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Master of Humanities and Master of Social Science Program


Application Deadlines:

  • Fall - May 15
  • Spring - October 15
  • Summer - March 15

All application materials must arrive by the deadlines listed above and be presented in typed form. Because some materials take time to arrive, we strongly recommend you send your transcripts and request your letters of recommendation well in advance of the deadline. In rare cases, the admissions committee may consider late applications. It is the student's responsibility to follow up with the program office to ensure that all the components of the application have been received. Please note, if the deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, applications must be received by the following Monday.

Admission to the MSS and MH Programs is on a competitive basis. The admissions application must include:

  1. Online Graduate Admission Application
  2. $50 non-reimbursable fee
  3. Letters of Recommendation. All applicants need 3 letters of recommendation, of which at least two are academic -- that is, from former professors of yours. To ensure the complete objectivity of evaluation, students should not have had access to these letters. Letters should be sent by your recommender.
  4. Statement of Purpose or Letter of Intent
  5. Writing sample
  6. Transcripts from every institution of higher learning attended including those foreign. Mailed copies must be in a sealed envelope.  E-transcripts are also accepted and can be sent to​


Graduate School University of Colorado Denver
Campus Box 163
1380 Lawrence St; Suite 1250
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

For any questions regarding your application, contact:

Graduate Admissions
Graduate School
Ph: 303-315-0049

Taking Courses as a Non-Degree Student

All applicants who for some reason have problems getting letters of recommendation from former professors or do not have an adequate writing sample should consider the option of registering for one or two courses as a non-degree student at UC Denver; these courses will later count towards your degree if you are accepted into the program. By consent of the director, you may use up to 12 credits taken as a non-degree student towards your degree. All courses must be graduate level. We recommend that you sign up either for Elements of Social Thought or Philosophical Problems in Social Sciences (two of the three mandatory courses for students in the MSS Program, or Methods and Texts in the Humanities (one of three required course in the MH Program). These courses are recommended regardless of the Program to which you are applying.

International Students

For information on how to apply to the MHMSS program if you are an international student, you can find information here: Admission Requirements for International Students.

Application Details - Preparing Your Application

The following tabs provide more details to help you prepare your application:​​

On your Statement of Purpose (Letter of Intent) you should include your name, address, email address, your home phone number and the telephone number where you can be reached during the day.

All MH/MSS candidates must include a Statement of Purpose along with their application. The Statement should include a few points that make clear to the Committee why you are applying to MH or MSS Program:

  • First, describe very briefly your educational background.
  • Second, explain why you want to apply to this program rather than to a traditional department.
  • Third, tell us something about your academic, intellectual and professional interests. Explain how these interests relate to disciplines within the Humanities (e.g., Philosophy, Literature, English, History, Fine Arts, etc.) or Social Sciences (e.g., History of Social Thought, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Political Science, etc.).
  • Fourth (to the extent that you already know), write what topic or area you would like to pursue for your thesis or project.

Be specific and clear in your writing. The Statement should be approximately 1-2 pages.

Because our program is partly designed to accommodate non-traditional students -- i.e., students who have been out of school for several years -- we do not require GRE scores. Therefore, the admission committee places great emphasis on the applicant's writing sample. A writing sample should be your best paper written in college or a piece of writing that clearly demonstrates your analytical and interpretative skills.

Your writing sample should demonstrate your ability to use effective English. Preferably it is a continuous piece of conventional writing (essay/academic paper) grammatically correct, and structured traditionally. It should reflect the candidate's ability for critical analysis (for example, a work of literature, a historical or philosophical text, a sociological problem). The admissions committee uses this writing sample to determine your ability to sustain scholarly research and its expression. Thus, the paper should included an introduction, analysis of the text or problem, a well-honed argument, supporting details, a conclusion, and references. It should be no fewer than 15 pages and no more than 20. It should avoid an excessively personal style.

What sorts of things do not constitute a writing sample? A business plan/proposal/project, technical report, exhibit description, an educational curriculum, poetry.