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The Intellectual Bronco

Summer Fun in Boise

Looking for a fun things to do in Boise this summer? Here are 10 ways to explore in our beautiful city and around Idaho!

1. Float the River

Floating the Boise River in the summer is the perfect way to stay cool during hot summer days. Starting at Barber Park and ending at Ann Morrison Park, the 6-mile float passes right by Boise State University. While the river is not open for floating yet, check out these guidelines for a fun and safe floating experience.

table-rock 2. Table Rock

Table Rock is a great place to unplug and take in the beautiful views of Boise. If you’re feeling active, Table Rock also offers challenging hiking and biking trails.

3. Visit Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise is just a short walk across the Friendship Bridge at Boise State. Check it out!

4. Explore the Saturday Market

The Saturday Market is a fun atmosphere that provides you with access not only to local growers and vendors, but also live musical entertainment and delicious food!

5. Visit the Boise Farmer’s Market

Right around the corner from the Saturday Market is the Boise Farmer’s Market. It’s the perfect place to stock up on local food and agricultural products.

6. Check Out Local Concerts

The Idaho Botanical Gardens offer a number of summer concerts such as the Outlaw Field Summer Concert Series. Click here to see a schedule of events

7. Boise Music Festival Untitled-design-11

2016 Boise Music Fest lineup is jam-packed with Grammy award winning artists: Coolio, Andy Grammer, Nelly, and Daughtry. Make sure to be there… your ears will thank you.


8. Mountain Home Country Music Festival

While you’re immersing yourself in the music scene, don’t forget the Mountain Home Country Music Festival featuring Brantley Gilbert, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and 20 other artists!

9. Adventure to the Hot Springs

Looking to visit the hot springs? Choose from this top 10 list of hot springs around Idaho.

Flatrock trail (1) 10. Take a Hike (in a good way)

Maybe I’m a little biased, but Idaho is a beautiful state – get out and explore these awesome hikes and trails.

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3 Ways to Get Ahead in the Summer

Summer is here! The season of lazy days, cool drinks and no responsibilities, right? Well… if you’re a graduate student, not exactly.


Not for you

Summer is prime time for graduate students. So much time to write, so much time to research, and so much time to procrastinate. In hopes of diminishing that procrastination, here are 3 ways you can get ahead in the summer!

1. Enroll in summer credits

Summer is an excellent time to knock out a few credits and get ahead in your coursework. If your program offers courses or accepts credits in other ways, you might want to explore that option.

2. Get an internship or into a summer research program

Broadening your training and skill set is a smart move. However, time is never on your side so summer is ideal for getting an internship or getting into a summer research program. Being involved in independent research projects outside your university can help set you apart as a graduate student.

3. Broaden your network

Related to step two, broadening your network will benefit you in the future. If you happen to be involved in an internship or research program, you have a built-in professional network to pull from. If not, taking strategic steps to collaborate with
faculty and fellow students can lead to beneficial connections. Also, don’t be afraid to cross silos and make interdisciplinary connections –  those can be some of the most rewarding!

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2016 Spring Commencement Recap

On Saturday, May 7th, Boise State University celebrated its 98th Commencement ceremony. A total of 2,334 students were eligible to participate in graduation this spring.

This commencement ceremony was particularly exciting for the Graduate College and those invested in graduate education. In addition to earning the rank of a Carnegie doctoral research institution, Boise State celebrated graduating the first students in three doctoral programs. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program graduated 5 nurse leaders, the fully online Educational Technology program graduated their first cohort of 5 students, and the Biomolecular Sciences Ph.D. program graduated its first doctoral candidate. Additionally, the first 10 students from the Education Specialist program graduated this spring.

Saturday’s ceremony carried an air of celebration, accomplishment and excitement for the future. Check out the photos below to see some shots of graduate students throughout the day!

