Kasiska Division of Health Sciences

Mission Statement

Idaho State University's Kasiska Division of Health Sciences provides leadership in the delivery of rural health care by educating caring and competent professionals across all dimensions of health and promoting interprofessional research and practice in the health sciences.


The Kasiska Division of Health Sciences is a destination site for health profession education.

Core Values

Professional Integrity - Promoting professional ethical standards and respecting the integrated roles of all health professionals.
Holistic Approach to Health - Emphasizing a comprehensive view of human health, including curative and preventive dimensions.
Collaboration - Recognizing the value of internal and external partnerships through professional and community engagement.
Discovery and Innovation - Seeking new evidence to improve health.
Dedication - Supporting the mission and vision of the KDHS.
Excellence - Striving for excellence in all aspects of professional, academic and personal endeavors.

Goal Areas

Goal 1 - To provide high quality programs that are efficient, cost effective, and student oriented.
Goal 2 - To create an environment conducive to inquiry.  
Goal 3 - To facilitate interprofessional health services to the community.
Goal 4 - To expand/improve the image and reach of the KDHS as a destination site for health professions education.


Idaho State University’s Kasiska Division of Health Sciences (KDHS) provides continued leadership in the delivery of health care by educating caring and competent professionals across all dimensions of health. The KDHS is also committed to promoting collaborative research and interprofessional practice in the health sciences.

Idaho State University is Idaho’s health care university, as designated by the Idaho State Board of Education, and offers 75 percent of the state’s health profession degree programs. Approximately one-third of Idaho State University’s graduates receive degrees in the health sciences.

The majority of the University’s health professions' programs are housed in the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences. Twenty-four professional programs, including 55 degrees/options, make up the Division. Several of the Division’s programs are offered on both the Pocatello and Meridian campuses, and a number of degrees are offered in an online format. Programs partner with hospitals, clinics, and specialized medical facilities throughout the state and nation to provide state-of-the-art training opportunities and clinical rotations for our students, including 18 clinics operated by Idaho State University.

A mix of classroom and clinical experiences ensures that graduates are prepared for licensing exams and positions in a wide range of health care fields. On-campus and statewide clinics provide students with hands-on training. Fourteen in-house clinics include medicine, dentistry, dental hygiene, audiology, speech pathology, counseling, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vestibular (balance), and wellness. Beyond the basic skill sets associated with clinical practice, we train our students to become leaders in their professions and communities. Doing this requires hiring and retaining nationally recognized faculty, using the most current teaching technologies, and giving students access to the hands-on learning opportunities they need for success.

The Kasiska Division of Health Sciences is organized into two colleges:

  • College of Health
  • College of Pharmacy

Pre-Health Professions Advising

Idaho State University offers advising for pre-health professional students, which prepares them for application to and acceptance by a variety of health professional schools. Health professional programs for which advising is offered include: dentistry, medicine, osteopathic medicine, optometry, podiatric medicine, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, and physician assistant. For students interested in one of the health professional programs offered at Idaho State University, such as medical laboratory science, counseling, dental hygiene, family medicine, community and public health, dietetics and nutrition sciences, nursing, physical therapy, physician assistant, pharmacy, radiographic science, and speech pathology and audiology, the Pre-Health Advisor will refer the students to the appropriate department or college for additional information.

Bachelor of Science in Health Science

The Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree is offered at ISU through the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences in cooperation with the College of Health  and the College of Technology. The Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree provides several pathways for students, depending on their ultimate educational and career goals. The choice of five different areas of concentration allows students flexibility in meeting their professional goals.  

The objectives of this multidisciplinary degree are to prepare marketable graduates for entry-level employment in the health care field and to prepare students for admission to professional schools or graduate programs, including (but not limited to) medical or dental school or programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, or physician assistant studies.

Associate of Science in Health Science

The Associate of Science in Health Science degree is offered through the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences and serves as a launchpad for students who intend to pursue a career in a health science-related field. This degree will provide basic health science knowledge to students while serving as a bridge to our Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS) as well as other bachelor-level programs in the health sciences. There are two “track” options: Track 1 for students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS), Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Radiographic Science, or Communication Science & Disorders programs; and Track 2 for students pursuing Medical Lab Science, Pharmacy, or other graduate-level health profession (PA, PT, OT, Medical, Dental, etc.).

