Prospective DSCB Students

The Duke University Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program is a PhD certificate program.  Prospective students apply to and are admitted directly through the DSCB Program. By the end of their first year, DSCB students will affiliate with a lab and one of seven participating departments located within the Duke University School of Medicine and Duke University. DSCB students will earn their Ph.D. through their affiliated department. 

Students of diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. 

How to apply

  • Prospective students should apply online at The Duke Graduate school. Applications are due December 1
  • Select "PhD (Biomedical Sciences programs - School of Medicine)" before selecting Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, PhD
  • *Please note that students may apply for a waiver for the Admissions fee, by contacting the Graduate school.


Review process

  • We take a holistic approach when reviewing applicants, including attention to evidence of curiosity, creativity, persistence, motivation, resilience, and problem-solving abilities. When reviewing applicants, we consider previous research experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement, academic performance, and contribution to the diversity of our program. GRE scores are not required. However, candidates have the option to submit GRE scores if they feel this strengthens their application. 
  • Top candidates are invited to an in person interview in February, where they have the opportunity to meet current DSCB students and faculty, learn about Duke, the DSCB program, and Durham. Admissions decisions are made by the beginning of March and students are required to give their decision by April 15.


Financial Support in the program

  • The DSCB is funded primarily by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and provides financial support for a student's first two years of study. Beginning in the third year, students' financial support comes from the lab with which they have affiliated.
  • Please note that because our funding is primarily NIH-based there are a limited number of positions for applicants who are not currently U.S. citizens or permanent residents. However, regardless of citizenship all students admitted to the program are offered a financial aid package that includes full payment of tuition, fees, health insurance, and a monthly stipend for 5-6 years of graduate training.


International students: valuable information

Duke provides many helpful online resources to incoming international scholars to help them prepare for moving and living in Durham: