Top 10 tips for successfully navigating the Josef Korbel School application and beyond

For this week’s blog, our admissions staff put together the Top 10 tips for applying to the Josef Korbel School. Hopefully you already know all of this, your application is complete and you are just holding tight, waiting to hear our committee’s decision. If not, keep the following pointers in mind as you scramble to finalize your application.

Josef Korbel School Admissions Staff’s Top 10 tips for applying to the Josef Korbel School

  1. Know that you can check the status of your application online via DU’s MyWeb ( Select “Apply for Admission” and log in with the username and pass code you used to complete your application. The application summary provides detailed information about both received items and missing requirements. Please remember that it takes approximately 3-4 business days to process documents upon receipt.
  2. While perusing our website, if you can’t seem to find an answer to your question, please take a look at our extensive list of How To Apply FAQs. You may be pleasantly surprised that your exact question is answered! If not, email us and we will give you the answer you need (and maybe even name a new FAQ after you).
  3. In order for your recommenders to receive an email requesting that they submit their letters of recommendation, you must complete and submit your online application. Within 2-3 business days of submitting your application, your recommenders will receive an email notifying them of your request. Please make sure the emails you provide for them are accurate.
  4. Proofread! Please proofread your statement of purpose and resume. Our review committee reads hundreds of applications and it is unpleasant to read documents addressed to the wrong school or with the wrong spelling of our school name “Joseph” as opposed to the correct way, “Josef.” Unfortunately we cannot accept updated resumes or statements of purpose when one is already on file so make sure you submit the final, FINAL version.
  5. January 15th is our priority deadline which is this Friday. All materials postmarked on or before this date will be considered within the priority deadline. Applications complete on or before this deadline will be reviewed first for admission and funding. We offer rolling admissions which means we will continue to accept and review applications for admission and funding until we fill our autumn 2010 cohort. If you are applying to the Masters in Development Practice or the PhD program, January 15th is a firm deadline. Please ensure your application is complete and all supplemental materials are in on or before that date.
  6. The statement of purpose. We receive a lot of questions about this requirement. The purpose of the statement of purpose is to describe your purpose – how your background (academically and/or personally) has prepared you for grad school, why the Josef Korbel School is a great fit for you and your career aspirations upon completion of the degree. Voila. Please note that this is not a narrative but a statement. Keep it concise, 500-750 words max.
  7. GRE and TOEFL. Just because you took the GREs on January 15th and receive your verbal and quantitative scores that day does not mean we received them as well. In fact, at this time of the year, it takes approximately 3-5 weeks for ETS to process your scores, send them to the University of Denver and then upload them to your account. Please prepare accordingly. For TOEFL scores, ETS will only send hard copies of official scores. This will take longer to receive than GRE scores. Again, please prepare accordingly.
  8. Resumes. We think it’s fantastic that you spent a day in Venice, two days in Paris and overnight snooze on the floor at Heathrow airport. Do you need to include this on your resume? Not really. If you’ve had significant time abroad – studying, working, volunteering or being a productive vagabond – absolutely include these experiences in your resume. Reserve your resume to highlight the most exceptional (and relevant) aspects of your professional and academic experiences (one -two pages is preferable).
  9. We don’t require interviews as part of the application process. However, we encourage you to visit us! You can attend one of our Thursday Information Sessions (held 3-5pm every week), set up a meeting with one of our admissions professionals or attend an Open House. For more information about these opportunities, please click here. If admitted to the Josef Korbel School for the autumn 2010 quarter, we hope you can join us at our 2010 Discover Korbel Event for Admitted Students. This year our 2-day event will be held on Thursday and Friday, April 8th and 9th.  This is a fabulous opportunity to meet faculty, current students, staff and fellow admitted students while learning all about what the Josef Korbel School has to offer!
  10. Be courteous. To everyone. Our office, the Office of Graduate Studies, the Dean, the Director of Admissions, the student employees, my fish Bruno (may he rest in peace)…we all strive to assist you during the application process. We recognize that this is a stressful time for you and we want to provide you with timely responses to your questions and concerns. While we don’t require interviews with applicants, each email, phone call or in person meeting is an informal interview and often says a lot about your ability to function in a highly stressful graduate setting. Every interaction during this process matters. Be courteous. Thank you.

I hope this is helpful to you as you navigate the graduate school admissions process. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office ( or 303.871.2544) but be nice 🙂

Buena suerte!


Nicole Vilegi
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Josef Korbel School of International Studies


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