Student Learning Objectives

1. Graduates will demonstrate mastery of major biological concepts relative to:

a. Fundamental features and processes that unite living organisms and distinguish them from non-living entities.

b. The flow and expression of biological information.

c. Interdependence and interrelationships between organisms and their environment.

d. The diversity of life forms and processes involved in their evolution.

2. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to ask and answer questions in the biological sciences by:

a. Applying the scientific method to the design and conduct of experiments.

b. Selecting and competently using laboratory and field equipment, techniques, and technologies to perform experiments.

3. Graduates will demonstrate mastery of skills essential to career development and life-long learning including:

a. Critical thinking skills

b. Quantitative skills

c. Information skills

d. Communication skills

4. Graduates will recognize and value the historical and contemporary influence of scientists and science on society and environment.

5. Graduates will demonstrate a level of content knowledge appropriate for senior level students in Biology, Biotechnology, or Environmental Biology. The content knowledge expected will vary between these three majors as follows:

a. Biology majors will demonstrate broad knowledge of cell, molecular, and organismal biology as well as ecology and evolution. In addition, students in the following options will demonstrate additional qualifications:

    i. General Biology option: Students will demonstrate broad knowledge of cell, molecular, and organismal biology as well as ecology and evolution.

    ii. Botany option: Students will demonstrate an understanding of morphological, anatomical, physiological, and ecological factors that influence plant life, structure/function, and evolution.

    iii. Microbiology option: Students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of genetics, metabolic diversity, structures and functions of various microorganism groups, as well as the understanding of their roles in evolution, environment, and human diseases. Students will be able to conduct and design experiments in microbiology while understanding the importance of laboratory safety.

    iv. Zoology option: Students will demonstrate an enhanced understanding of the major animal taxa. Students will demonstrate additional specialized knowledge in one of two clusters: (i) Physiology and Neuroscience, or (ii) Biodiversity and Systematics.

b. Biotechnology majors will demonstrate detailed knowledge of genetics, cell and molecular biology, chemistry and biochemistry, as well as familiarity with the biotechnological applications of these disciplines. Students will also be able to specialize in one of several concentrations including physiology, molecular biology & genetics, microbiology & pathology, biochemistry & molecular separation techniques, agriculture, and business.

c. Environmental Biology majors will demonstrate, through an interdisciplinary approach, a general knowledge of ecological interactions and processes, the connections between human activities and impacts to the environment, and the technologies used to quantify those connections and interactions. Students will show more detailed knowledge in one of three subareas: (i) conservation biology, (ii) ecosystem ecology and management, or (iii) environmental microbiology and biotechnology.