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College of Science

College of Science

The College of Science offers outstanding programs of undergraduate and graduate study in the fields of biology, microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, chemistry, geography, geology, mathematics, statistics, and physics.

Our faculty includes world-class researchers who do groundbreaking work, and our students have the opportunity to share in that excitement. Whether in the laboratory, in fieldwork, or the classroom, our students are engaged in active learning of science and scientific principles.


  • Top 5%

    National Research Universities

    The Carnegie Foundation


Degree Programs:

Undergraduate Degree Programs:

  • Biochemistry (B.S.)

  • Biology (B.S.)

  • Chemistry (B.S.)

  • Geography (B.S.)

  • Geology (B.S)

  • Mathematics (B.S.)

  • Medical Science (B.S.)

  • Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (B.S.)

  • Microbiology (B.S.)

  • Physics (B.S.)

Graduate and Ph. D.

  • Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (M.S., Ph.D.)

  • Biology (M.S., Ph.D.)

  • Chemistry (M.S., Ph.D.)

  • Geography (M.S., Ph.D.)

  • Geology (M.S., Ph.D.)

  • Mathematics (M.A.T., M.S. Ph.D.)

  • Microbiology, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (Ph.D.)

  • Neuroscience (M.S., Ph.D.)

  • Physics (M.S.)

  • Statistics (M.S.)


Confronting Ebola with Computers

Roughly 20,000 Ebola virus disease cases in western Africa led to more than 8,000 deaths in 2014. To help track and treat the disease –and potentially other viruses –in the future, researchers across disciplines at the University of Idaho have formed the Ebola Working Group.

The group, a subset of the university’s newly formed Collaboratorium for Modeling Complex Problems, is tackling two projects designed to better understand Ebola and how it spreads.

The working group’s first project, led by associate physics professor Marty Ytreberg, uses computer models to determine the implications of ongoing and possible future evolution in Ebola. These models could help evaluate vaccine effectiveness and help health officials be on the lookout for dangerous mutations.

Research Reveals Rapid Evolution

UI professor uses DNA–sequencing tools to understand how Florida anoles adapted quickly to invading species.

Off the coast of Florida, dredging material has created a string of tiny islands.

On most of the islands, native green anole lizards have made their home. On some of these, invasive brown anoles have moved in as well. Together, the intermingled populations create a natural experiment.

Researchers including Paul Hohenlohe of the University of Idaho have discovered the green anoles sharing their islands with invaders evolve to be better suited to life higher in the islands’ trees –and fast.

“Sometimes we think of evolution as this long–term thing that happens on long time scales, but really it’s an observable thing that happens on human time scales,” says Hohenlohe, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Idaho.

Hohenlohe and colleagues from the University of Texas at Austin, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts and Tampa University published a study of the anole populations in a recent edition of the top journal Science.

The researchers then confirmed the changes were genetic by raising island-born lizards in the lab and confirming that the toe-page changes persisted.

“There are all these different components that come together to be able to say definitively that these lizards did in fact evolve in response to the invaders,” Hohenlohe says.

Hohenlohe and his collaborators plan to continue studying the anole populations to see what else they can learn, including using the RAD technique to compare the lizards’ physical traits to their genetic information to find out which genes specifically have changed.

This research will help give scientists better tools for studying evolution in the wild.