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The College of Arts and Sciences is comprised of over 20 departments in the areas of mathematics, sciences, humanities and the arts.


Anthropology is a growing, research-oriented faculty with a thematic focus on human evolution and ecology. The department is committed to applying the scientific method to understanding the behavior, ecology, social relations, and sustained resource use of our species.

Art, Design and Visual Studies

One of the largest departments in the College, the Art department offers undergraduate degrees in Visual Art, History of Art, Graphic Design, and Art Education. Graduate degrees are offered in Visual Art, Art, and Art Education. The department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Biological Sciences

Biology undergraduate degrees prepare students for careers in cell and molecular biology, medicine, ecology, botany, zoology, microbiology, human biology, forensics, wildlife biology, or others. Graduate degrees in Biology or Raptor Biology are offered, and students work with nationally recognized faculty in a variety of research settings.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

The department is certified by the American Chemical Society. The Chemistry Club (an ACS Student Affiliate) organizes a varied schedule of student activities. BS degrees are offered with nine different emphases, and students are engaged in cutting edge research with faculty using state-of-the-art instrumentation.


The Department of Communication prepares students through experiential learning and guides them in developing the skills necessary for success across a diverse range of professions.

English Literature

A life of reading is a life invested in meaning. It is only through literature where you can know a person fully, and once developed, this ability can be applied to all relationships in the world. Through your work in literature, you will learn to see the world differently and enrich your life daily.


The department offers four undergraduate degrees, four Masters degrees, and Doctorates in Geology and Geophysics. Summer Field Camp in Sardinia, Italy, provides a capstone research experience, and students collaborate with faculty on cutting-edge projects in ten research centers housed in the department.


The department boasts award-winning researchers and teachers, and we participate in the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences, and engage in and serve the Boise community, the treasure valley, and the state of Idaho.

Humanities and Cultural Studies

HCS is an interdisciplinary program offering students opportunities to innovate from the braided relationships between texts and cultures in our global society and the histories that have shaped the contemporary world. HCS is committed to reimagining interdisciplinary approaches to the study of literature, culture, digital and public humanities in creative, comparative, and collaborative ways.


The Department of Linguistics offers a rich and diverse experience for students interested in the study of language. Student engagement opportunities vary from service learning opportunities with local refugee resettlement agencies to research internships in the Linguistics Lab to involvement with Project SHINE, English Language Support Programs, and the Linguistic Society of Boise State.


Majors may tailor programs to fit their interests in pure math, applied math, statistics, teaching, or operations research. Departmental colloquia feature speakers on topics ranging from theory to the use of mathematical analysis in research on social and biological issues.


The Department of Media has a pre-professional focus with a strong analytical dimension. Our students prepare for successful careers in Media with courses that combine theory with practice through application and experiential learning.


Offerings cover the full range of instrumental and vocal performance, music history, music theory, and specialty areas. Students participate in ten instrumental ensembles and eight choral ensembles, each with a full concert schedule. The department sponsors the Gene Harris Jazz Festival, the Boise Jazz Society, and the Boise Chamber Music Society.


The department’s active research faculty includes specialists in ethics, metaphysics, medieval philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of law. The Philosophy Club sponsors colloquia featuring nationally known experts, and the department hosted the 2011 Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference.


The department emphasizes applied physics, with a firm theoretical basis, and offers undergraduate majors and minors in physics plus interdisciplinary advanced degrees. Externally funded programs include magnetic nano-particles, laser-molecular interactions, quantum modeling, astrophysics, biophysics and biomedical physics.

Psychological Science

Students who complete courses in Psychological Science are expected to be familiar with current psychological theories, research findings, and should possess the skills that enable them to be life-long learners and productive community members. Faculty members strive to develop in students the kinds of communication, learning, and problem-solving skills that will be useful in a wide variety of pursuits. The Department of Psychological Science also offers a graduate certificate in Family Studies.


Sociology enables us to make the connections between biography and history, between personal troubles and social problems.

Theatre, Film and Creative Writing

The department’s strong ties with local arts organizations strengthens its offerings in theatre performance, theatre history, playwriting, and dance. It is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre and sponsors an annual Invitational Theatre Arts Festival and an annual Summer DanceFest as well as a full performance schedule.

World Languages

Students may pursue majors or minors in French, German, and Spanish. Minors are available in American Sign Language, Basque Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Latin, and Latin American and Latino/a Studies. Language instruction in Arabic and Korean is also offered. The department promotes study abroad in collaboration with the International Learning Opportunities Office.

Writing Studies

We support and inquire with educators and young people as they create, lead and change their communities through the English language arts.