FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a Ph.D. in Biostatistics?

The online application for admission may be found at the Duke University Graduate School website.

How should one decide between seeking a master’s degree or a Ph.D.?

This is a matter of personal preference, and every applicant is different.  In choosing between a master’s degree and a Ph.D., we recommend that the student should determine their primary interest.  If one is interested in developing new statistical methodology and/or wants a high degree of intellectual independence, then a Ph.D. is a good track.

There is a financial trade-off, the result of which is uncertain. A master’s degree requires an initial investment of tuition, which is offset by entering the workforce more quickly.  Ph.D. students often have some or all of their costs offset by grants and stipends, eventually earning higher salaries, but they have a delayed entry into the workforce.

What date is required for my TOEFL scores to be valid?

An official copy must be sent to the Graduate School directly from the testing agency (for the TOEFL our institution code is 5156). Personal copies are not acceptable, nor are "attested" or notarized copies. The Education Testing Service (ETS) that administers the TOEFL will only send out scores that are two years old or less, so you have to take the TOEFL within two years of the date you submit your application.