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University Day at Boise State

Looking for fun and productive ways to engage with the campus and fellow students? Today is the perfect day! Celebrate Earth Day by participating in the annual University Day event held from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Each year near the end of spring semester, the Boise State campus community comes together to collectively clean up and beautify the campus.

University Day campus events include planting flowers and trees, recycling and picking up trash as well as a thorough cleaning of outdoor campus facilities like the sand volleyball courts. If you are interested in participating, stop by the University Day check-in tables located on the Student Union Building patio, in front of the ILC or on the Quad.


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3 Minute Thesis Recap

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On April 5th the Boise State Graduate College and other university partners hosted the inaugural Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) at Boise State University. The competition was originally developed by the University of Queensland and celebrates the exciting research conducted by graduate students. Participants have just three minutes and one slide to present compelling oration on their thesis or dissertation topic and its significance. The competition allows students to sharpen their academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The 3MT® competition is now held in over 200 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.

With 17 strong presentations from Boise State masters and doctoral students alike, Idaho’s first 3MT® competition did not disappoint. After nearly 40 minutes of deliberation, a 3-panel team of judges determined the 2016 Overall Winner to be Katie Gibble (Geosciences, M.S.) for her presentation titled “If It Burns, Will It Flow? Predicting Post-Fire Debris Flows Before the Flames.” By way of audience vote, the 2016 People’s Choice Winner was named Veiko Valencia (Visual Arts, M.F.A.) for his presentation titled, “The Legacy of Colonization.”

To check out these award winning presentations, visit the Graduate College Three Minute Thesis webpage.


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7 Things Every Graduate Student Needs

Whether you are currently a graduate student or you will be one soon, there are certain items that you will find yourself using constantly. After speaking to some of our very own Boise State graduate students, we have determined the 7 things every graduate student needs:

Lightweight Laptop/IPad

If you haven’t invested in a lightweight technological gadget yet, now is the time. Whether it is light laptop or an iPad, you will be glad you did. Not only are they convenient to have during class, but they are infinitely more handy than hauling around mountains of notes.

External Hard Drive

You may think you don’t need one, but you do. You will likely need the extra storage space no matter which program you are in. Also, these are lifesavers if your computer decides to have a meltdown or your USB breaks.

Drop Box

To that point, it’s never a bad idea to have multiple back-ups and folders. Graduate students are constantly on the go.  Applications like Drop Box are useful when working in multiple places, on multiple computers or if you just plain leave your USB at home the day you have to teach.

Flu Survivor Kit

It’s inevitable. You will get sick at the least opportune time. It’s a good idea create a little flu survival kit stocked with cough drops, Emergen-C, tissues and all the recovery essentials.

Weighted Bookmark

In graduate school reading is constant and unavoidable. There is a very good chance that not every book you read will be digital. Enter the weighted bookmark. These bookmarks amazingly useful for hands-free reading while simultaneously typing notes.

Water Bottle

Many graduate students run on liquids. Getting a sturdy reusable water bottle is never a bad idea.


Just coffee. Coffee helps with everything.

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St. Patrick’s Day in Boise

With St. Patrick’s Day right about the corner, you might be wondering what there is to do or where to celebrate. Whether you are craving traditional Irish fare or wanting to enjoy the Pipes and Drums, you will want to explore all Boise has to offer. Here is where to get your shamrock on:

 ShamrockPipers 28th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party – Join the Piper’s new chef Alex Trent for his amazing Corned Beef and Cabbage, along with Bangers and Mash, Scotch Eggs, and Shepard’s Pie. Enjoy live music by the Wooly Buggers from 5-8 p.m. and a special appearance by the Boise Firefighters Pipes and Drums at 5:45 p.m. Cost: Free

More information:

Boise Highlander’s St. Patrick’s Day Performances – Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Boise Highlanders, who are making nearly 40 appearances at local establishments, including The Crescent, Hyde Park Pub, Old Chicago downtown, Bardenay, Barbacoa, and Tom Grainey’s and many more. Cost: Free

