Introducing The Westfield State Experience, our four-year signature program, that provides a roadmap to success with skills and awareness that go beyond the classroom, beyond our campus, and into the greater world. Learn more


Learning Outcomes

I: Knowledge Goals

Upon completion of a major in Biology, students will demonstrate an understanding of the following conceptual strands in Biology and related disciplines:

  • Matter and energy in organisms
    • Structure of biological molecules
    • Catalysis and metabolic pathways
    • Energy conversions in organisms
  • Structure-function relationships in cells and organisms
    • Cell structure and function
    • Physiology of multicellular organisms
    • Adaptations to the environment
  • Transmission of genetic information in organisms and populations
    • Transmission genetics
    • Molecular mechanisms of information coding, use, and transfer
    • Population genetics
  • Evolution and the origin of organismal diversity
    • Evidence for evolution
    • Processes of Evolution
    • Patterns of Evolution
    • Diversity and classification of organisms
  • Structure and function of ecosystems
    • Intra- and interspecific interactions
    • Population growth
    • Energy flow in ecosystems
    • Matter cycling in ecosystems
  • Nature and history of scientific thought

Understanding entails the ability to explain, to apply, and to critique scientific models of biological phenomena.

II: Skill Goals

Upon completion of a major in Biology, students will demonstrate mastery of the following skills:

  • Formulation of scientific models based on observation of biological phenomena
  • Evaluation of scientific models
  • Application of quantitative methods to biological problems
  • Written, oral, and multimedia scientific communication
  • Retrieval and evaluation of information from the scientific literature, electronic databases, and online resources
  • Use of scientific instrumentation and information technology
  • Use of basic laboratory techniques
  • Self-assessment of knowledge and learning skills

III: Dispositional Goals

Upon completion of a major in Biology, students will demonstrate that they have reflected upon:

  • Their motivation for studying biology
  • The impact of biological studies on the environment and human societies

These Learning Goals and additional useful information is also available in the Student Handbook.