Frequently Asked Questions
For questions not addressed below please call us at 859-257-4667 or 859-257-4666.
Academic Program/General Information
The Patterson School curriculum is carefully designed to prepare exceptional students for careers in international affairs. If you are a high achiever, bring passion to learning, flourish in a rigorous academic environment, and intend to operate on the world stage, this may be your place. Our master's program will provide you with the fundamental skills you need to successfully pursue professional work in either the public, private, or non-profit sectors.
The Patterson School has always focused on both diplomacy and international commerce. Similarly, our perspective consistently has been one that embraced teaching theory and practice. Our faculty includes outstanding scholars and practitioners, and our curriculum encompasses not just classroom work, but firsthand exposure to business and the professional world. Perhaps the most unique aspect is the intimate size of our program and the close connections established between students and faculty.
The Patterson School's original benefactor recognized this important connection over a century ago, believing that America needed a strong cadre of professionals trained to advance U.S. interests in both areas. His prescience has been underscored by unbounded globalization, the economic/trade questions that seem to underpin almost every diplomatic issue, and the success of our graduates. All Patterson students, regardless of their individual concentrations, receive a general exposure to international commerce via guest lecturers and corporate site visits.
Whatever they want. Our curriculum prepares students for a wide range of professional positions. Patterson's American graduates can be found throughout the US government (Foreign Service, USAID, intelligence community, defense, Capitol Hill, Treasury, FBI, Homeland Security), the NGO community, and in private enterprise. Our foreign students follow similar paths, with many working in their respective country's diplomatic corps (Korean Ambassador to the US, Gabon Ambassador to the Benelux and EU, deputy foreign minister, UN Permanent Representative) and Ministries of Economics (El Salvador) or Finance (Afghanistan, Zambia), international development banks, UN specialized agencies, and NGOs. Although they follow no typical path, most Patterson students share a passion for learning and a desire not simply to master international affairs and land a great job, but to make the world better.
That's hard to answer. There is no doubt that our program is very selective. We receive multiple qualified applications for every available spot in each year's class and the number of applicants – but not the number of places available – has been rising steadily. Indeed, the majority of applicants are qualified for admission and there are always students we cannot admit who we would have gladly welcomed into a larger program. The important thing is that admission is about far more than just GPAs and GRE scores. Less competitive numbers here, compared to the class at large, may be balanced by other factors. Unique aspects of an individual's background – leadership or management experience, engagement overseas, demonstrated passion – can make all the difference. So too can luck – you might be the best in a subgroup of applicants interested in East Asia, who speak Arabic, or with a Latin American background; the only applicant this year from Australia or Brazil; or competing against just a few others from the American Southwest. No single factor is decisive.
Yes. From its inception more than fifty years ago, the Patterson School has provided only graduate education. Our Ph.D. program was dropped in the 1960s to concentrate on professional training for master's degree students only. We believe this exclusive focus is a signature strength. Undergraduates and doctoral students have vastly different needs from masters candidates intent on professional careers. In our opinion, the equality of status among all our students fosters a better learning environment. In many programs, Ph.D. students garner the lion's share of faculty attention and financial resources. Not here.
You should probably go elsewhere. Our professional program has been carefully crafted to prepare students for non-academic careers in international affairs. Those employers do not typically seek, or require, applicants holding a Ph.D. for their positions. While we believe our program is exceptional, a Ph.D. in a core academic discipline – political science, economics, history – may be more marketable than one in diplomacy. If, however, your desire is to work first professionally and later continue your studies, our program may still be an excellent fit. Many Patterson School graduates have later obtained doctoral degrees and some, despite the above admonition, proceed directly upon graduation to Ph.D. programs.
We love them, but … Wikipedia® notes there are two kinds: (1) those continuing their education after a gap, most often time spent pursuing a career, and (2) those who require unconventional scheduling or instruction (usually studying part-time, attending school in the evening or taking classes on-line). Both are great but, because of the way our program is structured, we can accommodate only the former. About a third of each class falls into the first category. We believe the experience that these individuals bring to the table – be it Peace Corps, military service, government, or corporate work – enriches the learning environment for all our students.
