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Acting (BFA)

  1. Characterization
  2. Emotion
  3. Human communication
  4. Technical competence

Anthropology & Sociology (ANSO) (BA/Min)

  1. Theory: students will learn to recognize, critically engage with, and productively use key sociological concepts and perspectives.
  2. Research design: students will learn how to ask critical questions about the social world and discover evidence to answer them.
  3. Interdisciplinary knowledge building: students will learn to create constructive dialogues between sociological knowledge and other approaches to social and cultural analysis.
  4. Critical and reflexive understanding: students will learn to locate and examine their experiences and beliefs – as well as larger public concerns – in the context of prevailing cultural discourses, social institutions, and power arrangements.

Applied Music (BM)

  1. Performance
  2. Musicianship Skills and Analysis
  3. Composition/Improvisation
  4. History and Repertory
  5. Synthesis

Art History (BA/Min)


  1. Evaluate works of art critically, using professional art terminology, and communicate this analysis in both written and verbal form.
  2. Use disciplinary methods to understand artistic productions from a broad range of periods and cultures.
  3. Understand the relationship between artworks and their social contexts as well as their own historical position in relation to visual art of different periods.
  4. Conduct and communicate an independent art historical inquiry that contributes to the field.

Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology (BCMB) (BA/BS)

  1. Energy – Energy is Required by and Transformed in Biological System
  2. The nature of biological energy
  3. Catalysis
  4. Energetic coupling of chemical processes in metabolic pathways
  5. Structure & Function: Macromolecular Structure Determines Function and Regulation
    1. Biological macromolecules are large and complex
    2. Structure is determined by several factors
    3. Structure and function are related
    4. Macromolecular interactions
    5. Macromolecular Structure is dynamic
    6. The biological activity of macromolecules is often regulated
    7. The structure (and hence function) of macromolecules is governed by foundational principles of chemistry and physics
    8. A variety of experimental and computational approaches can be used to observe and quantitatively measure the structure, dynamic and function of biological macromolecules

  6. Information Storage: Information Storage and Flow are Dynamic and Interactive
    1. The genome
    2. Information in the gene: nucleotide sequence to biological function
    3. Genome transmission from one generation to the next
    4. Genome maintenance

  7. Skills: Discovery Requires Objective Measurement, Quantitative Analysis & Clear Communication
    1. Process of science
    2. Accessing, comprehending and communicating science
    3. Community of practice

  8. Evolution
    1. The significance of evolution
    2. Mechanisms of evolution
    3. Natural selection is a key evolutionary mechanism

  9. Homeostasis
    1. Biological need for homeostasis
    2. Link steady state processes and homeostasis
    3. Quantifying homeostasis
    4. Control mechanisms
    5. Cellular and organismal homeostasis

  10. Other
    1. Communication
    2. Teamwork
    3. Labs
    4. Safety
    5. Responsible conduct of research


Biology (BA/BS/Min)

  1. Solve Biological Problems: Apply knowledge of scientific methods, quantitative reasoning, and experimental design to solve biological problems.
    1. Design Experiments: Develop well-reasoned experimental hypotheses, design experiments, and define experimental predictions by which to test them.
    2. Collect/Interpret Data: Collect, organize, analyze, and interpret quantitative and qualitative data and incorporate them into the broader context of biological knowledge.
  2. Demonstrate Knowledge: Demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in biology, with a deeper understanding in specific areas of interest.
  3. Communicate Scientific Information: Communicate scientific information clearly and explicitly, both orally and in writing, to those in and outside the discipline, following conventional scientific formats.
  4. Do Scientific Research: Engage in scientific research, individually and/or in groups, and present the results of the research to peers and colleagues.
  5. Use Primary Literature: Demonstrate the ability to locate, interpret, and apply the primary literature of biology.


