Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to the Ph.D. program?

The application for the Population Health Sciences  Ph.D. cohort is now available and can be submitted through the Graduate School. Please be sure to review your application prior to submission. All application materials should be sent directly to the Graduate School and not to the department.

What applications materials should I submit?

Below is a list of the required application materials:

What is the due date for the application?

Applications Deadline: December 1, 2021

I have a logistical issue with some of my application materials (i.e., my test score reports or transcripts are delayed). Can someone in the department confirm that this is okay and won't affect my application submission?

No. Any issues or questions regarding your application materials should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions office, who oversee receipt and processing of all application materials. Prior to application submission, DPHS staff and faculty are not authorized to review application materials or make any decisions regarding their acceptability.

I've submitted my application. Who will review my application?

All submitted applications will be reviewed by the DPHS Admissions Committee. This committee is comprised of both department faculty and staff members, who have extensive experience in the field of Population Health. These individuals include faculty from multiple various research areas, staff from different departmental groups, and at least one representative from the DPHS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Selected candidates will be asked to complete a virtual interview with several committee members prior to a decision being reached.

When will I receive a decision?

All DPHS application decisions will be released in Spring 2022. Duke Graduate Admissions is the only office authorized to release the official decisions. Decisions will be released through email notification only. Additional information may be found on the Graduate School's admissions website.

Are test scores (GRE) required?

GRE test scores are optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. 

What is the minimum GPA/GRE/IELTS score the department requires?

The department reviews all applications holistically, which means no single element of an application (e.g., test scores) will automatically eliminate a candidate from consideration, nor guarantee them admission. The Graduate School Admissions office has a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding test scores, which we encourage you to review.

I believe I qualify for an IELTS/TOEFL/DuoLingo English test waiver. Can the department staff or faculty review and confirm my eligibility?

No. DPHS staff and faculty are NOT authorized to review any application materials prior to their submission, including any standardized test information, nor are they authorized to confirm your eligibility for any waivers. If you believe you qualify for an IELTS/TOEFL/DuoLingo English test waiver, you may indicate so in your Graduate School application. Please direct any questions regarding IELTS/TOEFL/DuoLingo English tests to the Graduate School admissions officeYou may also review a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding standardized tests here.

What kind of funding is available to students?

Those admitted to the Ph.D. program will receive a full funding package while pursuing their degree, up to 5 years. The package includes tuition coverage and a stipend. Please visit the Graduate School's Ph.D. Financial Support page for more information.

Where can I review the course curriculum?

The Ph.D program curriculum is available here. Please note that the Ph.D. program course descriptions are pending university approval and are subject to change.

Can I contact potential mentors prior to submitting my application and ask for a meeting or CV review?

Faculty receive a very high volume of emails from prospective PhD candidates, and are thus unable to reply to each inquiry they receive. If you wish to contact a faculty member, please be prepared for an absent or very delayed reply (in other words, do not wait to submit your application until you have received a response). The Admissions Committee and the Education leadership take great care and thought in making sure all PhD applicants who are offered admission have a strong match with a faculty adviser.

We encourage applicants to contact Education leadership or staff with questions, or to attend one of our Virtual Information sessions. Please visit our faculty webpage to learn more about our faculty and their areas of research.

Can I seek outside employment while pursuing my Ph.D.?

With rare exceptions, all DPHS PhD students are admitted with a service requirement as Research Assistants. This means that PhD students are required to provide 19.9 hours per week of work in exchange for their stipend, typically in the form of research in connection with their faculty adviser's research portfolio. During academic semesters, PhD students may not exceed 19.9 hours of work per week across ALL Duke jobs. When classes are not in session, students may take on additional supplementary work, either at Duke or elsewhere. When classes are not in session, students may work up to 40 hours per week across all Duke jobs. 

Does Duke offer loan repayment forgiveness?

We recommend that students visit this site to determine their loan forgiveness eligibility. A variety of factors are considered when determining eligibility, such as marital status, tax witholdings, as well as institutional support, and the  university’s status as a non-profit.

Do you have additional questions? Ask us!