College of Science

Mark J. Nielsen, Associate Dean (321 Mines Bldg; 208/885-6195,;

The College of Science was established in 2002. The mission of the college is to provide a superior education in the sciences, to advance knowledge through research and scholarship, and to serve the university, state and nation.

Faculty and Staff

The college has some 140 faculty and staff supporting its academic and research programs. Approximately 700 undergraduate students and 215 graduate students are enrolled in programs offered by the College of Science.

Departments and Programs of Instruction

The college includes the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geography, Geological Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. Cooperating units from other administrative divisions include the Department of Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and the Department of Psychology and Communication Studies in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. Faculty from the College of Science participate in the interdisciplinary programs of Environmental Science, Neuroscience, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, and Bioregional Planning and Community Design. The college also has affiliation with the Idaho Geological Survey.

Undergraduate Programs. The College of Science offers bachelor’s degrees in biology, chemistry, geography, geology, mathematics and physics. While there is not a bachelor's degree offered by the Department of Statistical Science, there is a statistics option to the mathematics bachelor's degree. See departmental sections for details.

Graduate programs. The College of Graduate Studies offers advanced degrees in many disciplines in the College of Science. A master's degree is available in bioinformatics and computational biology ;biology; chemistry; geography; geology; mathematics, physics; and statistics. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is available in bioinformatics and computational biology; biology; chemistry; geography; geology; mathematics; and physics. Please see the list of programs offered for details.

Certificate Programs. Certificate programs are offered in Reproductive Biology (through the Department of Biological Sciences); Geographic Information Systems (through the Department of Geography); Process & Performance Excellence, and Statistics (both through the Department of Statistical Science).

Preparatory Programs in Medicine and Dentistry. Students interested in preparing for postgraduate education in health professions may, with proper advising and preparation, choose an undergraduate major in almost any field. Students are encouraged to select a major in an area that reflects their interests and aptitudes, and then simultaneously complete prerequisite coursework for admission to their graduate programs of choice. Comprehensive pre-health professions advising and a pre-health professions studies minor are available to all interested students, regardless of their undergraduate major.

Teacher Education Program. Students preparing for secondary-school teaching in science can do so by completing one of the degree options in the College of Education (see the College of Education section of this catalog) or also through pursuing a major within the College of Science plus additional coursework to meet certification requirements. Students interested in this second option should consult with an advisor in their chosen discipline to plan the appropriate course selections.

Admission to the College

Students who would like to attend the College of Science should plan their high school electives carefully to ensure that they are adequately prepared to begin their study at the college level. Students should select subjects in science and mathematics that will provide a well-rounded preparation for further study. For a statement of general undergraduate and graduate admission requirements, see the admissions portion of the catalog.

Facilities and Equipment

The college is housed in several buildings across campus with most of the disciplines housed in their own facility. These facilities contain teaching and research laboratories, classrooms, and faculty and administrative offices. An extensive array of analytical and other scientific equipment ensures state-of-the-art hands-on training in all aspects of the sciences.

Scholarship and Loan Funds

Students interested in scholarships should refer to the "Student Financial Aid Services". Individual scholarships (totaling approximately half a million dollars) are awarded each year by the College of Science. In general, there is no application process for these awards – all students majoring in the college will be considered for merit-based scholarships for which they are eligible. To be considered for need-based scholarships, students must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The deadline for priority consideration for scholarships is February 15. Details on specific awards can be obtained by writing to: Associate Dean, College of Science, PO Box 443025, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-3025 or by sending e-mail to

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The college prides itself in providing opportunities for undergraduate students to work with our faculty on research projects. We believe the best way to experience the excitement of science is through hands-on research, and that these opportunities characterize an education at a research-active university. Each year the College of Science offers fellowships to support undergraduate research projects and hosts a student research exposition at which graduate and undergraduate students display their work.

General College Requirements for Graduation

Each student working toward a baccalaureate degree from the college must satisfactorily complete 120 semester credits (unless a higher number is specified in the particular curriculum), including at least 36 credits in courses numbered 300 and above, the Core requirements (see regulation J-3), and the departmental requirements for the degree sought. The departmental requirements applicable to the B.A. and B.S. degrees are listed in each department's section.

Major Curricula

Major Requirements. The departmental requirements are stated under the respective curricula.