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How to Apply

Danielle Perrot and Leah Meromy take snow samples from the Soddie site (elevation 3345 m) at Niwot Ridge in May 2011 for water quality analysis. Photo courtesy of Leah Meromy.

Students conduct their research at INSTAAR, but INSTAAR is not a degree-granting department.

Students should register for a degree program in one of the departments associated with INSTAAR: Anthropology, CEA Engineering, Environmental Studies, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Geography, Geological Sciences, or Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Some students choose to participate in interdepartmental programs like Hydrological Sciences or the Certificate in Oceanography as well.

Surveying the lab and research groups at INSTAAR for topics and approaches that fit your interests can be a good first step. INSTAAR faculty working in your areas of interest can tell you before you apply to CU if they are accepting new students, and help answer your questions about departments as well as INSTAAR.

Many INSTAAR faculty members also have a full-time appointment in a department.  It is not required that a student be in the same department as the INSTAAR faculty member supervising their research, but it does make parts of the process, like choosing an advisor and assembling a thesis committee, more straightforward.

INSTAAR Graduate Application Assistance Program (GAAP)

GAAP is a free program, created and run by current INSTAAR grad students. We're here to help prospective grad students move through the graduate application process. The GAAP web pages have all kinds of application resources, including a sign-up link for our mentorship and application support program (sign-ups are open from September to early November). All are welcome; and we especially encourage applicants from under-represented and non-traditional academic backgrounds to use these resources.

Send general INSTAAR-related student questions to