• Mission

    The mission of the Department of Biology at the University of West Georgia is to provide students, faculty, staff, and the broader university community opportunities for professional and personal development through excellence in teaching, research, and service.

    • Teaching: The Department of Biology is committed to provide and maintain a rigorous curriculum which facilitates an understanding of the major principles and concepts in the biological sciences, promotes critical-thinking and communication skills, and fosters a continuous interest in learning.

    • Research: The Department of Biology is committed to provide and maintain student-oriented research opportunities which will facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of biology and the scientific process, enhance the quality of instruction, promote professional development, and further the state-of-knowledge in the biological sciences.

    • Service: The Department of Biology is committed to provide and maintain a broad range of services to promote the effective development and utilization of human and natural resources.

    The ultimate goal of this mission is to promote the growth and 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.

  • Vision Statement

    Vision Statement
    Department of Biology
    University of West Georgia

    The Department of Biology at the University of West Georgia will provide opportunities for personal and professional development to students, faculty, staff, and the broader university community through excellence in teaching, research, and service.

    • Teaching: The Department of Biology will implement and maintain a rigorous curriculum which facilitates an understanding of the major principles and concepts in the biological sciences, promotes critical-thinking and communication skills, and fosters a continuous interest in learning. This curriculum will:

      • include diverse and integrated studies encompassing all major disciplines in biology to provide students with the background necessary to pursue graduate education, professional studies, or employment.

      • foster critical-thinking and problem-solving skills by promoting the development of a core of concepts and principles that may be challenged, evaluated, and modified based on experience.

      • encourage students to be active participants in the education process.

    • Research: The Department of Biology will provide and maintain student-oriented research opportunities which will facilitate a comprehensive understanding of biology and the scientific process, enhance the quality of instruction, promote professional development, and further the state-of-knowledge in the biological sciences. This research will:

      • provide students with "hands on" experience and training encompassing all aspects of the scientific process from the formulation of questions to the presentation of results which will effectively
        • "demystify" the scientific process,
        • promote critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and
        • incite creativity and independence.

      • provide the faculty opportunities to grow professionally and become more effective professors.

      • generate scientific results that may be presented in professional settings, thereby advancing the state-of-knowledge in biology.

    • Service: The Department of Biology will provide and maintain a broad range of services to promote the effective development and utilization of human and natural resources. This service will:

      • increase opportunities for academic success and personal development of students.

      • promote the development of and opportunities in the biological sciences.

      • contribute departmental resources to a broad range of service activities and partnerships with other institutions, government agencies, and community organizations to support the educational, economic, and cultural development of the west Georgia region.

    The product of these teaching, research, and service activities will be a challenging, dynamic, and stimulating environment that promotes the growth and development of skilled professionals, effective teachers, competent scientists, and informed citizens which will enhance the quality of life within the University of West Georgia’s scope of influence.

  • BS Program

    Department of Biology
    University of West Georgia

    B.S. Degree Mission Statement

    The mission of the B.S. Degree Program in the Department of Biology at the University of West Georgia is to provide undergraduate students the background knowledge and training necessary to pursue graduate education, professional studies, or employment. In pursuit of this mission, the Department of Biology offers a B.S. Degree Program with four defined tracks: general, pre-professional, secondary education, and honors track.

    • General Track: The general track is designed to offer the greatest flexibility in selecting major courses, thus allowing students, who wish to specialize in a specific area of biology, to better prepare for graduate studies or employment in the specific sub-discipline.

    • Pre-Professional Track: The pre-professional track is designed as a more streamlined program to prepare students for the standardized tests, entrance exams, and high performance standards required by programs in the medical and allied health fields.

    • Secondary Education Track: The secondary education track is designed as a restrictive degree program which ensures that future teachers meet all state and national content standards for science education.

    • Honors Track: The Honors Track is designed for academically gifted students who have qualified for admission to the University of West Georgia’s Honors College. Students in this track receive special advising, options to begin research projects as freshman, and opportunity to add special enrichment activities to acquire honors credit for virtually any course offered by the Biology Department.

    The ultimate goal of the B.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

    1. To account for fundamental concepts and ideas across diverse areas of modern biology, including cell biology, molecular biology and genetics, organismal biology, and population biology, evolution and ecology.  A student will demonstrate proficiency on standardized tests in at least three of the areas specified above.  
    2. To demonstrate critical-thinking and problem based learning skills. A student will satisfy this outcome in one of the following areas: i) develop a new idea; ii) evaluate an area of science; iii) design, implement, or evaluate one or more scientific tests; iv) assess, interpret, or analyze scientific results.
    3. To communicate scientific ideas in either written or oral formats. A student will organize and present technical information in a manner that is appropriate for either a technical or non-technical audience.

    Assessment Methods

    1. Learning Outcome I
      1. Students who enroll for Senior Seminar will take the GRE Major Fields Test in Biology 

    2. Learning Outcome II
      1. Whenever possible, subjective, critical thinking and problem-solving questions will be incorporated into exams, literature evaluations, assignments, and projects for all upper division courses regardless of sub-discipline.
      2. Upper level laboratory courses will incorporate experimental design and formal, subjective lab reports whenever appropriate.
      3. Undergraduate students will be encouraged to undertake research projects with faculty. Each research project will be evaluated with regards to critical-thinking and problem solving skills.

    3. Learning Outcome III
      1. Students will be required to research one or more scientific topics and present the results in a seminar format.
      2. Students will be encouraged to lead laboratory or workshop activities.
      3. Students will be encouraged to present research results at appropriate scientific forums.

    Administration and Use of Assessment

    Biology assesses learning outcomes using perfomance data collected from majors graduating in an academic year.  Data includes results of Biology Major fields test, exams, lab notebooks, awards and recognition, evaluations of performance as workshop or laboratory leader, evaluations of presentations, and other instruments as appropriate.  Data is collected for a random sample of size sufficient to achieve 90% confidence in the results.  Based o the analysis, the biology adjusts curriculum, personnel, and materials to meet standards outlined above.

  • MS Program

    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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    Assessment Methods

    1. Learning Outcome I
      1. We will evaluate the performance in graduate courses for both content and critical thinking.
      2. Students successfully completing graduate courses in the area of their expertise.

    2. Learning Outcome II
      1. 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.
      2. Graduate courses will incorporate experimental design and formal, subjective lab reports whenever appropriate.
      3. 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.

    3. Learning Outcome III
      1. Students will be required to participate in the graduate seminar program where he or she will present one or two seminars per semester.
      2. Graduate level laboratory courses will emphasis a comprehensive laboratory report.
      3. Graduate research students will be required to write a final research thesis, which will be critically evaluated by the degree committee.
      4. 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).
      5. All graduate students will participate in an oral examination to assess their ability to express their understanding of biological concepts and ideas.