Many of the critical problems the world faces, especially those which challenge values and beliefs, can often best be understood with a knowledge of biological principles. Accordingly, the department of Biology strives to give our students an appreciation of the methods, potentials, achievements and limitations of the biological sciences, and to instill in them the intellectual and ethical skills to use this information effectively. To accomplish this, the department provides a combination of required and elective courses in biology consistent with a liberal education, and it maintains a tradition of strong support for independent study and undergraduate research. The faculty members of the department of Biology recognize their responsibility to teach the values that are important to the process of free inquiry — the foundation of our discipline.
The department encourages the utilization of research strategies to address scientific questions, the abilities of students to communicate scientific principles and the critical thinking skills of students. Faculty has knowledge of the degree that should prepare students for advanced studies and professional careers.
The mission of the Biology department is to provide students with learning opportunities that will prepare them for future challenges in the broad opportunities of biology, whether they plan for advanced studies in medicine, dentistry, environmental studies, molecular biology, microbiology, animal biology or any other scientific area of biology.
Biology department graduates will:
- Understand the broad scope of the biological sciences and how the large variety of life forms have evolved and survived.
- Be committed to the continued study of biology and its various subdivisions.
- Be committed to professional conduct and ethical practices, and be able to communicate effectively within a multi-cultural environment.
- Realize that their expertise can impact the global community.
Graduates will demonstrate:
- An ability to understand, apply and integrate their knowledge of biology in the context of mathematics, chemistry and physics.
- An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
- An ability to think critically, clearly and logically, and to solve complex problems.
- An ability to use the wide variety of tools available to biologists to approach and complete a series of complex experiments.
- An understanding of their professional and ethical responsibilities.
- An ability to work effectively with other professionals in order to complete complex projects.
- An understanding of the global and societal impacts of biology and biological research.
- A knowledge of contemporary issues.
- A recognition of the need for and the ability to engage in lifelong learning.
- Appropriate written, oral and technical communication skills.
- The ability to read and understand complex scientific data in order to come to independent conclusions about the outcomes of research.