The Mission of the Department of Biological Sciences is to provide students a top-rate education in the biological sciences. Central to our goal is the incorporation of a laboratory-rich experience linked to traditional and innovative classroom pedagogy. This combination of laboratory and classroom activities engages students in the processes of biological inquiry and critical thinking, provides students hands-on experiences with biological principles, and trains students in modern technological methods. Students completing our program are well educated in the practice and knowledge of science and are well prepared to be productive members of society.
Student Learning Objectives
Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences will:
- Be able to use the scientific method to ask testable questions and to design and conduct laboratory, field, or theoretical investigations to address these questions.
- Understand and apply fundamental biological principles from the major areas of biology (ecology, physiology, genetics, evolution, cell and molecular biology, and organismal biology).
- Understand and appreciate the use of mathematical and computational skills in the biological sciences.
- Have developed critical thinking and communication skills, both oral and written, for purposes of conveying biological information to both professional scientists and the lay public.
- Have developed intellectual independence, understand the importance of scientific ethics, demonstrate scientific literacy by distinguishing between reliable and unreliable sources of information, and possess an appreciation for the connections between biological science and society.
Students who graduate with a Master of Science in Biological Sciences will:
- Actively participate in and lead discussions about current topics and selected research topics to become highly knowledgeable about specific areas in biology.
- Locate, acquire and critically evaluate primary literature in the biological sciences.
- Develop specific hypotheses/aims pertaining to a research problem and design and conduct a study or experiment to accomplish this goal.
- Quantitatively analyze and interpret biological data (e.g., class project, original thesis research).
- Critically evaluate, synthesize and report on biological data (e.g., class project, original thesis research) in oral and/or written formats based on their knowledge of biology.