• banner with student looking at rock through a hand lens

Student Learning Outcomes - Graduate

Assessment in the Department of Geological Sciences

To evaluate the effectiveness of our Department's mission and goals, the Department of Geological Sciences has developed a program-level plan for assessment of student learning. The mission of our B.S. and M.S. degree programs parallels that of the University: to prepare our students to be life-long learners so that they may become productive members of the workforce. We use rubrics to quantify and assess the achievement of specific Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) in different department courses. Because we are a small department, faculty-student relationships are strong, and we are able to assist our students on an individual basis. This allows us to better accommodate students with diverse economic, social, and academic backgrounds. The Department offers the B.S. and M.S. in Geology and a minor in Geology. For the B.S. degree, three options are available: Geology (Option I), Environmental Geology (Option II), and Secondary Teaching (Option III).

Student Learning Outcomes:
Master of Science in Geology

The primary goals of our graduate program in Geological Sciences are to provide instruction and research experience of sufficient breath, depth, and currency that at the end of their graduate training, students will be prepared to compete and be successful in their mid- to high-level professional appointments; if already employed, to advance and be promoted in their current vocations and to be able to take on more advanced and complex projects; or to be able to advance their intellectual objectives in more advanced educational institutions. 

M.S. graduates in Geology can:

  1. Apply theoretical, conceptual, and observational knowledge to the analysis and solution of geologic data and problems in graduate-level coursework.
  2. Develop and write a professional quality proposal to conduct an original research thesis in an area of geological research.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to compile and critique geologic literature pertinent to original research.
  4. Demonstrate competence in collection, synthesis, and interpretation of original geologic data.
  5. Communicate clearly and articulately their geologic knowledge, findings, and interpretations in oral presentations, including a critical evaluation of a 40-minute oral presentation to the department and thesis committee of thesis results.
  6. Write technical reports that are well researched, well organized, well illustrated, and well written, including a critical evaluation of written thesis by a three-member thesis committee.