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Application Process

On this page you will find information about application materials and answers to frequently asked questions for each part of the application. Please note that there is no separate application required for financial aid consideration: your online application doubles as the application for admission and the application for financial aid consideration. Please contact us with additional questions.


Online Application

Complete the online application.

Application Deadline

Priority deadline for fall is January 5. MIDP will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis after that date until all spaces have been filled.

Application Fee

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


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:

  • 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.
Note for International Applicants:

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 bearing the insignia and signature of that translator
  • If the grading scale of your institution is different from the 4.0 grading scale used at US institutions, you will be asked to complete an International Transcript Evaluation Form, one for each international institution you have attended. A sample may be found here.
Mailing Official Transcripts
  • 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 submitted in sealed envelopes, issued by the institution, and submitted via mail to the following address:

Master of International Development Policy Program
Attn: Admissions Coordinator
Duke Center for International Development
Box 90237
302 Towerview Road, Rubenstein Hall Room 289
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina USA 27708-0237

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

Letters of Recommendation

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.

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.

Statement of Purpose

In your personal statement, please describe 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; and your professional goals upon graduation. Please limit the statement to one page.

Policy Essay

Discuss a particular policy problem or challenge you have encountered in your work or that your country has faced.  Describe the nature of the problem, and discuss some of the ways in which attempts were made to solve the problem, including your assessment of how well the solutions worked or failed. What might you now recommend to solve the problem? Please limit your response to one page.

Standardized Tests

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

All applicants* whose first language is not English who are not U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents must submit TOEFL or IELTS 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.

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

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:

*To be eligible for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver, 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.

Master of International Development Policy Program
Attn: Admissions Coordinator
Duke Center for International Development
Box 90237
302 Towerview Road, Rubenstein Hall Room 289
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina USA 27708-0237

Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume

Upload your current CV or resume that contains a summary of your employment history, academic credentials, professional achievements and qualifications.

Financial Support

International applicants must apply to at least two funding sources to be eligible for MIDP scholarships. Please provide a list of funding organizations to which you have applied or plan to apply for financial support. For each organization, please include the name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number and fax number. If your funding is confirmed, include official proof of financial support.

Please refer to our financial aid page.