As dictated by the Provost’s Commission on Learning Outcomes, the Department of Geographical Sciences has developed a set of programmatic Learning Outcomes that each student will have attained upon matriculation from the Bachelor of Science in Geographical Sciences Program. These learning outcomes are emphasized within our curriculum so that each student will graduate with these skills, regardless of specialization chosen (i.e. traditional Geographical Sciences, Geospatial Data Science, or Computational Earth Observation Science).
Our outcomes are broadly defined in four categories (1. Geographic Theory, 2. Integrative Thinking, 3. Research Skills, 4. Communication) but include concrete sub-outcomes related to the discipline of Geography. We have also ensured that a sub-outcome of each broader learning outcome links directly to diversity and inclusion, as encouraged by the American Association of Geographers ALIGNED Program.
Students earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Geographical Sciences should be able to,
- Geographic Theory: Demonstrate and apply knowledge of general geographic theory.
- Understand physical geographic processes, the global distribution of landforms and ecosystems, and the role of the physical environment on human populations.
- Explain how social and cultural systems develop in response to varying geographical, environmental, and historical circumstances.
- Comprehend fundamental concepts and practices of geospatial methods (i.e. GIS and/or Remote Sensing) and apply basic graphic and data visualization concepts such as color theory, symbolization, and use of white space.
- Apply geographic literature and theory by authors of diverse backgrounds to explain what has occurred in the past as well as applying those geographic principles to understand the present and plan for the future.
- Integrative Thinking: Synthesize material within and between sub-disciplines of geography for application to an array of global issues.
- Understand the human dimensions of global change through synthesizing knowledge from geography sub-disciplines such as physical, human, economic, and technical.
- Analyze global issues with a clear sense of scope, context, and geographic scale.
- Acknowledges complexity and bias of vantage and values when assessing global issues.
- Discuss the influences that shape the perspectives of various social groups and evaluate the consequences of differential power and privilege.
- Research Skills: Design and implement a research project.
- Evaluate, assess, and critique scientific literature and popular media.
- Identify a problem, sufficiently supported by evidence and citations, and define a hypothesis or research question.
- Select and implement an appropriate geographic method to address the hypothesis.
- Engage critical thinking and academic research skills to investigate and refute possible bias, error, and faulty argumentation in discussions of diversity.
- Communication: Communicate effectively orally, in writing, and through geovisualization.
- Engage with a variety of perspectives in classroom activities and in assigned coursework.
- Create maps and other geographic representations using cartographic best principles.
- Present completed research, including an explanation of methodology and scholarly discussion, both orally and in written form and, wherever possible, utilize cartographic tools and other visual formats.
- Demonstrate skills in cross-cultural communication (including oral, written, and/or graphical modes) and in collaboration within diverse work groups.