How to Apply

Ph.D. Application Process

The Duke Graduate School administers the application process. See The Graduate School website for procedures, deadlines, and to access the application portal.

You are encouraged to visit our FAQ page for quick answers to common questions, as well as our Research page and our Meet the Department page to explore the fields and academic profiles of our faculty and students.

The Romance Studies admissions committee and faculty knowledgeable in the applicant's specific area of study carefully evaluate the research statement, writing sample, GPA, and letters of recommendation. We review applications and award fellowships in February each year. Select candidates are invited to visit the Duke campus to meet our faculty and graduate students.

Please note that the department is not considering GRE test scores for applications for Fall 2023.

Department Application Deadline: December 27 for all materials.


Doctoral Tracks

The Department of Romance Studies at Duke University offers doctoral programs in French and Francophone, Italian, Spanish and Latin American literatures and culture. It also offers an innovative Ph.D. track in comparative Romance Studies for students who want to do in-depth research in two linguistic traditions.

Each of these tracks has a distinguished history of scholars and teachers, and the department is proud of the rigor each entails, as much as the lively collaborations across them. Students in each track develop a deep understanding of the rich literature, histories, and cultures present in the language tradition they study.

Even those students who do not enroll in the comparative Romance Studies track benefit from the broad and innovative scholarship our multilingual department contains. Our faculty working in Lusophone and Brazilian Studies offer training to students primarily focused on those areas and with a secondary expertise in Spanish and Latin American Studies. They also provide opportunities for Hispanists to develop strong preparation in the Portuguese-speaking world. Our students and faculty working in French and Francophone Studies often collaborate with colleagues in Spanish and Latin American Studies in their research in the Caribbean. Beyond such geopolitical and cultural connections, Italian and European Studies students interested in Film, Media & Visual Studies can draw on the expertise of experts in Spanish and Latin American film, or French and Francophone theories of the image. Some Italian Studies students may focus on gender and sexuality studies, while others may examine how the Italian tradition engages science and technology. All of the tracks are characterized by a deep commitment to critical theory and interdisciplinarity, but no single school dominates and students are encouraged to articulate their own critical vocabulary and methodology.