In 2018, the Department of Biological Sciences approved the following student learning outcomes for its undergraduate and graduate programs. The Department has a standing Assessment Committee which implements an ongoing assessment of the Department's activities in each of these areas.
At the completion of the Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology or Microbiology a graduate will have acquired:
1. Knowledge: Mastery of Content and Process Inquiry. Biology graduates will demonstrate knowledge and application of fundamental principles of living systems.
2. Scientific Inquiry: Biology graduates will have acquired the analytical skills and quantitative reasoning used in scientific inquiry, enabling lifelong engagement with progress in the life sciences.
3. Communication: Biology graduates will have developed the ability to effectively communicate scientific findings, concepts, and analyses through both oral and visual presentations and written reports and essays.
4. Critical Thinking: Biology graduates will be able to understand and critically evaluate evidence and arguments used in scientific work.
5. Information Literacy: Biology graduates will be familiar with tools that enable the search and retrieval of scientific literature and will be able to search, retrieve, and utilize the scientific literature.
6. Awareness and Attitudes: Biology graduates will have acquired a clear understanding of the role of science in society and the ethical conduct of science and be prepared to undertake careers in the biological sciences
In 2008, the Department of Biological Sciences approved the following student learning outcomes for its graduate program. The objectives are organized into three categories: attitudes, skills, and knowledge. The Department has a standing Assessment Committee which implements an ongoing assessment of the Department's activities in each of these areas.
At the completion of the Masters of Science degree in Biology a graduate student will have acquired:
- The analytical, communication, problem-solving, interpersonal, and technical skills that will provide a strong foundation for scientific productivity and progressive career development.
- An in-depth understanding of biological concepts that apply to the student's area of concentration.
- Experience with the peer scientific review process.
The following are specific objectives in the areas of attitudes, skills, and knowledge.
1. The student will acquire the following attitudes:
1.1 Scientific research plays a crucial role in the development of policy and decision-making for the benefit of society.
1.2 Scientific progress should be based on the unbiased collection, analysis, and interpretation of evidence.
1.3 The biological sciences, by their nature, are interdisciplinary.
1.4 Understanding science is a life-long learning process.
1.5 Scientific ethical conduct and ethical implications of scientific issues in society are important.
2. Upon completion of the Master of Science degree, the student will be able to demonstrate that he/she is skilled at:
2.1 Developing a coherent research prospectus;
2.2 Carrying out a research project which includes mastery of appropriate techniques and the collection, organization and analysis of data;
2.3 Synthesizing the results of their work in a master's thesis;
2.4 Understanding and critically evaluating the scientific work of others and discussing new results in the context of what is already known and what should still be done;
2.5 Communicating his/her work, as well as that of others, in a seminar and thesis defense;
2.5 Developing teaching skills.
3. Upon completion of the Master of Science degree, the student will be able to demonstrate knowledge in:
3.1 Scientific concepts, recent developments, and areas for future research efforts in his or her chosen field;
3.2 Traditional, modern, and emerging techniques and approaches used to conduct research in his or her chosen field of research;
3.3 Practical applications of his or her research field and potential career opportunities.