Department of Biology
University of West Georgia
M.S. Degree Mission Statement
The mission of the M.S. Degree Program in the Department of Biology at the University of West Georgia is to provide graduate students the knowledge and training necessary to pursue advanced graduate education, professional studies, or employment. In pursuit of this mission, the Department of Biology offers a M.S. Degree Program via either a thesis and non-thesis track.
Thesis Track: The thesis track is designed to enhance critical-thinking and problem-solving skills for students who plan to continue their graduate education or enter research-based careers.
- Non-Thesis Track: The non-thesis track is designed for students who do not plan to pursue research-based careers, such as science educators, persons interested in scientific sales, or those interested in laboratory management positions.
The ultimate goal of the M.S. Degree Program in the Department of Biology is to promote the development of skilled professionals, effective teachers, competent scientists, and informed citizens to enhance the quality of life within the University of West Georgia’s scope of influence.
Learning Outcomes and Assessment Plans
Learning Outcomes and Expected Results
- To develop a strong diversified background in modern biology appropriate to the individual student's goals. The anticipated outcome will be a student with an appreciation for the areas of modern biology and the inter-relatedness of theses areas.
- To develop critical-thinking and problem based learning skills. The anticipated outcome will be a student with the ability to develop new ideas, to explore new areas of science or other academic endeavors, to design, implement, and evaluate scientific investigations, and to assess, interpret and understand data and its meaning.
- To develop the ability to communicate scientific ideas in both written and oral formats. The anticipated outcome will be a student who can organize and present his or her scientific ideas in both written and oral formats.
- Learning Outcome I
- We will evaluate the performance in graduate courses for both content and critical thinking.
- Students successfully completing graduate courses in the area of their expertise.
- Learning Outcome II
- Whenever possible, subjective, critical thinking and problem-solving questions will be incorporated into exams, literature evaluations, assignments, and projects for all graduate courses regardless of sub-discipline.
- Graduate courses will incorporate experimental design and formal, subjective lab reports whenever appropriate.
- Thesis tract, graduate students will undertake a research project with faculty. Each graduate research student will be evaluated with regards to critical-thinking and problem solving skills.
- Learning Outcome III
- Students will be required to participate in the graduate seminar program where he or she will present one or two seminars per semester.
- Graduate level laboratory courses will emphasis a comprehensive laboratory report.
- Graduate research students will be required to write a final research thesis, which will be critically evaluated by the degree committee.
- Graduate research students will be encouraged to present their research in an appropriate format (written / oral) and presented at appropriate venues, either on campus or off-campus (e.g. Sigma Xi, Arch, Georgia Academy of Science).
- All graduate students will participate in an oral examination to assess their ability to express their understanding of biological concepts and ideas.