Degree Program Learning Outcomes

Behavioral Neuroscience, BS

The Behavioral Neuroscience Major will prepare students to:

Learning outcomes related to knowledge-specific content:

  • Explain the fundamental concepts of behavioral neuroscience.
  • Describe the biological bases of cognitive processes underlying behavior under normal and pathological states.

Learning outcomes related to scientific inquiry:

  • Apply the process of science by identifying testable scientific questions, formulating hypotheses, and designing basic experiments using appropriate research methods.
  • Analyze quantitative data using statistical analysis techniques.
  • Interpret experimental results from scientific literature and describe and evaluate seminal and emerging findings involving mind, brain, and behavior.

Learning outcomes related to application of knowledge:

  • Justify ethical principles involved in conducting basic science and clinical research including the evolutionary principles that support the use of animal model systems.
  • Explain how the study of brain and behavior contributes to the resolution of ethical and social issues.
  • Integrate classroom knowledge in authentic practical experiences such as directed study research with faculty and co-ops in laboratories, clinical settings and industry.

Bioinformatics, MS

  • Students in Bioinformatic acquire advanced bioinformatic programming skills using real-world examples in individual and group-based class projects.
  • Students apply their bioinformatic programming skills in the workplace during their coop internships.
  • Students communicate effectively about bioinformatics, both verbally and in writing.
  • Students develop into capable independent researchers for academia and industry.

Biochemistry, BS

When students graduate with a BS in Biochemistry, they should be able to:

  • Combine the principles of biology and chemistry, as underpinned by mathematics and physics, to describe the foundational concepts of biochemistry and apply these concepts to new situations:
    • Energy is required by and transformed in biological systems.
    • Macromolecular structure determines function and regulation.
    • Information storage and flow are dynamic and interactive.
    • Evolution and homeostasis are important underlying concepts.
  • Apply the process of science to interpreting experimental observations and predicting outcomes
  • Access and analyze the scientific literature
  • Effectively communicate scientific data and ideas
  • Plan and carry out experiments using current biochemical and molecular biology techniques
  • Examine the ethical issues that arise from scientific research

Biology, BS

The BS, Biology will prepare students to:

  • Describe the foundational concepts of biology and apply them to new situations:
    • Evolution underlies biological diversity and is supported by multiple lines of evidence
    • Biological systems at all scales depend upon energy and chemical transformations
    • Units of biological structure from the molecular to the ecosystem scale determine function
    • Organisms depend on the maintenance, expression and transmission of genetic information
    • Biological systems are based on dynamic interactions at multiple scales
  • Apply the process of science to understanding experimental observations and predicting outcomes
  • Access and analyze the scientific literature
  • Effectively communicate scientific data and ideas to a diversity of audiences
  • Apply quantitative reasoning to biological questions
  • Design and carry out experiments to investigate biological questions using current approaches
  • Apply physicochemical principles to biological phenomena
  • Appreciate the intersection between biological science and society

Biology/English, BS

Broadly speaking, students graduating with a Combined Major in Biology and English at Northeastern should be able to solve problems and analyze data systematically to identify relevant patterns; present themselves professionally in both spoken and written modalities; and have gained basic scientific knowledge of the fields of Biology and English. More specifically, students are expected to have achieved the following outcomes:

  • Develop a historical understanding of English, American, and other Anglophone literary and expository traditions and their antecedents.
    • Students will be able to identify larger historical and cultural contexts in which individual texts or groups of texts may be situated, and they should be able to narrate the relationship of texts or groups of texts to each other and to important historical and cultural developments.
  • Have critical thinking skills.
    • Students will be able to analyze and interpret data and a range of texts using appropriate techniques.
  • Describe the foundational concepts of biology and apply them to new situations:
    • Evolution underlies biological diversity and is supported by multiple lines of evidence
    • Biological systems at all scales depend upon energy and chemical transformations
    • Units of biological structure from the molecular to the ecosystem scale determine function
    • Organisms depend on the maintenance, expression and transmission of genetic information
    • Biological systems are based on dynamic interactions at multiple scales
  • Apply the process of science to understanding experimental observations and predicting outcome.
  • Access and analyze the scientific literature.
  • Effectively communicate scientific data and ideas to a diversity of audiences.
  • Apply quantitative reasoning to biological questions.
  • Design and carry out experiments to investigate biological questions using current approaches.
  • Apply physicochemical principles to biological phenomena.
  • Appreciate the intersection between biological science and society.

Biology/Mathematics, BS

Biology Goals:

  • Describe the foundational concepts of biology and apply them to new situations:
    • Evolution underlies biological diversity and is supported by multiple lines of evidence
    • Biological systems at all scales depend upon energy and chemical transformations
    • Units of biological structure from the molecular to the ecosystem scale determine function
    • Organisms depend on the maintenance, expression and transmission of genetic information
    • Biological systems are based on dynamic interactions at multiple scales
  • Apply the process of science to understanding experimental observations and predicting outcomes
  • Access and analyze the scientific literature
  • Effectively communicate scientific data and ideas to a diversity of audiences
  • Apply quantitative reasoning to biological questions
  • Design and carry out experiments to investigate biological questions using current approaches
  • Apply physicochemical principles to biological phenomena
  • Appreciate the intersection between biological science and society

Mathematics Goals:

  • Solve problems using a broad range of significant mathematical techniques, including calculus, linear algebra, geometry, group theory, algebra, and probability.
  • Recognize what constitutes mathematical thinking, including the ability to produce and judge the validity of rigorous mathematical arguments.
  • Communicate mathematical ideas and arguments.
  • Use mathematics in future endeavors, not only in the discipline of mathematics, but also in other disciplines.

