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Graduate Applicants

We proudly offer a variety of top-ranked, flexible graduate programs that prepare you for positions in all levels of the government, non-profit, business and academic sectors. Work closely with our faculty as you develop a set of skills and a knowledge base that, coupled together, empower you to effect positive change in the world around you.

Opportunities for research and practical experience allow you to start making your impact as you complete your studies. Our students are encouraged to collaborate with faculty and staff to maximize their educational experience.

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Korbel is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive learning environment. We value the diversity of backgrounds, ideas, and individuals that enrich our community. In continuing a long history of a holistic review process, the Korbel School now has a test optional admission process. Applicants no longer need to submit GRE scores to be considered admission or merit-based aid.

Graduate Applicant Information


We offer weekly information sessions and visits throughout the year.

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Join a dynamic, intellectually rigorous academic community.

Come to Korbel

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If you have questions about the application process, we encourage you to reach out.


Do you live outside of the United States?

Learn about your application process.

Information for International Applicants

Korbel Research

Our research efforts explore a wide range of topics in media, culture and the environment to take a holistic and humanitarian approach to policy and supporting the common good. Graduate students who come to Korbel have the opportunity to participate in research with faculty.

We also maintain a dozen research centers and institutes that specialize in geographical regions, international security and peacebuilding. 


More than 90% of students are employed within 12 months of graduation


Students come from over 30 countries


18:1 student-faculty ratio

Tuition & Fees

Cost of Attendance

Below, you'll see estimated costs for students in Josef Korbel School of International Studies MA and MPP programs.

We don't automatically assume students in Korbel will take courses in the summer quarter, so you won't see those costs listed below. Eligibility for financial aid for the summer is limited; if you need aid for the summer term, you must complete a separate application in the spring.

Learn more about direct vs. indirect costs.

Cost of Attendance Overview


Estimated Costs for 2019-2020

These costs will appear on your University bill, and are based on the number of credits you take each quarter. For the 2019-20 academic year, tuition is $1,426 per credit, but most students in Korbel are enrolled in 12-18 credits and charged a flat rate of $17,112 per term.

Estimated costs are expected to decrease beginning in the 2020-21 academic year. Additional information will be available in late fall.


Fall 2019

Winter 2020

Spring 2020


Tuition (12-18 credits)










Health Insurance*





Budget Total





*If you participate in the DU Student Health Insurance Program, you will be charged only in the fall and spring quarters for 12-month coverage. You may waive participation in the program if you are covered by another plan.

Visit Us

The Office of Graduate Enrollment's dedicated staff is here to support you in your graduate education search. We invite you to join us in vibrant Denver, Colorado, for an information session and class observation. We also offer weekly virtual information sessions.

Please note we regularly update this page with additional on campus and virtual events. Check back frequently for the most up-to-date information.

  • On Campus Information Session

    The Office of Graduate Enrollment at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies offers weekly information sessions throughout the year. During these sessions, you'll learn about Korbel’s graduate and certificate programs, active research projects, and why Korbel is a school on the rise. You will also get to meet one-on-one with a current student and enrollment staff to have your questions answered.

    For the 2019 Spring Quarter (April – June): Information Session Schedule


    Tuesdays at 12:30pm 
    Fridays at 12:30pm


    Wednesdays at 2:00pm 
    Thursdays at 10:00am

    Please note this schedule changes each academic quarter.

  • Observe a Class

    To experience the academic rigor and collaborative classroom environment of the Korbel School, we invite you to observe a class. All class observations conclude with an information session or one-on-one meeting with a current student. 

    For the 2019 Spring Quarter (April – June): Class Observation Schedule:



    Critical Issues in Int’l Humanitarian Assistance with Prof. Chen Reis

    U.S. National Security Policy with Prof. Lewis Griffith


    Conciliation and Reconciliation with Prof. Tamra D’Estree




    International Political Economy with Prof. Lynn Holland

    Strategic Intelligence Data Collection and Analysis with Prof. Steve Recca 


    *Please note this schedule changes each academic quarter.

  • Virtual Events

    You don't have to live in Colorado to learn more about the Korbel School. We offer virtual sessions for prospective students and admitted students throughout the year. Get your questions answered during our virtual sessions by current students, staff and faculty.

