Educational Goals/Mission

Department Mission 

The Department of Physical Sciences challenges students to become interdisciplinary, ethically responsible professionals and scientists. Our degree programs and courses engage students with fundamental scientific content with the aim to transform them into leaders in their discipline and equip them to succeed in future careers and post-graduate studies. Our faculty foster a dynamic learning environment that broadens students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes through active-learning curricula.

Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes in chemistry and environmental geosciences are defined by our Educational Goals and Objectives. The Educational Goals and Objectives of the chemistry and environmental geosciences programs are aligned with each other and with the CU Educational Goals. Our programs are designed to evaluate student skill development (proficiency in interpreting data, integrating information, formulating ideas, thinking critically, and communicating with others), scientific knowledge (familiarity with principles underlying academic discourse in the sciences), and attitudes (tendencies conducive to self-knowledge, personal growth and development, and responsible citizenship as a professional). 

Educational Goals and Objectives: Environmental Geosciences Program

Students in the geoscience program will be challenged to gain content knowledge and problem-solving skills across the major subfields of the geological sciences, including career-focused environmental and applied aspects of the geosciences. Students will also gain diverse communication skills, and demonstrate attitudes conducive to working in an ethical, safe, responsible, and professional manner.

1. Knowledge and Problem-solving Skills in the Geological Sciences
Goal – Synthesize and integrate knowledge and experiences to solve problems in the geological sciences
1.1 Objective - Students will be able to apply fundamental principles underlying the major subfields of geology
1.2 Objective – Students will develop analytical and quantitative skills in order to design laboratory and field studies to answer questions
 
2. Communication Skills
Goal - Be able to communicate complex scientific concepts for a variety of audiences
2.1 Objective – Students will prepare reports and presentations using relevant technology for a scientific audience
2.2 Objective – Students will design outreach activities that serve and benefit the public
 
3. Safety and Professionalism: Attitudinal Development
Goal - Conduct scientific work and report results in an ethical, safe, responsible, and professional manner
3.1 Objective – Students will recognize unethical and unsafe research/experimental practices and data and plan an appropriate response
3.2 Objective – Students will work effectively and ethically in groups

Educational Goals and Objectives: Chemistry Program

Students in the chemistry program will be challenged to gain content knowledge and problem-solving skills across the five major subdivisions of the chemical sciences. They will also gain diverse communication skills, and demonstrate attitudes conducive to working in an ethical, safe, responsible, and professional manner. 

1. Knowledge and Problem-Solving Skills in the Chemical Sciences
Goal – Synthesize and integrate knowledge and experiences to solve problems in the chemical sciences
1.1 Objective - Students will be able to apply fundamental principles underlying the five major subdivisions of chemistry
1.2 Objective – Students will develop analytical and quantitative reasoning skills in order to design experiments to answer questions
 
2. Communication Skills
Goal - Be able to communicate complex scientific concepts for a variety of audiences
2.1 Objective – Students will prepare reports and presentations using relevant technology for a scientific audience
2.2 Objective – Students will design outreach activities that serve and benefit the public
 
3. Safety and Professionalism: Attitudinal Development 
Goal - Conduct scientific work and report results in an ethical, safe, responsible, and professional manner
3.1 Objective – Students will recognize unethical and unsafe research/experimental practices and data and plan an appropriate response
3.2 Objective – Students will work effectively and ethically in groups