How to Apply

Undergraduate Admissions

Admissions to all of our undergraduate programs are handled through the University. Please follow the admission process as outlined by the Boise State Admissions. For questions specific to our department contact our primary undergraduate advisor Dr. Karen Viskupic (

Graduate Admissions

Acceptance into our graduate programs is a two-part process. First, a student must be accepted by the Graduate College.  Second, a student must be accepted by the department. Departmental acceptance to our thesis-based degrees requires a faculty member to agree to serve as a thesis advisor.  Accordingly, we strongly advise applicants to contact faculty members conducting research in their areas of interest.

All application materials must be submitted online through for the  Graduate College’s application. As part of the online application, you should be prepared to provide the following:

  1. A Letter of Intent. Outline your background, preparation, and interests in the program you chose.  Also discuss your career goals and plans, including what you would like to study – generally or specifically – the names of 1 to 3 departmental faculty members you would like to study under while in the program, and how the research of that/those faculty meshes with your interests.  Note that, while you are not required to do so, contacting the faculty and discussing your plans before applying is strongly encouraged.
  2. Resumé.  List your educational training, any awards, publications, poster presentations, and grant applications – either awarded or not.
  3. Writing Sample. Please provide a sample of your scientific writing, such as a publication, technical document, scientific abstract, or prior coursework submission. If you have a pdf copy of a poster presentation from an organized research meeting, you may submit that.
  4. Course Summary Form.  You will be asked to download a form that asks you to list out relevant coursework (geosciences, physics, math, chemistry, etc.), when you took it and the grade received.
  5. GRE.  You will be required to have scores sent to Boise State from ETS (use code 4018) and date the test was completed.  You may enter in your scores, but official scores must be received prior to admission.  These should have been taken in the past 5 years.
  6. Transcripts.  You must contact the schools you have attended and have them send your official transcripts to the graduate college. You can write in your cumulative GPA and the GPA for your last 60 credits, but an official transcript is required for admission.
  7. Letters of Recommendation. You must designate at least 3 professional references who will be asked to complete a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

Application Deadlines for Graduate College and Department of Geosciences

December 15th – Geosciences admission to candidacy deadline (Fall Semester enrollment). Candidates are highly encouraged to submit applications by this deadline, and if accepted into Geosciences degree programs are given priority for offers of financial assistance (stipends and tuition waivers).

February 1st – General admissions deadline (Fall Semester enrollment).

Late applicants are still encouraged to submit applications materials through April 15th; highly qualified late applicants are eligible for offers of financial assistance pending availability.

September 15th – Geosciences admission deadline (Spring Semester enrollment). Applications for mid-year admission to Geosciences degree programs are welcomed; offers of financial assistance depending upon availability, though most departmental funding decisions are made in the spring for fall admissions.

November 15th – General admissions deadline (Spring Semester enrollment).

International students – International student applicants are encouraged to begin the admissions process several months prior to the admissions deadline, in order to accommodate potential delays in the processing of visa and entry documents by the US Department of Immigration.

Department of Geosciences Admission Requirements

Applicants are required to have earned at least a baccalaureate degree or master’s degree in a geosciences or related discipline from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or a degree from a non-U.S. institution of higher education that is judged equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree or master’s degree by the International Admissions office and have an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (based on a 4-point scale) computed for all undergraduate credits from the applicant’s most recent baccalaureate degree.

A prospective student may apply at any time and should follow the general graduate application procedure for degree-seeking students (see Graduate
Admission Regulations). Admission to the program is based on:

  1. Official transcripts from all colleges attended.
  2. A letter of intent outlining background, professional and academic preparation, research interests, career goals and future plans, and 1-3 potential faculty members with which to collaborate.
  3. A current résumé.
  4. Official Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test scores
  5. A writing sample (publication, technical document, scientific abstract, undergraduate thesis, or from prior coursework).
  6. A TOEFL score of 587 or higher for the written exam or 95 internet-based test (iBT) for students whose native language is not English.
  7. Completion of a Department of Geosciences College Course Summary for Prospective Student form.
  8. Three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional references.


If you have any questions regarding the graduate programs or admissions process, please contact the appropriate Program Coordinator listed on the Graduate Programs page.

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