Biology/Political Science, BS

Biology Learning Goals

  • Describe the foundational concepts of biology and apply them to new situations:
    • Evolution underlies biological diversity and is supported by multiple lines of evidence
    • Biological systems at all scales depend upon energy and chemical transformations
    • Units of biological structure from the molecular to the ecosystem scale determine function
    • Organisms depend on the maintenance, expression and transmission of genetic information
    • Biological systems are based on dynamic interactions at multiple scales
  • Apply the process of science to understanding experimental observations and predicting outcomes
  • Access and analyze the scientific literature
  • Effectively communicate scientific data and ideas to a diversity of audiences
  • Apply quantitative reasoning to biological questions
  • Design and carry out experiments to investigate biological questions using current approaches
  • Apply physicochemical principles to biological phenomena
  • Appreciate the intersection between biological science and society

Political Science Learning Goals

  • Define the political processes, institutions, actors, and ideas as well as major theories related to American government and politics, comparative politics, and international relations
  • Articulate the role of political philosophy in shaping government and politics
  • Synthesize, analyze, and critically evaluate major arguments in the study of political science and in contemporary debates involving government and politics
  • Develop and apply statistical research skills related to the study of political science
  • Utilize research methods in the study of political science
  • Assess the value and use of original and secondary sources of argumentation and evidence
  • Apply and integrate personal experience in government, politics, or related activities with the study of political science
  • Communicate effectively in written and oral formats relevant to the field of political science
  • Design and complete an independent research project in the domain of government and politics
  • Explain professional ethics in political science and in the practices of government and politics

Biology, MS

Our MS program has the overarching outcome of developing independent research capacity, through the defined outcomes outlined below:

  • Graduate-level understanding of basic disciplinary concepts
    • Direct Measures:
      • Course grades
      • MS Thesis
      • Proposal preparation and committee meeting
    • Indirect Measures:
      • Proposal preparation and committee meeting
      • Annual presentations of research
  • Major Finding(s) from recent review:
    • Need for graduate level course work in multiple core areas of Biology
  • Actions:
    • Implementation of a core curriculum that develops mastery within two major domains of biology
    • Ability to formulate a research plan
      • Direct Measures:
        • Grade in BIOL 7382 Research Problem Solving, Scientific Writing and Communication
        • Written thesis proposal
      • Indirect Measures:
        • Annual presentations of research
  • Major Findings from recent review:
    • Graduate skills course was needed
    • Accelerated progress in developing a thesis plan was needed.
  • Actions:
    • Development of new course: BIOL 7382 Research Problem Solving, Scientific Writing and Communication
    • Requirement to formally select advisor was accelerated (from beginning of second year to end of first year).
    • Ability to orally communicate research plans and progress
      • Direct Measures:
        • Grade in BIOL 7382 Research Problem Solving, Scientific Writing and Communication
        • Thesis proposal presentation
      • Indirect Measures:
        • Annual research presentation and annual committee meetings
        • Presentation at national and international meetings (frequently occurs, but not required)
  • Major Finding(s) from recent review:
    • Graduate skills course was needed.
    • Annual committee meetings were needed.
  • Actions:
    • Development of new course: BIOL 7382 Research Problem Solving, Scientific Writing and Communication
    • Requirement to present research annually
    • Ability to conduct independent research
      • Direct Measures:
        • Annual research presentation
        • MS Thesis
      • Indirect measures:
        • Publication of a first- author, peer-reviewed research article (frequently occurs, but not required)
        • Presentation at national and international meetings (frequently occurs, but not required)
  • Major findings from recent review:
    • Accelerated progress in initiating thesis research was needed.
    • Requirement to formally select advisor was accelerated (from beginning of second year to end of first year).
  • Action:
    • Requirement to formally select advisor was accelerated (from beginning of second year to end of first year).

Biology, PhD

Overarching learning outcome:

Students will become independent researchers.

Sub-outcomes:

  1. Students will understand the current state of the discipline in their area of specialization (e.g., key theories and research practices in molecular microbiology).
  2. Students will be able to formulate a hypothesis and conduct research using appropriate tools and techniques within their focused area of study.
  3. Students will effectively communicate research results, in written and oral formats.
  4. Students will become effective teachers and/or mentors of others.

Assessments

  1. Students will understand the current state of the discipline in their area of specialization (e.g., key theories and research practices in molecular cell biology).
    1. Grades in graduate coursework.
    2. Graduate written exam, entirely based on analysis of the primary literature.
  2. Students will be able to formulate a hypothesis and conduct research using appropriate tools and techniques within their focused area of study.
    1. Semi-annual committee meetings.
    2. Annual assessment of research progress.
    3. First author publication(s).
    4. Proposal preparation.
    5. Dissertation defense.
  3. Students will effectively communicate research results, in written and oral formats.
    1. PhD oral qualifying exam.
    2. Annual presentation at Graduate Colloquium.
    3. First author publication(s).
  4. Students will become effective teachers and/or mentors of others.
    1. TRACE evaluation of TA performance.
    2. Individual assessment of mentoring in the laboratory.

Cell and Molecular Biology, BS

The Cell & Molecular Biology Major will prepare students to:

  • Describe the foundational concepts of cell and molecular biology and apply them to new situations:
    • Evolution is an organizing principle of biology reflected in molecular structures
    • Cellular systems depend upon energy and chemical transformations
    • Macromolecular structure determines cellular architecture and function
    • Cells depend on the maintenance, expression and transmission of genetic information
    • Biological systems are based on dynamic interactions at multiple scales
  • Apply the process of science to understanding experimental observations and predicting outcomes
  • Access and analyze the scientific literature
  • Effectively communicate scientific data and ideas to a diversity of audiences
  • Apply quantitative reasoning to biological questions
  • Design and carry out experiments to investigate questions in cell and molecular biology using current approaches
  • Apply physicochemical principles to biological phenomena
  • Appreciate the intersection between biological science and society

Biotechnology, MS

Upon completion of the MS in Biotechnology, students should be able to integrate the basic concepts of biotechnology and experimentation into leading a research team and understanding the business aspects of the biotechnology industry.

