Frequently Asked Questions

What is the competitive GPA for applicants?

Our graduate program admits students from educational institutions around the world. Faculty familiar with those institutions evaluate the transcripts of prospective students, read their statements of purpose, and look at their writing samples. We admit students with an excellent overall profile, whose research and teaching interests can be supported by our faculty.

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What kind of GRE scores are you looking for?

We have no set threshold for GRE scores, but consider them within the context of the entire application.

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When should I take the GRE?

You should take the GRE before November 15th, in order to guarantee our receipt of your scores in time to consider your application.

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What TOEFL scores are you looking for?

Please see the Duke Graduate School.

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What kind of writing sample should I send?

We require a 10-15 page non-returnable writing sample in the primary language of study. The writing sample should best represent the kind of research and scholarship you wish to pursue at Duke. Applicants for the Romance Studies track (study of two languages) should send writing samples in the two languages they wish to study; one may be shorter than the other.  It should be uploaded in with the application in the "additional information" section.

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How selective is the process of being admitted?

Each year we matriculate about seven new students into our doctoral program.

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

In order to be admitted, you should have fluency or high level of proficiency in your primary language of study, in order to begin taking graduate seminars in that language in the first semester of study. Romance Studies track doctoral candidates should have nearly this level of fluency in a second language. All other students are required to pass a Language Exam in a second language by the time they take their Portfolio Exam.

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Are there teaching assistant (TA) opportunities available?

Yes; concurrent with their first semester of teaching (normally in the fall semester of the second year. In their second year, most students will assume responsibility for part-time instruction for which they will be compensated.  Normally, this entails full responsibility for teaching one section of a language course, under the direction of the language supervisor. If you are interested in teaching, please see our Teaching Policy.

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