Biomedical PhD Program Admissions

Admissions: Applications to all biomedical PhD programs (except the Medical Scientist Training Program) are submitted through the Graduate School at Duke. In the online application, select "PhD" under "Intended Degree," then indicate which department/program you're applying to from "Department/degree" menu. Students applying through training programs that admit students but do not grant degrees (i.e. Cell & Molecular BiologyCognitive Neuroscience, Developmental & Stem Cell Biology, Integrated Toxicology & Environmental Health) should apply directly to training program. Trainees will affiliate with a PhD-granting program/department at the time the student selects a mentor, typically at the end of year one.

Financial Support: Full support (stipend, tuition, fees and health insurance) is guaranteed to all PhD students for at least five years. First and second year students are supported by the institution, by a T32 training grant, or by individual fellowships. Students in their 3rd year and above are supported by their dissertation advisors, generally from research grants, or by individual fellowships. In the event of a lapse in advisor funding, the institution (department or school) fills the gap in support.

Course of Study: Although each PhD program has its own course work and preliminary exam requirements, the first year is generally devoted to course work and laboratory rotations. At the beginning of the second year, students enter their thesis labs, finish course work and assemble dissertation committees. At the end of the second year, students complete their preliminary exam, which is generally based on their proposed dissertation project. After passing the preliminary exam, the student is fully devoted to research. Some programs have a teaching requirement but all students can serve as teaching assistants with the approval of their dissertation mentor.

Statistics: In an effort to provide comprehensive information for all interested individuals, The Duke University Graduate School posts summary data on its PhD programs. These data include information such as total applications, admissions, matriculations, demographics, median GRE and GPA scores, and career outcomes.