Admission to the Duke Graduate School is required of all students who pursue a Ph.D. degree in Immunology. Masters degrees are not offered.  Applicants who wish to apply to Immunology should choose Intended Degree “Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences Programs – School of Medicine)” and then select Department/Degree “Immunology.”

In evaluating applicants, the Duke Immunology Admissions Committee emphasizes the following: academic ability, achievement, character and special distinguishing talents. These qualities are measured by college records, laboratory research experience, personal interviews, and letters of recommendation.  While applicants are not required to provide GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or other graduate entrance exam scores, applicants are allowed to upload scores if they feel those scores enhance their application. If applicants choose to submit test scores, they may enter them on the Test Scores page. GRE scores have been optional for our program since 2019 and based on our experience from last year, students who did not provide GRE scores were at no disadvantage insofar as selection for interviews. If applicants choose to enter self-reported test scores, official test scores will become a required component of their application.

Successful applicants typically have had:

  1. an academic record earning first-class ranking, where this system is used, or a ranking in the top 5% of the graduating class
  2. a strong undergraduate education in science plus hands on research experiences
  3. verbal and quantitative GRE score above 80% and a 4.5 writing score (GRE scores will be optional as of December 2019)   

Subject test scores are not required but will be considered if submitted.  International applicants whose native language is not English must also provide TOEFL scores. We receive on average 140 applications annually and invite 15-20 for interviews. Our average class size is 6 students. 

Learn more about Duke Immunology Admissions and Enrollment Statistics.

Application fee waivers are available in a limited number of circumstances and are examined on a case-by-case basis.  Inquiries should be made BEFORE the applicant has submitted the application and should be directed to Dr. Alan Kendrick:

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) students may apply to the Program in Immunology in their second year of medical school. MSTP applicants should refer to the curriculum page for more details and contact both the Director of the MSTP and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Immunology for guidance on the application process.

Financial Support

Students are generally admitted to the Graduate Program in Immunology with full fellowship support and their support is guaranteed for the remainder of their training as long as they remain in good academic standing. Support covers tuition, fees and Duke health insurance (individual coverage), along with a stipend of $33,000 (21/22 academic year). Stipend payments will begin in August and are paid on the 30th of the month.  

Exceptional students are also recommended for support by James B. Duke Fellowships, Dean’s Graduate Fellowships and Chancellor’s Scholarships. The Department of Immunology also offers a D. Bernard Amos Diversity Fellowship to outstanding students from historically under-represented backgrounds.

Support comes from a number of sources, including the department's NIH predoctoral training grant, department funds, and university and endowment fellowships. Beginning in the third year, most students are supported by the research grants of their thesis advisor. The Duke Graduate School offers up to $700 for conference travel annually so that students who have been admitted to doctoral candidacy can attend and present their thesis work at meetings.

Graduate Program in Immunology students are also eligible to receive the D. Bernard Amos Graduate Fellowship Award. This award recognizes and rewards those students who are successful in obtaining substantial fellowship support for graduate training from sources outside of Duke.  Students who receive a potentially qualifying external award (see Department Fellowships link for details) should notify the DGSA. 

Applications and Deadlines

All standardized testing should be taken so that the results are available by mid-December. All other required application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be received by December 1st. Applications are reviewed in mid-December and in late December candidates are invited to Duke’s campus for February interviews. Foreign applicants are typically interviewed via Skype.

Interested in becoming a part of the Immunology Graduate Program?

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