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Program Goals and Outcomes

Mount Saint Mary’s University has a culture of assessment. This means

  • Community members share a common commitment to improving student learning and a common language to guide this work.
  • Students know at the outset what their expected learning outcomes are for the course, the major or program.
  • Faculty and staff continually assess the nature and extent of student learning.
  • Lessons about student learning inform curricular, pedagogical, and administrative decisions.
  • The goal of assessment efforts at MSMU is to improve teaching and learning.
  • The overall results of student performance will be available to students, faculty, staff and other interested parties on College webpage.

The Biology Department at Mount Saint Mary’s University has identified four (4) goals and six (6) Student Learning Outcomes.  These outcomes have been developed by the faculty and they focus on the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of a graduate of the Biology Department at the Mount. 


  • Goal

    Effective communication skills

  • Outcome
    1. Oral Presentation: Present scientific data clearly and logically using correct/appropriate scientific terminology.

    2. Written Communication Skills: Prepare well-written Biology related reports based on the scientific research format.

  • Goal

    Ability to think independently and critically

  • Outcome
    1. Use scientific methods to acquire, analyze and apply scientific knowledge.

  • Goal

    Disciplinary knowledge

  • Outcome
    1. Show proficiency in six major unifying principles of Biology: Evolution, Interaction/Interdependence, Genetics/Reproduction, Growth/Development, Energy and Matter, Maintenance/Homeostasis.

  • Goal

    Ethics and Values

  • Outcome
    1. Identify examples of plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

    2. Demonstrate skepticism of existing ideas and openness to new alternative ideas.