Duke Graduate School at a Glance

The Graduate School's overall mission is to provide research-based graduate training that will help students learn the analytical skills to be future leaders in a wide variety of professions in academia, industry, education, government, nonprofits, and beyond. The education our students obtain here is intended to be applicable to any job that involves the discovery, creative application, and teaching of new knowledge.


3,500 Students

The Graduate School is home to about 2,500 Ph.D. students and 1,000 master's students. Our students are creative and venturesome. Our job is to make sure they have the support they need to thrive.


80+ Degree Programs

The Graduate School oversees more than 80 Ph.D. and master's programs, along with certificate programs, dual and joint degrees, and graduate programs at Duke Kunshan.


1,300 Graduate Faculty

Duke faculty are world-class experts in their fields, and the small, private settings in our departments and programs help graduate students build fruitful partnerships with their faculty members.


Boundary-Crossing Research

Graduate education at Duke blends deep, field-specific knowledge with the frontiers of other fields. Collaborative research and study groups of faculty and graduate students coalesce around problems and themes in settings that extend beyond departmental boundaries.


Public and Private Partnerships

Thanks to its location in the Research Triangle, Duke has strong ties with other major universities and with public and private institutes and firms. These communities are integral to the Duke graduate experience, both academically and culturally.


Robust Career Preparation

The Graduate School collaborates with departments and other campus partners to offer extensive professional development resources to help our students explore the full range of career options and hone competencies that will help them thrive on their chosen path.

Role of The Graduate School


The Graduate School (TGS) is unique among Duke’s 10 schools in that its mission is singularly focused on supporting graduate students. Graduate students play key roles in the Duke community, and in TGS, they have a school-level home where they are the top priority. TGS acts as a persistent advocate for graduate students, elevating their needs to the attention of senior leaders and working with campus partners to meet those needs. 


While discipline-specific graduate training primarily takes place within departments across Duke, TGS acts as a central hub that provides crucial resources and services to graduate students and their departments. This helps ensure consistency and equity in policies, resources, and workflows across graduate programs. In addition, it relieves departments of significant workload in support of graduate education.



Because many important functions related to graduate education flow through TGS, the school serves as a bridge that connects people, resources, and ideas throughout Duke. Sometimes TGS sparks collaborations between departments. Other times, it identifies a good idea from one part of campus and adapts it to benefit all graduate students and departments. TGS also serves as a clear point for exchanging best practices with peer institutions.


TGS is the repository of expert knowledge and training regarding graduate education at Duke. Through their daily work with students, programs, and university administration, TGS staff members develop a deep understanding of the specific needs of graduate students and the intricacies of the whole graduate education enterprise. For those seeking information about graduate education at Duke, TGS offers a clear starting point.


TGS plays an active role in leading important initiatives that affect large swaths of the university, whether that be spearheading a diversity program involving dozens of faculty across multiple departments and schools, developing teaching-assistant training opportunities for all graduate students, tracking the career outcomes of 30,000-plus graduate alumni, or helping staff in 80-plus programs learn how to use a new admissions platform. 


Graduate education involves many hands, so TGS regularly collaborates with individual departments, programs, student groups, and other campus entities. For instance, TGS provides grants for departments and students to create discipline-specific professional development programming, helps facilitate departmental conversations on racism, and works with the Graduate and Professional Student Government to advocate for our students.