Biopharmaceutical Analytical Sciences Concentration
Upon completion of this degree, students should be able to integrate basic principles of common analytical techniques of protein molecular structures to engage in hands-on practices for implementation of such techniques to facilitate the development of biopharmaceutical manufacturing

Pharmaceutical Technologies Concentration
Upon completion of this degree, students should be able to integrate basic principles of protein chemistry and molecular interactions to engage in hands-on practices to facilitate the development and manufacturing of biopharmaceutical formulations suitable for use as human therapeutics

Process Sciences Concentration
Upon completion of this degree, students should be able to integrate basic principles of process units operations of recombinant protein production in hands-on practices for implementation of such techniques to facilitate the development of biopharmaceutical manufacturing

Biotechnology Enterprise Concentration
Upon completion of this degree, students should be able to integrate fundamental concepts of leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation, financial decision making and marketing to business enterprises.

Molecular Biotechnology Concentration
Upon completion of this degree, students should be able to integrate their didactic and practical knowledge of molecular biotechnology, protein expression, and structural biology to the development of new protein drugs.

Chemistry, BS

Students who earn B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University will have acquired the knowledge and developed the skills that enable them to pursue careers in the molecular sciences or related fields. They will have demonstrated that they are able to apply their knowledge and skills to:

  • Use the particulate nature of matter to explain the properties of substances, the reactions they undergo, and solve problems based on those reactions;
  • Search, organize, and insightfully interpret information from the scientific literature and databases;
  • Design and carry out chemical research effectively and safely;
  • Make meaning of research results and engage in data-driven decision making;
  • Effectively communicate their knowledge of chemistry and the results of research experiences through written and oral presentations;
  • Collaborate effectively as members of project teams.

Chemistry, MS

Northeastern University chemistry students earn an MS degree that is tied to professional standards articulated by the American Chemical Society (ACS). To assure these standards are met, MS students are required to present their work in both written (thesis) and oral (departmental seminar) form. The oral presentations are open to the public. The written thesis is reviewed and approved by a thesis committee of three faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (C&CB).

Masters graduates from C&CB are expected to meet the following performance standards.

  • They should be able to explain chemical nomenclature, structure, reactivity, and function in their specific field of research and apply it into the context of the existing literature.
  • They should demonstrate their ability to design and execute new chemical experiments with a high degree of sophistication. The design and execution of the experiment should demonstrate an understanding of good laboratory practice (chemical hygiene, personal protective wear, etc.) and the proper handling of chemical waste streams.
  • They should be able to obtain and interpret experimental and spectroscopic data (e.g., NMR, IR, MS) related to their research with a high degree of precision.
  • They should be able to use spectroscopic data to predict chemical structure and vice-versa.
  • They should be able to predict chemical properties from chemical structure and vice-versa.
  • In their interpretation of experimental data they should be able to distinguish between:
    • kinetic and thermodynamic phenomena,
    • single molecule and bulk properties and
    • experimental data and experimental noise.
  • They should be able to precisely describe the experiments they do and the results they obtain in laboratory notebooks (hard copy and electronic), and draw meaningful conclusions from the results of their work.
  • They should be able to draft technical documents describing their work and the results they obtained that are suitable for editing and eventual publication in peer reviewed scientific journals They are also prepared to give seminars and presentations at regional meetings of the American Chemical Society and at meetings of other professional organizations.
  • They should be able to communicate their understanding of chemical principles to a lay audience. For instance,
    • they should be able to articulate their future career path and how their research training situates them for this plan;
    • they should to be able to explain how chemistry relates to the real world (e.g., economy, environment, healthcare, etc.);
    • they should be able to recognize and explain how their expertise will be applicable in the execution of complex research problems.

Chemistry, PhD

Northeastern University chemistry students earn a PhD degree that is tied to professional standards articulated by the American Chemical Society (ACS). To assure these standards are met PhD students are required to present their work in both written (thesis) and oral (defense) form. These presentations are open to the public and are overseen by a committee of experts usually consisting of faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, but often supplemented with faculty from other departments and from industry.

Doctoral graduates from C&CB are expected to meet the following performance standards.

  • They should be able to explain chemical nomenclature, structure, reactivity, and function in their specific field of research and apply it into the context of the existing literature.
  • They should demonstrate their ability to draw on previously published work to independently design and execute new chemical experiments with a high degree of sophistication. The design and execution of the experiment should demonstrate an understanding of good laboratory practice (chemical hygiene, personal protective wear, etc.) and the proper handling of chemical waste streams.
  • They should be able to obtain and interpret experimental and spectroscopic data (e.g., NMR, IR, MS) related to their research with a high degree of precision.
  • They should be able to use spectroscopic data to predict chemical structure and vice-versa.
  • They should be able to predict chemical properties from chemical structure and vice-versa.
  • In their interpretation of experimental data they should be able to distinguish between:
    • kinetic and thermodynamic phenomena,
    • single molecule and bulk properties, and
    • experimental data and experimental noise.
  • They should be able to precisely describe the experiments they do and the results they obtain in laboratory notebooks (hard copy and electronic), and to insightfully interpret the meaning and implication of their results in seminars and written technical reports.
  • They should be able to author manuscripts describing their research and its impacts that are suitable for publication in peer reviewed scientific journals, and are prepared to describe their research in presentations at national meetings of the American Chemical Society and at national and international symposia hosted by other professional organizations.
  • They should be able to communicate their understanding of chemical principles to a lay audience. For instance,
    • they should be able to articulate their future career path and how their research training situates them for this plan;
    • they should to be able to explain how chemistry relates to the real world (e.g., economy, environment, healthcare, etc.);
    • they should be able to recognize and explain how their expertise will be applicable in the execution of complex research problems.

Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, PhD

Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology trains independent scientists whose research addresses fundamental and applied questions at local, regional, national, and global scales. General and specialized coursework in ecology, evolution, and marine science, with curricular programs including both core and specialized options tailored to each student’s research interests. This coursework will serve as a foundation for the experiential, research-based dissertation that is the core of the doctoral degree. Our goal is to train researchers who can independently pursue the process of science and effectively apply their research to solve both basic questions in ecology, evolution, and marine biology and to apply their work to issues of relevance to society and the environment, especially in this era of global change.

Our students earn a PhD degree that is tied to professional standards articulated by the Ecological Society of America (ESA), the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN). To assure these standards are met PhD students are required to present their work in both written (dissertation) and oral (defense) form. These presentations are open to the public and are overseen by a committee of experts consisting of faculty from the department plus an external committee member.

Doctoral candidates from EEMB are expected to meet the following performance standards:

  • Students must pass three examinations during the course of their graduate studies:
  1. a Written Examination consisting of questions posed by the student’s Written Examination Committee;
  2. an Oral Examination consisting of an oral presentation and defense of the student’s dissertation proposal and including questions about the research areas that the student proposes to work in; and
  3. a Defense of their written dissertation consisting of a public seminar, public question-and-answer period, and private defense of their work to their Dissertation Committee, which will typically consist of the student’s Program Advisory Committee and at least one other member from outside Northeastern University.
  • They should be able to demonstrate expert knowledge of their specific field of research and accurately place it into the context of the existing literature.
  • They should demonstrate their ability to draw on previously published work to independently design and execute new experiments or field manipulations with a high degree of sophistication. The design and execution of the experiment should demonstrate an understanding of good laboratory practice (chemical hygiene, personal protective wear, etc.) the proper handling of chemical waste streams and/or field practices (weather safety, boating safety).
  • They should be able to obtain and interpret experimental and field data related to their research with a high degree of precision.
  • They should be able to use online data sets relevant to their PhD dissertation.
  • In their interpretation of experiments they should be able to distinguish between experimental data and experimental noise.
  • They should be able to precisely describe the experiments they do and the results they obtain in laboratory notebooks (hard copy and electronic), and to insightfully interpret the meaning and implication of their results in seminars and written technical reports.
  • They should be able to author manuscripts describing their research and its impacts that are suitable for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and are prepared to describe their research in presentations at national meetings of the above scientific societies, and at national and international symposia hosted by other professional organizations. All PhD students are required to have at least one first-authored publication submitted to or accepted in a peer-reviewed journal prior to their defense.
  • They should be able to communicate their understanding of ecological, evolutionary, and marine biological principles to a lay audience. For instance, they should be able to articulate their future career path and how their research training situates them for this plan, how their disciplinary research relates to the real world (e.g., economy, environment, healthcare, etc.). and they should be able to recognize and explain how their expertise will be applicable in the execution of complex research problems.

Environmental Geology/Chemistry, BS

  • Master a broad set of chemical knowledge concerning fundamentals in the basic areas of chemistry
  • Communicate research results and/or chemical principles to both scientific and non-scientific audiences
  • Critically read and interpret the scientific literature
  • Collect, analyze and interpret data.
  • Describe how societal actions and its underlying chemical principles impact the environment
  • Explain the processes that form and shape the Earth’s physical environment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of good laboratory practice and the proper handling of chemical waste

Environmental Science, BS

  • Explain how to apply the scientific method as it relates to the environment and its inhabitants, including anthropogenic effects
  • Communicate research results to both scientific and non-scientific audiences
  • Learn how to critically read and interpret the scientific literature.
  • Collect, analyze and interpret data.
  • Describe how societal actions impact the environment
  • Explain the processes that form and shape the Earth’s physical environment

Environmental Studies, BA

  • Learn how to apply the scientific method to the intersection between the environments, its inhabitants and policy
  • Enhance their scientific communication skills to reach and educate non-scientific audiences
  • Read and interpret scientifically gathered data in a critical fashion by recognizing if the data are reliable, robust and truly representative
  • Describe how societal actions impact the environment and how the environment impacts society — at local, national and international levels
  • Communicate environmental policies to diverse audiences
  • Describe global ethical issues in human-environment interactions

Environmental Studies/History, BS

  • Apply the scientific method
  • Communicate interdisciplinary science to non-scientific audiences
  • Critically read and interpret peer-reviewed literature
  • Collect, analyze and interpret data.
  • Describe how societal actions impact the environment and how the environment impacts society — at local, national and international levels
  • Communicate environmental policies to diverse audiences
  • Describe ethical issues in human-environment interactions globally
  • Apply historical methodologies and analytical tools to construct evidence-based and/or data-based understandings of past interactions between society and its environment, in order to contextualize present and future changes
  • Connect a regional or thematic focus to the larger global historical context

Environmental Studies/International Affairs, BA

  • Apply the scientific method to the intersection between the environment and international affairs
  • Communicate interdisciplinary science and environmental policies to audiences with little or no scientific background
  • Learn how to read and critically interpret peer-reviewed literature
  • Collect, analyze and interpret data.
  • Describe how societal actions impact the environment and how the environment impacts society — at local, national and international levels
  • Describe global issues in human-environment interactions and apply historical methodologies and analytical tools to construct evidence-based and/or data-based understandings of interactions, in order to contextualize present and future changes
  • Connect experiential education (e.g., Dialogues of Civilization, co-ops, internships, and/or study abroad) to global environment issues by improving language proficiency while becoming acquainted with cultural, regional and practical knowledge of the local and global historical contexts.

