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College Departments


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.

Communication and Media

The communication discipline looks at how theories, philosophies, and the roles people assume operate in personal and public arenas. We study how people articulate their ideas, create and interpret meaning, interact, and produce and analyze messages both face-to-face and through the media.


Majors may emphasize English Teaching, Linguistics, Literature, Technical Communication, or Writing. Graduate degrees are offered in Creative Writing, English, and Technical Communication. Students tutor in the Writing Center and join faculty in producing six publications, running an award-winning small press, and organizing the Boise State Writing Project.


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.


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.


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.