Chemistry (BA/BS/Min)

  1. Visualize 1: Visualize molecules, atoms, macromolecules, biomolecules and ions at an atomic level as demonstrated by their ability to draw “cartoons” and write descriptions that accurately reflect our current understanding of such systems
  2. Visualize 2: Visualize chemical and biochemical reactions and process at a molecular level as demonstrated by their ability to draw “cartoons” and write descriptions that accurately reflect our current understanding of such systems
  3. Calculate: Make the calculations required to predict the behavior of chemical and biochemical systems and to conduct chemical research and testing (e.g., dilutions, pH, equilibria, thermodynamics, etc.)
  4. Experiment 1: Carefully design, using controls, blanks, and standards, scientific experiments to prove/disprove hypothesis or to test ideas as demonstrated by their planning undergraduate research and by their writing of a novel research proposal that includes such techniques (junior seminar).
  5. Experiment 2: Execute their carefully designed experiments as demonstrated by their work in undergraduate research and in various laboratory courses.
  6. Experiment 3: Conduct and use proper laboratory manipulations required for research and laboratory work (syntheses, column chromatography, dilutions, pH measurements, pipetting, weighing, instrumental techniques).
  7. Experiment 4: Implement routine safety practices encountered in laboratory work as demonstrated by their undergraduate research and laboratories associated with courses and by their passing a safety test early in their seminar sequence (e.g., goggles, clothing, explosive potentials, peroxides, labeling, waste disposal, MSDS, etc.)
  8. Experiment 5: Predict and execute successful synthetic routes to new molecules as demonstrated by an organic chemistry laboratory practical exam.
  9. Present 1: Articulate a research project (conducted by the student or selected from the literature) to peer audiences and to professional audiences (e.g. at professional meetings)
  10. Present 2: Maintain professional laboratory notebooks and research reports (publication style)
  11. Present 3: Participate in discussions of research topics presented by internal and external speakers.
  12. Present 4: Write essays examining chemical processes and associated issues.
  13. Reflect 1: Critically read and understand journal articles as demonstrated by their written expositions on journal articles in courses throughout the curriculum. Write essays examining chemical processes and associated issues.
  14. Reflect 2: Articulate the impact and relation of the molecular sciences to society as demonstrated by their participation in seminar discussions about such topics centered around readings and outside speakers who address such topics (e.g., law, environment, drug companies, funding agencies, etc.)
  15. Reflect 3: Articulate the range of fields in which chemists are employed through their study in individual courses as well as through seminar discussions and outside speakers focused on careers in the molecular science (e.g., NASA, drug companies, P&G, 3M, EPS, NIST, universities, Monsanto, Pioneer Hybrid, Des Moines Water Works, medical testing, etc.)
  16. Ethics in chemistry: Students should be trained in the responsible treatment of data, proper citation of other’s work, and the standards related to plagiarism and the publication of scientific results. The curriculum should expose students to the role of chemistry in contemporary societal and global issues, including areas such as sustainability and green chemistry.

Computer Science (BA/BS/Min)

  1. Explain or describe how a computer works, including the software and hardware interface from a high-level language all the way to the hardware.
  2. Be able to read, comprehend technical information and effectively communicate technical details to others.
  3. Be able to demonstrate good programming techniques including abstraction (objects, functions, procedures, etc.) and commenting/documentation.
  4. Be able to solve problems using appropriate algorithms and data structures.
  5. Discuss the correctness and performance (algorithmic time/space analysis, big O, evidence of testing, etc. as appropriate).

Data Analytics (BA/BS/BSBA/Min)

  1. Given a data analytics problem, students will identify subproblems necessary to address the main problem, collect relevant data, and effectively communicate results as appropriate for the audience.
  2. Students will be able to visualize data, implement appropriate transformations and models, and evaluate the results using suitable metrics.
  3. Students will be able to write queries to ask complicated questions of a database and solve problems that utilizes distributed computing involving a large data set.

