Graduate Admission

In keeping with its philosophy of contemplative education, Naropa University’s graduate school values and seeks to foster an individual’s aspiration to contribute to the world with understanding and compassion. Thereby, the admissions review process considers each applicant in a holistic fashion.

Applicants who seek to build a solid and competitive application typically have a strong academic background, a thorough knowledge of the program area, foundational experience (work or volunteer) that has developed a hands-on understanding of the field, understanding of contemplative practice, dynamic interpersonal and group interaction skills, and personal readiness.

Priority Deadlines

Naropa University uses priority application deadlines in order to encourage applicants to apply in a timely manner. In addition, certain programs require an admissions interview (over the phone or an on-campus interview). Please check the Office of Admissions website for specific details. We strongly encourage early submission of all application materials to receive the greatest chance to be considered for admission into your chosen program and financial aid eligibility.

All applications received after the priority application deadline will continue to be reviewed until the school year begins or until programs are full. To ensure fairness, applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. If you are applying after the priority deadline, please check the Office of Admissions website to ensure that your program is still accepting applications.

Graduate Admissions Requirements 

Bachelor’s degrees from regionally accredited universities and institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education per specific program approval are required for admission to all graduate programs. Any bachelor’s degree completed outside of the U.S. will require an international education evaluation (see International Student Admissions section).

A completed graduate application consists of:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. $60 nonrefundable fee.
  3. Statement of interest.
  4. Current résumé detailing academic and employment history.
  5. Two letters of recommendation (one academic and one professional are preferred), both of which must be on or attached to the Graduate Letter of Recommendation Form. Recommendations from family members, friends, or current or former therapists will not be accepted. Recommendations must not be older than twelve months.
  6. Official transcripts of all previous college-level study that reflect the completion of a bachelor’s degree, sent directly to the student or Naropa’s Office of Admissions with the application. The official transcript must be in an unopened envelope, sealed by the registrar of the college.
  7. Proof of prerequisites as may be required by specific programs.
  8. Writing samples, auditions, portfolios, and/or proof of prior professional experience as may be required by specific programs.
  9. If a graduate applicant answered "Yes" to either question in the Disciplinary History section of the application, the Disciplinary Form is required.
  10. In addition to the standard graduate application requirements listed above, supplemental application materials may be required by certain programs. Refer to the Office of Admissions website for more information.

Applicants may not apply to more than one Naropa graduate program at a time. Programs cannot be combined into custom interdisciplinary programs.

Applications will be reviewed once the Office of Admissions receives all of the aforementioned materials. For many programs, selected applicants are required to come to campus for an admissions interview. If international applicants are invited for an in-person interview, they are strongly urged to come to campus; however, a telephone or Skype interview may occasionally be substituted.

Establishing Transfer Credits

Naropa University’s graduate programs may accept up to 6 semester units of transfer credit from other regionally accredited universities and institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education per specific program approval (international on a case-by-case basis). Transfer credits used to fulfill a previous graduate degree will not be accepted toward a degree at Naropa. Approval of transfer credit is at the discretion of each program. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Credits must have been earned within five years of application to Naropa and must carry the grade of “B” or better. Pass (P), Credit (CR), or Satisfactory (S) work will not be accepted. No credit will be awarded for contemplative practice courses.

Transfer credit will not be removed from a Naropa transcript once posted. For this reason, students are strongly encouraged to work closely with the program to understand how the transfer credits fit into the student’s academic journey at Naropa.

Applicants Educated Outside the United States and All International Students

Applicants (including U.S. citizens and permanent residents educated outside the United States) must have all non-U.S. records of secondary and postsecondary education evaluated by professional evaluation services and forwarded to the Naropa Office of Admissions for review. This evaluation must be a complete course-by-course evaluation. (See International Student Admission section for a list of agencies.)

Please note: International applicants who have completed their undergraduate degree at an accredited U.S. institution do not need to provide an evaluated transcript.

Deferral Policy

Completed applications may be deferred for up to one year by notifying the Office of Admissions in writing. Please note that the application must be complete, with no outstanding pieces. Those applicants who have already been accepted into a graduate program or who have made a confirmation deposit to enroll in a graduate program may defer their application, but they will lose their confirmation deposit. Academic programs may review the application and potentially re-interview the applicant for admission the following year.

Moving from One Graduate Program to Another

Students who are enrolled in an MA in Religious Studies program or Master of Divinity program may petition to switch programs per faculty approval. If the student is granted the change in program, the student must complete a Change of Major form, available under Student Forms on MyNaropa, and see their academic advisor for internal procedures.

Students who are enrolled in any other graduate program and interested in moving to another must complete a new application process through the Office of Admissions. Once the application is complete and submitted, it will be reviewed by the academic program. The program will make three decisions: (1) acceptance/denial; (2) amount of credit that will transfer from one program to the other; and (3) which semester the student may begin studies.