What does DU look for in students?

Are you ready to find out DU’s international admissions secrets?

Just kidding! While we would like to share that with you, I believe I got great advice from our very own International Admission Staff and DU Grad Student, Grace Sullivan.

International Student Ambassador, Dareen Khairi (DK), with Admissions Expert, Grace Sullivan

I asked Grace questions, which I thought were pertinent to international students applying to the University of Denver. So grab a notepad, and write away!

Do you love a fast paced environment? Enjoy taking additional challenges? And have multiple interests? If you answered YES! YES! YES! to the above questions, then you should definitely consider DU. “We look for students who are hungry for opportunities, and want to make the most of their time in Denver, be it seeking outdoor opportunities or academic opportunities”, said Grace.

When asked about DU’s admission process, Grace made sure to highlight that the admission process is holistic and fair. DU is aware that they have to remove barriers for students with different experiences. Each admissions counselor champions their student in the “Great Debate”. In return, we expect the student to prove that they’re worthy of consideration, to show their intellectual curiosity, and their extracurricular pursuits.

Grace mentioned how DU’s Chancellor, Rebecca Chopp, used the word, “builders”, to describe DU students. “We want to build an environment of mutual respect and understanding. We want – with help of our builders – to construct a vibrant future for DU.”

Now, getting to the nitty gritty of applying to DU, Grace answers:

DK: Does a student need to take SAT/ACT?

Grace (Admissions Expert): They’re only required to sit for the exam if the student went to a US-style high school, otherwise it is not compulsory.

DK: Does a student need to take IELTS/TOEFL?

Grace (Admissions Expert): It is optional. Students who don’t choose to submit an IELTS/TOEFL will be considered for English Conditional Admission.

DK: What does English Conditional Admission refer to?

Grace (Admission Expert): If English is not your native language, you must submit an acceptable score on either the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced) at least one month before enrollment. Otherwise, you can complete the English Conditional Admission program at our English Language Center instead.

To close off, I asked for exclusive advice from DU’s international admission experts (Grace, Marjorie, Maura, and Jordan) to get you started in the right direction with your applications:

Grace (Admissions Expert): Take it seriously! In the rush of getting your applications submitted, a lot of students miss the details. Take the time to check your application materials, don’t be afraid to complete the Expected Contribution Form. It is a non binding form, and is there as a financial estimate. Lastly, when writing your essay, I ask for you to be honest and reflective of who you are. We want to know what shaped you to be the person you are today.

Marjorie (Assistant Vice Chancellor): Put away your shyness and reach out to your peers. Also, carve out time every day to check your emails, and the portal of every school you are applying to.

Maura (Admissions Expert): Research the schools you are applying to, talk to your recommender about your interests and what you want in a college/university so they can be specific in their letter.

Jacob (Admissions Expert): Be engaged- in your community, academic, and social life.

Now that you have our very own admission secrets, we encourage you to apply today.

Check DU Admission Website for International Students for more information about requirements and deadlines.

  • Nov. 1 for Early Decision I and Early Action
  • Jan. 15 for Early Decision II and Regular Decision

Author: Dareen Khairi

Editors: Anh Chip Pham & Grace Sullivan

Learn more about other international student experiences at the University of Denver:

2019-2020 S2S Connection

International Student and OPT

How do you register after you’re accepted to DU?


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