Apply to Duke Biochemistry

Students seeking admission to the Department of Biochemistry must apply to the Graduate School of Duke University. 

The Graduate School’s online application service “ApplyYourself” is found here

Qualified applicants will have strong undergraduate training in the chemical and/or biological sciences. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) are required and it is strongly recommended that scores on a Subject Test in Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, or Cell & Molecular Biology be submitted. The application, along with the required supporting documents, should be submitted by the application deadlines of December 1st. Official GRE & TOEFL scores may be submitted later if they are not yet available; however, we should receive them as soon as possible. All applications are reviewed by the Biochemistry Admissions Committee, which is composed of departmental faculty members.

We are dedicated to maintaining a climate of inclusiveness and celebrating the richly unique scientific community at Duke University. The Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity (OBGD) hosts a series of programs including professional development opportunities, academic enrichment groups, mentoring programs, and social activities.

BioCoRE/IMSD Program 

The Duke BioCoRE program engages undergraduates, graduate students and faculty in a supportive community of scientists excited about the biosciences, and provides opportunities for student research and career development for all participants. All incoming PhD students in bioscience departments and programs are invited to apply.   Scholars will be appointed based on the fit of the applicants to the program goals and slot availability. BioCoRE will provide enhanced opportunities that complement the bioscience graduate programs for Graduate BioCoRE Scholars and multiple career engagement and social activities. One major goal of BioCoRE is to increase the diversity of scientists in the biosciences, and another is to promote student development with research experiences, engagement with faculty, and career development activities. Any student seeking to be a part of the BioCoRE community should be committed to these goals.

Note: Before you begin the process of applying to Duke Graduate School, please read the entire Admissions website carefully, paying close attention to the Application Instructions section. This section serves as a "checklist" of required application materials and provides answers to frequently asked questions. Additional application information for admission to Duke Graduate School can be found at the Graduate School Admissions website



How do I apply?

You must apply through the Graduate School’s online application service “ApplyYourself” here. The Department of Biochemistry can review and make an admissions decision on an application based on the scanned unofficial transcript and electronic letters of recommendation submitted by the recommenders. Applications can also be reviewed with self-reported GRE and TOEFL scores while we wait for ETS to submit the official scores to Duke University.  You can submit admissions related queries to the Graduate School via web form at the following site:

Where do I send my application materials?

Application materials are submitted through the Graduate School online application service (ApplyYourself).  Supporting application materials that cannot be uploaded through the online application service must be sent directly to the Graduate School (NOT to the department), at the address below:

Duke University Graduate School
Office of Admission
2127 Campus Drive
Durham, NC
27708-0065 USA 

*Please do NOT mail any of your application materials to the department.  We cannot guarantee that materials mailed directly to the department will be included in your review for admission.

When is the application deadline?

The deadline to submit an application for Fall 2017 admission to the doctoral program in Biochemistry is December 1, 2016.

How much is the application fee?

The application fee is $85.

Can I apply for Spring or Summer admission?

The Department of Biochemistry offers Fall term admission only.

Am I competitive for admission?

The Biochemistry Admissions Committee takes many factors into account when considering applications. The most important are research experience (at least one semester of independent research is recommended), letters of recommendation, and your personal statement. However, grade point averages (GPAs) and GRE scores provide a useful method of comparing students from various schools across the nation and around the world.  You can view our Admission and Enrollment statistics from students who have matriculated in the past years here.

Do you require the GRE Subject test?

We do not currently require the GRE Subject test; however, we strongly encourage you to take it if you can. You may submit scores from the test in Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology, Biology, or Chemistry. 

Please note:  Your GRE scores must not be more than five years old from July 1 of the application year. An official copy of your GRE scores must be sent to the Graduate School directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The institution code for Duke is 5156; a department code is not needed. If ETS requires you to enter a department code, select any one of the department codes listed on their site. Regardless of the department code entered, the scores will come to the Graduate School and be routed to the department indicated on your application.

Can I submit my application before all of my recommendations or official test scores are received?

Yes. You should submit your application as soon as you have completed each section, sent recommendation requests to your recommenders, and requested that ETS send your scores to Duke. After you submit your application, the Graduate Admissions Office can add recommendation letters and official test scores to your application as they are received.   Please note: While it is fine for recommendations and official test scores to arrive after you submit your application, it is important for review purposes that we receive them by or before the application deadline.

What is your policy in regard to admitting foreign students?

We have only a limited number of slots for international students, therefore, competition is especially stringent for this group. International students are strongly encouraged to carefully consider their research experience, English skills (spoken as well as written), and commitment to biochemistry before submitting an application.

Do you require the Test of Spoken English for foreign students?

The Graduate School requires all international applications whose native language is not English to submit the results of an English language proficiency test (TOEFL or IELTS). Your score must not be more than two years old from July 1 of the application year.  Study in the U.S. does not exempt you from reporting this score.  If you have studied or worked in an English-speaking country and feel that your English skills are strong, you may request a waiver of the submission of the TOEFL/IELTS at the time that you submit your application.  Please note that no action is taken on waiver requests until all application materials have been received and a review of your English skills is evaluated.

What financial aid is available, and how do I apply? 

Financial aid for graduate school is not based on financial need but on the academic strength of the candidate. Therefore, no proof of financial need is required to apply. In order to apply for any and all available financial aid, an applicant need only to indicate “YES” on the financial aid section of the online application. It is the practice of our department to work cooperatively with the Graduate School to ensure that you will be financially supported at this level for at least six consecutive academic years, provided that you continue satisfactory progress in our graduate program.  As a member of an outstanding graduate community, we also strongly encourage you to apply for other institutional and outside fellowships.  Awards of the type add distinction to your graduate record and enhance our ability to support additional highly qualified students in graduate programs at Duke.