More information:

hike_it_baby_siamondHike it Baby Boise St. Patrick’s Day Celebration – This family friendly St. Patty’s event is focused on getting families outside. You’ll enjoy an afternoon of park play and doing a craft of planting seeds in little gold pots. Cost: Free

More information:

St. Patrick’s Day Jazz and Jigs – Celebrate your St. Patrick’s Day with a fun, fresh twist. Multi-talented performer Dan Costello performs a special set of Irish and Celtic-influenced tunes and Essential Jazz performs exciting arrangements of spring-themed classics. Cost: Free

More information:

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Quick Guide: Boise State Graduate Degree Options

M.S., M.A., M.B.A., Ph.D. – what are these degrees and what do they even mean? What am I qualified for and how do I earn it? At the Graduate College, we frequently get questions like this so we put together a quick guide for you! Get the inside scoop on various types of graduate degree programs we offer here at Boise State.

Graduate Certificate

Graduate certificates are professionally oriented programs of study. Students who have completed their baccalaureate degree are eligible for graduate certificates. Graduate certificates allow students to specialize in certain professional areas such as College Teaching or Secondary/K-12 Teaching. Graduate certificates may be completed in combination with a master’s degree or as a stand-alone certificate. Boise State offers 22 graduate certificates.

Master's Degree

Master’s degrees are advanced degrees pursed after earning a bachelor’s degree. Students can generally earn a master’s degree after two years of study. The most common master’s degrees are Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.), but at Boise State we also offer a large variety of additional master’s degrees spanning most industry fields. Some master’s degrees like a M.A. and M.S. are designed to lead to an eventual doctoral degree. The culminating project for most master’s degrees is a thesis, which represents an original contribution to your field of study. Explore Boise State master’s degrees.

Professional Master's Degree

Professional master’s degrees are non-thesis advanced degrees pursued after earning a bachelor’s degree. Professional programs vary in completion time. These types of degrees help students support their professional development and practical application of knowledge in an industry specific area of expertise. The culminating project for most professional master’s degrees is a project or portfolio. Examples of some professional programs are Boise State are: Master of Public Administration (M.P.A), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) or Master of Engineering (M. Engr).

Specialist Degree

A specialist degree is designed for students looking to develop advanced knowledge and theory beyond a master’s degree, but may not wish to pursue a degree at the doctoral level. Boise State offers an education specialist degree in Executive Education Leadership, designed to develop effective leaders in education settings. Students who hold a master’s degree and have some professional experience in the field are eligible for this degree. Learn more about the education specialist degree in Executive Educational Leadership.

Doctoral Degree

A doctoral degree is the highest degree you can earn for graduate study. Within a doctoral program, students are focused on advancing knowledge through original research typically in the form of a dissertation. Boise State offers two types of doctoral programs: Doctorate of Education (Ed.D) and Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D). Specifically, we offer the following nine doctoral programs:

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3 Ways Choosing A Graduate School Program is like Working Out

As the first week of classes begin and New Year’s day still close in our rearview mirrors, I began thinking of classical New Year’s Resolutions. A common New Year’s Resolution is to start “hitting the gym.” Often, people find the idea of beginning or even continuing a workout regiment to be a cringe-worthy and stressful process. The perception is often worse than reality and if handled correctly, it will give you the satisfaction and results you desire. As these thoughts collided with the first week of spring semester, I realized that the same can be said for selecting a graduate program.

Choosing the right graduate program is no more than a dedicated commitment to the process. In my mind, it is a lot like working out. Similarly to working out, to be happy with your end result you must put in the time, effort and make informed decisions about a plan that is best for you. Everyone has a different approach and various trainers will specialize in specific areas. Knowing yourself and your personal goals will help you in choosing the workout (or graduate program) best suited for you.