That's right. Our program prides itself on close personal interaction between students, faculty, and staff. We believe the strong bonds and networks forged in this academic environment are priceless and contribute enormously to the success of our graduates. Patterson School core classes are offered only during the day, with a wide range of complementary co-curricular activities throughout the academic year. It would be impossible to mirror this superior educational experience through part-time or on-line study.
The Patterson School has seen a steady flow of RPCVs. Many want to better understand the region where they have just served; others have discovered their calling and now seek the credentials to make it possible. Indeed, some say they only realized during their COS workshop that they simply had to get back overseas. The remarkable challenges RPCVs have faced and their accomplishments have enlivened classroom debate on topics ranging from microfinance and grassroots Islam to the nitty-gritty of cross-cultural communications. Our unique program can provide the academic background and professional skills that – when coupled with your "been there, done that" experience – yield the credentials required to pursue any international career. Many RPCVs leave our program headed for the Foreign Service, USAID, or international development NGOs and relief agencies.
Formal concentrations are available in diplomacy, international commerce/trade, international security and intelligence, and international organizations and development. In addition, more personalized programs of study can be crafted that encompass coursework and study in these core areas with other offerings at the University of Kentucky.
The Patterson School has dual degree programs with the Kentucky College of Law (MA/JD), the Gatton College of Business and Economics (MA/MBA or MA/MS in Economics) and UK's graduate Modern language program. In each case, the concurrent program reduces the total time required to obtain both degrees by one semester. Interested students must apply to all relevant schools separately. Admissions decisions for all these programs are reached independently.
While this is not a formal joint degree program, Patterson School students have the ability to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Global Health. This can be done within the normal 18-month degree period, but requires taking a specific mix of classes in the Patterson School and at UK's College of Public Health, as well as completing an overseas public health internship in the summer.
Most students complete a year in the Patterson School first and then start law or business school. After the second year of law school, having taken three or more international law classes, some students will take MA comprehensive exams and complete their Patterson degrees. Other possibilities are (1) going to law school first, coming to the Patterson School the second year (most students decide not to do this because it breaks solidarity with their law school class), or (2) finishing any of the three degrees first. If you choose to start law or business school first, you must keep us informed about your intentions and perform well. There is no one correct answer. The Modern Language MA and Global Health certificate are normally pursued simultaneously with Patterson School coursework.
There are currently 73 students enrolled in our program. Each year's entry class is purposely limited to about 35 students. Given the Patterson School's 18-month master's program, students will normally be on campus for two fall semesters and one spring. This means that there will typically be about 75 students attending classes each fall and only 40 in the spring. Students in dual degree programs and away on internships account for slight differences in numbers. Graduation for most Patterson School students is in the December following their year of admission.
Based on the above information, the ratio of students to core Patterson School faculty ranges during the academic year from about 4:1 to 8:1.
Because this size produces a superior learning dynamic. We know from experience that a cohort of around 35-40 offers the best prospects for effective interaction, outreach, and long-term networking. First, it guarantees that classes are always small and personal. Second, when the Patterson School visits corporations and government agencies, our intimate size makes it possible for ALL students to participate, regardless of specialization. Our group can be accommodated in both a boardroom and on a bus. Finally, the long-lasting bonds that are formed with colleagues and faculty are rock solid at this end of the quantitative spectrum and grow far more superficial as you move toward a student body of 500, let alone more than 1,000. Although our model (a full time, residential, focused masters program) is replicated at some of the best graduate programs in the United States, our intimate size is not. That does not mean they believe that bigger in this context means better. It is no accident that Harvard Business School divides its large program into "sections" of about 90 students each in an attempt to obtain a similar effect. Oxford University's Nuffield College (which similarly specializes in politics and economics) is the same size as the Patterson School.
Quite the opposite. Our close-knit, personal program could not accommodate cutthroat competition within our student cohort. Teamwork and collaboration are emphasized, encouraged and expected. After all, this is what your future employers seek. All students contribute to the education of their peers by virtue of their vigorous engagement, drawing upon their own unique backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.
No. While the majority of students graduate after 18 months, increasingly we have students who take two years – most typically to permit additional language training and/or to extend a particularly valuable overseas internship. You should review such plans with your academic advisor. In any case, all the needed coursework for the master's degree can be completed in three semesters.
