Graduate Student Orientation will follow the Academic Calendar each year, and will take place on Tuesday of Orientation Week.

To help new students make the transition to graduate student life at Duke, The Graduate School hosts an orientation week each August to provide a series of activities designed to introduce students to The Graduate School, Duke University, and each other. 

banner saying "Welcome Duke University Graduate Students"

Find Online Orientation Materials on Sakai

You can find materials to help you orient to graduate school at Duke on Sakai.

Orientation Sakai Site

Graduate School orientation activities are designed for students in Ph.D., A.M., M.S., M.F.A. and M.A.T. degree programs. Graduate students in other degree programs should attend orientation activities in their own schools.

Fall 2023 Orientation Week Schedule


Understanding Income Sources & Tax Reporting Information for Incoming Domestic PhD Students
5:30 - 6:30 p.m., McClendon Commons (Auditorium in Duke Undergraduate Admissions)

Join the Personal Finance @ Duke program for an informative session reviewing the various income sources utilized by Graduate Students at Duke, and considerations for determining taxable reporting processes and obligations. The session is for educational purposes only, and will highlight information covered on both Duke’s Financial Services site as well as the Internal Revenue Service site, including: 

  • Types of income sources at Duke
  • Year-end tax forms issued by Duke  
  • Definitions of Qualified Educational Expenses from the IRS
  • Review of tax credits and deductions from the IRS
  • Due to the scope of the session, only Domestic/Resident Tax Information will be covered. Participants are limited to incoming PhD students. Registration required. This session is now at capacity.


Orientation Information Session: 10:00 a.m. - noon via Zoom (Zoom link will be posted within Sakai on Monday, August 21). Incoming students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Graduate Student Resource Fair: 12:30 - 2:00 p.m., at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Concourse (map) Registration is required.


Master's RCR Orientation (required)
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EDT)
Participation in this orientation also earns credit for GS714 & GS715
Registration & more information


RCR Forum: Mentoring and Graduate Student Success: A Workshop for Incoming PhD Students (GS716.01):
1:30 pm to 3:00 pm., Holsti Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library (room 153)
**This forum is optional and not part of RCR orientation**

Join Duke faculty, staff, and senior graduate students in an informal conversation about establishing supportive mentoring relationships and the role of good mentoring in your success as graduate students. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Registration is now at capacity; you may add your name to the waitlist and be notified if space becomes available.

Participation in this forum earns 2 RCR credits for graduate students. You will NOT receive credit if you arrive for this event late or leave early. For questions regarding RCR credit, contact Dr. Hugh Crumley, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, at

Thursday, AUGUST 24

PhD RCR Orientation for Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Engineering (required)
See which academic division your department falls under
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EDT)
Participation in this orientation also earns credit for GS714 & GS715
Registration & more information


Welcome/Welcome Back Event at The Graduate School
3:30 - 5:00 p.m., 2127 Campus Drive (map)

Join incoming and returning graduate students at The Graduate School for a welcome/welcome back gathering. We will have music, games, goodies and giveaways. Pre-registration required. Registration is now closed.

Other Orientation-Related Information

Photos from Fall 2022 Orientation Week