Frequently Asked Questions

How selective is the Graduate Program in Religion?

The Duke Graduate Program in Religion is highly selective. The program offers admission to roughly 5 percent of applicants. (See Admissions and Enrollment Statistics.)

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What is the application fee?

To see the current application fee set by the Graduate School, visit here. If you wish to be considered for both the Ph.D. and M.A. programs, you must apply to both programs separately. Detailed application instructions and application deadlines can be found on the Graduate School's site.

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What do I need to include in my application?

  • Application form
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work
  • 3 recommendations from academics who can address your scholarly ability
  • GRE (optional) and, if applicable, TOEFL scores (sent to institution code 5156)
  • A statement of intent, including, in roughly 2 single-spaced pages, your reasons for pursuing graduate education in religion and your specific interest in the Duke program
  • A sample of scholarly work of at least 15 pages and not to exceed 20 double-spaced pages to be uploaded to your application.  Please upload this to the Additional Materials section of the online application.

For more on application requirements and procedures, see Admissions Requirements

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What is the minimum GRE score?

There is no specific minimum GRE or GPA requirement. GRE scores and GPAs are considered alongside several other factors during the application review process. The GRE is optional for the fall 2025 admissions cycle.

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Is there a separate financial aid application?

No. In most cases, applicants who are accepted into the Ph.D. program are fully funded for 5 years, including tuition and fees, stipend, and health insurance premiums.

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When will I find out if I have been accepted?

Applicants will be notified of their status early in the spring semester in the admissions portal and by email from the Graduate School at Duke.  Generally, applicants can expect to be notified by mid- to late February.

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How can I arrange a campus visit?

After the applications have been evaluated, top-ranked candidates will be invited to Duke for on-campus interviews and an introduction to departmental programs. (Reasonable travel expenses will be paid by Duke.) This will allow both candidates and faculty members to assess whether there is a good match between the student and his or her prospective program.

To arrange a visit on your own, please feel free to contact the individual faculty members by email to arrange a day and time for a visit. 

See maps of campus and driving directions at the University website.

The Religious Studies Department is located on Duke’s West Campus in the Gray Building, next to Duke Chapel.

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If I applied last year and was not accepted, how do I apply again?

A new application must be created. The procedure is explained here.

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Is graduate housing available?

There is a limited amount of on-campus housing for graduate and professional school students offered through the Duke Housing and Residence Life office. Information can also be found at the student affairs web site or on Duke List.  A couple of external resources are and

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What do I do if I have additional questions?

Many more admissions-related questions are addressed at the Graduate School site. You may direct questions specifically related to the Graduate Program in Religion to the Assistant to the Director, (919) 660-3512.

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