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bIOLOGY Learning Outcomes

Saint Xavier University is dedicated to providing top-quality education that is intentionally designed to develop your skills and expertise as you prepare for the next step in your education or career. The learning outcomes reflect the specific competencies that you will gain from our biology program, while the curriculum map portrays how these competencies will shape and prepare you for the real world.

Learning Outcomes

Biology and Pre-Health Learning Outcomes

General Biology and Pre-Health

Introductory Level -- Students will be able to:

  • Identify the major lineages of organisms (domains, kingdoms and major phyla/classes).
  • Relate their defining characteristics and evolutionary relationships.
  • Recognize and employ appropriate terminology to explain evolutionary relationships.
  • Describe information storage and transfer at the molecular and cellular level.
  • Outline and quantify energy transfer in biological systems.
  • Distinguish and rank organization levels in biological systems.

Genetics Level -- Students will be able to:

  • Explain how mutation, meiosis and fertilization contribute to genetic variation.
  • Describe different patterns of inheritance and identify these in genetic data.
  • Use and interpret probabilities and statistics in analysis of genetic data.
  • Describe and recognize a variety of abnormalities in chromosome structure and number and explain how these anomalies arise and are detected.
  • Explain the molecular structure of chromosomes as it relates to storage, gene expression and sequence function.
  • Describe the molecular structure of DNA and RNA and indicate similarities and differences.

Cellular Level -- Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of metabolic processes, DNA replication, protein synthesis and the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  • Utilize historical advancements in understanding the development of scientific processes, discoveries and advancement of microbiological knowledge.
  • Describe and compare the chemical properties of biological molecules.
  • Identify levels of protein structure and relate to structure to protein function.
  • Explain the mechanisms of gene expression and protein synthesis.
  • Characterize membrane structure and function.
  • Describe mechanisms and functions of cellular transport.

System Level -- Students will be able to:

  • Analyze the various changes during development in serial sections of embryos.
  • Understand hormonal control of metabolism and reproduction.
  • Apply feedback principle to physiological regulation.
  • Describe function of ion channels, membrane potentials and neuronal conduction.

Organism Level -- Students will be able to:

  • Understand the evolutionary history and distinguishing characteristics of major lineages.
  • Understand concepts and terminology associated with anatomy, physiology and morphology of various lineages.
  • Interpret the intersection of organismal structure, function, development and evolution.

Population Community Level -- Students will be able to:

  • Explain how populations evolve through natural selection and how ecological interactions influence biological evolution and vice versa.
  • Demonstrate the importance and usefulness of evolutionary theory in practical or applied applications, such as modern agriculture and medicine.
  • Explain the ways organisms interact with one another and their physical environment.
  • Identify connections between phenomena at different hierarchical scales that lead to an understanding of major ecological concepts.

Scientific Literacy -- Students will be able to:

  • Apply the process of scientific writing.
  • Differentiate scholarly, peer-reviewed research articles from popular resources.
  • Demonstrate use of library databases to locate appropriate resources.
  • Recognize scientific hypotheses and assess the scientific validity of biological explanations.

Quantitative Literacy -- Students will be able to:

  • Generate logical interpretations and conclusions from graphs, models and data of scientific research.

Curriculum Maps

Biology Curriculum Map

If you would like to learn more about what you can expect from the program, please review the Biology Curriculum Map (PDF).