Program Learning Goals


The goals for undergraduate biology majors describe broad areas of knowledge and skill. They have been identified by the Biological Sciences Faculty as essential for all biology majors to acquire before graduation. This knowledge and their associated skills will be acquired through a course structure that guides students through required core courses, flexible breadth requirement courses, and student centered elective courses in the Department of Biological Sciences.   It is critical for students to understand that no single course provides absolute knowledge/skill for a particular goal but instead academic success is achieved through academic integration and retention across all courses in the curriculum.


A. Biological Principles

Upon graduation all biology majors should be able to integrate the principles described in the outcomes below at several levels of biological organization.

1.         Use the principles of gene structure and expression to deduce mechanisms by which characteristics of organisms and populations are inherited.

2.         Relate biological structure to function at various levels of organization and in an evolutionary context.

3.         Describe the mechanisms by which organisms develop from single cells.

4.         Use the theory of biological evolution to explain the diversity of life.

5.         Use the principles of bioenergetics to explain the activities of cells and the interactions of cells and organisms with each other and their environments.


B. Reasoning and Problem Solving Skills

Upon graduation all biology majors should be able to

1.          Use observation and experiment to investigate biological phenomena and solve problem.

2.         Analyze and interpret in writing scientific information gathered through laboratory, field, and library research.

3.         Speak effectively about scientific topics, issues, and problems in formal and informal contexts.

4.         Use quantitative methods to describe and analyze biological phenomena.

5.         Use technical skills and equipment to describe and quantify biological phenomena.

6.         Recognize and discuss the social and ethical implications of the conduct of research in biology and its technological application to human problems.

7.         Interact with others in a skilled, cooperative fashion to discuss issues and solve problems.