Environmental Studies/Economics, BS

  • Apply the scientific method as it relates to the intersection between the environment and its potential economic costs and impacts.
  • Learn how to read and critically interpret peer-reviewed literature
  • Collect, analyze and interpret economic policies and environmental data to better understand the dynamics between these two disciplines
  • Describe how social actions have environmental and economic consequences at the local, national, and international level.
  • Apply statistical analysis to evaluate everyday economic-environmental problems and specific policy proposals

Environmental Studies/Philosophy, BA

  • Apply the scientific method as it relates to philosophical aspects of environmental issues
  • Communicate the dynamics between environmental and philosophical issues to audiences with little or no scientific background.
  • Learn how to read and critically interpret peer-reviewed literature
  • Collect, analyze and interpret philosophical and environmental data to better understand the dynamics between these two disciplines
  • Describe how societal actions impact the environment and how the environment impacts society — at local, national and international levels
  • Describe global ethical issues in human-environment interactions
  • Interpret complex philosophical texts from sources across a range of historical periods
  • Explain the philosophical theories associated with one of the following areas: epistemology, metaphysics, natural, or moral philosophy
  • Ability to speak and to write logically and persuasively about philosophical theories, epistemology, metaphysics, natural or moral philosophy and environmental matters
  • Demonstrate written fluency in formal logic including logical proofs

Environmental Studies/Political Science, BA

  • Describe how societal actions impact the environment and how the environment impacts society, with special relevance to human behavior, public policy, and regulation of the environment
  • Articulate the history of environmental policy in the US, and how it complements, conflicts and/or contributes to international public policies
  • Apply quantitative methods and critical tools to theoretical questions related to managing and resolving political-environmental problems and challenges in the geopolitical sphere
  • Explain how political institutions, processes, and actors operate within national, international, and global frameworks
  • Communicate principles of social and environmental science to nonscientific policy makers

Linguistics, BS

Broadly speaking, students graduating with a degree in Linguistics at Northeastern should be able to solve problems and analyze data systematically to identify relevant patterns; present themselves professionally in both spoken and written modalities; and have gained basic scientific knowledge of the field of linguistics. More specifically, students are expected to have achieved the following outcomes:

  • Understand the basic structures that make up language.
    • Student will demonstrate a familiarity with the core structural areas of linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax) by being able to define the linguistic units in these areas and solve problems by using standard linguistic methods to identify patterns in data drawn from a variety of familiar and unfamiliar languages.
  • Understand the cognitive and psychological aspects of language.
    • Students will be able to name and describe the ways in which language is processed, comprehended, produced, and acquired from a psychological perspective.
  • Understand linguistic issues and phenomena within their broader socio-cultural contexts.
    • Students will be able to explain the possible connections between language, culture, and society; provide examples of cultural and linguistic diversity; and collect and analyze data using methods drawn from the fields of anthropological linguistics and sociolinguistics.
  • Have breadth in the field by applying knowledge of language to some of the subfields of linguistics or related fields.
    • Students will demonstrate breadth in one or more subfields of linguistics or other language-related fields by being able to name and explain key concepts in said field(s).
  • Have theoretical knowledge about how and why linguistic structures work.
    • Students will demonstrate knowledge of at least one theoretic approach in at least three core areas that focus on the structure of language: (1) phonetics and phonology and (2) syntax, (3) morphology or (4) semantics. The demonstration of that knowledge will include the ability to identify and explain terminology and concepts within the relevant framework as well as being able to apply the theory in analyzing natural language data, identifying the relevant patterns, and generalizing a solution to the problem presented.
  • Have knowledge of research practices in linguistics.
    • Students will have basic research skills sufficient to conduct small-scale original research as well as critically evaluate existing and new research methods and findings in linguistics.
  • Have effective presentation skills.
    • Students will be able to communicate linguistics concepts, processes, and results, both orally and in writing, to linguists and non-linguists.

Linguistics/Cultural Anthropology, BS

Broadly speaking, students graduating with a combined major in Linguistics and Cultural Anthropology at Northeastern should be able to solve problems and analyze data systematically to identify relevant patterns; present themselves professionally in both spoken and written modalities; and have gained basic knowledge of the fields of linguistics and cultural anthropology. More specifically, students are expected to have achieved the following outcomes:

  • Understand the basic structures that make up language.
    • Student will demonstrate a familiarity with the core structural areas of linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax) by being able to define the linguistic units in these areas and solve problems by using standard linguistic methods to identify patterns in data drawn from a variety of familiar and unfamiliar languages.
  • Have theoretical knowledge about how and why linguistic structures work.
    • Students will demonstrate knowledge of at least one theoretic approach in at least three core areas that focus on the structure of language: (1) phonetics and phonology and (2) syntax, (3) morphology or (4) semantics. The demonstration of that knowledge will include the ability to identify and explain terminology and concepts within the relevant framework as well as being able to apply the theory in analyzing natural language data, identifying the relevant patterns, and generalizing a solution to the problem presented.
  • Understand the discipline, history, theory, and practice of socio-cultural anthropology.
    • Students will be able to identify foundational and contemporary debates in anthropology, their development over time and across intellectual traditions, and their contributions to the understanding of societies and cultures worldwide.
  • Apply anthropological concepts to current sociocultural phenomena.
    • Students will be able to locate contemporary cultures within their international, transnational, or global contexts; analyze connections between local, national, and global scales; describe the social, political, and ethical implications of anthropological research; and identify the connections and differences between regions coded as West/non-West, developed/developing, colonial/postcolonial, north/global south.
  • Understand linguistic issues and phenomena within their broader socio-cultural contexts.
    • Students will be able to explain the possible connections between language, culture, and society; provide examples of cultural and linguistic diversity; and collect and analyze data using methods drawn from the fields of anthropological linguistics and sociolinguistics.
  • Have knowledge of research practices.
    • Students will have basic research skills sufficient to conduct small-scale original research as well as critically evaluate existing and new research methods and findings in anthropology and linguistics.
  • Have effective presentation skills.
    • Students will be able to communicate concepts, processes, and results, both orally and in writing, to experts and laypeople.