Selecting a Graduate Program is Not Like Cardio

cardio noSome people may consider choosing a graduate program to be like the cardio of academic decisions. Let’s be honest, cardio is not really fun. At all. It might even cause you stress, constantly looming in the back of your mind. However, it’s pretty standard in a workout plan. Selecting the right graduate program doesn’t have to be cardio. Yeah, there are a lot of things to consider. Is this the right program? How are the professors? Can I be successful here? What if I make the wrong decision? …Don’t worry.

There are always resources available to you and steps to take when considering your options. First, go to the prospective graduate program’s webpage. Check it out. Look at the list of faculty and see if anyone’s research matches your own interests. For instance, if you were interested in Boise State’s MFA in Creative Writing, I would encourage you to visit here. Second, get in contact with the Graduate College or college of graduate studies at the prospective college you’re looking at. People in these departments will be able to answer recruitment questions and will usually have general knowledge about your program of interest. And third, go visit the campus (if possible)!

Find A Trainer You Like

research (1)Finding and narrowing down a graduate program you love will take time. Just like with choosing a trainer, putting in the research behind choosing the right program will pay off in the end. A huge part of this process is simply talking to people – prospective professors, current students, or staff at a Graduate College. Once you have weighed your options, researched your prospective programs and talked to all the right people… choose a program!

Working Out Is Fun

The whole prospect of going to graduate school is a fun and exciting process. Don’t get caught up in the stress of making the right selection – you got this. Similar to working out, graduate school is not torture and neither are the steps leading up to it. The process can be fun and exciting so get out there and enjoy it!

Spring, Boise State Recreation Center, Yoga on the Blue, April 27, 2013, Brian Angers Photos

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Welcome to the Intellectual Bronco

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Hello! Welcome to the first installment of the Boise State Graduate College’s blogging adventures. We at the Graduate College deal in all things you… the graduate student or future graduate student, so we figured it was high time we shared our personal insights, experiences and occasional observations concerning Boise State grad students. As you know or will come to know, life as a graduate student can be crazy busy, crazy fun or just plain crazy. I am here to help navigate the ever churning waters of graduate student life and share information that is hopefully interesting, helpful and maybe even a little funny. Whether you are currently a Boise State graduate student now or you are new to the idea of Boise State, one simple fact remains – Boise State University is one special place. In honor of my maiden voyage into bloggerland, I thought I’d share 6 easy reasons to love Boise State.

1. The Blue

Our notorious blue turf has gained as much recognition as our notable football team. The Blue was ranked #1 in the 10 Best Fields in College Football in 2014 and let’s face it, its just pretty neat to look at. It is commonly known as the “Smurf Turf” to those outside Boise State, but for all the cool kids in the know, it is simply referred to as “The Blue.”

NCAA Football: San Diego State at Boise State

2. Let’s Get Weird

At Boise State University we are a little weird. And we love it. We like to march to the beat of our own blue drums and sometimes that results in peculiar happenings. Check out these 6 Boise State Secrets that unveil little-known happenings throughout campus.

3. We Love Our Holidays

We have an annual tree lighting ceremony every year in December that is overflowing with blue and orange stocking caps, hot cocoa and tons of Bronco spirit. This year we have a 55-foot tree adorned with 17,000 blue and orange light bulbs. There was even a visit from a real life reindeer… does it get any better than that?
Mens Basketball, vs Concordia, Albertsons Stadium, Brian Angers Photos

4. Our Unique-isity

See what I did there? I made up a word to describe the awesome uniqueness of Boise State University. At what other school are you going to find a Raptor Biology program? Oh wait, you won’t because Boise State is home to the only Raptor Biology graduate program in the country! Boise State is for the birds, literally. Click to learn more about Masters in Raptor BiologyRaptor Research Center or even For The Birds.

5. The Blue and Orange

Has blue and orange ever looked more flawless? I don’t think so.



6. Our Lingo

We literally have our own lingo. Think the Greenbelt is a trendy club where everyone wears belts? Think again. Check out this fun article that highlights the language of Boise State students.