Skip to main content

Program Learning Outcomes

The Department of Biology offers study in the field of biological sciences to provide students with a broad, foundational education in the biological sciences through authentic learning experiences. The Department offers 2 degree programs, a Bachelor of Science in Biology (BSB) and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology (BA).

The goal of both programs is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue professional careers in the health sciences, biological sciences, and science education, or to obtain an advanced degree in science. Undergraduate students in both the BS and BA programs practice up-to-date research and/or laboratory techniques, critical thinking, and independent learning in each of 3 sub-disciplines of biology (Sub-Organismal, Organismal, and Ecology and Evolution). Additionally, students in the BA gain interdisciplinary experiences acquired through minor and language requirements. In establishing these goals and activities, the faculty followed the recommendations for standards established by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT, 2008)1, and those recommended by Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education (2011)2.

The faculty is dedicated to providing students a challenging education that provides a foundation for life-long learning and an appreciation of biological processes and biological diversity. Our programs support the University’s mission to develop a fertile learning environment for majors exemplified by a free exchange of ideas, high academic expectations, and individual responsibility for academic achievement.


Upon completion of the BSB and BA in Biology, majors will be able to:

PLO1. Recall and apply knowledge of broad-based concepts, in an interdisciplinary framework with evolution as a unifying theme, in biology. Outcomes will be evaluated based on adequate completion of coursework and experiences in laboratory courses. The broad-based concepts include the following in the appropriate subdiscipline (1. Molecular/Cellular/Developmental Biology, 2. Physiology, and 3. Evolution and Ecology): Evolutionary mechanisms; Structure and function; Information flow, exchange, and storage; Pathways and transfer of matter and energy; Connections and interactions of living systems and maintenance of biodiversity.

PLO2. Identify and differentiate biodiversity and natural resources both globally and regionally (the Coastal Plain of Georgia) and describe the relationship between humans and these resources. This includes basic knowledge of the major taxonomic groups in the region and the importance of local ecosystems (i.e., salt-water marshes) to organisms, humans, and the biosphere.

PLO3. Engage in the process of science in biology by 1) developing questions and hypotheses 2) designing experiments 3) collecting data 4) analyzing data, 5) quantitative reasoning, 6) modeling, and/or 7) drawing conclusions.

PLO4. Communicate knowledge and apply understanding of basic biological principles by using 1) discipline specific language, format style, structure, and audience identification; 2) standard organization around a central message; 3) credible scientific supporting material; 4) a coherent and succinct delivery;  5) visual and/or oral communication skills to enhance written text and presentation of scientific data.

PLO5. Articulate how biology is conducted in a societal context by identifying social dimensions of biology practice.

Last updated: 2/8/2023