Linguistics/English, BA

Broadly speaking, students graduating with a Combined Major in Linguistics and English at Northeastern should be able to solve problems and analyze data systematically to identify relevant patterns; present themselves professionally in both spoken and written modalities; and have gained basic scientific knowledge of the fields of linguistics. More specifically, students are expected to have achieved the following outcomes:

  • Understand the basic structures that make up language.
    • Student will demonstrate a familiarity with the core structural areas of linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax) by being able to define the linguistic units in these areas and solve problems by using standard linguistic methods to identify patterns in data drawn from a variety of familiar and unfamiliar languages.
  • Have theoretical knowledge about how and why linguistic structures work.
    • Students will demonstrate knowledge of at least one theoretic approach in at least three core areas that focus on the structure of language: (1) phonetics and phonology and (2) syntax, (3) morphology or (4) semantics. The demonstration of that knowledge will include the ability to identify and explain terminology and concepts within the relevant framework as well as being able to apply the theory in analyzing natural language data, identifying the relevant patterns, and generalizing a solution to the problem presented.
  • Develop a historical understanding of English, American, and other Anglophone literary and expository traditions and their antecedents.
    • Students will be able to identify larger historical and cultural contexts in which individual texts or groups of texts may be situated, and they should be able to narrate the relationship of texts or groups of texts to each other and to important historical and cultural developments.
  • Have an understanding of the history and development of the English language.
    • Students will be able to identify and explain and important historical, geopolitical and sociocultural factors that led to the past and continuing development of the English language and dialects.
  • Have critical thinking skills.
    • Students will be able to analyze and interpret linguistic data and a range of texts using appropriate techniques.
  • Have knowledge of research practices.
    • Students will have basic research skills sufficient to investigate specific questions in the field using major research methods, as well as critically evaluate existing and new research methods and findings.
  • Have effective presentation skills.
    • Students will be able to communicate concepts, processes, and research results, both orally and in writing, to experts and laypeople.

Linguistics/Psychology, BS

Broadly speaking, students graduating with a combined major in Linguistics and Psychology at Northeastern should be able to solve problems and analyze data systematically to identify relevant patterns; present themselves professionally in both spoken and written modalities; and have gained basic scientific knowledge of the fields of linguistics and psychology, especially in psycholinguistics and cognition. More specifically, students are expected to have achieved the following outcomes:

  • Understand the basic structures that make up language.
    • Student will demonstrate a familiarity with the core structural areas of linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax) by being able to define the linguistic units in these areas and solve problems by using standard linguistic methods to identify patterns in data drawn from a variety of familiar and unfamiliar languages.
  • Have theoretical knowledge about how and why linguistic structures work.
    • Students will demonstrate knowledge of at least one theoretic approach in at least three core areas that focus on the structure of language: (1) phonetics and phonology and (2) syntax, (3) morphology or (4) semantics. The demonstration of that knowledge will include the ability to identify and explain terminology and concepts within the relevant framework as well as being able to apply the theory in analyzing natural language data, identifying the relevant patterns, and generalizing a solution to the problem presented.
  • Understand the cognitive and psychological aspects of language.
    • Students will be able to describe major theoretical perspectives and empirical findings pertaining to key issues in psychological science, with an emphasis on psycholinguistics and/or cognition.
  • Developed critical thinking skills.
    • Students will be able to analyze and interpret data using appropriate statistical/quantitative techniques.
  • Have knowledge of research practices.
    • Students will have the research skills sufficient to investigate specific questions in psycholinguistics and/or cognition using major research methods and experimental designs.
  • Have effective presentation skills.
    • Students will be able to communicate concepts, processes, and research results, both orally and in writing, to experts and laypeople.

Marine Biology, BS

  • Learn how to apply the scientific method as it relates to the marine environment and its inhabitants, including biological and anthropogenic effects
  • Communicate research results to both scientific and non-scientific audiences
  • Critically read and interpret the scientific literature
  • Collect, analyze and interpret data in the field or the lab.
  • Explain how the ocean affects all aspects of human life.

Marine Biology, MS (Three Seas Program)

The Master of Science in Marine Biology program delivers a unique combination of inquiry-based study, fieldwork, research, and workplace experience. This 15-month full-time program is offered in conjunction with Northeastern University’s Three Seas program where students spend a full academic year immersed in the study of marine biology in three distinctly different marine ecosystems (Gulf of Maine boreal intertidal and subtidal, Panama Atlantic coral reef and Pacific coral reef with coastal upwelling, and Pacific Northwest subarctic intertidal and subtidal). The progressive and incremental structure of our curriculum allows students with only an intermediate exposure to the biological sciences to emerge from the program ready to plan and execute marine research, whether in the top doctoral programs, or in a career with government agencies or private consulting firms. Of equal importance is that students finish the program knowing how to do science rather than simply how to understand it through the experiential capstone project that begins after the Three Seas coursework ends.

