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Mission statement and expected learning outcomes

The Physics Department strives to maintain excellence in three major areas:

Research and publication. Faculty are expected to be active participants in the scientific endeavor. They will conduct research or similar scholarly activity in their area of expertise; involve students in their work; seek external grant support; and publish their results. Such research may include original, publication-quality studies and implementation of new teaching techniques.

Teaching at all curricular levels. The Department will maintain its longstanding commitment to the education of its undergraduate and graduate majors and also to service and general education courses designed for non-majors. For physics students, we will provide a comprehensive, unified, rigorous, and up-to-date set of courses in both theoretical and experimental physics, including the opportunity to learn by active participation in faculty research. The curriculum will have sufficient flexibility to serve the diverse interests of physics students, each of whom will receive one-to-one guidance from a faculty advisor to formulate an effective, individualized educational plan. Our service courses for students in other science or technical departments will convey the fundamental physical principles underlying the scientific study of the natural world. The Department will also offer a wide range of general education courses for non-science majors; these courses will give students an appreciation of both the methods and results of scientific investigation and also the role of science in societal issues. In all courses, faculty will strive to implement effective teaching strategies based on proven pedagogical research.

Public outreach. The Department recognizes the University's role as an educational resource for the citizens of southeastern Massachusetts. The Department will take an active role in support of elementary- and secondary-level science teachers and also to promote the public understanding of science through programs reaching the wider community.

The Department will achieve its mission through individual and cooperative efforts of its faculty, staff, and students. To that end, Department members will maintain close working relationships that foster cooperation, creativity, and mutual respect. The Department will maintain a supportive working environment that instills a culture of collegiality among its members while respecting differences in gender, background, or opinion. All faculty and staff will participate in the governance and administration of the Department. The Department will also play a leadership role in the broader educational mission of the College of Engineering and the University.

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