About Duke Graduate School
At Duke, we have made a commitment to maintain our graduate programs at a moderate size -- approximately 2,500 Ph.D. students and 700 research master's degree students are enrolled across over 70 departments and programs, working with more than 1,300 graduate faculty members. The Duke ideal is a small number of superior students working closely with esteemed scholars.
Graduate study is, in many ways, an apprenticeship. To earn the right to become a colleague of your "master" teachers, you must submit to hours of concentrated work in solitude, the sometimes overwhelming freedom of independent research, and finally, the challenge of original writing. Graduate work takes time and patience, a fierce commitment, and the willingness to make many personal sacrifices. Despite the somewhat austere path before you, however, the Duke and Durham communities and the community of graduate students themselves can provide a most agreeable environment during the term of your "apprenticeship."
Translate the small, private character of each of Duke's departmental environments to the context of graduate study and what you find is a special partnership between graduate student and faculty -- an intimate collegiality and common purpose driven by the twin goals of creativity and innovation. Maximum personal attention, smaller, more involving classes, and richer cross-disciplinary possibilities for scholarship generally characterize the Duke graduate student's relationship with faculty. Flexibility in design and implementation of a graduate student's personal program of study is possible only in this kind of one-on-one, mentoring environment to which Duke's graduate school faculty are committed.
To this end, Duke looks for graduate students who are creative, venturesome, and unwilling to accept worn-out answers. Graduate students are a needed leavening in any academic community. To us, providing faculty and graduate students alike with the incentive to innovate, to discover, to challenge tradition is considered the very best application of the university's resources.
We welcome you to explore our programs and our School.