The Patterson School is located in the Patterson Office Tower on the main campus of the University of Kentucky. UK is the state's flagship academic institution, with approximately 29,000 students (20,000 undergraduate, 9,000 graduate) and 12,000 faculty and staff. The university is located in Lexington – a growing urban area of over half a million people – in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region.
This is a politically charged debate that we are somewhat hesitant to broach. Kentucky lies below both the Mason-Dixon and the "Sweet Tea" line. In the Civil War, or what some here call the War Between the States, Kentucky was a border state (like Maryland and Missouri) and chose to remain in the Union. Indeed, Lexington was home to Henry Clay, the "Great Compromiser," who used all the diplomacy he could muster to forestall that conflict. Magnolia trees grow happily here, but we have four distinct seasons, and get a fair amount of snow. You will find the majority of people in the Bluegrass are inordinately polite, with the expressions "Honey" and "Sweetie" commonly heard. Our state shares Texas' appreciation for almost anything deep fat fried (after all we are the "K" in KFC®), but in Lexington people are as likely to want their chili Three Way (Cincinnati style) – with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and chocolate over spaghetti and then smothered with cheddar cheese – as they are what is offered in Terlingua. Groceries come from Midwest giant Kroger® (not Publix® or Winn-Dixie®) and ethnic restaurants are in abundance, in particular Japanese and Indian. UK is a powerhouse in the SEC, but when it comes to professional football the Bengals tend to be favored over the Titans. Kentucky's major cities – Louisville and Lexington – culturally mirror neither Nashville or Birmingham, nor Chicago or Detroit. Each reflects more a distinct blend of the two regional cultures, with an added mix of their own unique positive characteristics.
The short answer: Yes.
Sometimes. Generally, all regular courses and seminars are given only in Lexington. On occasion, however, students may be able to take graduate coursework offered by Patterson School faculty engaged in special overseas programs. In summer 2012, Professor Hillebrand offered courses in Buenos Aires, Argentina and in 2013 he taught in Santiago, Chile. We are currently exploring the possibility of Patterson specific study opportunities in China (Shanghai and Changchun) and the Middle East (Cairo and Haifa).
There are many, but we will note here three. First, our programs of study are flexible and can be tailored closely to match a student's individual interests and career ambitions. Many Patterson students complement core coursework with classes from not only standard arts and sciences disciplines, but also the law school, business school, public health school, and agricultural school. Kentucky is one of only seven American universities that maintain on a single campus these, plus a medical and pharmacy school. Indeed, as environmental and health challenges have risen in international affairs, this diversity of class offerings will become ever more vital. Second, the cost of education at a public institution can be decidedly lower than at a private one. Indeed University of Kentucky tuition is one-fourth that of some of our key competitors (see cost of attendance comparison below). This makes our program an option for a wider range of students and can also enable our graduates to more easily pursue careers in public service or the non-profit sector. Finally, in addition to academic benefits, the University of Kentucky provides a wide range of cultural activities, athletic facilities, and spectator sports.
The overwhelming majority of our students work as interns at some point during their studies, both to explore potential career prospects and to enhance their professional credentials. Faculty, staff, and your colleagues (beginning with the first day of new student orientation) provide assistance with the internship process. Patterson School students land high-quality assignments. Recent examples include positions with: American embassies in France, Belgium, Macedonia, Russia, Vietnam, Zambia, and Ethiopia; the foreign ministries in Costa Rica and Kenya; the Canadian Parliament; the U.S. Departments of State, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, and Commerce; CIA; GAO; NGOs in the United States, Nicaragua, Argentina, Rwanda, South Africa, Afghanistan, Yemen, China, and Cambodia; the Inter-American Development Bank; the African Development Bank; and the United Nations (in New York and Geneva).
The Patterson School is dedicated to creating and maintaining a diverse, inclusive learning and work environment. In our global, competitive economy, we firmly believe appreciating, understanding, and embracing diversity is essential to success. We will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship, or age. In the admissions process, a premium is placed on assembling as diverse a class as possible in all its attributes. This encompasses not just the factors detailed above, but also socio-economic background, foreign language ability, intellectual interest, and future career plans. Indeed, this diversity is critical to the Patterson School’s pedagogical model. The unique qualities, perspectives, and life experiences of each student enriches the education of the entire cohort.