    For the 2019 Spring Quarter (April – June): Virtual Events Schedule:


    • Wednesdays at 2:00pm 
    • Thursdays at 10:00am

    Please note this schedule changes each academic quarter.

  • Skype Sessions

    If you are unable to meet during our schedule times, we offer ad-hoc one-on-one Skype sessions. An enrollment representative will email you to confirm the date and time of your meeting.

    Complete this form to request a Skype session

Find Out How You Can Fund Your Graduate Education

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Admissions FAQ

Application Materials

  • Does Korbel require the GRE for MA and MPP programs?

    Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores.

  • Where should I send my application materials?

    With the exception of transcripts, all application materials, including your recommenders’ email addresses, should be submitted through the online application.

    Through the online application system, you may invite recommenders to submit letters online. When you invite a recommendation, your recommender will be contacted by email as soon as you click “submit.”

    Please send official transcripts to the following address: 
    Office Of Graduate Education
    Mary Reed Building Room 5 
    2199 S. University Blvd. 
    Denver, CO 80208

    For questions about receipt of application materials, please contact the Office Of Graduate Education: 
    Phone: 303-871-2706 
    Fax: 303-871-4942 
    Email: [email protected]

  • What is considered an official transcript?

    In order for a transcript to be considered official, it must arrive in an envelope sealed and stamped with the registrar/school's official stamp. International transcripts must contain the official seal(s) of the school and be sent from the institution's records or registrar's office in the original language of instruction. Non-English transcripts must be submitted with notarized or certified translations.

    The University of Denver requires an official transcript from all institutions from which more than a half credit was earned, including summer community college programs and study abroad schools/organizations.

  • How do my recommenders submit their letters of recommendation?

    We prefer that your recommenders submit their letters of recommendation through our online system.

    To start this process, you must create an invitation for your recommenders. Which can easily be done while filling out the online application.

    After you submit this information, your recommenders will receive an email requesting the completion of an optional evaluation form and submission of a letter of recommendation. Recommenders also have the option of uploading a letter of recommendation or sending in a hard copy.

  • Can my recommenders mail their letters of recommendation?

    We prefer to receive letters of recommendation through our online system.

    However, if your recommender strongly prefers to mail a hard copy, it must be in a sealed envelope with the recommender's signature across the seal and should be mailed to:

    Office Of Graduate Education University of Denver 
    Mary Reed Building Room 5 
    2199 S. University Blvd. 
    Denver, CO 80208

    For questions about the receipt of application materials, you can check the status of your application online or contact the Office Of Graduate Education at 303-871-2706 or [email protected].

  • What should my statement of purpose include?

    Within 500-750 words you should concisely describe your professional and academic background and why your application is a good fit for the Josef Korbel School. Emphasis should be given to future careers plans and how certain aspects of the Josef Korbel School (i.e., classes, centers, faculty advisors) will assist you with your career aspirations.

    Your statement of purpose should address the following three questions:

    • What is your career goal upon completing your graduate degree and what are your longer-term career goals?
    • Explain why you have chosen to pursue a graduate degree and how the degree program you have chosen will prepare you to reach your specific career goals.
    • What skills and previous experiences have helped position you to reach your career goals and how will the Josef Korbel School help you achieve these goals?
  • Does the Josef Korbel School grant application fee waivers?

    No, the School does not grant application fee waivers.

  • Can I check the status of my application online?

    Yes, to check the status of your online application, simply log back into your online application.

  • Does the Josef Korbel School have formal interviews?

    No, the Josef Korbel School does not require formal interviews as part of the application process.

    Prospective students and applicants are welcome to visit the campus and observe a class. Check out our Visit Us page for more information, or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 303-871-2544 or [email protected].

  • What is the admissions review committee looking for in an applicant?

    Students from the Josef Korbel School are diverse. They have different educational and work backgrounds, and varying levels of international experience.

    The admissions committee looks for candidates whose intellectual curiosity is supported by a strong academic record, relevant work experience, excellent letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose that shows a clear understanding of how programs at the Josef Korbel School will help them reach their career goals.

  • What is the application process for dual degree programs?