Graduates of this program are expected to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • They should be able to design and execute field experiments and laboratory investigations involving advanced scientific diving, and use of state-of-the-art instrumentation including autonomous underwater vehicles, mass and elemental spectrometers, image processing software and hardware systems used in underwater research, submersible fluorometers used for phytoplankton quantification and measurement of photosynthetic reactions, submersible microelectrode amplifiers and sensors used to measure nitrate, pH, and dissolved oxygen, imaging side scan sonars used for fisheries stock assessment, respirometry chambers, recirculating flow tanks and wind tunnels, thermal imagers and biomimetic temperature sensors, instruments used in genomic data acquisition and computer methods for analysis of the transcriptome, and methods and instruments used to measure or infer the calcification of marine organisms.
  • They should be able to communicate the commonalities and differences in the three ecosystems they intensively studied to both scientific peers, and to a lay audience, from the perspective of ecosystem services, ecosystem function including the roles of biodiversity and trophodynamics, and future trajectories under global change including the roles of conservation biology, policy and economics to likely outcome scenarios. They should be able to marshal online resources in support of producing convincing arguments about global change to a lay audience by using data available from global ocean observing systems.
  • They should produce a significant contribution to understanding of an aspect of marine biology from the capstone project that is shared with the world beyond the final presentation either via a lesson plan, scientific publication, grey literature report, video documentary, contribution to an online scientific database, or equivalent scientific output.
  • They should be able to articulate how their interdisciplinary masters course of study has prepared them to contribute to the advancement of knowledge useful for understanding the oceans either through further study and research at the graduate level, or through identification of organizations where their training can be used to advance management of the oceans in a sustainable manner.

Mathematics, BS

  • Students will be able to solve problems using a broad range of significant mathematical techniques, including calculus, linear algebra, geometry, group theory, algebra and probability.
  • Students will recognize what constitutes mathematical thinking, including the ability to produce and judge the validity of rigorous mathematical arguments.
  • Students will be able to communicate mathematical ideas and arguments.
  • Students will be prepared to use mathematics in their future endeavors, not only in the discipline of mathematics, but also in other disciplines and in their future endeavors

Mathematics/Physics, BS

The learning outcomes for this program is the union of the learning outcomes of the Mathematics BS and the Physics BS degrees. The combined degree has the following “integrative” learning outcomes:

  • Students will be able to identify the branches of mathematics relevant to the modeling of physical phenomena, and communicate how concepts in mathematics find applications in the natural world.

Mathematics/Business Administration, BS

The learning outcomes for this program are the union of the learning outcomes of the Mathematics BS and the BS degree in the D’Amore-McKim Business School. In addition, the combined degree has the following “integrative” learning outcomes:

Students should be able to employ elements of statistical analysis and numerical evidence in support of business decision making. Students will be able to use quantitative evidence from surveys and other data to define and analyze business problems.

Mathematics, MS

Students will demonstrate a Masters-level understanding of basic mathematical concepts, including the ability to:

  • Apply mathematical concepts to solve problems in various areas of pure and applied mathematics.
  • Locate mathematical methods as needed in order to solve problems.
  • Communicate effectively the solution to a mathematical problem.

Mathematics, PhD

Students will demonstrate a graduate-level understanding of basic mathematical concepts, including the ability to:

  • Read and understand research papers in mathematics.
  • Formulate a research problem in mathematics, and state this problem as a mathematical conjecture.
  • Conduct independent research by synthesizing existing mathematical theory with new, original ideas.
  • Communicate sophisticated mathematical concepts orally and in written form.
  • Students will have experience with undergraduate teaching, specifically being instructor of record in a multi-section course, designing and grading quizzes and tests, grading homework, and helping students during office hours.

Network Science, PhD

Students will demonstrate a graduate-level understanding of foundational network science concepts, including:

  • Comprehension of the mathematics of networks, and their applications to biology, sociology, technology and other fields, and their use in the research of real complex systems in nature and man-made systems.
  • Essential network data mining techniques from real world datasets to networks.
  • Statistical descriptors of networks and statistical biases.
  • Measures and metrics of networks.
  • Network Clustering techniques.
  • Network modeling.
  • Understanding process modeling on networks
  • Networks visualization.
  • Familiarity with the ongoing research in the field of Network Science.

Students will also demonstrate a graduate-level understanding of non-network methods that enable network research, including:

  • Computational statistics (e.g., for social science track, a wide array of inferential methods)
  • Data acquisition and handling.
  • Measurement and research design

Graduates will also attain a critical mass of understanding of some substantive domain complementary to network science (such as physics, political science, computer science).

Graduates of the program should be capable of leading and performing independent, new research projects related to network sciences.

Students will communicate network science concepts, processes, and results effectively, both verbally and in writing.

It is expected that graduates will be well-prepared to enter into a number of potential career paths including: industrial research positions, government consultants, post-doctoral or junior faculty positions in academic institutions.

Physics, BS

At the end of the Physics, BS, degree students should be able to:

  • Explain the fundamental principles and concepts of physics that include classical mechanics and electromagnetism, thermodynamics and statistical physics, principles of waves and optics, and quantum mechanics.
  • Identify how the above principles relate to at least one forefront area of research, such as astrophysics, cosmology, particle physics, materials physics, network science, and/or nanoscience and nanotechnology.
  • Analyze physical systems by constructing mathematical models in which the essential aspects of a problem are identified, formulate a strategy for solution, make appropriate approximations, and evaluate the correctness of their solution.
  • Use basic computational techniques for modeling physical systems including those that do not have analytical answers.
  • Set up experiments, collect and analyze data, identify sources of uncertainty, and interpret the results in terms of the fundamental principles and concepts of physics.
  • Communicate physics concepts, processes, and results effectively, both verbally and in writing.

