Prospective Students

Letter from the DGS

We are delighted that you are considering Duke Math for your graduate work.  Prospective students often ask me "what distinguishes Duke Math?"  Two things immediately come to mind:

  1. There is a strong interdisciplinary streak in the department.  Many faculty and students interact with multiple research groups (both within the math department and beyond, including the school of medicine, computer science, engineering, physics, et cetera).  This is both wonderfully stimulating and very important.  Mathematics is a deeply interconnected subject, and the strongest mathematicians leverage these connections.
  2. The department's Professional Development Program covers a range of topics, including: writing (eg. research statements and grant proposals), speaking (eg seminar talks and job talks), careers beyond academia (what are they, how to prepare for them, and how to explore them through internships).
  3. Every semester, the department runs a few mini-courses.  These are really great.  They supplement the standard graduate catalog with a range of material running the gamut from established theory (eg harmonic analysis) through recent developments/questions in mathematics (eg classical algebra and quantum computing).  They are sometimes the launch pad for working/reading groups.   They run about 4.5 weeks (a third of the term), and are often attended by students, post-docs and faculty.

To me these are representative indicators of the engaging, expansive and stimulating nature of the mathematics community here, making the department a wonderful place to work, learn and begin developing your reserach program and mathematical career.


There are roughly 60 Ph.D. students in the Duke mathematics graduate program.  Approximately half are international, a third are women.  The department welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and life-experiences.  We are one of nine participating departments in the Sloan Foundation funded University Center for Excellence in Mentoring devoted to recruiting and training students from traditionally under-represented communities.


Students admitted to the mathematics graduate study program are guaranteed five years of support through a combination of teaching assistantships and research assistantships.

The program

The Duke Mathematics Department admits students working towards a Ph.D. in research mathematics.  Please note that the department has neither a Masters program, nor a separate track for students primarily interested in teaching.