STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
Master of Science
Department of Biology
University of Northern Iowa
Outcome I: To develop knowledge of the scope and depth of biological sciences, including an
understanding of relationships among biological systems, current topics and
modern biological techniques with special emphasis in an area of focus agreed
upon with the student, advisor and the student's advisory committee. Students
are expected to develop and improve their critical thinking skills as they progress
through their program of study
All competencies under Outcome I will be assessed based on student performance in the
graduate program of study. Minimum criteria are detailed in the Department of Biology's
Graduate Handbook.
Competency 1:
An understanding of the breadth of the biological sciences will be attained by
taking required courses from at least two core areas and participating in the
weekly colloquia.
Competency 2:
Knowledge of currently significant biological topics will be acquired from the
weekly colloquia, required core courses, and elective courses in the area of
focus.
Competency 3:
Depth of understanding will be achieved by taking graduate level courses in an
area of focus chosen by the student in consultation with the advisory committee.
Competency 4:
Familiarity with current techniques in biology will be developed during the
weekly colloquia, required core courses, and elective courses in the area of
focus.
Competency 5:
The ability to critically read, analyze, and critique current literature will be
developed in the required core courses, most elective courses, and through
examination of research papers in the chosen area of interest.
Outcome II: Be able to identify and develop a proposal for a significant, original research
project.
All competencies under Outcome II will be assessed by the student's advisory committee based
on a written research proposal as outlined in the Department of Biology's Graduate Handbook.
To achieve the competencies listed below, the student will work in consultation with their
advisor as well as members of the advisory committee and will utilize the information received
in their core and elective courses as needed.
Competency 1:
Evaluation of the appropriate scientific literature for the proposed project.
Competency 2:
The ability to identify and define hypotheses that need to be tested.
Competency 3:
The ability to identify appropriate scientific methods to test the proposed
hypothesis.
Competency 4:
The ability to develop specific experimental designs and statistical analyses
suitable to test the proposed hypothesis.
Competency 5:
To understand how to ascertain necessary resources to carry out the proposed
research project (facilities, schedule and budget).
Competency 6:
The ability to write in a style and format suitable for scientific proposals.
Competency 7:
The ability to prepare and present an oral scientific research proposal.
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STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES Master of Science Department of Biology University of Northern Iowa