General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 12
  • Students: 17
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadline: November 30
Application Info


Herman Pontzer
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Evolutionary Anthropology
Duke University
Box 90383 Duke University
Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 684-4124




Program Description

The department's goal is to provide students with background, experience, and opportunities for the study of primate behavior, ecology, genetics, morphology, systematics, and evolution. The department offers opportunities for fieldwork in behavior, ecology, genetics and genomics, cognition, and paleontology and a broad range of facilities for the study of functional and evolutionary morphology of primates and other mammals. Faculty conduct field research in Africa, Madagascar, South America, Central America, and Asia and on captive, free-ranging primates at the Duke University Lemur Center. The Lemur Center houses the world's largest collection of captive prosimian primates. The Lemur Center and departmental laboratories contain extensive collections of fossils and casts for the study of human and primate evolution. Other departmental facilities include opportunities for experimental studies of bone-muscle systems, comparative anatomy and embryology, morphometrics, and computer modeling of anatomy.


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 (see department guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General (Optional)
  • 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
Our graduate evolutionary anthropology program is very flexible and selective, and we emphasize cross-disciplinary research. As a result, we look for students who have thought in depth about the areas they want to study. It is very important that you tell us your areas of interest in the Specialization and the Statement of Purpose sections of the application. Try to be more specific than just selecting an Area of Knowledge. For example, list interests that tie to our individual faculty research areas. You can also give examples of faculty members whose research is interesting to you. Doing this will help us make sure that your application is reviewed by the best faculty for you. Tell us how Duke will help you pursue your interests, and about your strengths and weaknesses. In addition, when you pick your references, be certain to find people who know you well and can recommend you and your work style.

Writing Sample
None required.

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