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FP Guide

2016 Applying to Grad School

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University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Erin Dietrich, Interim Director of Admissions

What characteristics make for a successful applicant to the Josef Korbel School?

Beyond a demonstrated record of academic and professional success, we really want to see three characteristics in an applicant: (1) They know what they want and why the Josef Korbel School will help them achieve it; (2) they demonstrate how their work experience has informed their ambitions for graduate school and beyond; (3) they don’t just want any graduate program, they want the Josef Korbel School. That said, we know students’ interests change. We take it as our responsibility to help students redirect their interests and objectives in a strategic way to make the most of their time in graduate school. For example, our MA in Global Finance, Economics, and Trade consistently attracts the fewest initial enrollees, but it is among the programs with the largest numbers of graduates, because students learn that economics is the language of policymakers and find that they are able to master it at the Josef Korbel School.

“The Josef Korbel School prides itself on its dynamic, intellectually rigorous environment in which future leaders immerse themselves in experiential, policy-oriented research and focused interaction among scholars, policymakers, and practitioners.” – Erin Dietrich, Interim Director of Admissions, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

How much do GRE scores matter in your admissions review?

We look more at “fit” than at standardized test scores. We require the GRE for an additional perspective. For students with a low GPA, a strong GRE score can help us to see their academic potential. On the other hand, if someone has a strong application with a high GPA, then a weak GRE score is unlikely to hurt their chances of admission.

Does applying early increase one’s chances of admission?

No, but there is a huge disadvantage to applying late. We consider all our applicants for scholarship funding, but applying after our priority date dramatically decreases one’s chances of receiving an award. Also, a campus visit to the Josef Korbel School before you apply can make a significant impact on admission and funding opportunities.

How much does work experience matter?

Work experience matters a great deal. It is the great equalizer across our applications. Regardless of an applicant’s educational background, GPA, and GRE scores, work experience helps to reveal their professional potential. We are less interested in the number of years of work experience than in an applicant’s professional accomplishments. For example, field experience abroad helps demonstrate to us and to employers who recruit at the Josef Korbel School that an individual has the dedication and stamina to work in international affairs.

What types of recommendations are most effective?

The most effective recommendations are thoughtfully written and provide valuable information about the applicant that cannot be demonstrated elsewhere on the application. For example, if an applicant seeking graduate admission has no demonstrable work experience except internships, it would be wise for the applicant to seek a professional recommendation from a previous supervisor who knows them well and can speak to their motivation, performance, and accomplishments. Students should avoid recommendation letters that merely provide information that we can easily find elsewhere in the application.


Master’s Degree Program Options:
• MA, Conflict Resolution
• MA, Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration
• MA, International Administration
• MA, International Development
• MA, International Human Rights
• MA, International Security
• MA, International Studies and Master of Public Policy
(Note: Students may switch degree programs after enrolling.)

Participates in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

Fall 2017 Application Deadline: January 15, 2017 for admissions and financial aid priority. Rolling admission until August 31. Deadline for financial aid priority and scholarship consideration: January 15
Priority application deadline for winter 2016 enrollment: November 1, 2016

Standardized Exam Scores: GRE or GMAT required
Recommendation Letters: Two required
Application Checklist: http://www.du.edu/media/documents/graduates/applicationchecklists/ints1617reqs.pdf

Contact Information:
Office of Graduate Admissions
303-871-2544
Korbeladm@du.edu

du.edu/korbel