Learning Outcomes for the M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees

The graduate programs of the Department of Environmental & Molecular Toxicology (EMT) include thesis and non-thesis M.S. degrees and the Ph.D. degree in Toxicology. Our goal is to educate students in the toxicological sciences, in particular focused on development of the trans-disciplinary skill sets needed to address and understand the effects of chemicals and other agents on humans and the environment, and to create, disseminate and apply new knowledge to enhance the treatment and prevention of human disease and to ensure the protection of the environment and public health. Integrated educational experiences focused on issues relevant to the environmental health sciences are constructed from individualized biomedical and non-biomedical didactic training, combined with experiential learning opportunities.  Such an approach is complimented with both formal and informal opportunities for students in science communication and outreach activities. Our trans-disciplinary programs prepare students to better understand the broad and complex challenges in the environmental health sciences and position them for future careers in academic, industrial and environmental regulatory positions. 

As a result of successfully completing the requirements toward the Ph.D., students shall: (a) produce and defend an original significant contribution to knowledge, (b) demonstrate mastery of subject material, and (c) be able to conduct scholarly activities in an ethical manner.

As a result of successfully completing the requirements toward the M.S., students shall: (a) produce and defend an original significant contribution to knowledge, (b) demonstrate mastery of subject material, and (c) be able to conduct scholarly activities in an ethical manner.

These general program outcomes are further delineated with the following specific Student Learning Outcomes (SLO).

Outcome 1:  Substantive Knowledge in Environmental and Molecular Toxicology. Students will acquire substantive general knowledge of current understanding, emerging issues and trends within the fields of environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology and molecular toxicology. (Applies to non-thesis MS, thesis MS and PhD.)

Outcome 2: Analysis of Scientific Literature. Students will acquire the skills necessary to thoroughly research a discipline-specific topic within the published scientific literature, including: (A) the ability to identify important hypotheses, theories, controversies, and seminal works describing the current state-of-the science on a specific topic, and (B) critically analyze scientific methods, results and conclusions. (Applies to non-thesis MS, thesis MS and PhD.)

(C) In addition, students will be able to identify knowledge gaps and potential future research needed to advance a specific discipline. (Applies to PhD.)

Outcome 3: Communication Skills. Students will be able to clearly communicate scientific concepts, hypotheses, results and interpretations in both written (A) and oral (B) form. (Applies to non-thesis MS, thesis MS and PhD.)

Outcome 4: Capstone/Thesis Project. Students will demonstrate (A) the ability to design discipline-specific scientific research that if implemented would produce valid, tangible results. (Applies to non-thesis MS, thesis MS and PhD.)

Students will (B) complete independent, original, discipline-specific scientific research that produces valid, tangible results, and (C) accurately interpret the results from this research. (Applies to thesis MS and PhD.)

Students will (D) complete a high-quality thematic research paper (non-thesis). (Applies to non-thesis MS.)

Students will complete and successfully defend a high-quality (E) (Applies to thesis MS.) or publication-quality (F) (Applies to PhD.) thesis describing the research conducted by the student.

Outcome 5: Ethics and Responsible Conduct. Students will demonstrate high ethical and professional standards and responsible conduct in research, including fulfilling all requirements for human subjects, use of animals in research, conflict of interest, data processing, and data reporting. (A). (Applies to non-thesis MS, thesis MS and PhD.)