How to Apply

Why Join This Program?

people on benchThe Duke University program in Molecular Cancer Biology is designed to generate independent scholars who are interested in augmenting current knowledge on the basic mechanisms underlying cell growth, differentiation, and development, and discerning how these processes are perturbed in cancer cells. This knowledge will aid in the development of improved anticancer therapies.

The advantages of enrolling in the Molecular Cancer Biology program are:

  • It is a degree-granting program that confers a Ph.D. in Molecular Cancer Biology.
  • The funding mechanisms of the program provide financial support to the students, allowing devotion of full attention to course work and laboratory research, thus accelerating progress toward completion of the Ph.D. degree.
  • The students in the program may affiliate with any of the program faculty without concern of the departmental affiliation of the faculty mentor. This allows students complete freedom to choose a laboratory that it is most appropriate to their research interests.
  • Graduate training is enhanced by the interactive nature of the faculty, the diverse processes under investigation, and the multiple approaches used by the participant researchers.

Admissions Requirements

Students accepted into the Program will usually have earned a bachelor's degree in biological sciences, chemistry or engineering. To apply, please visit the Duke University Graduate School web site. All application materials should be sent to the graduate school office. The institutional code for the Duke University Graduate Scho ol is 5156 for both the GRE and TOEFL. No departmental code is necessary since all test scores come to the Graduate School and are distributed to the appropriate departments. Once all materials are received, the department will review the application.

Deadline for priority applications is December 1. We do not accept applications for spring semester matriculation.

Admissions Program Statistics for the last 10 years, including average GPA and GRE’s, is available on the graduate school web site at: http://gradschool.duke.edu/about/program-statistics.

Minority Recruitment/Disability Services

people walkingMinorities are encouraged to apply. The graduate training program in Molecular Cancer Biology is committed to increasing the involvement of under-represented minorities in graduate education. Financial aid is available for qualified minority applicants through a variety of funding mechanisms. For more information, please visit the Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity’s website at http://www.medschool.duke.edu/phd-programs/diversity.

The Duke Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and the Graduate School are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, as well as applicable state regulations and federal and state privacy laws. We encourage applications from all sectors of society, including those whose life experiences may include the challenge of access due to a disability. 

If you believe you may need and qualify for reasonable accommodations, please visit Duke's Disability Management System (DMS) at http://www.access.duke.edu for detailed information and procedures. The knowledgeable staff at DMS serve Duke’s undergraduate, graduate and professional students, trainees, employees, and faculty, as well as the public, in support of Duke University and Duke University Health System efforts to ensure an accessible, hospitable working and learning environment for people with disabilities. Through DMS, Duke ensures consistent processes for requesting accommodations, evaluating needs, and determining appropriate response, and the DMS serves as a clearinghouse for disability-related information, procedures and services available at Duke, in Durham, and in North Carolina.  For more information about DMS visit http://www.access.duke.edu.

In support of disabled trainees, the School of Medicine offers a Biomedical Graduate Fellowship for disabled trainees that provides a $5000 stipend supplement. Trainees are deemed eligible by the Duke Student Disability Access Office for both accommodation and the fellowship. The Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity is partnering with Duke Counseling and Psychological Services to hold programmatic initiatives that support disabled students (for example, workshops on decreasing stress associated with imposter syndrome). The School of Medicine also plans to create focus groups with all currently enrolled disabled biomedical PhD trainees to ensure that the program and institution actively create an environment to promote their scientific success.

bikerFinancial Aid

Financial support for both tuition and stipend is available on a competitive basis to all qualified applicants. The bulk of the support for the MCB Program derives from a Federal training grant and hence these funds are available only to US citizens and permanent residents.

Support derived from the Graduate School (generally sufficient to support 1-2 students per year) is available to both US residents and international students.

In addition, students frequently receive individual awards through independent funding agencies.


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