Expectations for Biology Majors

  1. The biology curriculum at Stonehill is focused on five core areas. The curriculum confers a strong foundational knowledge in these disciplines. Students completing the major are expected to use this knowledge to describe and explain living systems:
  • Cell biology
  • Genetics and molecular biology
  • Organismal structure and function
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  1. Stonehill’s biology curriculum requires students to have a working knowledge of physics, chemistry (inorganic and organic), and mathematics (algebra, statistics and calculus). Students are expected to use this knowledge to describe and explain living systems.
  2. Students graduating with a biology degree from Stonehill will have a good understanding of how science is performed (observation, hypothesis development, experimental design and execution, data collection and interpretation); they will also understand the philosophical, ethical, and societal dimensions of science as a human endeavor.

Evaluation of Student Learning in the Biology Program

  1. The Major Field Test in Biology (Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J.) is a nationally normed standardized test that is given to thousands of biology students at hundreds of universities and colleges, nationwide. Every Stonehill student graduating with a biology degree is required to take this test in the junior and senior years. The test directly assesses the five core areas of biology listed above. It also measures indirectly the student’s knowledge of chemistry, physics and mathematics as it applies to biological questions.
  2. All biology majors are required to complete a Capstone experience in the major. All capstones include an extended written and oral presentation addressing a biological issue. Students demonstrate their ability to critically evaluate biological research and relate that research to the biological sciences and broader scientific and societal issues.