Getting Ready to the Start the First Year

Before you arrive

  • North Carolina Law requires that show proof of vaccination. The rules and necessary forms are here.
  • International students are provided with the necessary papers to obtain a visa before the beginning of the academic year. For more information, see Duke Visa Services or Duke International House.
  • International students will also need to register for the English Proficiency Exams given during Orientation Week. More information.
  • In early summer you will be assigned a mentor. Some time in July communicate with them to see what you should be taking. Depending on the outcome of the written qualifying exams this may need to be changed but the people who staff the calculus labs need this information before you arrive.
  • Last, but not least, you will probably want a place to stay. The off campus housing web site or nearduke.com/housing can help you with that. Many students live somewhere near Duke's East Campus (e.g., Trinity Park, Trinity Heights, Walltown, Old Wesst Durham, Burch Avenue, etc.

Pre-qual Week

This is two weeks before classes begin. In 2015 it is August 10-14.

Beginning in Fall 2015 the linear algebra pre-qual will not be given. The main event is a week of two-hour classes on analysis Monday to Friday followed by a three hour written qualifying exam on Saturday.

However there are a number of other things that you need to come to the Front Office in Room 117 to take care of:

  • Pick up your office keys from DGS Assistant Jenny Hirtz.
  • You will be added to Duke University payroll by our Payroll Representative, Felina Grissom. If you are a U.S. citizen, please be sure to bring your U.S. Passport OR a Driver's License and Social Security card (or a copy of it). If you are an international student, make sure you have your Passport with you.
  • You will need to fill out the Duke Mathematics Department computer account page, in order to set up your Duke Mathematics email and webpage. You need to set up a Duke Mathematics Department computer account in order for us to list you in the grad student section of the Duke Mathematics website. Please be aware that your login name followed by "@math.duke.edu" will also serve as your email address.
  • Each of you will need to get a Duke Card to confirm your identity, allow access to facilities and services, and facilitate dining and purchases.
  • If you want to park your car on campus, most likely at a lot on East Campus, you need to get a parking permit. Once you have your Duke NetId you can apply online.

Orientation Week

This is the week before classes begin. In 2015 it is August 17-21.

  • The main event is training graduate students to teach. All new graduate students are required to attend. The schedule will not be finalized until about a week before it starts. The 2015 schedule will give you a good idea.
  • The Graduate School requires that international students whose first language is not English demonstrate proficiency in academic English by taking oral and written exams upon their arrival at Duke. If, based on the results of this testing, you are required to take one or more English classes, you should take one course per semester until they have been completed.
  • All entering students are required to attend an orientation on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) (Natural Sciences/Engineering track, during orientation week). University Ph.D. graduation requirements involve taking 6 more credit-hours of RCR courses. In 2014 this was all day Friday August 22,

How (and when) you are paid

Graduate students stipends will be paid to you in nine equal installments from September until May. Your first paychecks come on September 25 and 30 so be prepared to cover your expenses until then.

You will receive these payments from two payroll systems. If you teach, grade, or conduct research you will receive payment from the Compensatory payroll system. These payments arrive monthly on the 25th. For most of you, a portion of your stipend will come from Non-compensatory payroll as well. These payments arrive on the last day of the month.