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Sixth-Year Tuition Scholarship


About the Scholarship

As part of Duke’s ongoing commitment to support Ph.D. students, The Graduate School collaborates with Ph.D. programs to provide tuition support for students in their sixth year.

Ph.D. students in their sixth year who do not have external or departmental tuition support for fall 2018 and who sought, but did not receive, a scholarship that offers tuition support for fall 2018 are eligible to apply for the Sixth-Year Tuition Support Initiative via The Graduate School’s fellowship application platform.

Applicants must submit official documentation from the scholarship office or agency that indicates they applied for and did not receive a scholarship that would provide tuition support for fall 2018 . Application for awards that offer stipend only or conference/research travel support do not qualify. Copies of the denial notification are required as part of the application.

Awarded students will receive a $3,700 payment to their Bursar accounts to cover tuition for the fall 2018 semester The tuition initiative does not include stipend or fee support.



  • Applicants must be in their sixth year of a Ph.D. program in fall 2018, i.e. have matriculated in spring 2013, summer 2013, or fall 2013.
  • Applicants are not receiving tuition support from any source for the fall 2018 semester.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.
  • Applicants must have passed their prelim prior to the semester in which the tuition scholarship will be awarded.
  • Applicants must have applied for, and were not awarded, a scholarship that provides tuition support for one or more semesters of AY 18-19


To Apply

You Need

  • Approval from your department (see step 1 below)
  • Your CV (PDF)
  • A copy of your current Duke Transcript from DukeHub (PDF)
  • A ONE-page narrative from applicant explaining the need for tuition support, including an explanation of their academic plans for the academic year and a proposed timeline to degree completion (PDF format).
  • Attached to the ONE page narrative should be documentation of external tuition funding attempts, which can include copies of email notification, scan of denial letter from sponsor, etc. There is no page limit on this documentation (PDF format).

    Note: No letter of recommendation is required.


  1. Get approval to apply from your department. Check with your DGS.
  2. Submit your application through The Graduate School’s fellowship application system.



Fall 2018
  • Application period opens May 15 and closes May 31.
  • Final decisions on tuition support for fall 2018 will be communicated to students and their departments by June 30.
Spring 2019
  • Application period opens in early October and closes mid-November, during the main fellowship application cycle each Fall semester
  • Applicants must have matriculation date of summer 2013, fall 2013, or spring 2014
  • Final decisions on tuition support for spring 2019 will be communicated to students and their departments by November 30.


Frequently Asked Questions

What students are eligible to apply for the Sixth-Year Tuition Initiative?

Doctoral students who matriculated in spring 2013, summer 2013, or fall 2013 semester are eligible to apply for the Sixth-Year Tuition Scholarship for fall 2018.

What kind of documentation regarding previous fellowship applications am I supposed to provide for this scholarship application?

You should provide scans or copies of information on the award(s) to which you applied. The documentation needs to make it clear 1) that the award(s) would have provided tuition support for AY 18-19, and 2) that you did not receive the award.

Such documentation can include a copy of the fellowship description from the sponsor’s website, a copy of the denial notification letter or email, etc. Awards that would not provide tuition support, such as travel awards or stipend only awards, do not qualify.

If I receive the scholarship, how do I get the funding?

A scholarship of $3,700 will be posted to your Bursar account to pay your tuition charge for that semester.

Can I apply for a summer semester tuition scholarship?

No. This scholarship is for the academic year only, i.e., fall and spring semesters.

The application says I have to be in good academic standing. What does that mean?

Please see the Bulletin of the Duke University Graduate School, page 53 for a definition of academic standing for graduate students:

Does this scholarship cover fees or provide a stipend?

No. The tuition scholarships covers only tuition for the semester for which it was awarded.

If I receive a scholarship, can I split it and use it to partially cover both fall and spring semesters?

No. If awarded, a tuition scholarship must be applied to the semester for which it was awarded.

If I receive a tuition scholarship for fall semester, but then I receive tuition support from another source, can I bank or defer this tuition scholarship to spring semester?

No, if awarded, a tuition scholarship must be applied only to the semester for which it was awarded and cannot be banked or deferred. You can apply for a spring semester tuition scholarship when that application window opens in AwardSpring.

I don’t qualify for a tuition scholarship, what other funding options do I have?

Please review our Find Funding webpage for additional information regarding funding opportunities. You can also contact The Graduate School’s financial aid office at


Instructions for DGSes

Funding Source

  • Duke Graduate School opportunities

Student Status

  • Continuing Student
  • Dissertation Phase

Academic Division

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities

Type of Degrees

  • Ph.D.


  • Academic Year