Magazine article Foreign Policy

University of Denver: Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Magazine article Foreign Policy

University of Denver: Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Article excerpt

Faculty at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies want to see a record of academic and professional success as well as three other key qualities:

* A clear explanation of your objectives and how the Josef Korbel School will help you achieve them

* Demonstration of how your work experience has informed your ambitions for graduate school and beyond

* Goals and interests that will make for a successful fit with the unique learning experience at the Josef Korbel School

"That said, we know students' interests change," says Robert MacDonald, executive director of graduate enrollment. "We help students redirect their interests and objectives in a strategic way to make the most of their time in graduate school." For example, the MA in Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration typically attracts the smallest number of new students, but it is among the programs graduating the most students. Many students take advantage of the Josef Korbel School's wide choice of interrelated programs to explore new skills and interests.

"Visiting campus before you apply can make a considerable impact on your consideration for admission as well as funding opportunities," says MacDonald. The school also encourages potential applicants to attend an open house or alumni event in their area and to feel free to call the Office of Graduate Enrollment to ask questions.

The Josef Korbel School takes a holistic approach in reviewing applications. Generally speaking, GRE scores carry less weight than the total sum of an applicant's profile. If a student has a low GPA, strong GRE scores can help reveal their academic potential. But a weak GRE score will not ruin the chances of admission for a strong applicant with a high GPA.

Regardless of what undergraduate institution an applicant attended or their GRE scores and GPA, work experience can illuminate their potential. "We are less interested in an applicant's number of years of work experience than in their accomplishments," says MacDonald. For example, the experience of working abroad in a field of interest, whether at age 22 or age 30, can help to demonstrate that one has the dedication and stamina to work in international affairs.

The most helpful recommendation letters come from someone who can attest to an applicant's strengths--and experience or academic preparedness--that cannot be demonstrated elsewhere on the application. …

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