Initial Publication Date: April 13, 2015

Student Learning Outcomes

Geology Department, University of Vermont


By the time you graduate with a B.A. or B.S. degree in geology or environmental science, geology concentration, you will be able to:

  • Master field skills (measurement, observation, sketching) to collect data/constrain samples.
  • Use a variety of instruments to collect data that address a wide of geologic problems.
  • Collect, manipulate and analyze data in 3D.
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate orally and in writing.
  • Predict the earth system response to specific changes using models of varying complexity.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of spatial and temporal rates and scales of processes.
  • Apply concepts learned from specific examples to more broadly based problems, for example: Extrapolate from what you've seen in VT to other areas on earth, or extrapolate processes on the surface to those in the earth's interior, or extrapolate what you know about Earth materials to other problems in fields (such as petroleum, mining, environmental problems, water resource issues).
  • Apply quantitative approaches to the analysis of data sets and problem solving.
  • Apply the principles of chemistry, physics, and biology to the solution of geologic problems.


Graduate Student Competencies

By the completion of their M.S. degree a student will have the skills to:

  • Design and complete a research project under the guidance of their advisor.
  • Write a scientific article that could be published in a refereed journal.
  • Make a professional public presentation of their research.
  • Demonstrate facility in a variety of instrumentation and subsequent quantitative data analysis related to their research.
  • Apply the concepts and information learned from their thesis research to a variety of more broadly based problems.
  • Demonstrate an ability to place their scholarship into the broad context of subject knowledge in geology as well as in the context of the appropriate sub-discipline.
  • Integrate the historical development of their field of scholarship into their research.
  • Use the graduate research experience as a foundation for future applications of the scientific research method to the solution of a wide range of geoscience problems.

Metrics for success:

  • Presentations at professional meetings, publication of research
  • Pass parts I and II of the Comprehensive Exam
  • Computer design of figures, illustrations, data analysis, develop a model in the context of M.S. thesis research or class work
  • The M.S. Thesis or refereed publications places the research is in a broad context, including exposition of why the research problem is significant, as well as a literature review.
  • The research results can be conveyed to a broad audience of both specialists and non-specialists as demonstrated by presentations to non-geologic audiences, such as Graduate Research Day
  • Analysis of longitudinal data collected from alumni surveys in each year's fall newsletter will inquire about post-graduate employment or enrollment in further degree programs