Getting started

1. Create an Account

Visit Duke's application page to create an account or log in.

Trouble entering the portal?  Contact Duke's Office of Information Technology (OIT) Help Desk. Please include a screenshot or details of the error message you encounter.

2. Start an Application

Once you've created an account, on the application page, click “Start a New Application” and select the right application cycle. (i.e. “Spring 2024-Fall 2024 Application Cycle”)

3. Select Sanford School

Make sure to choose “Sanford School of Public Policy” in the next drop-down tab. This will open Sanford School applications.

Need help? Contact us at


Apply today

The MIDP program has a rolling admission with a priority deadline of January 5.  Need more information? Check out the FAQ page or email us.

Begin your application

Application Items


Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores. However, if you have taken the GRE and would like to submit your scores, please request that the official GRE scores be sent to the Duke Graduate School admissions office, institutional code 5156

Language Proficiency

All applicants whose first language is not English or who are not U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents must submit TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo or PTE scores (not older than two years):

  • A minimum of 90 must be scored on the TOEFL internet-based test. 

  • A minimum overall band score of seven (7.0) must be scored on the IELTS. 

  • A minimum of 115 is required for the Duolingo exam. 

  • A minimum of 64 is required for the PTE test.

Details on the TOEFL and IELTS exams and registration forms are available at U.S. embassies and consulates as well as U.S. Information Agency offices, or from TOEFL and IELTS. Please request that the official TOEFL scores be sent to the Duke Graduate School admissions office, institutional code 5156

For PTE scores, please follow the instructions listed on the exam and select the MIDP program. Learn more about the PTE exam.

For Duolingo scores, please follow the instructions listed on the exam and select Duke University. Learn more about the Duolingo exam.

IELTS scores may be verified electronically with the TRF. Please send your TRF to the MIDP admissions office at or request hardcopy scores to be mailed to the following address:

Duke Center for International Development
Attn: MIDP Admissions Office, RH 196
Box 90237
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina USA 27708-0237

To be eligible for a waiver for the language proficiency test requirement, you must have studied full-time for two years or more at a college or university where the sole language of instruction is English and in a country where English is the primary spoken language. The two years of study must be completed prior to application submission date.

Your current CV or resume should contain a summary of your employment history, academic credentials, professional achievements and qualifications.

In your personal statement, please describe the following:

  • Why you are interested in this program
  • How you expect the program to benefit you and your home country or region
  • How aspects of your professional, academic and personal experiences have shaped you
  • Your professional goals upon graduation

Please limit the statement to one page, single-spaced.

Three letters of recommendation are required in support of your application. The letters must be submitted electronically via the online application. 

You will be required to enter the contact information of your recommenders (including email address), and the recommenders will, in turn, be sent a link from which they can access the online recommendation form, fill it out and upload a letter in support of your application. We cannot accept recommendations outside of the application portal.

Please request letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic references who are best qualified to testify to your potential and skills in the field.

Applicants are asked to prepare a short (two minutes maximum) video recording of themselves to inform the admissions committee who you are and to answer the question, “What does development means to you?”

For the application

Prior to submitting your application, you are required to upload one copy of your scanned unofficial transcript from each institution you have attended. We can review your application with the unofficial transcript(s); however, official transcript(s) are required for full admission to the program. 

Please note that non-legible scans will not be accepted. Make sure your scanned documents are readable before uploading, as non-legible documents will result in delays.

Important guidelines for uploading transcripts:
  • Transcripts should be in English and should list the specific courses taken while enrolled in the institution, along with the grade.
  • Make sure that all critical and identifying marks have been scanned and are legible. These include the institution's name, your name, the names of your courses and the grades you have received.
  • Make sure that your file is in Word (.doc) or PDF format and does not exceed 1.5 MB (1,500 kb) in size. To reach the minimum size, you may have to scan your file at the lowest DPI that produces a legible image. In most cases, you will be able to use a DPI under 200. Do not scan in color. Use grayscale if possible, otherwise use black and white.
  • Once you have uploaded your file, click the "View Document" button to ensure that the document you've uploaded is legible throughout. If it is not legible, try again. You may need to adjust the settings of your scanner to produce a scan that is both legible and smaller than 1.5 MB.
  • Finally, if you are unable to upload a legible transcript, you will be asked to have an official transcript sent to the MIDP Admissions Office.​​​

If you're recommended for admissions

If you are recommended for admissions by the Admissions Committee, you will be required to provide official copies of your transcripts at that time. Official transcript(s) with degree posted from all institutions you have attended is required for admission to our program.

To be considered an official transcript, the document(s) must contain the institution’s stamp or some other form of certification that clearly indicates authenticity. If your institution does not make a practice of sending original transcripts, copies of the original documents that have been certified by the issuing institution may be accepted.

Non-English transcripts must be translated by an official translator and bearing the insignia and signature of that translator.

Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes, issued by the institution and submitted via mail to the following address:

Duke Center for International Development
Attn: MIDP Admissions Office, RH 196
Box 90237
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina USA 27708-0237

We strongly recommend that international applicants send transcripts by express mail (FedEx) to ensure delivery.  

The term “transcript” may not be a familiar term to some applicants. In the U.S., a transcript includes the following information:

  • Your name
  • The institution’s name
  • The dates you attended the institution
  • The titles of the specific courses or subjects in which you were enrolled
  • The number of hours of instruction involved in each course or subject
  • The grade, mark or some other form of evaluation you received for each course or subject
  • Any degree, diploma or certificate awarded for completion of your studies

Non-English transcripts must be translated by an official translator and bear the insignia and signature of that translator.

If the grading scale of your institution is different from the 4.0 grading scale used at U.S. institutions, you will be asked to complete an International Transcript Evalulation Form, one for each international institution you have attended. 

The application fee is $80. We accept payment by Visa or MasterCard (debit/credit). Please note we do not review applications until we have processed the application fee.

There is no separate application required for financial aid consideration. Your online application serves as the application for admission and the application for financial aid consideration. 

Why Duke MIDP?

Alumnus Perspective