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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: CHEM 490
Course Title: Senior Seminar
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

A seminar course required as a culminating experience prior to graduation for all seniors majoring in science. Students do library research project(s) in their major field. A grade of C or higher is required. Prerequisites: Senior standing, ENGL 112, CHEM 306; a minimum of 26 hours of coursework with CHEM prefix.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Senior standing, ENGL 112, CHEM 306; a minimum of 26 hours of coursework with CHEM prefix.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Current scientific literature.

A Student Handbook for Writing in Biology
By Knisely, Karen (Sinauer)
Course Objectives
  • To access and effectively use primary scientific literature.
  • To critically analyze published literature.
  • To assemble data, summarize techniques and interpret outcomes.
  • To present scientific information to faculty and peers.
  • To comprehensively understand science consistent with the field of study.
    Measurable Learning
  • Conduct a literature search on a specific topic.
  • Discriminate between primary and secondary literature.
  • Construct a bibliography using appropriate sources and format.
  • Interpret data using scientific methodology.
  • Integrate the above activities into an effective written report on an appropriate topic.
  • Describe and interpret a body of research in a seminar for faculty and peers.
    Topical Outline:
  • Definition of primary literature.
  • Accessing literature.
  • Critical analysis of scientific papers.
  • Formats for written and oral reports.
  • Student preparation of seminars and papers.
  • Administration of Academic Profile.
  • Administration of Major Field Test.
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the History Assessment Test (HAT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Frank Somer Date: November 18, 2011
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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