    Dual degree applicants must adhere to the admissions requirements of the Josef Korbel School and the requirements of the other DU graduate school. Flexible dual degree application information can be found here.

  • Can/should I apply to more than one degree program within the Josef Korbel School?

    Applicants can apply for either the MA program, or the MPP program. If you are applying for one of the MA programs, you are considered for admission regardless of your intended major and have the opportunity to change your major within the first academic year. 

    The MPP program is separate from the MA programs, and applicants must apply directly to the MPP program. Applicants are unable to change between the MA and MPP program. If you are interested in both, you must apply to both programs.

  • When will the admissions review committee notify me of its admissions decision?

    If your application is completed on or before the priority deadline (January 23), you will be notified of the Admissions Review Committee's decision by mid-March. Completed applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Once Admitted

  • If admitted, when do I need to notify the school regarding whether I will accept or decline the admissions offer?

    Please refer to your acceptance letter for deposit deadline information. You will need to submit the deposit by the deadline noted in your acceptance letter to secure your seat in the incoming class.

  • Can I change my program after receiving my admission letter?

    Applicants for the MA programs at Korbel can change their program of application prior to being admitted. Applicants cannot change their MA application to an MPP program. After being admitted to the Josef Korbel School, you cannot change your program of study until you matriculate.

    Applicants for the MPP program are unable to change their application to the MA program. A separate application is required. 

  • Does the Josef Korbel School allow transfer credits?

    Yes, the MA programs allows up to 15 graduate quarter hours or 9 semester hours of relevant course work to be transferred from accredited universities. The MPP program allows up to 12 graduate quarter hours or 7 semester hours of relevant course work to be transferred from an accredited universities. All transfer credits are subject to review and approval by the Director of Student Affairs. Please see the MA/PHD Handbook for further details.

PhD Candidates

  • What are you looking for in a PhD applicant?

    The PhD program is highly selective and our fall class is comprised of approximately 4 PhD candidates. The reason for this is:

    • We want to ensure that our faculty expertise can support the applicants’ specific field research area and professional aspirations.
    • All admitted PhD applicants receive full funding and a stipend.

    Most applicants to the PhD program have an MA in a related discipline. If they do not have an MA they must have significant work and research experience. Competitive applicants have a solid idea of what their research interests are. All accepted applicants have demonstrated a strong fit with the program and their faculty mentor.

  • What type of funding is available for PhD candidates?

    All admitted PhD candidates receive full tuition funding and a $17,000 stipend for the first 3 years.

  • How long do I have to complete my PhD requirements?

    The PhD program requires 135 credits (3 years), successful completion of the comprehensive exam and completion and defense of the Dissertation. Candidates have up to 7 years to complete these requirements; however most candidates can complete the degree in 4-5 years.

  • Can I complete some of my PhD requirements online?

    No. You must be on campus to complete your degree requirements.

  • Can I transfer in credits for my PhD degree?

    Yes, students admitted into the PhD Degree can transfer credits towards their degree. Please see the PHD Handbook for further details.

International Applicants

  • How do I get my international transcript translated into English?

    English translations of your transcripts must be generated by your school or by a certified translator. Non-English transcripts can be unofficial, but need to be submitted with certified translations. WES, ECE or IERF credential evaluations are not classified as English translations. The University of Denver's Office of International Admissions will evaluate all international transcripts and degree certificates.

  • Do I need to send an official transcript? What if my university only provides one official transcript?

    For the admission review process, unofficial transcripts are allowed. If you are admitted and matriculate to the Josef Korbel School, you will be asked to provide an official transcript by the sixth week of your first quarter of enrollment. If your university issues only one official transcript, the Office Of Graduate Education will request a letter from the school confirming this is the case. Arrangements will be made once the student arrives for the office to view the official transcript and return it to the student.

    For more detailed information about international transcripts, contact Office Of Graduate Education at [email protected].

  • When must I submit the financial verification form and the SEVIS form?

    It is helpful if you submit the complete financial verification and immigration-related forms while completing the application process. If you are accepted and choose to enroll at the Josef Korbel School, you must submit these documents as soon as possible so that our Office of International Admissions can process your I-20.