Contact Us

Department of Geology and Geophysics
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: (307) 766-3386
Fax: (307) 766-6679

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Assessment of Student Learning

Geology BA Degree


The ultimate goal of our BS geology program is that each student will develop into an educated adult with “a sense of responsibility for their own learning and the ability and desire to continue learning independently, self-knowledge and the ability to assess their own performance critically and accurately, and an understanding of how to apply their knowledge and abilities in many different contexts” (as cited by Huba & Freed, 2002, p. 75). The Department of Geology and Geophysics has developed the following specific goals for its BS program:

  • Students in the BA program will receive a quality preparatory education in the discipline that is current, relevant, practical, and personal.
  • BA students who graduate with appropriate grades will be able to compete successfully for positions at graduate schools nationwide.
  • BA students who graduate with appropriate grades will be well prepared for entry-level positions as professionals within their and other related disciplines.

We recognize that: (1) undergraduate students merit a quality education that is nationally competitive, (2) employment in the discipline may require further study at the graduate level, and (3) employment opportunities for BA graduates are strongly dependent on the breadth of their academic background. Requirements include computer literacy and skills in oral and written communication in addition to a current and relevant knowledge of their discipline.


The primary mission of our BA geology program is to provide a broad educational experience that prepares men and women to enter careers in Earth Sciences related fields. Within a few years following graduation, our graduates should be able to:

  • GG-OB1: Master the basic knowledge and skills demanded for entry-level competence in typical careers in Earth Science.
  • GG-OB2: Apply basic scientific and technical knowledge to specific tasks and problems.
  • GG-OB3: Cultivate the specific scientific and technical skills that will allow them effectively to serve their employers and to enhance their own career development.
  • GG-OB4: Develop increased capacity in the skills of independent learning, critical thinking, problem definition, and problem solving.
  • GG-OB5: Develop enhanced numerical skills and computer literacy as part of an undergraduate program designed to deliver a current and relevant knowledge of their discipline.
  • GG-OB6: Communicate effectively and professionally through oral, written, and graphical means and to participate effectively in their workplace and in individual and team-related activities.
  • GG-OB7: Have the broad general education needed to appreciate the role of Earth Sciences in the societal context and appreciate the importance of ethics in the practice of the profession.



Upon completion of the BS degree program, graduates will have the following outcomes.

GG Outcome 1. Basic scientific and mathematical competence

Proficiency in mathematics to a level of trigonometry.
Can understand and apply basic principles of chemistry, biology and physics.
Understands the fundamental principles of Earth Science.
Has knowledge of a diversity of subjects that form the core topics of the Earth Sciences.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Successfully completing basic geology, science, and math courses as set forth in the geology BA program requirements.
  2. Successfully completing six courses approved for section “B” of the listed requirements. These include courses in geology, soils, meteorology, economics, and resource management.
  3. Successfully completing twelve hours of elective courses in geology and other fields as appropriate for the program.
  4. Successfully passing embedded assessment questions/exercises in the core geology courses.

GG Outcome 2. Field and laboratory technical competence

  1. Can identify and classify basic geologic features and materials, such as structures, and landforms, minerals, rocks, fossils, and knows their basic properties and significance.
  2. Can collect and describe samples of geologic materials in support of field investigations.
  3. Can recognize landforms and structures and construct basic stratigraphic sections and geologic maps with standard geology symbols, using standard field measurement techniques and equipment.
  4. Can perform basic types of geologic analysis and present results in maps, stratigraphic columns, cross sections, and project reports.
  5. Can visualize and comprehend geological forms or structures in 3-D.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Successfully completing the laboratory components of courses required throughout the BA program.
  2. Successfully completing the stratigraphy and sedimentation, structural geology and general field geology requirements.

GG Outcome 3. Technical and computer competence

  1. Demonstrates competence in basic computer tools including word processors, graphical applications, spreadsheets, presentation software, and Internet utilization.
  2. Can use and apply appropriate software for geological analysis.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Demonstrated use of computers in labs and classes both in lower- and upper- division courses.
  2. Use of computer tools and relevant software in completing research projects.

GG Outcome 4. Basic critical thinking, and problem solving skills

  1. Can critically read and critique research and general interest articles.
  2. Can address and solve basic Earth Science and resource problems.
  3. Can analyze, interpret, and integrate diverse datasets.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Carrying out exercises or small projects within courses that have a research or laboratory component.
  2. Successfully completing Capstone course.

GG Outcome 5. Development of individual learning skills

  1. Can develop the skills necessary to engage in independent learning.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Exercises throughout the time of study

GG Outcome 6. Competence in technical communication

Can communicate effectively in written form through words, graphs, maps and tables.
Can communicate orally using prepared presentations.
Can create scientific documents (such as maps, diagrams and reports) using the correct formats.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Preparing lab reports, proposals, papers, and oral presentations as required in courses.
  2. Successfully completing the written- and oral- presentation requirements of the Capstone course.

GG Outcome 7. Ability to work effectively on a professional team

  1. Can communicate effectively with team members through personal and electronic means.
  2. Can work responsibly as a member of a team and demonstrate professional levels of conduct.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Successfully completing team-based assignments in laboratories, field camp, and course work.

GG Outcome 8. Broad general knowledge and role of geology in society

  1. Has the breadth of education necessary to understand the impact of Earth Science and technology in a global and societal context.
  2. Has knowledge of contemporary issues, such as environment friendly resource development and the prediction of geological hazards.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Fulfillment of the institutional general education and university studies program requirements.
  2. Application and discussion of general knowledge in upper-level courses, especially in the Capstone course and in field camp.
  3. Successfully completing optional upper division courses in geology and other appropriate disciplines.

GG Outcome 9. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

  1. Carries out responsibilities in a professional and ethical manner.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Showing professional and ethical behavior during field camp.
  2. Completing course assignments and exams honestly and ethically.
  3. Participating responsibly in the Geology Club and/or professional societies.
Contact Us

Department of Geology and Geophysics
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: (307) 766-3386
Fax: (307) 766-6679

Geology & Geophysics Logo

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