This tends to be about 20% with students representing all continents and major regions. Australia/New Zealand continues to be a particularly hard target for our student recruitment – we encourage all qualified applicants from these nations and Oceania.
The Patterson School embraces diversity in all its aspects, so of course both systems are welcome and in common use by our faculty, staff, and students. As befits a school of diplomacy, a modicum of political correctness is expected when discussing the merits of each. Passionate soliloquies about the stunningly thin new iMac (5mm), or flash storage must be delivered carefully, with due regard for the fact that Windows® continues to dominate in government and corporate settings. Then again, one of our students from the former Soviet Union used to insist that Windows 7 was her idea (no one's taking credit for Windows 8 yet). For laptop users, all Patterson School offices and classrooms have wireless coverage. Finally, both systems are available in our student room and in the university main library and its many annexes.
OK, given our program's recent major project with Apple® and software and hardware developers, passionate soliloquies about the iPad are understood. We are still discovering its full potential, but the device's content delivery capabilities have proven exceptional. Many students welcomed the third-generation iPad's retina display and its 5MP iSight camera. Few seem as interested in a mini-iPad, but that may change with the introduction of an iPad mini with a retina display.
As our advertising exclaims, this is a personal program. Call us, or even better – if you will be in the neighborhood – drop by. In an effort to be "green" and save resources, we no longer print a wide array of promotional materials about the Patterson School program. Instead, we try to place all the information you should need on this website and work hard to keep it up to date. If you have specific or personal questions that you believe are not answered here, please feel free to contact the appropriate faculty or staff by e-mail or phone to obtain an answer.
YES. We hold only one application/admissions round each year. To receive full consideration for admission and financial support, your complete application should be received no later than February 1st. Late applications may be reviewed, but will be at a decided disadvantage. Because of the unique nature and high selectivity of our program, the Patterson School could not operate on a rolling admissions basis.
None whatsoever aside from your own peace of mind.
No. Unlike some of our competitors, you do not need to apply to a specific major concentration. All Patterson School students are admitted into a common master's program. While we seek people interested in all four concentrations, we recognize that greater exposure to these areas in class or during site visits can lead students to change or modify their individual programs of study. If you know what you wish to study at the Patterson School, you should make this clear in your personal statement, but rest assured that you may change major and/or minor concentrations after you have started the program.
A complete application includes a statement of purpose, a resume, 2-4 recommendation letters, GRE test scores, and an official transcript. Applications must be submitted online to the University of Kentucky Graduate School and you can upload most of these materials directly to your application (additional details regarding this process can be found here. The Patterson School also requires a supplement that has been incorporated into the Apply Yourself system.
No. While we always welcome any opportunity to meet with future students, we understand that given the large number of applicants and their dispersal across the United States and around the world it would be impractical and unfair to require all prospective students to travel to Kentucky for evaluative interviews.
While interviews are not required, they can provide us better insight into your goals and desires, as well as your background. If you happen to be in the area, we would love to meet you. In contrast to some of our competitors, however, if you visit Lexington your interview will be with a core Patterson School faculty member, not a student or member of our staff. Indeed, our students and staff expect that you will probably want to “interview” them to better understand what we have to offer. As we have said repeatedly, our program is personal.
If you will be in Lexington, please call Chris Wolcott at 1-859-257-4666 to schedule a visit or meetings.
We encourage prospective students to meet with faculty and staff, and if possible to attend a Patterson School core class. Our current students are the program's best "ambassadors" and they are usually delighted to talk about their experience here. Also, be sure to check the Patterson School's calendar in case there is a guest speaker or special event on campus during your visit.
We do not recruit on the road as much as our competitors – we don’t need to. When we do appear at a national conference, a model UN gathering, or an Idealist grad fair, however, you will find a core faculty member (or perhaps even our director), not just a student, alumnus, or admissions staffer.
We not only welcome, but seek a wide variety of undergraduate majors and interests. Political Science, Economics, History, and Foreign Languages are common majors among applicants, but so too are Anthropology, Communications, and Business. Among current students you will also find those whose focus was Computer Science, Social Work, Mathematics, Journalism, Agriculture, Law, Psychology, Religion, Philosophy, Linguistics, Medicine and more. There are no fixed requirements regarding undergraduate majors or curriculum. This diversity of backgrounds, interests, and talents contributes to the overall Patterson School experience.
