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 Spring Semester

(Switch to checklist for students admitted for fall)

  • 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
  • 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
  • Schedule your arrival in Durham so that you are here in time to take the mandatory academic English-language placement exams (international students only). The exam dates are still to be determined. You will receive more details about the location closer to the date. For more information, please visit: English Language Placement Exams
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Take the mandatory 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
  • 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 January (Ph.D. students only). | 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
  • Learn about graduate student life resources at Duke.
  • Attend Responsible Conduct of Research training (required for all graduate students). | Details

Still Have Questions?

Contact The Graduate School:

Academic calendar