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Masters in Raptor Biology

The Master of Science in Raptor Biology is designed for students, holding or expecting a bachelor degree in one of the disciplines of the biological sciences, to enhance their knowledge and understanding of raptor biology and ecology. The Snake River Birds of Prey Natural Area, with the largest concentration of nesting raptors in North America, is a unique resource for the study of raptor biology and ecology. Furthermore, the Intermountain Bird Observatory, a trapping and banding station, offers opportunities to study raptor migration. Raptor biologists working for state, federal, and private organizations located in Boise offer additional expertise and research opportunities. The Raptor Research Center at Boise State supports the graduate program and research on raptors.

The M.S. in Raptor Biology is a research-based degree. The M.S. candidate will complete a thesis based on original research carried out by the student. Ideally, the thesis should make a significant contribution to the body of scientific knowledge and be of sufficient quality to warrant publication in a peer-reviewed journal. M.S. students are expected to produce a written thesis proposal and give an oral presentation of that proposal during their first year and, following completion of the thesis, give an oral defense of the thesis, and an exit seminar to present the results to the public. Completion of a degree program requires an average grade of B or better for all courses applied to the 30 credits required. All requirements for the degree and graduation must be completed within a period of seven years.

Master of Science in Raptor Biology

Course Number and TitleCredits
BIOL 601 Biometry
BIOL 605 Applied Raptor Biology
BIOL 606 Raptor Ecology
BIOL 598 Graduate Seminar  OR BIOL 561-567 “Advanced Topics in” courses2
BIOL 593 Thesis6
Electives from course offerings that follow:Electives may include a maximum of six credits of Directed Research, must be approved by the student’s thesis committee, and may not include workshop, pass/fail, or practicum/internship credits.13

How to Apply

The Biology graduate programs processes online applications through Hobson’s ApplyYourself. Please read the application instructions carefully. The Hobson’s ApplyYourself Program is available year-round for receiving application materials. Applicants are encouraged to submit their online application well in advance of the deadline to ensure that the application is complete by the deadline.

Application Materials

The following items are required for the MA Biology, MS Biology, and MS Raptor Biology application.

  1. GRE Scores – please request that official scores for the GRE general test are sent to Boise State (School Code 4018). The subject GRE is not required.
  2. Transcripts – please request official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts be sent to Boise State.
  3. Cover Letter – discussing your professional goals, research interests, and reasons for wishing to study biology at Boise State University.
  4. Letters of Recommendation – Three letters of recommendation are required. Applicants should notify their recommenders using the “Recommendation” link in ApplyYourself.
  5. Pay the application fee – $65 Domestic or $95 International.
  6. TOEFL or IELTS scores – required for international applicants only.

Admission Requirements

All individuals admitted to REGULAR STATUS as a graduate students in biology must have:

  • An Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 on a 4 point system
  • Results that average in the 50th or higher percentile in the verbal, quantitative, and analytical portions of the general GRE exam
  • An undergraduate degree in biology or a closely related field

PROVISIONAL STATUS may be granted to those otherwise promising applicants who do not meet GPA or GRE requirements or who have undergraduate coursework deficiencies.

Applicants are encouraged to correspond with faculty concerning openings and potential research opportunities in their laboratories for graduate students.

Application and Materials Deadlines
Fall Semester: January 15th
Spring Semester: October 1

Enrollment in all masters programs is competitive, and achievement of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

Financial Aid

Teaching Assistantships that include a stipend, tuition and fee waiver, and student health insurance may be available to M.S. students on a competitive basis. Additional support for master’s research projects may be available from faculty members in the form of research assistantships. Other forms of financial aid, such as loans or the College Work-Study Program, are available to graduate students. Prospective students should contact the Financial Aid Office and consult the Boise State University catalog.

For more information please email: or phone: (208) 426-4621

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