How to defer your admission

I received a few emails lately about deferring admission to a future term.   First, a few definitions since we allow two types of deferrals:

1. Reverse Deferral: Enrolling during the summer quarter even if you were admitted to the fall quarter. With a reverse deferral, you would actually be enrolling early not later, confusing eh?  Some students opt to do this because they want to get an early start on their Korbel degree. Instead of starting in September, they begin classes in June.  The downside of this is that scholarship money does not apply to the summer quarter and since the summer quarter is considered to be part of the previous year’s financial aid term, you would need to complete the 2013-14 FAFSA, even if you just completed the 2014-15 FAFSA.  Also, instead of taking 10 weeks classes, you would most likely be looking at a 2-4 week class–which is incredibly intense. We do not charge the $200 deferral fee (see below) for the reverse deferral.

2. Future Deferral: Some students have some great opportunities pop up after they receive our admission letter. Be it a job, an internship, an opportunity to learn Swahili–something came up that won’t allow you to enroll in the fall.  In these cases, they request a future deferral, or the guarantee that their admissions offer will be held for them for a future date.  If you know that you won’t be enrolling next fall but want to keep your options open, request the deferral before your tuition deposit deadline and it will automatically be granted. If you request the deferral after the deposit deadline, your deferral request will be considered on a case by case basis. In order to request a deferral, you need to submit:

1. $500 tuition deposit plus a separate $200 deferral fee. Both payments are non-refundable. The tuition deposit can be paid online with a credit card, directly from your checking or savings account or submitting a check or money order. The deferral fee must be paid with a separate check or money order sent to:

The Office of Graduate Admissions

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

2201 S. Gaylord St.

Denver, CO 80210

Checks can be made out to the University of Denver.

2. A written statement outlining the reasons for requesting a deferral, which must also include the following statement:

“I understand that these payments are non-refundable if I fail to enroll in the term agreed upon. Regardless of the reason for not enrolling, both my deposit and my offer of admission will be forfeited.”

Deferrals can be requested for up to one academic year (winter 2015, fall 2015). If your deferral is granted, you are expected to enroll in the quarter specified on your initial request.  If you do not enroll in the specified term, you will forfeit your admission.
Scholarships for the Josef Korbel School of International Studies will not transfer to the term of deferred admission.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the deferral process or if you are interested in requesting one.

Brad Miller

Director of Graduate Admissions

Crossley Public Opinion Research Scholarship

Thanks to the generous support of a friend of the Josef Korbel School, the Crossley Public Opinion Endowed Scholarship was created to help Korbel students gain a background, and experience in, public opinion research.

To be considered for this scholarship, applicants must submit an essay no later than March 24, 2014. Scholarship recipients can pursue any MA degree at the Korbel School but will be required to take elective credits in survey research methodology, international public opinion and American public opinion related to foreign affairs.  One scholarship in the amount of $10,000 will be awarded to an incoming student at the Josef Korbel School.

Along with the tuition scholarship, recipients will be awarded internship funding to ensure they gain practical skills and work experience in the public opinion field.

Scholarship Essay Details

Essay Question: Please provide a 500 word essay that answers the following question:

“Describe the advice you would give the president’s national security advisor and the National Security Council concerning U.S. public opinion and its importance and relevance on the negotiations with Iran pertaining to their nuclear program.”

Essay Deadline: March 24, 2014 08:00AM MST

Format: Please submit your essay as a .PDF document with your FIRST and LAST name as the file title.

Submission: Please submit your final essays to

Best of luck with your essay and I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity!

Brad Miller

Director of Admissions

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

What is an RA, what is a GA, what is a TA…can I have one?

I’ve received numerous emails about available avenues for funding.  These emails include questions about receiving a position as a Research Assistant (RA), Graduate Assistant (GA) or Teaching Assistant (TA).  For the sake of definitions, let’s talk about what each one is and then we can talk about how these are given out.

Do you have RA/GA/TA positions?

For all intents and purposes, RAs and GAs are the same thing at Korbel. We just call our positions RAs. Job descriptions of RAs vary, but share a central theme in that they work alongside faculty with their research (duh, right?). HERE and HERE are some examples of RAs along with what they are doing.

