General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 31
  • Students: 55
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application Terms: Fall
  • Application Deadline: November 30
Application Info


Meta Kuehn
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Biochemistry
Box 3711 Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710

Phone: (919) 681-8770



Program Description

Graduate students in the Duke Biochemistry Department engage in faculty-mentored research and graduate coursework that develops an understanding of fundamental concepts in biochemistry, physical biochemistry, as well as the critical analysis of published research. Students choose thesis topics from a wide range of research projects under current study by primary and secondary faculty in the department, which include: enzyme mechanisms, signal transduction, cell cycle control, cytoskeleton structure, prokaryotic and eukaryotic transcription, genetic diseases, glycoproteins, DNA partitioning/segregation, plasma membrane receptors, cellular differentiation, gene regulation, mechanisms of DNA repair and DNA repair defects in tumor biology, processing of DNA, RNA modification, mRNA decay and translational control, multidrug resistance and tolerance, membrane vesicle biogenesis, microbial toxin activity, endocytosis, insertion of proteins into membranes, ion channel structure and function, metalloproteins, post translational modification, drug design, analysis and design of protein and RNA structure, and X-ray crystallography and NMR studies on macromolecular structure and folding. The department is located in a large, research-oriented medical center, which is immediately adjacent to the arts and sciences campus, fostering a productive and collaborative scientific community.


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadline: November 30

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores:
    • GRE General: Optional
    • GRE Subject tests (Biology, Chemistry): Optional
      This program does not require applicants to provide GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or other graduate entrance exam scores, but does allow you to upload scores if you feel they enhance your application. If you choose to submit test scores, you may enter them on the Test Scores page. If you choose to enter self-reported test scores, official test scores will become a required component of your application.
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Statement of Purpose Guidelines
The mission of the Duke University Biochemistry Graduate program is to educate and mentor students from diverse background in the fundamentals of biochemical principles and practice though courses and research by (1) guiding students in their thesis research project, and (2) preparing them for a career in research, education, or other disciplines. The program promotes a commitment to excellence in research scholarship and fosters a spirit of creativity, service, and respect, within an environment that is ethical, inclusive, and diverse.

Writing Sample
None required

Additional Components
Optional Video Essay: How would a Duke PhD training experience help you achieve your academic and professional goals? Max video length 2 minutes; record externally and provide URL in application.

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance