Neuroscience B.A. and B.S. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience is offered jointly through the Departments of Psychology and Biology. The mission of the program is to provide students comprehensive training in the foundations of modern neuroscience from the cellular to systems level, as well as basic and applied knowledge in general science, psychology, and biology that will allow them to master and critically evaluate knowledge in the field. Directed learning experiences are also included to develop research skills. A major aim of the program is to equip students with the knowledge and skills that will prepare them to successfully pursue graduate studies in a variety of basic and applied disciplines with a neuroscience focus, from cognitive and biological sciences to biotechnology and medicine.

Program Outcomes

1. Students will be well prepared and competitive for graduate studies.

Student Performance Indicators

  • Honors students will complete and defend a thesis project
  • Students will present research as authors or coauthors at local or national conferences
  • Students will complete the GRE or MCAT for admission to graduate or medical school
  • Graduating students will complete exit interviews

Assessment Method

  • Faculty will evaluate theses with regard to written and oral quality
  • The number of presentations will be monitored and student performance will be evaluated by the faculty supervisors
  • GRE and MCAT scores will be tracked through exit surveys
  • Surveys will be reviewed by the co-directors and curriculum committee

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to demonstrate mastery of core concepts and principles in Neuroscience as well as developing expertise in sub-disciplines within the field.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will demonstrate their comprehension through assignments and presentations in the core upper division courses for the major(Neurobiology and Physiological Psychology), as well as in cluster options in upper division Biology and Psychology courses. Instructors of 400-level courses in the major will be surveyed to evaluate student comprehension.
  • Core courses for the major are Neurobiology (Bio 475) and Physiological Psychology (Psy 403). Performance of Neuroscience majors in these courses will be compared relative to the baseline of non-neuroscience majors completing the same courses.
Assessment Method
  • Faculty surveys will be reviewed by the co-directors and the curriculum committee
  • Performance will be evaluated by faculty teaching the core courses

2. Students will be able to display effective written, oral, and quantitative skills.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will demonstrate their proficiency through assignments and presentations in the core upper division courses for the major(Neurobiology and Physiological Psychology), as well as in cluster options in upper division Biology and Psychology courses. Instructors of 400-level courses in the major will be surveyed to evaluate student proficiency.
Assessment Method
  • Faculty surveys will be reviewed by the co-directors and the curriculum committee

3. Students will be able to demonstrate research and applied skills.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will participate in supervised research experience in a faculty lab. These directed learning experiences will involve close interaction with supervisors. Faculty surveys will be used to evaluate students' knowledge and competence in research methods.
Assessment Method
  • Faculty surveys will be reviewed by the co-directors and the curriculum committee.