Biology M.S. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The Department of Biology offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science degree in biology. The mission of the Biology M.S. program is to prepare students with the advanced scientific knowledge and skills necessary to pursue careers as professionals in the biological sciences. The training includes rigorous classroom instruction at an advanced level, along with the mentored scholarly pursuit of new knowledge. Ultimately, the program intends to prepare creative scientists with a solid theoretical background, advanced training in current research techniques, and the communication skills needed to convey the results and societal significance of their work.

Program Outcomes

1. Biology Master's Degree students are expected to complete the program in a reasonable period of time and attend professional meetings. They are also encouraged to give presentations at professional meetings, prepare and submit papers for publication, prepare and submit grant proposals, and mentor undergraduates.

Student Performance Indicators

  • The exit interview.

Assessment Methods

  • Students will be asked to a complete a written 'exit interview', to be submitted along with a Curriculum Vitae to the Biology Assessment Committee, in which they evaluate their experience in the Biology Master's Degree program.
    The students will be asked to provide the following specific data:
    1. Time to graduation;
    2. Number of professional meetings attended;
    3. Number of presentations made at professional meetings;
    4. Number of publications submitted;
    5. Number of publications accepted or in press;
    6. Number of grant proposals submitted;
    7. Number of grants awarded;
    8. Did the student gained experience in mentoring undergraduates.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to conduct rigorous research that makes a significant contribution to scientific progress, and to produce a clear and coherent written presentation of their work.

Student Performance Indicators
  • The Master's thesis.
Assessment Methods
  • The advisory committee for each student evaluates the quality of the master's thesis with regard to the criteria listed in Student Learning Outcome 1. After successful completion of the thesis, each member of the committee will submit copies of a written evaluation of the thesis based on a standardized rubric to the primary advisor and the Biology Assessment committee.

2. Students will be able to effectively communicate about their research in an oral, professional-style seminar.

Student Performance Indicators
  • The exit seminar.
Assessment Methods
  • Biology Master's Degree program present a public exit seminar on their research. As with the written thesis, committee members will use a standardized rubric to evaluate the quality of this presentation and submit copies to the primary advisor and the Biology Assessment committee.