Doesn't everyone! Some knowledge of undergraduate level economics and statistics is preferred, but admitted students can remedy shortcomings in both areas via special classes at UK. For those who need supplementary econ work, an intensive two-week class (not for credit) is available for new students before August orientation. Students are required to take a statistics for social sciences course during the fall semester, if statistics was not part of their undergraduate coursework. Currently, graduate-level economics coursework is not required (although we are actively considering it). If you have a foundation in macro and microeconomics, we recommend Economic Statecraft – one of our most popular classes – to further hone this essential skill set.
We expect students to be proficient in a second language upon graduation. Further work on language skills can be done at the University of Kentucky, in summer language programs, or by taking advantage of study abroad options (like the State Department's Critical Language Scholarship Program). Current UK language offerings include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. For more advanced training or exotic languages, Patterson School students often head to Middlebury's Language Schools, the University of Wisconsin's Summer Language Institutes, and Indiana University's SWSEEL, or to universities in China and the Middle East.
Sometimes, but just a little bit. We recognize the challenge that tackling Arabic, Chinese, or Russian represents and know that extensive study of a "hard" language often demonstrates a strong commitment to international affairs. Furthermore, a measure of diversity in language background among admitted students is important, as we seek in each class students who are interested in each world region. Nevertheless – just as French, Spanish, and German are the most commonly taught languages in the United States – it should come as no surprise that these are also our American students' most typical foreign languages (Chinese and Arabic are, however, rapidly catching up). The most important point to us, however – and to potential employers – is that you achieve proficiency in any foreign language.
Like the American Foreign Service, the Patterson School does not require that you have spent time overseas. Nevertheless, for both institutions, international experience is highly recommended and typical. The overwhelming majority of successful applicants have had international exposure. Note: while the U.S. Foreign Service does not require applicants to be proficient in a foreign language or to possess a bachelor's degree, the Patterson School expects both. Professional success will require the ability to lead in a multilingual, multicultural international environment.
There is no formal requirement, but it certainly does not hurt. Since we are a school of “diplomacy and international commerce,” we value both private and public sector experience. Often 2-3 years of professional experience enables a candidate to develop leadership potential and firmly set a career direction. We have also observed a pattern of applicants who decide after seven years of professional work (the 7 year itch?) to dramatically shift career directions. The quality and depth of formal work experience, particularly if it had an international dimension, can have a significant impact in the admissions process.
Yes. We often have students in our entering cohorts who have already received a masters degree, an MBA or a law degree. Sometimes, even a PhD or an MD. What's important in this instance is how the Patterson program – in combination with your previous academic achievement – may make you a more competitive candidate in pursuing your intended career.
The process is somewhat mysterious, governed by a deep historic tradition. The faculty Admissions and Fellowship Committee, bound by secrecy, are cloistered in a small remote building on campus where they seek divine guidance in the selection process. Official transcripts are burned in a special stove; white smoke rising from the chimney indicates ... . No. Actually, the committee sits in air-conditioned comfort (drinking way too much Starbucks® coffee and Diet Coke®), carefully assessing and balancing the entire pool of applicants. Their aim is to craft an incoming class – drawn from across the country and the globe – whose complimentary and conflicting interests, experiences and perspectives will guarantee a dynamic and exciting learning environment.
The admissions committee looks at a wide variety of factors in considering potential candidates. These include the personal statement, grade point averages, Graduate Record Examination scores, letters of recommendation, life and professional experience, language ability, and regional interests. For us, a thorough admissions process is fundamental to the success of our program. We honestly take a holistic view of our applicants, carefully reading ALL the files. The personal statement can be particularly helpful in assessing the goals and motivations behind an applicant's desire to pursue a career in international affairs.
Not more than 500 words – professional writing in government and business places a premium on brevity and clarity (yes, academia is different, but our program is designed to prepare you for a non-academic career). Use your personal statement to illuminate your background, highlighting your career objectives and how the Patterson School program can help you attain them. Many of our students are drawn to international affairs to make a difference in the world and this passion is conveyed in their statements.
