Mission Statement:The PLU Department of Biology offers all students enrolled in our classes an academically stimulating and rigorous introduction to the scientific study of life. We hope to cultivate in our students a life-long interest in the discovery and prepare them for vocation or graduate study. In all of our students, we seek to instill an appreciation for the diversity of life, a sense of wonder and curiosity about life and life processes, and an understanding of the scientific method used to satisfy that curiosity. We strive to offer a contemporary curriculum that reflects the breadth of the discipline, includes a multiplicity of investigative approaches, and emphasizes experiential learning. We value a learning environment that encourages student-faculty collaboration and allows both students and faculty to achieve their full potential as scientists, independent thinkers, and responsible citizens of the world.
- To train competent scientists who are able to conduct independent research, gain employment in a research setting, or gain admission into Ph.D. programs.
- To develop an understanding of the diversity and continuity of life and the integrative nature of biological understanding.
- To prepare students to gain admission into professional programs (medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, etc.).
- To produce graduates who are able to effectively communicate orally and in writing generally and with their scientific peers.
- To produce graduates who are quantitatively capable.
- To help students develop a sense of vocational purpose that allows them to utilize their education in productive and rewarding ways.
- To produce globally aware scientists.
1. Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of the following key biological concepts or themes.
- Cells as the functional units of all living matter and as the building blocks of multicellular organisms.
- The mechanisms involved in energy flow and transformation.
- The fundamental principles of genetics ranging from molecular mechanisms to population consequences.
- The relationship between structure and function at various levels of organization.
- The processes underlying reproduction and development.
- The mechanisms and patterns of evolution, and the role evolution plays as the central unifying concept of all biology.
- The range of biological diversity and the phylogenetic relationships among major groups of organisms.
- The interactions between organisms and their environments, and their consequences.
- The means by which scientists ask and answer questions.
2. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to ask and answer questions.
- They will be able to apply the scientific method to the design of experiments.
- They will be able to select and competently use laboratory and field equipment, techniques, and technologies to perform experiments.
- They will be able to collect, organize, analyze, interpret and present quantitative and qualitative data and integrate such data into a broader context of biological knowledge.
- They will be able to draw reasonable conclusions from biological data and understand the importance of evidentiary support from conclusions and positions.
- They will be able to collaborate with others and demonstrate an understanding of the importance of cooperative work in the scientific process.
3. Graduates will be able to obtain, select and evaluate various forms of scientific information including primary research articles, mass media sources and world-wide web information.
4. Graduates will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how biology informs global and environmental issues.
5. Graduates will be able to communicate effectively in written and oral forms.
6. Graduates will be able to apply material from other disciplines (e.g., physical sciences and mathematics) to achieve an understanding of biology.
7. Graduates will become aware of the careers and professions available in the biological sciences.