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Public Policy

Public Policy 2013-2014

Application Process

Following are the simple steps to apply for graduate study in Public Policy at the University of Denver. If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies.

Apply Online / Application Deadlines

  • Applications for graduate study in Public Policy at the University of Denver must be submitted online.
  • Start an online application
  • All online materials must be submitted, and all supplemental materials must be postmarked, by the program's stated deadline: June 15, for the fall quarter; and, November 15, for the winter quarter.
  • A $65 non-refundable application fee is required for an application to be processed. Application fee waivers are available for McNair Scholars.

Course and Degree Prerequisites and Requirements

  • Proof of a bachelor's degree is required from a regionally accredited college or university.


  • Applicants are required to submit an official transcript from each post-secondary institution they have attended, or are presently attending, where two quarter hours (or one semester hour) or more were completed including study abroad and college coursework completed in high school.
  • The applicant is responsible for obtaining all transcripts. DU students and alumni do not need to provide DU transcripts. Applicants who have earned a degree outside the U.S. must submit transcripts accompanied by certified English translations, if not normally issued in English.
  • Official study abroad transcripts are required unless the course titles, grades and credit earned abroad appear on another transcript. Transcripts from outside of the U.S. are evaluated by the Office of International Student Admission. This process can take three to four weeks and must be complete by the program's stated deadline. Therefore, applicants with a degree from outside of the U.S. are encouraged to apply early. Applicants educated outside the U.S. are encouraged to contact the Office of Graduate Studies for assistance regarding transcript-related materials.
  • The University of Denver will consider electronic transcripts official from a domestic institution provided by the following approved agencies: Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS); Docufide/Parchment; National Student Clearinghouse; Naviance; Royall and Company; and, Scrip-Safe.

Test Scores

  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required. Scores must be received directly from the appropriate testing agency by the program's stated deadline. The institution code for the University of Denver is 4842.

Language Proficiency

  • Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required of all graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language. Applications will not be processed until the required TOEFL or IELTS score is received. The TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. The minimum TOEFL score accepted by the Public Policy program is 95 (iBT) or 587 (paper-based). The institution code for the University of Denver is 4842. The minimum IELTS score accepted is 7.0. Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) must demonstrate fluency in spoken English by scoring a 26 on the TOEFL speaking section or 8.0 on the IELTS speaking section. Please see the Graduate Policy Manual for complete English language proficiency requirements.
  • Applicants may be exempted from English proficiency test requirements if by the time of matriculation they have earned a post-secondary degree from a formally-recognized/accredited university where the language of instruction and examination is English. Such applicants may be exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement but not from other standardized graduate entrance examinations.

Candidate Statement

  • A personal statement of professional objectives is required. The personal statement should be two to three pages, preferably double-spaced, and should address these three areas:
    • What led you to your interest in pursuing this degree? Do you have a particular policy topic that interests you?
    • What are your professional and career goals? Ten years from now, what type of work do you hope to be doing in the field of public policy?
    • How would a degree from the Institute for Public Policy Studies at the University of Denver help you achieve your professional goals?
  • The statement should be submitted via upload through the online application process.

Recommendation Letters

  • Three letters of recommendation are required. Letters of recommendation should be written by professors if you are a recent college graduate. If you have been out of school for some time, you may have the letters written by supervisors or others who can speak to your academic potential. These letters should be solicited and uploaded by recommenders through the online application system. Letters must be received by the program's stated deadline.


  • An interview may be required. Academic program staff will contact eligible applicants to schedule. Interviews are not scheduled through the Office of Graduate Studies.

Financial Support

  • To be considered for financial support, domestic applicants should apply early and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority deadline, February 15.
  • Information about financial aid can be found on the Office of Financial Aid website.
  • After application files are complete and after applicants have been interviewed, each prospective student will be carefully considered for need-based and merit-based funds. The Institute for Public Policy Studies awards the scholarships listed below.
    • Gov. Richard D. Lamm Scholarships. Gov. Richard D. Lamm Scholarships are awarded on a merit-basis to applicants who demonstrate a passionate interest in current public policy problems and offer unique solutions. Students may be awarded Lamm Scholarships of up to $10,000. The Lamm Scholarship Fund was created by, Institute for Public Policy Studies co-director and former three-term Colorado Governor, Richard D. Lamm. No additional application is required.
    • Dean's Scholarships. Former Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Dean, Anne McCall, has made the Dean's Scholarships possible. Dean's Scholarships are merit-based and generally awarded for $2,500–$7,500. All applicants who meet the February 15 deadline are considered.
    • Graduate Research Assistantship Tuition Waivers and Stipends. The Institute for Public Policy Studies awards two to four MPP students to assist faculty on research projects. Assistantship awards include tuition waivers credited directly to a student's tuition bill and stipends in the form of a salary. Assistantship awards range from $7,500 to $15,000. All applicants who meet the February 15 admission application deadline and make note in their application packet (e.g., cover letter and resume) that they wish to be interviewed for this type of award will be considered.

Application Status

  • We encourage you to be actively engaged in the admission process. You can check your application status online.

Mailing Address

  • Mail official transcripts and any supplemental admission materials not submitted with the online application to:

University of Denver
Office of Graduate Studies
Mary Reed Building, Room 5
2199 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208-4802

International Applicants


The Graduate Policy Manual provides complete details regarding admission requirements.