Congratulations on your acceptance, and welcome to Duke! The checklist below will help guide you through the things you need to do before and after you arrive at Duke. Check this page frequently for updates, and visit the Student Life section of our site to learn about the resources available to you now and throughout your career as a Duke graduate student.

Note to U.S. Military Veterans: If you plan to apply for veterans’ education benefits, please follow the instructions in the checklist as well as those listed on the Office of the Registrar’s website:

Checklist for Students Admitted for Fall Semester

(Switch to checklist for students admitted for spring)

  • Print a copy of the decision letter for your records. This is especially important if you are an international student in need of a visa.
  • Notify The Graduate School of your decision via your Applicant Portal account. | Instructions

Duke University is a signatory of the CGS (Council of Graduate Schools) resolution regarding student obligation for accepting financial support prior to April 15. Please read the resolution on the CGS site.

  • Have your official transcripts and degree confirmation sent to The Graduate School. Instructions for doing this will be e-mailed to you shortly after your acceptance of the admission offer. (If we received your official transcripts prior to your acceptance of the admission offer, you will not receive the instructional e-mail.) | Instructions
  • Apply for a visa (international students only). Instructions on how to do this will be e-mailed to you within five business days of your acceptance of the admission offer. | Instructions
  • If you have received an external award (e.g., a scholarship from an organization, employer, or your government), e-mail a copy of the award letter to or bring it to the graduate admissions office at 2127 Campus Drive, Durham, NC, 27708.
  • If you are a master's student, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (United States citizens and permanent residents only). | Instructions
  • Activate your NetID and set up your Duke e-mail account. Instructions on how to do this will be e-mailed to you within 7-10 business days of our receipt of your official documents.| Instructions
  • Contact your department about registering for courses. | Instructions
  • Optional: Participate in International House’s free online seminar (international students only). More detailed information will be e-mailed to you as the date approaches.
  • Submit proof of immunizations and make sure you have fulfilled the Duke student medical insurance requirements. | Instructions
  • If necessary, contact the Student Disability Access Office with any questions you may have about reasonable accommodations. | More information
  • Research transportation and parking options. | More information
  • Research housing options. | More information
  • Register with the Visa Services office (international students only). | Office website
  • Schedule your English placement exam (non-engineering international students only). This exam is administered by Duke and is separate from the TOEFL or the IELTS test. | Instructions
  • If you are an international student in the Pratt School of Engineering, you will be contacted directly by staff from the Pratt Graduate Communications and Intercultural Program with details about English placement testing soon. Please visit to learn more about their services, and email with questions.
  • Get your DukeCard, the official ID card for currently enrolled students. | Instructions
  • Ph.D. students: Contact your program’s director of graduate studies assistant (DGSA) once you are in Durham to complete your tax forms so as to ensure that you begin receiving your stipend at the end of August at requested tax rate. This must be done by August 11. If you expect to arrive in Durham later than August 11, please let your DGSA know beforehand so they can try to ensure your tax forms still get processed in time for you to receive an August stipend payment. | Details
  • Attend the graduate student orientation events. | Details
  • Review the Graduate School’s Standards of Conduct, which cover expectations specific to The Graduate School. You are also bound by a set of University-wide policies that apply to all academic communities at Duke. | Standards of Conduct | University-wide policies
  • Attend Responsible Conduct of Research training (required for all graduate students). | Details
  • Learn about graduate student life resources at Duke.

Still Have Questions?

Contact The Graduate School:

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