Design & Technology (BFA)

  1. Analyze
  2. Visualize
  3. Communicate
  4. Apply

English & Writing (BA/Min)

  1. Close Reading (Reading): The reader is able to generate rich, complex and nuanced readings drawn from careful, detailed analysis of text.
  2. Ambiguity and Interpretation (Reading): The reader is able to (1) perceive and explain multiple competing understandings of the same text, and (2) develop and support their own point of view.
  3. Collaborative Learning (Reading and Writing): Through such activities as peer review, discussion, group projects/group work, and workshops, the learner is able to engage with other readers and writers to enable the achievement of shared goals.
  4. Research (Reading and Writing): The reader/writer is able to evaluate sources and produce writing that clearly is in dialogue with their research. Innovation and Experimentation (Writing): The writer is able to take creative and/or intellectual risks in crafting written work.
  5. Engagement and Relevance (Writing): The writer is able to put their writing in conversation with the world outside the classroom either directly through social engagement, or indirectly, by showing connections to literary traditions and/or critical debates.

Environmental Science, Aquatic and Earth Science Track (BA/BS/Min)

  1. Students will develop the field and laboratory skills necessary to quantify biogeochemical processes and detect environmental contamination.
  2. Students will develop fluency with the primary earth science literature and will be able to analyze and critique earth science research.
  3. Students will be fluent in the basic mechanisms that govern chemical reactions.
  4. Students will be capable of applying principles of geology, chemistry, biology, and public policy to the management of water and/or soil quality.

Environmental Science, Biological Conservation Track (BA/BS/Min)

  1. Students will develop a range of field and laboratory skills necessary to be proficient in collecting environmental data.
  2. Students will develop fluency with primary ecological literature and will be able to analyze and critique ecological research.
  3. Students will demonstrate expertise in the natural history and conservation biology of taxa of their choosing.
  4. Students will be capable of applying principles of biology, earth science, and policy to the management of biodiversity.

Graphic Design (BA/BFA/Min)


  1. Create and develop visual forms with an understanding of principles of visual organization and composition, information hierarchy, symbolic representation, typography, and the construction of meaningful images.
  2. Understand tools, technology, and mediums including their roles in the creation, reproduction and distribution of visual messages.
  3. Demonstrate professional design practices, including the organization of projects, time management abilities, the preparation of professional documents and the ability to work productively collaboratively or as members of teams.
  4. Solve communication problems, utilizing the skills of problem identification, research and information gathering, critical analysis, iteration and the generation of alternative solutions, prototyping and user testing, and evaluation of outcomes.
  5. Describe and respond to the audiences and contexts that communication solutions must address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social human factors that shape design decisions.

History (BA/Min)

  1. Analyze history through the complex interplay of social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental forces that people both participate in and experience.
  2. Develop empathy with people from different time periods, world regions and cultures, and social positions in order to understand the complexity of human motivations and historical contexts.
  3. Explain history as a constructed narrative—woven together from fragmentary and incomplete evidence and shaped by the narrator’s worldview.
  4. Formulate persuasive written and oral historical arguments, and support them with reasoned choices of evidence and analysis that takes contradictory evidence into account.

International Relations (BA/Min)

  1. Understand that people’s responses to common problems are shaped by varied political, historical, socioeconomic, and cultural contexts.
  2. Understand the distinct contributions of diverse disciplines to our knowledge about global issues.
  3. Grasp contending concepts and theories that attempt to explain patterns of international cooperation and conflict and apply these theories to historical and contemporary cases.
  4. Become critical readers of books and articles about international relations and relate this information to their own lives.
  5. Develop language and related skills allowing them to engage effectively in intercultural communication.
  6. Develop the ability to make a reasoned and persuasive written argument in the context of knowledge and ideas about international relations.
  7. Be prepared to act as responsible global citizens.

Kinesiology (BS)

  1. Describe the function and location of major musculoskeletal structures involved in movement.
  2. Describe the function and location of other body systems or physiological processes involved in movement.
  3. Define basic principles of biomechanics and motor control, and describe the utility of those principles in movement.
  4. Define fundamental concepts in exercise and sports psychology and human nutrition, and describe the utility of those principles to exercise and sports contexts.
  5. Identify the anatomical, physiological, biomechanical, motor control, and psychological contributors to various athletic or exercise motions.
  6. Demonstrate ability to assess an individual’s general health, musculoskeletal health, and range-of-motion.
  7. Develop hypotheses and propose sound experimental designs when presented with a novel research question related to the field.
  8. Critique scientific/professional or media materials related to the field.

