International Exchange Agreements

Graduate student international exchange agreements should be entered into thoughtfully and with particular consideration given to the value the exchange will provide to Duke University graduate students, The Graduate School and/or the University. The basic principal is that The Graduate School should receive comparable value from the exchange, meaning we must have a pool of students that are interested in and would benefit educationally by visiting the partner institution and agreements must be structured with equitable financial terms.


  1. All international exchange agreements must be reviewed by The Graduate School Associate Dean of Finance & Administration and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, and approved and signed by The Graduate School Dean.
  2. Where the agreement starts in a foreign language, there must be an accurate English translation.
  3. The term of the exchange agreement should generally be not less than three (3) nor more than five (5) years to ensure a timely academic and financial review of the program.
  4. Each international exchange program must have an assigned departmental or program coordinator. The coordinator generally will be the faculty member who initiated the agreement.
  5. All international exchange programs must be listed on The Graduate School web site. The website listing must include at minimum a link to the partner institution, the application process and typical timeline, and the program coordinator contact information.
  6. There must be a formal application process that is open to all eligible students.


  1. The Graduate School will generally offer a full or partial tuition scholarship to international exchange students.
  2. Mandatory fees and student health insurance are expected to be paid by the student or partner institution.
  3. The Graduate School does not offer stipends to students of partner institutions. Any stipends to be offered to exchange students must be funded through the department or program offering the exchange.
  4. All terms of the arrangement, financial and otherwise, must be clearly stated in the written agreement.
  5. In accordance with Duke University policy and procedure (GAP 200.510, Currency Exchange), currency conversion calculations should be based on current OANDA exchange rates.


  1. International exchange student candidates will be recommended by the partner institution in writing to The Graduate School Director of Graduate Admissions. Recommendations must be submitted by March 1 for fall term admissions and October 15 for spring term admissions.
  1. Recommended students will apply on-line to The Graduate School as non-degree candidates in their program of interest.
  2. Applicants will be expected to meet all Graduate School application requirements except that GRE scores are not required, and the applicants are required to submit only two letters of recommendation.
  3. Applicants will be evaluated by the relevant admitting department based on usual admission standards. Offers of admission will be approved and made by The Graduate School as with standard applicants. Although The Graduate School will make its best effort to offer non-degree admission to exchange candidates recommended by partner institutions, admission is not guaranteed.


  1. Enrollment in professional school courses (e.g. J.D., M.B.A., M.D., M.P.P, etc.) is not covered under Graduate School exchange agreements and will generally not be allowed.
  2. International exchange students will receive course credit and, upon request, will be entitled to a Duke University transcript listing all courses taken during their tenure at Duke. Students will be required to pay the mandatory $40 transcript fee.
  3. International exchange students are required to enroll full-time (at least 3 courses, or the equivalent of nine credits, each academic semester) in order to meet US Department of Homeland Security Visa requirements.
  4. Duke University master’s students who participate in an approved exchange program, upon approval of their Director of Graduate Studies, will be permitted to transfer a maximum of six (6) credits to their Duke master’s degree program, provided that no other credits toward the degree have already been transferred from another external institution. Note that this does not relieve the Duke student of any obligation to enroll at Duke University, under the continuous enrollment policy, or to pay tuition as normally required for the semester(s) abroad.

Issued Date

September 26, 2018

Last Revised

September 26, 2018

Last Reviewed

July 9, 2024
Related Links

Policy types

Financial Support


Financial Support Policy