Physics/Music — Composition & Technology, BS

  • Explain the fundamental principles and concepts of physics that include classical mechanics and electromagnetism, thermodynamics and statistical physics, principles of waves and optics, and quantum mechanics.
  • Identify how the above principles relate to at least one forefront area of research, such as astrophysics, cosmology, particle physics, materials physics, network science, and/or nanoscience and nanotechnology.
  • Analyze physical systems by constructing mathematical models in which the essential aspects of a problem are identified, formulate a strategy for solution, make appropriate approximations, and evaluate the correctness of their solution.
  • Use basic computational techniques for modeling physical systems including those that do not have analytical answers.
  • Set up experiments, collect and analyze data, identify sources of uncertainty, and interpret the results in terms of the fundamental principles and concepts of physics.
  • Communicate physics concepts, processes, and results effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Provide a physical description of the phenomenon of sound, and how physical principles influence sound production and propagation.

Physics/Philosophy, BS

  • Explain the fundamental principles and concepts of physics that include classical mechanics and electromagnetism, thermodynamics and statistical physics, principles of waves and optics, and quantum mechanics.
  • Identify how the above principles relate to at least one forefront area of research, such as astrophysics, cosmology, particle physics, materials physics, network science, and/or nanoscience and nanotechnology.
  • Analyze physical systems by constructing mathematical models in which the essential aspects of a problem are identified, formulate a strategy for solution, make appropriate approximations, and evaluate the correctness of their solution.
  • Use basic computational techniques for modeling physical systems including those that do not have analytical answers.
  • Set up experiments, collect and analyze data, identify sources of uncertainty, and interpret their results in terms of the fundamental principles and concepts of physics.
  • Communicate physics concepts, processes, and results effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Describe the method by which physical “law” is made manifest in the sciences, how this knowledge compares with other epistemological models studied in other contexts, and philosophical views on the status and source of physical “law”.

Physics, MS

Upon completion of the MS degree in Physics, students should be able to apply graduate-level knowledge and solve problems in the areas of electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, statistical mechanics, and advanced mathematical methods.

Physics, PhD

The overarching learning outcome is demonstration of the ability to conduct independent research through the defined outcomes outlined below:

  • Course grades
  • Qualifying Exam
  • Seminar
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation defense
  • Indirect Measures:
    • Annual committee meetings

Applied Physics, BS

At the end of the Applied Physics, BS, degree students should be able to:

  • Explain the fundamental principles and concepts of physics that include classical mechanics and electromagnetism, thermodynamics and statistical physics, and principles of waves and optics.
  • Identify how the above principles relate to at least one forefront area of research, such as astrophysics, cosmology, particle physics, materials physics, network science, and/or nanoscience and nanotechnology.
  • Utilize the fundamental principles and concepts of physics within the context of other sciences or in engineering applications.
  • Analyze physical systems by constructing mathematical models in which the essential aspects of a problem are identified, formulate a strategy for solution, make appropriate approximations, and evaluate the correctness of their solution.
  • Use basic computational techniques for modeling physical systems including those that do not have analytical answers.
  • Set up experiments, collect and analyze data, identify sources of uncertainty, and interpret the results in terms of the fundamental principles and concepts of physics.
  • Communicate physics concepts, processes, and results effectively, both verbally and in writing.

Biomedical Physics, BS

At the end of the Biomedical Physics, BS, degree students should be able to:

  • Explain the fundamental principles and concepts of physics that include classical mechanics and electromagnetism, thermodynamics and statistical physics, and principles of waves and optics.
  • Utilize the fundamental principles and concepts of physics within the context of medical applications, including radiation therapy, medical imaging and laser-based therapy.
  • Identify career opportunities in the medical and bioengineering fields.
  • Analyze physical systems by constructing mathematical models in which the essential aspects of a problem are identified, formulate a strategy for solution, make appropriate approximations, and evaluate the correctness of their solution.
  • Use basic computational techniques for modeling physical systems including those that do not have analytical answers.
  • Set up experiments, collect and analyze data, identify sources of uncertainty, and interpret the results in terms of the fundamental principles and concepts of physics.
  • Communicate physics concepts, processes, and results effectively, both verbally and in writing.

Psychology, BS

Upon graduation, students should be able to:

  • Describe major theoretical perspectives and empirical findings pertaining to key issues in psychological science.
  • Investigate specific questions in psychological science using major research methods and experimental designs.
  • Analyze and interpret data using appropriate statistical/quantitative techniques.
  • Communicate research findings in written form using the conventions of psychological science.

Psychology, PhD

General Program Goals: The main objective of the PhD program is to train a select group of students to become experts in the multidisciplinary field of psychological science.  Students are admitted directly to the PhD program and obtain a master’s degree after completing a specified subset of requirements for the PhD The program, which covers a wide spectrum of contemporary issues in psychology, offers students four distinct areas of experimental emphasis: behavioral neuroscience, cognition, perception, and social/personality. Specific Program Outcomes:

  • Students are expected to exhibit a graduate-level understanding of basic theoretical views and experimental methods in psychological science, as well as advanced expertise within their chosen specialty.
  • Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to conduct an independent, empirically-based research program.  This involves designing and running experiments, analyzing and interpreting data, and presenting the findings both orally and in writing in the context of the existing literature in the field.
  • Students are expected to demonstrate effective teaching skills in an assistantship role, as well as effective mentoring of undergraduate student research projects.