Enough to provide a clear picture of your academic performance and potential for a professional career in international affairs. Ideally, this would include letters from people acquainted with both your academic and professional accomplishments. We expect to see a minimum of two recommendations and a maximum of four. Not surprisingly, most applicants will submit three.
Your academic letter(s) should be prepared by university/college professors and the professional letter(s) should be written by current or former employers, supervisors, or anyone else who has been in a position to judge your suitability for professional employment. You should ask for these letters well before the application deadline, ideally before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
People submitting reference letters on your behalf may upload them electronically into the Apply Yourself application system. Those recommenders who wish to submit letters by mail can send signed letters directly to: Admission Committee, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, 451 POT, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA.
Patterson School application materials should be sent to:
Admissions and Fellowship Committee
Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce
451 Patterson Office Tower
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506
The Admissions and Fellowship Committee may examine some application materials before the February 1st deadline (we get excited and can’t helping peeking), but no decisions are made until the entire applicant pool is available and can be considered together. Decisions on admission are generally made by the end of February or in early March, with first notification letters sent to applicants around mid-March.
Yes. Diplomacy is a bit traditional and we will send each applicant a personal letter notifying them of the decision of the Admissions and Fellowship Committee. The letters will indicate whether you are being offered a place in the next class, have landed on our wait list, or will not be able to attend the Patterson School that year. They may also detail financial assistance offers and next steps to complete your admission. Due to the potentially significant delays associated with international postal service, foreign applicants should be in touch with Vicki Vaughn regarding speedier notification.
If your admissions letter states that you have been placed on our wait list, we request that you respond briefly to let us know if you wish to remain on the list or be removed. We work quickly to finalize the composition of each class, but we are dependent upon applicants who may be weighing other professional opportunities or dealing with changed circumstances. Our wait list is select, short and real – it is not a consolation. Each year we draw upon it to ensure an exceptional class.
Assembling the best possible class of just 35 students from all our applicants is a challenge, as each student brings a unique contribution to the mix. The Patterson School benefits from a particularly high historic yield (like Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, most applicants offered a place in the next class take it), but there are always some who do not accept our offer. The Admissions and Fellowship Committee selects a small pool of applicants – who possess the broad cross-section of the backgrounds and interests we seek in each class – for a wait list to fill these openings. As accepted students respond to our initial offers, our enrollment needs change slightly and we draw upon the wait list to maintain the best possible balanced cohort. The list is not ranked, but is more a pool of individual skills and interests. Clearing the wait list is largely tied to someone with a mix of skills somewhat similar to your own not coming. Accordingly, it is impossible to assess the likelihood that any particular applicant will clear the wait list.
No. We believe that part of the benefit of our program is having students start together in the fall, sharing a common orientation, some coursework (especially, the diplomacy core course DIP 777), and an invaluable semester overlap with the cohort that started the year before. In some particularly extraordinary instances, we may be willing to consider a spring admission.
Maybe. Requests for deferral are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Students participating in joint degree programs automatically have the option of beginning their first year in the Patterson School, the Gatton College of Business and Economics, or the Kentucky School of Law. Furthermore, students accepted into the Peace Corps, receiving significant fellowships for study abroad (Fulbright, Boren), or who are called up for active military service may normally defer entry.
We look favorably upon reapplications, in particular from those students who were previously offered admission, but were unable to accept. Nevertheless, given the constantly changing mix of applicants each year, the Security and Exchanges Commission warning about mutual funds – "past performance does not guarantee future results" – holds for us as well. Previous acceptance is no guarantee of admission to a future class. Applicants who were not accepted on their first attempt are also welcome to apply a second time. Reapplicants are evaluated on the strength and merits of their new application – having applied previously is not considered a negative factor.
No. We cannot provide feedback on applications that were not accepted or suggest what specific candidates might do to improve their chances. As detailed above, our program is highly competitive, with far more qualified applicants than spaces. Furthermore, the application process can be very dynamic with the unique composition of each year’s applicant pool having a dramatic bearing on an individual’s admissions prospects.
No. Kentucky residence status only affects tuition cost and eligibility for some scholarships and fellowships.