Similar to the BS Health Science degree, the objectives of this AS degree are to prepare marketable students for entry-level employment in the healthcare field and/or to prepare students for admission to health professional schools or graduate programs. 

The program consists of specific general education requirements, health science core competencies, and prerequisite courses required for other bachelor-level and/or graduate-level health profession programs.


Interprofessional Minor for Healthy Aging

Course offerings provide students from any major an opportunity to become knowledgeable about the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of the aging process. Additionally, required course work furnishes students with an excellent understanding of health and aging, as well as an understanding of the social welfare policy and programs related to the older adult.

Interprofessional Geriatric Certificate

ISU’s Kasiska Division of Health Sciences offers the 8-credit Geriatric Certificate Program to prepare students to support the increasing older adult population with health care needs, and gain practical experience through 90 hours of hands-on educational rotation.

The Geriatric Certificate Program at ISU is available online, and awards undergraduate and graduate students with a Geriatric Certificate along with their degree upon graduation.

Credits count towards upper-division elective credits for undergraduate students, or elective credits for graduate students.

The certificate cannot be awarded without the completion of a concurrent degree program.

Interprofessional Certificate in Mindfulness

The Interprofessional Certificate in Mindfulness allows the student to develop a broad understanding of mindfulness research and theory, as well as develop skills in mindfulness practice and its specific applications in a variety of settings. The certificate requirements include core coursework (5-7 credits) and elective coursework (6 credits). Elective courses are in three main areas:  Mindfulness Applications courses (2 credits), Theory/Context of Mindfulness (3 credits), and Movement Meditation Practice (i.e. Yoga or Tai Chi for 1 credit). Completion of a capstone project is also required. The certificate is available and appropriate to all members of the university community, undergraduate or graduate; it may be of particular interest to health science students considering a career in a healthcare profession. Completion of the certificate requires a minimum of 11 credits, which includes the capstone project. Students may opt to focus their studies in a specific emphasis area that further personalizes their application of mindfulness principles according to their intended professional path.

Mindfulness Emphasis Areas

Students seeking specialization in an area of mindfulness should work with a faculty member in the Mindfulness Program when choosing specific elective coursework and when developing their capstone project, which can take the form of an academic paper, a service project, shadowing a mindfulness practitioner, or development of a mindfulness program for an educational setting or workplace. These are three possible areas:

1. Mindfulness Advocacy at Work. Mindfulness practice has been shown to be effective at reducing burnout in the workplace. A project in this area will prepare students to use and develop mindfulness practices in work settings; ideas include submission of a paper (e.g., effectiveness of mindfulness interventions in the workplace; effects of mindfulness on burnout and employee resilience), shadowing a professional on-site at an established work-based mindfulness program, or development of a mindfulness program for a specific work setting or discipline.

2. Clinical Applications of Mindfulness. Many clinical disciplines have found that mindfulness can have a positive effect on therapeutic outcomes for their patients. A project in this area allows the student to examine these effects in depth, with a potential goal of implementing mindfulness practices into their own clinical work, based on specific discipline; ideas include submission of a discipline-focused paper examining applications of mindfulness (e.g., effectiveness of mindfulness interventions in counseling, audiology, or occupational therapy), shadowing a professional on-site in a clinical setting, or development of a mindfulness program with a specific population in mind (e.g., children, elderly, etc.).

3. Awakening Compassion.  Developing compassion has been shown to reduce workplace burnout and increase personal happiness and wellbeing. A project in this area will give students the tools to expand their own compassion and to help people cultivate compassion for themselves and others; ideas include a paper that examines compassion training in specific professions or disciplines (e.g., military, animal care, public service, education, law enforcement) and/or designing and implementing a service project in the community that focuses on compassion development for a certain population.

Kasiska Division of Health Sciences Leadership

DHS Courses