Graduate Program

The Duke graduate program in physics equips promising students from all over the world with the skills and experience to perform cutting-edge scientific research in physics. Our admissions process is very competitive. We usually admit about 50 students from over 325 applicants from all over the world each year. Our students go on to become the next generation of leading teachers, scholars, researchers and professionals.

Faculty, students and staff within the department maintain a professional environment with a welcoming culture and a truly international climate, so that all students can fully develop their talents and the joy of doing science pervades everyone's experience.



  • 6 core courses
  • Tailored to student's goals and needs
  • Modern graduate courses
  • Two elective courses
  • No breadth requirements
  • Optional mini-courses
  • No qualifying exams

Research Programs

  • Students research can start early
  • Students usually have until the end of the fourth semester to decide on research groups
  • Collaborations with other departments are possible
  • Advisors could be outside the department (if doing Physics)

People and Places

  • 101 graduate students and 45 faculty
  • Excellent interaction between faculty members and graduate students
  • In Durham, North Carolina, in the South-East USA
  • A medium-sized department, and a medium-sized city

Admissions & Applications

  • The applications are processed by the Duke Graduate School
  • Application deadline is December 10 each year for Fall admissions the next year. However, please read the review process to find out why it is advantageous to apply early


  • All students serve as either a teaching assistant (TA) or a research assistant (RA)
  • The normal assistantship for the 2023-24 academic year comes with a stipend of $38,600 per year (12 months)
  • The Cost of Living is less than most other good institutions
  • The tuition and most fees are paid by the assistantships
  • Usually, the health insurance premium is paid by the Graduate School