How to Apply

Ph.D. Application Process

Our graduate programs rank among the top fifteen programs in the country, and our goal is to provide a collegial, intimate, and intellectually vibrant learning environment. Your GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, statement of research interests, and writing sample are evaluated by several professors in our department, including faculty knowledgeable in your area of interest.

Please note that due to the global pandemic, the department has made GRE test scores optional for the 2021/2022 application period.

Each year we accept around 6 new candidates to our doctoral program, and admit for the fall semester only. We encourage you to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn about the typical academic profile of our students, and for tips on the writing sample submitted with your application. We review applications and award fellowships by mid-February each year. Select candidates are invited to visit the Duke campus at the end of February to meet our faculty and graduate students, and learn in greater depth about the resources and opportunities available here. 

Applications to our Ph.D. program are managed by the Duke Graduate School. See the Graduate School websites for procedures and deadlines.


Juris Doctor/Master of Arts Application Process

Apply to the Juris Doctor/Master of Arts dual degree program through the Duke School of Law. Note: you are not required to submit GRE scores for this degree program. J.D./M.A. 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 J.D./M.A. degree program.

Students will be notified they are accepted into the J.D./M.A. program by the School of Law. For more information about the dates and timelines for this process, please review their website: