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Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710
General InformationDegree offered:
The Duke Development and Stem Cell Biology (DSCB) Program is a broad, interdepartmental consortium of students and faculty pursuing developmental, stem cell, and regenerative biology research at the molecular, cellular, genetic, evolutionary, and systems levels. Researchers from across over 10 departments at Duke University and Duke School of Medicine participate. The mission of the DSCB PhD program is to train the next generation of predoctoral scientists in principles of development, stem cell biology, and regeneration through targeted coursework, lab research, and interactions within the DSCB community. The diverse backgrounds, research expertise, and perspectives of our community enable us to enrich and personalize the training environment. Our goal is to develop in our students: confidence, independent critical thinking, academic rigor, and the intellectual curiosity and creativity to synthesize new ideas and communicate them effectively. Our training plan incorporates education in core principles of development, stem cell biology and regeneration, as well as foundational education in genetics and molecular and cellular biology. Our students also gain training in data science principles, scientific communication, responsible conduct of research, and grant writing. This is achieved through a curriculum composed of modular course structure, innovative hands-on-training, and discussion-based courses. Extensive laboratory training provides each student with expertise in a chosen specialty, and technical and conceptual scientific skillsets. University-wide resources provide valuable professional resources and opportunities to help students develop their full potential to pursue a diversity of careers.
Students may apply and be admitted directly to the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program. After the second year of study at Duke, students will identify a participating department in which they will earn their Ph.D. (Note: For international students in particular, designation on the application form of a department in addition to this program may be helpful in securing funding.)
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 (see departmental guidance below)
- Résumé: Required
- GRE Scores:
- GRE General: 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
Statement of Purpose Guidelines
The mission of the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology (DSCB) PhD Program is to train the next generation of scientists in principles of development, stem cell biology, and regeneration through targeted coursework, lab research, and interactions within the DSCB community. The diverse backgrounds, research expertise, and perspectives of our community enable us to enrich and personalize this training. Our goal is to develop each students’ confidence, independent critical thinking, academic rigor, and the intellectual curiosity and creativity to synthesize new ideas and communicate them effectively
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