Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any questions we haven't answered? Contact Robin Pridgen and she will be happy to assist you.

What is a competitive GPA for applicants?

Average GPA scores of newly matriculated students can be found here: https://gradschool.duke.edu/about/statistics/history-phd-admissions-and-enrollment-statistics

Back to top ⤴

Is the submission of GRE scores required for the 2020-2021 application year?

No. GRE scores are not required for the 2020-21 application year. Applicants still have the option to submit GRE scores, but applications with GRE scores will not receive any preferential treatment.

 Back to top ⤴

What kind of GRE scores are you looking for?

Average GRE scores of newly matriculated students can be found here:  https://gradschool.duke.edu/about/statistics/history-phd-admissions-and-enrollment-statistics

Back to top ⤴

When should I take the GRE?

GRE testing must take place within the 5 years prior to your application to our department. An official report of the scores, sent directly from Educational Testing Service, must be provided as part of your application.

Back to top ⤴

What kind of writing sample should I send?

Candidates must submit a sample of recent writing, preferably a research paper of at least 10-15 pages in length. You may submit your undergraduate senior thesis or master's thesis. Submit writing samples electronically with your application to the Office of Admissions.

Back to top ⤴

How selective is the process of being admitted?

We usually aim for incoming classes of about 8 students, so our program is quite competitive. This small size, however, creates an intimate atmosphere for learning and a unique opportunity for teaching experience. 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.

Back to top ⤴

What are the language requirements for the Ph.D.?

All candidates for graduate degrees in history are required to demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language. Each student should devise the strategy that will best suit him or her in the long run, shifting language training from a burden to a meaningful opportunity.

At present, the way of certifying competency in a foreign language is to pass a translation test in which you render one or more passages into English, with the use of a dictionary, within a set time of two hours. These tests will be administered and graded by a qualified individual (within or outside the department) as appointed by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Back to top ⤴