Graduate Program Learning Goals, Skills, and Competencies

The Chemistry Department has identified a set of learning goals and a list of skills and competencies we expect of our doctoral students to have attained by the time they graduate.  While each individual course in our curriculum may not address all items on the lists, completion of all degree requirements will.

Learning Goals:

  1. 1. Communication. The ability to write, display information, and orally communicate chemical science, both for non-scientific and expert audiences.

  2. 2. Primary literature. The ability to find, understand, and critically evaluate primary literature, and use literature to synthesize emerging concepts in chemistry.

  3. 3. Data analysis. The ability to produce, analyze, and interpret meaningful chemical data and draw sound conclusions from that data.

  4. 4. Independent research. The ability to independently identify a problem, develop a hypothesis, design and execute experiments to test that hypothesis, and refine a hypothesis in light of new data.

  5. 5. Original contribution. Making an original contribution to chemical science and explaining its relevance to the field.

  6. 6. Expert opinion. The ability to critique scientific information in the technical and popular press and express an expert opinion on chemistry-related matters.

  7. 7. Responsible conduct in research. A sense of responsibility to conduct all aspects of research with safety, strong ethics, honesty, and integrity.

  8. 8. Science and society. An understanding of the importance of promoting education, diversity and functional literacy in science within the larger community.

Skills and Competencies:

  1. 1. Oral communication of chemistry research and concepts to expert scientific, general scientific, and non-scientific audiences.

  2. 2. Written communication in the forms of a research manuscript, an original research proposal, and a summary of established and emerging chemical concepts.

  3. 3. Expertise in a specific field. Application of a deep working knowledge of a specific field of chemistry.

  4. 4. Broad chemistry knowledge. Application of a broad working knowledge of many fields of chemistry, and an ability to find and understand information on all fields of chemistry.

  5. 5. Original research. Conception, explanation, and execution of an original research project.

  6. 6. Laboratory experience. Execution of laboratory techniques with safety, experience and skill.

  7. 7. Teaching experience. Application of basic teaching skills to chemistry instruction at the undergraduate level.