Most admitted students ask about RA positions to get a better idea of the funding that comes with them. You likely have an Uncle Dan who got a PhD in Biology.  Dan’s studies were fully funded through his RA position, and while he had to work 40 hours a week (or more) with lab rats, he did not have to pay tuition. Sweet deal for Dan! The major difference between Dan’s RA and Korbel RAs is the funding (also, let’s have a discussion about social sciences vs. hard sciences). Korbel RA positions do not have a tuition benefit. Instead, RAs are paid a salary of approximately $10-$12 an hour and are limited to about 10 hours per week. Korbel students take on RA positions for the opportunity to work on research they care about and to learn skills they will use in the future.

Teaching Assistantships (TAs). We do not offer TA positions because our courses are not taught by TAs, they are taught by faculty, which is one thing you can bank on when you come to Korbel—you will get to know your faculty.

How do I get a GA or RA position?

This is where it gets a little tricky Some research centers hire RAs earlier in the year (like April), others hire in the summer, but the majority of our faculty members do not hire RAs until student orientation in September. Most RA positions go to continuing students since they already have a relationship with the hiring faculty member.

My Advice?

If you really want an RA position, pursue it because of the content of the work, the relationship with the faculty and the chance to improve your resume.  If you’re passionate about a topic, email a faculty member who is doing that work to see if they are hiring RAs. Remember, our RA positions do not come with a tuition benefit.  Also, when you email the faculty member, remember that this is a job interview. You would not email an employer to merely say you want a job. Instead, you should email them to tell them what you have to offer. Do you speak a foreign language (fluently, seriously, be fluent or don’t mention it), do you have a background in statistics, do you know GIS? Faculty always like students with advanced Excel skills or who have experience editing copy or coding data.  Let them know what you have to offer.

Brad Miller

Director of Admissions

#UnitedInOrange vs. the 12th Fan

Big weekend y’all. It’s Brad (Broncos) vs. Tara (Seahawks) for a year of office bragging rights. Loser buys coffee on Monday morning.

Last Tuesday, we received a strict email from Human Resources telling us we must wear Broncos gear on #unitedinorange Friday. Please let the record show, as displayed in the photo below, that Tara Stenbakken is breaking DU HR policy with her blue and green “Every Play I’m Russell’n” T-shirt.

May the best team win!

2014-01-31 09.16.16I suppose I should also point out that Tara is from Seattle and has been a loyal Seahawks fan since birth, whereas I only started liking the Broncos after they dropped Tebow and picked up the most American Quarterback since Roger Staubach. Snaps to Tara for her loyalty, even when an entire city is against her.

Brad Miller


Blunt Advice

In the 6th grade, my mom conspicuously placed a stick of Old Spice deodorant on my dresser. The message was clear. No one likes to be the smelly kid and I was well on my way. Thanks Mom!

I’m not trying to set a stick Old Spice on your dresser, but consider this a friendly reminder that we all need help from time to time. We all need to be told where we can improve. All of us, yes, you and I, can benefit from learning how to write. Don’t believe me? Ask Foreign Policy magazine. Don’t believe them? AskEmployers. Don’t worry, you we can work on your writing.  Let’s start with reading these books:

1. The Basic Classic: The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Originally published in 1919, before mustaches were ironic.

2. The Weekend Read: Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. A quick enjoyable book.

3. My latest Amazon purchase: A Rule for Arguments by Anthony Weston. Don’t worry, after my purchase, Amazon still has 199 used copies for a penny.






Excuse the diatribe y’all, but after reviewing a handful of applications today and noticing a few of these errors, this deserves mention:

Rule #1 for the personal statement: Know thy name of thy school. Today, I saw mention of wanting to go to the Jeff Korbel School, the Joseph Korbel School and Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy.

Jeff Korbel played Middle Linebacker in the Canadian Football League in the late 90′s. He knew a lot about the zone blitz but from my understanding, very little about international relations, although hey, Canada. Still, you don’t want to go to his school. Trust me.

Joseph Korbel School vs. Josef Korbel School. It is an easy mistake. Too easy. Don’t make it.

Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy is a great school. It is also an APSIA school (as is the Josef Korbel School) which, let me get on my soapbox, you should all consider APSIA schools. Just make sure to do a ctrl+f replace when applying to APSIA schools.

Brad Miller

Director of Admissions

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