Roanoke College

Biology Department Mission Statement


Students who complete the degree requirements of the Roanoke College Biology Department (B.S. or B.A. in Biology):

1. will master the fundamental theories, concepts, and facts of the biological sciences.

Biology students should have a working familiarity with all levels of biological systems, from the subcellular to the ecological. They should know and be able to explain and apply the fundamental tenets of molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, organismal biology, ecology, and evolution.

2. will develop the ability to use basic experimental methodology.

Biology students should be able to apply the scientific method to biological investigations, understanding the limitations of this approach in analyzing the world around them. They should be familiar with the most commonly used instruments in the above fields and in what contexts these instruments are used.

3. will develop the ability to think critically.

Biology students must be able to think critically in order to design and execute the experiments required for the advancement of our scientific understanding. They need to be able to see that the same data set can be interpreted in different ways and know how to distinguish between these alternative conclusions.

4. will be able to communicate effectively.

Biology students must be able to communicate their results and findings to others. Scientific discoveries are made within the context of a community - and strong oral and written communication skills are essential for biologists in all fields of study.

5. will be able to access and use print and electronic resources to acquire information.

Equally important to effective communication skills is the ability to access and process the biological information currently available in both print and electronic resources. Biology students should be able to find and utilize resources on a range of topics, distinguishing reliable from spurious sources, and make the proper citations of this information in their written and oral communications.

6. will understand how actions in their daily lives can affect the biology of their local and global environments.

All life on our planet is intertwined and interconnected. Actions in one part of the world can have significant impacts on other parts. Biology students need to be able to see the impact that daily decisions and actions have on the continuity of the biological systems in their local and global communities.

Read the Roanoke College mission statement.