Initial Publication Date: April 13, 2015

Student Learning Goals

Geology Department, University of Hawaii-Hilo

Goals of the Academic Programs in Geology

  1. Acquisition of basic knowledge and skills that prepare students for one of the following:
    • graduate school;
    • entry-level positions as professional geologists or natural resource managers;
    • secondary education.
  2. Development of a comprehensive understanding of Earth Systems through the integration of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology into geologic investigations.
  3. Broad understanding of the role of geologic knowledge in society.

Educational Objectives


  1. Program graudates are expected to have mastered basic concepts and vocabulary in the following areas:
    • plate tectonics;
    • origin and classification of rocks and minerals;
    • geological time scale and how this relates to major events in the history of Earth and its life;
    • geophysical properties of the Earth and crustal deformation;
    • processes that shape the surface of the Earth; and
    • environmental hazards and issues

Possible Assessment Mechanism: Exam geared to the level of a comprehensive final examination in an introductory course. Such an exam could be embedded in a capstone course.


  1. Students are expected to develop skills in observing and recording geologic features and processes.
  2. Students are expected to develop competency in the interpretation of earth science data, including both qualitative and quantitative analyses.
  3. Program graduates shall be competent in
    • locating and interpreting scientific literature;
    • giving oral presentations; and
    • use of computers at a level consistent with current professional practice.
  4. Graduates shall be able to express earth science concepts in writing.