For Current Students

Good Standing in the Program

To advance to degree and retain funding during the course of your career at Duke, you must remain in good standing. In practical terms, this requires the following:

  • Earn and maintain a GPA of a B or higher for your coursework. If you fail to meet this criterion, the Director of Graduate Studies must place you on academic probation.
  • Successfully pass the qualifying procedure by the end of your second year of graduate study.
  • Successfully pass the preliminary examination by the end of the fall semester in your third year of graduate study.
  • Successfully defend your dissertation prospectus at the end of the spring semester in your third year of graduate study.
  • Submit revised version of the prelim paper by the end of the fall semester in your fourth year of graduate study.
  • Provide evidence of progress towards completion of the dissertation at the end of the year conference during years four and five of graduate study.

Emphasis on Graduate Student Workshops

The department's research workshop program encourages scholarly discussion of works in progress by faculty, outside speakers, and graduate students – including dissertation prospectuses. While the requirements for workshop participation varies across the major fields, you are encouraged to attend workshops in your major field of study on a regular basis throughout your residency in the graduate program. The workshops ordinarily meet on a bi-weekly basis throughout the year in our six major areas of research: political theory; political institutions; political economy; political behavior & identity; security, peace & conflict; and political methodology.

We insist on breadth and well-roundedness in our graduates. We also strongly encourage and insist on early concentration on professional research and publication through faculty-graduate research workshops and collaborative research and publications.

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