How to Apply

Ph.D. & M.A. Application Process

Our graduate programs ranks among the top 20 programs in the country. We admit students for the fall semester only, and our goal is to provide a collegial, intimate, and intellectually vibrant learning environment. Your GPA, GRE scores, faculty recommendations, personal statement, and writing sample are weighed by several professors in our department, including persons knowledgeable in your area of interest.

Each year we accept about 10 new candidates to our doctoral program and a smaller number of students to the Master of Arts (M.A.) program. Please be aware that we do not offer student funding support for M.A. degree candidates, and only those that can pay their own tuition should apply.

You can apply to our Ph.D. and M.A. program through the Duke Graduate School. See the Graduate School websites for procedures and deadlines. We also encourage you to review our Frequently Asked Questions page to review the average academic profile of our students with respect to GPA, GRE and TOEFL scores, and for tips on the writing samples you will submit as part of your application.

GRE scores are not required for the 2020-2021 application year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants still have the option to submit these GRE scores, but applications with GRE scores will not receive any preferential treatment.

Program Admission Announcements

We review doctoral student applications and award fellowships to applicants in mid-February. We invite select candidates to visit the Duke campus for a weekend at the end of February to meet our faculty and graduate students.

Master of Arts Program Admission Announcements

Students who apply to the M.A. program will receive invitations to join our program in mid-February.

Juris Doctor/Master of Arts (JD/MA) Application Process

To apply to the JD/MA dual degree program you must go through the Duke School of Law.

NOTE: You are not required to submit GRE scores for this degree program. JD/MA applications are first reviewed through the regular Law School process. If the Law School intends to admit a candidate to the J.D. program, we then review candidates for admission to our master's program. In most cases, we grant admission to the program, sometimes on the condition that specific coursework be completed. Please be aware that we do not offer student funding support for the JD/MA degree program.

Admissions Announcements

Students will be notified they are accepted into the JD/MA program by the School of Law. For more information about the dates and timelines for this process, please review visit their website.