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FP Guide

2018 Applying to Grad School

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University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies


Successful applicants to the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies not only demonstrate a strong academic or professional background, but are also change agents looking for interdisciplinary solutions to pressing global issues.

“Applicants should detail how their backgrounds and experiences have shaped their career ambitions, as well as how they would contribute to the unique learning environment at the Josef Korbel School,” says Daniel Doerr, director of graduate enrollment.

Applicants to the Josef Korbel School typically have some experience working, volunteering, or studying outside their home countries. “Such firsthand cultural experiences can increase emotional intelligence, challenge perceived social norms, and help fuel classroom discussions,” says Doerr. Rather than simply reading about an applicant’s passion for public policy or international affairs in a personal statement, the admissions committee prefers to see some kind of a commitment to such fields on one’s résumé.

“Applicants should detail how their backgrounds and experiences have shaped their career ambitions, as well as how they would contribute to the unique learning environment at the Josef Korbel School.” -Daniel Doerr, Director of Graduate Enrollment, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

The school is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive learning environment and values diversity in students’ backgrounds and ideas. “We are always looking to better include the participation and voices of those from historically underrepresented groups,” says Doerr.

Work experience is not required for admission, but candidates who have relevant experience in public policy or international affairs often have a leg up during the scholarship review process. “We are less interested in a minimum amount of work experience than in an applicant’s accomplishments relative to the length of his or her career thus far,” says Doerr.

While numerous Josef Korbel School graduates pursue careers in D.C. and abroad, many choose to remain in Denver for the area’s professional opportunities and quality of life. Not only is Colorado home to a large number of NGOs, federal agencies, and nonprofits, but it is also considered one of the country’s happiest, healthiest, and most prosperous places to live.

All applicants must submit GRE scores, but the school looks closely at each applicant’s personal statement for signs of intellectual honesty and self-awareness. “Some of the best applicants are not necessarily those with the highest test scores, but those who know their shortcomings and demonstrate an ability to compensate for them,” says Doerr.

The best recommendation letters add depth and insight to an application and speak to a candidate’s ability to handle graduate-level coursework. Professors and industry professionals often provide an understanding of an applicant’s work ethic, intellectual capacity, and commitment to the field.

Master’s Degree Program Options:
• MA in Conflict Resolution
• MA in Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration
• MA in International Administration
• MA in International Development
• MA in International Human Rights
• MA in International Security
• MA in International Studies
• Master of Public Policy (MPP)
• Dual degrees, including MA and MSW, MPP and MSW, MPP and JD, and flexible options
MA students may also select from seven certificate programs to further tailor their studies.

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

Application Timetable:
• Priority Deadline for Fall 2019: January 23, 2019
• Deadline for Priority for Scholarship Consideration: January 23, 2019

Standardized Exam Scores: GRE required

Recommendation Letters: Two required

Application Checklist: https://www.du.edu/korbel/admission/apply.html

Visit the Request Info page to receive more information.