Tests, Test Scores, and GPAs
The best time to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is before December 1st to ensure your scores are received by the February 1st application deadline. GRE scores must be less than five years old. If you have taken the exam more than once in the last five years, we will use the highest score provided.
Our institution code for the GRE is 1837.
No. Because we welcome Patterson School students from a wide variety of academic disciplines, there is no utility in requiring applicants to take a particular specialized exam. Only the general exam (verbal, quantitative, analytical) is required.
No. Dual degree applicants, however, are usually required to take the appropriate exam for their other program.
Since the Admissions and Fellowship Committee looks at the totality of the application packet, there is no precise answer to this question. Ideally, the committee would like to see a combined score of 308 or above on the verbal and quantitative sections (1200 old score) and a 4.5 on the analytical writing section. However, we accept applicants with a wide range of test scores and have no set minimum "cutoff points" for examination scores or grades.
Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit directly from the testing service either a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score to the University of Kentucky Graduate School. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (Internet-based). The minimum IELTS score is 6.5. International students who receive college degrees from U.S. universities, universities in other English-speaking countries, or from programs where the language of instruction is English may be exempted from taking the TOEFL test. Inquiries about the TOEFL should be addressed to:
TOEFL - Educational Testing Service
Princeton, NJ 08540
For students coming from universities using the 4.0 scale, the average GPA of admitted students last year was 3.6. The range of the admitted class was 3.0 to 3.8.
Cost and Financial Assistance
For 2014-2015, the approximate cost to attend the Patterson School for Kentucky and residents of supporting SREB (Academic Common Market) states is $12,214 tuition and fees, $11,434 room and board, $500 books and supplies, $2,300 miscellaneous and travel expenses. Total: $26,448. For residents of all other states, tuition would increase to $25,995, resulting in a total estimated COA of $40,229.
Total estimated annual 2015-2016 COA for Patterson $26,448 (residents of Kentucky and nine SREB states); $40,229 (all others). Competitors annual costs: SIPA, Columbia $76,848; SAIS, Johns Hopkins $70,862; Walsh School, Georgetown $73,040; Korbel School Denver $62,471; MIIS, Monterey/Middlebury $58,452; Elliott School, George Washington $57,945.
Most financial support provided by the Patterson School is "no strings attached". We offer almost exclusively fellowships, grants, and tuition reductions, instead of loans and jobs. Our desire is to minimize both distractions during your studies and indebtedness upon graduation. The basic “string” that comes with these funds is a charge to study hard and perform well. The Patterson School does not offer teaching assistantships.
There are a variety of special sources of financial aid available to students who are UK graduates or Kentucky residents. These include the Wethington Fellowship, the Mathews and Singletary Fellowships, the Northern Kentucky Alumni Fellowship (for students from Boone, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, or Kenton counties) and the Lexington Herald-Leader Scholarship. Additional information can be found on the Graduate School website.
Yes. Currently students who are residents of ten Southern states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia – qualify for in-state tuition under the Academic Common Market. This program, run by the Southern Regional Education Board, enables students to pursue unique majors offered at public institutions in states other than their own while paying in-state tuition. If your state is not listed above, it may still be possible to have your attendance certified as qualifying for in-state tuition by contacting your official state coordinator. View additional information about the Academic Common Market.
Each state determines which programs satisfy their independent criteria and sets rules for students to qualify. It is the student's responsibility to research these requirements and apply for their state's program. To date, prospective students have only had problems when they have missed their home state's application deadlines.
There are many. Some students not eligible for the Academic Common Market program may qualify for in-state tuition under the Ezra Gillis Scholarship program. In addition, there are Patterson School and Reedy Fellowships to attract outstanding students, the Vince Davis and Barbara Schell Memorial Fellowships. The James Still Fellowship is given to a student from a private college in Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, or West Virginia, or a resident of an Appalachian area.
Yes. We often have students attending under the Fulbright Foreign Student program. Furthermore, we offer two in-house scholarships. The Kewal Singh Scholarship (honoring a former Indian Ambassador and Foreign Secretary who taught at the Patterson School) is given to a student from South Asia. The Thebe Mphenyeke Southern Hemispheric/African Fellowship is available to a student from sub-Saharan Africa.