Chemistry Learning Objectives

The following set of objectives is a result of the combined efforts of all of the chemistry departments of the CSU system. They were developed from the view of a student pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemistry. However, they are equally appropriate for students who are taking chemistry courses while pursuing a chemistry related degree. Clicking on the link preceding the goal will open a pop-up window listing the courses wherein the goal is addressed (this same information is available on other pages under different format)

A. Students obtaining a baccalaureate chemistry degree should demonstrate upon graduation

1.general familiarity with the following areas in chemistry: analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic and physical.
2.the ability to work effectively and safely in a laboratory environment.
3.the ability to use the power of computers in applications in chemistry.
4.the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
5.learned how to think critically and analyze chemical problems.
6.the ability to work in teams as well as independently.
7.developed formal (abstract) thinking skills as well as concrete thinking skills.
8.the ability to initiate their career following graduation.

B. The preceding objectives can be met by the individual Learning Objectives listed on the next pages and by ongoing programs which encourage:

1.the timely and effective advisement of students.
2.capstone experiences for students with independent projects strongly encouraged.
3.opportunities for students and faculty to interact with alumni and with professional chemists.
4.dialogues with colleagues in departments servicing chemistry students.
5.laboratory experiences with up-to-date equipment.
6.the use of modern computing resources involving chemical applications.

C. Laboratory Knowledge and Skills

Students obtaining a baccalaureate chemistry degree should have upon graduatio
1.the basic analytical and technical skills to work al and technical skills to work effectively in the various fields of chemistry.
2.the ability to perform accurate quantitative measurements with an understanding of the theory and use of contemporary chemical instrumentation,interpret experimental results, perform calculations on these results and draw reasonable, accurate conclusions.
3.the ability to synthesize, separate and characterize compounds using published reactions, protocols, standard laboratory equipment, and modern instrumentation.
4.the ability to use information technology tools such as the Internet and computer-based literature searches as well as printed literature resources to locate and retrieve scientific information needed for laboratory or theoretical work.
5.the ability to present scientific and technical information resulting from laboratory experimentation in both written and oral formats.
6.knowledge and understanding of the issues of safety regulations, ethics and societal issues in the use of chemicals in their laboratory work.

D. Computer, Library and Information Skills

Students obtaining a baccalaureate chemistry degree should have upon graduatio
1.the ability to make effective use of the library andibrary and other information resources in chemistry, including
  1. finding chemical information utilizing the primary literature.
  2. critically and ethically evaluating chemical information.
  3. finding and evaluating chemical information utilizing secondary sources such as the Internet.
2. the ability to make effective use of computers in chemistry applications, including
  1. using a computer as a tool in writing, drawing chemical structures and data analysis to communicate scientific information.
  2. having a familiarity with the applications of computers in the modeling and simulation of chemical phenomena.
  3. having an appreciation of the applications of computers in data acquisition and processing.
  4. retrieval of information using library or internet resources.

E. Oral and Written Communication Skills in Chemistry; Ethics in Chemistry

Students obtaining a baccalaureate chemistry degree should have upon graduatio
1. adequate skills in technical writing and oral presentations. [Students must be given the opportunity to practice effective writing and oral communication throughout the chemistry curriculum.]
2. the ability to communicate scientific information in oral and writtin oral and written formats to both scientists and nonscientists.
3. an understanding of current ethical issues in chemistry and be able to apply ethical principles in classes and research.

F. Quantitative Reasoning Skills

Students obtaining a baccalaureate chemistry degree should have upon graduation
1. sufficient quantitative reasoning skills successfully to pursue their career objectives, a related career or further professional training.
2. developed their
  1. proficiency in algorithmic and calculation skills.
  2. ability accurately to collect and interpret numerical data.
  3. ability to solve problems competently using extrapolation, approximation, precision, accuracy, rational estimation and statistical validity.
  4. ability to relate theories involving numbers and the practice of the theory.
  5. proficiency in the scientific method (formulating hypotheses and arriving at appropriate answers and conclusions)

G. Knowledge of Chemical Principles and Facts; Appreciation for Chemistry as a Discipline

1. developed a mastery of critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills and data analysis skills leading to the ability to the ability to
  1. collect and analyze data.
  2. apply fundamental chemical principles to gather and explain data.
  3. design experiments or model systems to test hypotheses.
  4. assess the relative validity of several possible solutions to a problem.
2. a working knowledge of chemical principles appropriate to a chemistry degree program
3. a mastery of a broad set of factual chemical knowledge concerning the properties of substances, molecules and atoms.