for students of the Honors College and general university scholarships for all purposes, there are more than 30 department and specialized scholarships for study in a particular field. Students are encouraged to contact their department of study and inquire about any such opportunities for which they might qualify.
Student Financial Aid Details
The campus is home to dozens of student clubs and organizations with all kinds of interests from accounting to yoga and everything in between. There are honor societies, cultural organizations, fraternities, sororities, broadcast organizations, and social groups that just gather to play games and have fun. In addition, students have access to the diversions and attractions of Pittsburg, Kansas and the local outdoors.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Sports teams compete in the NCAA Division II and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Teas are known as the Gorillas. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, and track & field. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, softball, track & field, and volleyball.
The athletic department has developed what it calls an Academic Enhancement Plan for all student athletes, which provides them with academic advising, study sessions, a life skills program, tutoring, and a curriculum of required courses that acclimate them to the university setting. Due in part to this program, the university continues to produce numerous Academic All-Americans.
Pittsburg State is the only university in the country with the gorilla as its mascot. Students organized in 1920, dissatisfied with the current state of school spirit, and identified themselves as “the Gorillas.” After some successful pep rallies and other spirit-oriented events, the Gorilla was adopted as the school’s official mascot.
Notable alumni include:
- Douglas Youvan Biophysicist
- Gary Busey, actor
- Eugene Maxwell Frank, Bishop in the United Methodist Church
- Jim Press, Vice Chairman and President of Chrysler
*H. Lee Scott former CEO and President of Walmart
- NFL players Brian Moorman, Ronald Moore, Kendall Gammon, Ralph Earhart, and Eldon Danenhauer
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.