Kick start your graduate school application with these tips

No doubt – summer is a time to kick back and enjoy; lounge at the pool/beach, frequent happy hours on sunny patios and savor picnics in the park. I write this from my south-facing deck in shorts, a tank top and SPF 30 with lemonade in hand. Life is good.

For those of you itching to prepare your graduate school applications – this post is for you. That is, after you color coordinate your paperclips.  I’m kidding, we LOVE hyper organized applicants who submit their applications and supplemental materials in a timely manner.

The Fall 2012 application isn’t available until early August, but don’t fret! There are plenty of things you can do to prepare for graduate school. The following are a few summer tips from your friendly Graduate Admissions Office at the Josef Korbel School.

1. Review our application checklists
Save these handy docs on your desktop and if you’re like me – you will take pleasure in putting a big “X” in the check box when each item done! If you have questions about the requirements, refer to our Admissions FAQs. Still stumped? Call us at 303.871.2544 and we will be happy to assist you.

Josef Korbel School application checklists

2. Prep for the GREs
I know, you thought you were done with those dreaded standardized tests after high school but sorry Charlie – you have to take this exam to complete your application. As most of you (hopefully) know, beginning August 1st, ETS is changing the format and scoring of the exam. More information about these revisions can be found on the ETS website. The good news about planning ahead…you can save 50% on your test fee if you register and take the exam between  August 1st and September 30th. Check out the discount details here.

3. Volunteer/Intern
Additional volunteer/work experience will make you a more competitive applicant, unless you do a terrible job and get an awful recommendation from your supervisor. Don’t just do an internship or volunteer somewhere because you think it will “look good,” or will be a “resume builder.” Be deliberate in where you intern/volunteer to build your skills and experiences so you can really hone in on your career aspirations when you get to grad school.

4. Check out our student endorsed reading list
You successfully navigated the GREs – bravo! Now you want to toss those vocab flashcards in the BBQ and hunker down in the park with a good read. Here are some suggestions, thanks to our current students. Josef Korbel School Student Endorsed Reading List.

5. Peruse our external scholarship list
The tuition at the University of Denver is expensive. There’s no way to sugar coat it. Graduate school is also a choice and you, as an adult, are responsible for your decision to earn an MA degree. With that comes the responsibility of paying for it. While it’s not exhaustive, we put together a comprehensive list of relevant external scholarship opportunities to help narrow your scholarship search, you’re welcome. Now it is up to you to click here, peruse the list and create a spreadsheet containing application requirements/deadlines/scholarship amounts for those you qualify for. Oh, and actually apply.

6. Plan a visit to the Josef Korbel School
It doesn’t get any better than summer in Colorado. Trust me – I’ve spent summers in New York, Rhode Island, Jamaica, New Zealand and England and this place is the best! And…we’re bored! It’s a ghost town on our campus and while you won’t have an opportunity to observe a class, meet with professors or sip coffee in our cafe, you can have a one on one meeting with one of us, tour the campus without bumping into undergrads and then cruise out to Rocky Mountain National Park to enjoy the incredible weather and scenery. It’s worth the trip! If you can’t make it to Denver this summer, we will be at various APSIA (Associate of Professional Schools in International Affairs, get familiar with APSIA) and recruitment events around the globe this fall and of course, you’re always welcome to visit us in the fall, winter or spring.

I need to refresh my lemonade so I will sign off.

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


Common Questions about the GRE


Q: My scores are not ideal, so I want to retake the test at the end of December, will they get there in time?

A: It takes approximately 4-6 weeks for scores to arrive at the University of Denver. If you take the GRE at the end of December, there is a good chance that your scores will not arrive by January 15. Application materials that arrive after the deadline cause an application to be incomplete. This only means that it will not be reviewed by our priority deadline and will only be reviewed on a space available basis. Chances of it being reviewed after the deadline are pretty high, but the longer you wait to submit documents the lower your chances become (early February = good, early March = bad). Just try your best to submit all your materials (including GRE scores) as soon as possible.

Q: What will happen if you don’t get my GRE scores by the deadline?

A: If we don’t get your GRE scores by our deadline we’ll review your application a little later. Again, there is a chance that our admission spots may have filled up, but please proceed with submitting all your documents as soon as you can.

Q: I applied last year—do you still have the scores I sent back then? Can I use those or do I need to send a new score report?

A: We retain GRE scores for five years, so if you submitted GRE scores within the last five years they are still on file.

Q: What are your minimum GRE requirements?

A: We do not have a minimum GRE requirement.

Q: What is your institution code? Do I need a department code?

A: The University of Denver’s institution code is 4842, a department code is not required.