Law, Politics, and Society (BA)

  1. Participate actively as citizens in civil society;
  2. Read and understand legal texts, court decisions, and theoretical writing, and use those texts effectively to convey complex ideas and arguments in writing;
  3. Know and articulate the difference between law as a professional practice and law as a topic of interdisciplinary, undergraduate liberal arts inquiry;
  4. Demonstrate awareness of how issues of justice, morality, authority, order, legitimacy, individualism, and community create tensions within ordered social life;
  5. Explain how historical development and different cultural practices, social organizations, and political systems affect law and justice around the world;
  6. Assess critically how people interpret, respond to, and experience law and the legal system based on factors such as race/ethnicity, class, gender, and religion;
  7. Deploy contemporary legal, critical, and/or interpretive theories in their own analyses of political, social, or legal events or situations.

Mathematics (BA/BS/Min)

  1. Think critically, and formulate and solve problems
  2. Perform complex mathematical or computing tasks
  3. Undertake independent work and be able to develop an understanding of unfamiliar concepts in mathematics or computer science
  4. Know the contemporary contexts (and in some cases the historical roots) of the practice of mathematics or computer science
  5. Read and understand technically based materials
  6. Use technology to analyze and solve problems

Mathematics Secondary Education (BS/Min)

  1. Develop engaging and rigorous mathematics lesson plans that incorporate research-based instructional practices and guidance. Lesson plans will:
    1. utilize high cognitive demand tasks,
    2. align with national standards,
    3. utilize technology and/or manipulatives judiciously,
    4. provide all students access and challenge at appropriate levels,
    5. address issues of equity through planned participations structures and attention to cultural differences, and
    6. incorporate research specific to the mathematical content.
  2. Demonstrate the following proficiencies:
    1. a deep mathematical understanding of the topics contained within the lesson plans through explicit connections between mathematical representations and strategies,
    2. the ability to identify and communicate a mathematical learning goal,
    3. an understanding and ability to craft questions that reveal students’ understandings, activate prior learning, and support students as they explore mathematics,
    4. develop tools and strategies for collecting formative assessment data,
    5. an understanding of what it means to do and to learn mathematics that is shaped by constructivist principles, and
    6. an understanding of equity as it relates to mathematics learning and instruction; in particular, the features of mathematics instruction that provides access for ALL students.

Music (BA/Min)

  1. Performance
  2. Musicianship Skills and Analysis
  3. Composition/Improvisation
  4. History and Repertory
  5. Synthesis

Music Education (BME)

  1. Conducting and Musical Leadership
  2. Arranging
  3. Functional Performance
  4. Analysis/History/Literature

Music with Elective Studies in Business (BM)

  1. Performance
  2. Musicianship Skills and Analysis
  3. Composition/Improvisation
  4. History and Repertory
  5. Synthesis

Musical Theatre (BFA/Min)

  1. Characterization
  2. Emotion
  3. Human communication
  4. Technical competence

Philosophy (BA/Min)

  1. Identify and explain the significance of key thinkers, themes, and schools of thought in Western and non-Western philosophical traditions.
  2. Analyze and evaluate the arguments found in philosophical texts with attention to historical context and logical form.
  3. Identify and analyze the philosophical presuppositions underlying major areas of public discourse.
  4. Articulate and defend philosophical positions in oral and written discourse.

Physics & Astronomy (BA/BS/Min)

  1. Mathematical skills
  2. Analytical, problem solving skills
  3. Laboratory skills (experiments and design)
  4. Technology knowledge and design
  5. Computer skills
  6. Interpersonal skills (collaboration)
  7. International understanding

Politics (BA/Min)

  1. Students will be able to understand government and politics in terms of the theories, concepts, and tools of sophisticated political analysis that characterize the study of politics and international relations.
  2. Students will be able to recognize the ways in which their personal actions shape the political dynamics in the communities in which they live, locally, nationally and internationally.
  3. Students will be able to recognize the ways in which local, national and international governmental and political entities, rules and institutions influence political outcomes and their lives and life choices.
  4. Students will develop tools that will enable them to participate effectively and thoughtfully as engaged citizens. This includes, but is not limited to, an understanding of and sensitivity to those with different cultural and political backgrounds, an ability to conduct appropriate research on issues of public policy and public concern and the problem-solving skills to do so effectively, familiarity with the dominant theories and theorists that have shaped the field of political science, and an understanding of how to tape the multiple sources of political information that is available to citizens.
  5. Students will be critical readers of books and articles about politics.  They will be able to identify the underlying assumptions and the arguments presented by the author.  And they will be able to convey those ideas and a critical evaluation of their implications, strengths and weaknesses intelligently and clearly both in writing and in conversation.

