Geology M.S. Program Outcomes

Geology MS Program Mission

We want to develop in our graduate students an appreciation of how geological processes affect the earth and society so that they will be environmentally and geologically responsible, scientifically literate citizens. We strive to produce professionals with an interdisciplinary content background in geology and the physical sciences that are competent in the field, who can work collaboratively, conduct original research, and effectively communicate their results.

Student Learning Goals

The goals of the Geology MS degree are to support student learning and improvement in:

  1. foundational knowledge and skills
  2. quantitative skills
  3. critical thinking

It is our expectation that our graduates will apply these as professionals who can integrate chemical, physical, biological, and other specialized knowledge in order to understand geological processes.

Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)

To meet the Geology Graduate Program goals, when students graduate from the MS program, they will be able to:

  1. Explain and evaluate the theories and concepts of geological science and related disciplines
  2. Design and conduct scientifically-rigorous and relevant scientific research in their chosen geological discipline
  3. Analyze and interpret scientific data
  4. Communicate scientific concepts and results effectively through both written and oral means, and to a range of audiences

Measures of Student Learning Objectives

Measure Criteria Goal SLOs
Assessment of written thesis proposal by thesis committee (direct measure) Rubric 1 1, 2, 4
Assessment of final written thesis by thesis committee (direct measure) Rubric 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3, 4
Geology Grad Program Committee interviews with 2ndand later year students Embedded question 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3, 4
Focused assessment in courses with high graduate student enrollment (direct measure) Embedded assignments and questions evaluated with rubrics or anchor responses 2, 3 2, 3


Use of Information

Objectives will be assessed and the outcomes will be reported to the Geology Department faculty for discussion and identification of where improvements can be made. An Action Plan will be developed based on that discussion for use in the following academic year.