Geophysics B.S. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering is committed to being nationally and internationally recognized at the forefront in geo-science and geo-engineering education and research, and to providing the state and national workforce with outstanding graduates having superior knowledge, skills and abilities for effective management of the Earth's non-renewable and environmental resources. As part of this mission, the Geophysics Bachelors of Science Degree Program offers an outstanding undergraduate geophysics curriculum that provides students with a broad and rigorous multidisciplinary foundation of knowledge, problem-solving and analytical skills for successful pursuit of an advanced science degree or a technical career. Many of this program's graduates go on to pursue advanced earth sciences degrees, however, many others are employed directly by government agencies and private industry in fields, including, resource exploration, environmental monitoring, geotechnical engineering, natural hazard assessment and geographic information systems and land management.

Program Outcomes

1. All graduates will be prepared for post graduate study or to secure employment in a field related to their undergraduate degree.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Student will indicate post-graduate activity through: Exit interviews, Alumni interviews, and Faculty advisor interviews
Assessment Method
  • The Geological Sciences Curriculum/Assessment Committee will assess the degree to which participating graduates report accomplishing this outcome.

2. All Students will complete the curriculum in a timely manner appropriate to their personal circumstances. Transfers from other UNR programs will be efficiently integrated into the program.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Graduates-to-majors ratio over time
  • Transfer-to-major data
  • Student time to graduation
  • Exit interviews
Assessment Method
  • The Geological Sciences Curriculum/Assessment Committee will assess data supplied by UNR databook, Arentz Center data, and student self-reporting.
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Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to demonstrate competence in oral and written communication skills including the ability to write and present independent research, and the ability to read and critically evaluate relevant geoscience literature.

Student Performance Indicators
  • All majors meet performance goals during course work.
  • Seniors present independent work through poster sessions each spring.
  • Student/faculty joint publications
  • Student written reports completed during summer internships, and senior course work Geophysics and Geodynamics (GPH455) and Exploration Geophysics (GPH492).
  • Student internships require a short written summary by the student, and a report by the faculty/employer
Assessment Method
  • Using a Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering standard Skills Assessment Form, Department teaching faculty will report each semester on performance goals met by geophysics program students enrolled in their courses at the sophomore to senior levels. These data will be assembled by the Department and assessed by the Curriculum/ Assessment Committee.
  • Students' faculty advisor will assess each senior thesis.
  • The Curriculum/Assessment Committee will assess the number of papers published by faculty with undergraduate co-authors.
  • All graduates of the baccalaureate program will successfully complete Geophysics and Geodynamics (GPH455) and Exploration Geophysics (GPH492).
  • Faculty advisor or employer will assess internship reports.

2. Students will be able to demonstrate critical thinking and reasoning as part of their professional skills.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Faculty observation of student skills during Geophysics and Geodynamics (GPH455) and Exploration Geophysics (GPH492).
  • Post graduate employment or post graduate study
  • Student written reports completed for internship
  • Employer's report of student activity during internships.
Assessment Method
  • All graduates of the baccalaureate program will successfully complete Geophysics and Geodynamics (GPH455) and Exploration Geophysics (GPH492).
  • Alumni and their employers or graduate advisors will be interviewed.
  • Student's faculty advisor or internship faculty/employer will provide the Curriculum/ Assessment Committee with an evaluation of the students' level of professional skill.
  • Student's faculty advisor or internship faculty/employer will provide the Curriculum/ Assessment Committee with an evaluation of the students' level of professional skill.