Psychology & Neuroscience (BA/BS/Min)

  1. Fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings in the field.
  2. Scientific reasoning and problem solving skills, including effective research methods.
  3. Ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in a landscape that involves increasing diversity.
  4. Competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills.
  5. Application of discipline-specific content and skills, effective self-reflection, teamwork skills, and career preparation.

Religion (BA/Min)

  1. Identify and compare diverse religious traditions, practices, beliefs, and texts.
  2. Explain and analyze religion as existentially lived, historically conditioned, and culturally intertwined.
  3. Recognize and apply different theories and methods of inquiry of religion
  4. Analyze and evaluate religiously informed ethical positions.

Rhetoric, Media, and Social Change (RMSC) (BA/Min)

  1. Students will learn how public discourse creates, appeals to, and moves audiences.
  2. Students will learn what media are and do and how to critically examine their role in the operation of culture and society.
  3. Students will be introduced to critical approaches to examining contexts and practical knowledge necessary to engage in effective and ethical advocacy in support of their own values and political commitments.

Spanish (BA)


  1. Demonstrate an advanced level of communicative proficiency in writing, speaking, listening to, and reading Spanish, including a high degree of ability when interacting with native speakers and authentic texts;
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking skills by analyzing and responding to various forms of communication in Spanish, including identifying and evaluating arguments, ideas, and evidence; constructing analytical responses to Spanish texts; and pursuing research in some facet of Spanish language or culture;
  3. Demonstrate and apply advanced knowledge of the social, historical, political, and cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world and apply this knowledge to analyzing authentic cultural aspects. Students will understand how cultural products reflect or construct aspects of the Spanish-speaking world’s history, culture, and identity; and
  4. Increase their own global engagement and citizenship by understanding the relationship between language and culture, developing a less ethnocentric perspective, and understanding their own identity better.

Studio Art (BA/BFA/Min)

  1. Skillfully use tools, materials, and processes in the creation of artworks.
  2. Critically assess works of artistic production verbally and textually.
  3. Understand broader cultural contexts in which artworks exist.
  4. Understand art historical precedents pertaining to their discipline.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in preparing artworks for presentation and fundamental skills in mounting exhibitions.
  6. Demonstrate critical acuity in the processes of making artworks and in the evaluation of completed artworks individually and relationally.
  7. Create a self-directed body of work.
  8. Demonstrate an awareness of the current issues and future directions of their chosen field and a functional knowledge of the professional standards of their discipline.

Sustainability & Resilience (BA/Min)

  1. Choice Analysis. Students will be able to identify, analyze, and communicate the impacts of collective and individual choices on environmental, economic, and social systems.
  2. Systems Thinking. Students will employ whole-systems thinking to understand the nature of sustainability and resilience challenges and to design successful responses.
  3. Stakeholder Engagement. Students will develop appropriate skills for communicating among various constituencies that have a stake in sustainability and resilience choices, and be able to integrate concerns from multiple perspectives into proposed solutions that are appropriate to local political, social, and economic conditions.
  4. Professional Skills. Students will develop the skills necessary for employment or graduate study in fields related to Sustainability and Resilience.

Theatre (BA/Min)

  1. Personalize
  2. Reflection
  3. Concepts on things
  4. Technical competence (scenic, lighting, etc)

World Languages & Culture (Min/Conc)

  1. Interpretive Listening
  2. Interpretive Reading
  3. Interpersonal Speaking
  4. Presentational Speaking
  5. Presentational Writing
  6. Intercultural Communication
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