Learning Objectives for Graduating Students

Franklin & Marshall Chemistry Department
January 2018

The overarching goal of the chemistry major is for students to become independent scientists. Independent scientists exhibit the following behaviors:

Chemistry Content

  1. Correctly identify and apply principles and concepts from a range of chemistry subdisciplines that includes analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical to address/solve problems in chemistry.
  2. Interpret and interrelate microscopic, macroscopic, and symbolic representations of chemical phenomena.
  3. Evaluate the quality and applicability of chemical models.
  4. Identify and use appropriate resources to learn necessary concepts.

Experimental Skills

  1. Perform experimental work safely and correctly.
  2. Generate hypotheses and design experiments to test them.
  3. Analyze data to arrive at a scientific conclusion, including quantification or results and assessment of uncertainty.
  4. Effectively communicate results, including presentation of data, and place them in the appropriate broader context.

Scientific Literature

  1. Find scientific literature related to a specific topic and evaluate its quality and relevance.
  2. Critically read a paper in the scientific literature; interpret, analyze and critique the content in the context of chemical knowledge.
  3. Draw connections from multiple literature sources; synthesize results from multiple sources related to a chemical question.


  1. In both written and oral formats, be able to communicate in a clear and organized manner, particularly in a chemistry context.
  • Write clear and logical descriptions of chemical behavior using fundamental physical concepts.
  • Clearly, logically, and critically describe the rationale for a scientific conclusion, citing data.