OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

APAA - Assessment

College of Science

  1. Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

    Biochemistry Specific Core Knowledge:

    • Students will be able to acquire, articulate, retain and apply specialized language and knowledge relevant to Biochemistry.

    Biophysics Specific Core Knowledge:

    • Students will be able to acquire, articulate, retain and apply specialized language and knowledge relevant to Molecular Biophysics.

    Biochemistry & Biophysics Specific Laboratory Knowledge:

    • Students will participate in research laboratories and contribute meaningfully to research efforts by applying skills from coursework supplemented with laboratory-specific techniques.

    General knowledge and skills:

    • Students will communicate scientific concepts, experimental results and analytical arguments clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing.

    Student Engagement:

    • Students will demonstrate engagement in the Biochemistry & Biophysics discipline through involvement in research or internship activities, the Biochemistry & Biophysics Club (BB Club) and outreach or mentoring activities specific to Biochemistry & Biophysics
  2. Biology Program

    Conceptual Understandings.  Studelnts will demonstrate competency in:

    • fundamental concepts that characterize Biology, including concepts that characterize the various life science fields.
    • how scientific knowledge develops, including the historical development of foundational theories and laws, the nature of science (particularly tentativeness and creativity), and the relationship between science, technology, and society.
    • the process of scientific inquiry, including that scientists use varied methods; scientists test ideas; scientists use creativity, critical thinking, and current knowledge; and investigations commonly lead to additional questions.

    Skills.  Students will be able to:

    • conduct background research on life science topics to make informed decisions, and develop understanding of basic concepts, processes and keywords necessary to investigate topics; skills for accessing and critiquing information; decision-making steps for specific Biology issues; and ways to present and discuss potentially controversial information.
    • function successfully within laboratory and field settings, including use of basic equipment (microscopes, measurement devices, and computer technologies); developing and utilizing appropriate safety protocols; and putting into practice conceptual understandings of the research process.
    • utilize a variety of skills related to learning Biology, including thinking skills of reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, and problem solving; and self-regulatory behaviors of organization, self-management, and monitoring through feedback from classmates and instructors.
    • utilize a variety of skills to share knowledge effectively, including oral and written communication skills; planning skills; and implementation skills of presenting material, motivating others, clarifying concepts and confirming understandings.

    Student Engagement and Professional Development.  Students will:

    • work, volunteer or intern as a biologist in a professional context.
    • perform relevant professional activities such as laboratory and/or field research, clinical work, presentations at professional meetings, and scientific writing.
    • apply conceptual understandings (LOA) and skills (LOB) learned in coursework to professional situations in biology.
    • explore professional avenues in various biological disciplines.
  3. Department of Chemistry

    • Core Knowledge:
      • Students will be able to recall, integrate, and apply essential core information about the key components of Chemistry.
    • Laboratory Skills:
      • Students will demonstrate competency in basic laboratory techniques, laboratory safety, chemical synthesis, and measurement of chemical properties and phenomena.
    • Communication Skills:
      • Students will communicate ideas effectively orally and in writing.
    • Analysis and Synthesis:
      • Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze data, access information and integrate information from various sources in order to solve problems.
  4. General Sciences Program

    • Successful integration in to a research university setting:
      • Students will demonstrate understanding of the skill set needed for successful integration into a research university setting.
    • Professional communication skills used in a health professions related career:
      • Students will communicate professionally both verbally and in writing.
    • Student Engagement:
      • Students will demonstrate engagement in the General Sciences discipline through involvement in research or internship activities, the Pre-Health Clubs (i.e. Pre-nursing, pre-Pharmacy, pre-Medical, pre-Dental, pre-Physical Therapy, etc.) and outreach or mentoring activities specific to their health professional discipline.
    • Life Sciences Specific Core Knowledge:
      • Students will be able to acquire, articulate, retain and apply specialized language and knowledge relevant to life sciences.
    • Professional School Aceeptance:
      • Students will meet pre-requisite requirements for application to health professions school.
  5. Department of Mathematics

    For Majors:

    • M1.  All majors should have significant experience working with ideas representing the breadth of the mathematics. In particular, students should see a number of contrasting but complementary points of view:
      • Continuous and discrete
      • Algebraic and geometric
      • Theoretical and applied
    • M2.  All majors should develop logical deductive and mathematical reasoning skills, including experience in the writing of formal mathematical proofs.
    • M3.  All majors should develop mathematical problem solving skills using a variety of strategies.
    • M4.  All majors should have experience in applying mathematics to solving problems arising in other fields.
    • M5.  All majors should develop skills in communicating mathematics to a variety of audiences.
    • M6.  All majors should have experience in using computer technology to support problem solving and to promote mathematical understanding.

    For all students

    • B1.  All students should have experience with the use of mathematical reasoning in critical thinking.
    • B2.  All students should have experience with the use of mathematics as a tool for problem solving.
    • B3.  All students should have experience with the use of a significant mathematical model
  6. Department of Microbiology

    • Microbiology Specific Core Knowledge:
      • Students will be able to acquire, articulate, retain and apply specialized language and knowledge relevant to microbiology.
    • Microbiology Specific Laboratory Knowledge:
      • Students will acquire and demonstrate competency in laboratory safety and in routine and specialized microbiological laboratory skills applicable to microbiological research or clinical methods, including accurately reporting observations and analysis.
    • General knowledge and skills:
      • Students will communicate scientific concepts, experimental results and analytical arguments clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing.
    • Student Engagement:
      • Students will demonstrate engagement in the Microbiology discipline through involvement in research or internship activities, the Microbiology Student Association Club (MSA) and outreach or mentoring activities specific to microbiology.
  7. Department of Physics


    Program degree outcomes for the undergraduate degree are currently under revision.

  8. Department of Zoology

    • Students will be able to recall, integrate, and apply essential core information about key components of the zoological sciences (ecology, evolution, physiology, cell biology).
    • Students will be able to effectively communicate ideas orally, graphically, and in writing.
    • Students will be able to use mathematics and statistics to analyze and propose evidence based solutions to zoological problems.