Tufts University | School of Arts and Sciences | School of Engineering | Graduate School of Arts and Sciences | Find People |


Arts and Sciences Learning Objectives


Undergraduate Majors Educational Goals and Required Knowledge and Skills

General education goals in chemistry:

  1. Communication. The ability to write, display information, and orally communicate in a scientific format.
  2. Primary literature. The ability to search for, read and understand primary sources of scientific literature.
  3. Understanding data. The ability to understand chemistry data, how it is produced, and how it is applied.
  4. Quantitative analysis. The ability to apply quantitative measurement and analytical laboratory techniques to scientific problems.
  5. Mathematical tools. The ability to apply mathematical tools to chemistry problems that often involve multiple variables, statistics, and symmetry.
  6. Scientific method. The ability to develop a hypothesis, design experiments to test that hypothesis, execute experiments, interpret data, and refine a hypothesis in light of new data.
  7. Chemistry as the central and molecular science. Understanding how chemists solve problems across disciplines by designing, synthesizing, and analyzing molecules with defined structure and function.
  8. Critical evaluation. The ability to critique scientific claims in the technical and popular press with respect to accuracy, interpretation, and application.
  9. Integrity. The development of honesty, responsibility, and integrity with respect to the generation and interpretation of data as a scientist and as a citizen.
  10. Science and society. The development of a sense of responsibility for promoting education, diversity and functional literacy in science within the larger community.

Knowledge and skills requirements:
(these are designed to be cross-major, with each major able to define sub-topics that address the knowledge/skills)

  1. Problem-solving skills, including logical reasoning, diligence, and attention to quality, consistency, and thoughtfulness in one's work
  2. Structure. Three-dimensional molecular structure and chemical bonding and their origins in the electronic structure of matter
  3. Properties and reactivities of important chemical classes, and their uses and preparation
  4. Energy and thermodynamics
  5. Chemical equilibria including acids, bases and solubility
  6. Chemical reactions, stoichiometry and mechanisms
  7. Reaction kinetics
  8. Oxidation, reduction, and electron transport
  9. Chemical basis of biological function
  10. Experimental techniques. Knowledge of, and safe practices in, analytical and preparatory laboratory techniques, including synthesis of molecules and/or materials
  11. Hands-on laboratory experience

Back to main Learning Objectives page >