The Science of Life

Become a part of our outstanding
tradition in the natural sciences


The College of Idaho biology program offers a research-based curriculum taught by faculty who are committed to mentoring and engaging students in the process of science. Consistent with the liberal arts tradition, our faculty’s objectives are to give students a strong foundation in the natural and biological sciences, to prepare them for science-based careers, and to enhance their appreciation and understanding of life on earth.

Why study biology at The College of Idaho?

Our biology majors emphasize breadth of experience but also allow students to pursue their own areas of interest within the field of biology. Small class sizes and the accessibility of the C of I’s biology faculty provide opportunities not usually found at larger colleges and universities. The department offers a major in biology and biology coursework is incorporated into the College’s interdisciplinary environmental studies and health sciences majors. Minors are offered in biology, health professions studies, human biology, natural sciences, and technical and analytical skills in the natural sciences. Within health profession studies, students can choose from eight tracks of study, including pre-med, pre-dental, pre-veterinarian and pre-physical therapy.

Fieldwork and laboratory research are important components of the C of I biology program. The College is located near mountain and desert habitats which provide numerous study sites for student research. Field trips to Australia, Costa Rica, Florida, Hawaii, Death Valley, the Oregon coast and other off-campus sites offer opportunities for hands-on, in-depth learning. In addition, the recently renovated Boone Science Hall contains modern molecular, cellular, organismal and environmental laboratories for research and experimentation. Students interested in health care or in laboratory research work closely with C of I professors to study a variety of topics ranging from human anatomy to molecular biology. Students are encouraged to participate in internships in their areas of interest; these open doors for career opportunities after graduation.

Other resources available to our biology students include the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History and the Harold M. Tucker Herbarium. The department also has a variety of cooperative programs with University of Idaho and Idaho State University in areas including resource management, nursing and physical therapy.

Career opportunities for biology majors

The possibilities are endless for C of I biology graduates. Our alumni include the co-discoverer of vitamin B12 and many successful doctors, dentists, physical therapists, veterinarians, pharmacists, researchers, botanists, zoologists, professors and scientists. Department graduates enjoy a high placement rate into graduate school, and many undergraduates get a head start on their research careers through grant-funded faculty-student research programs such as INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) and SWITCH (Southwest Idaho: The Comprehensive Herbaria). No matter what your scientific field of interest is, a C of I biology degree will prepare you to succeed in graduate school and your chosen career.