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Admission to the MIDP program is competitive and based upon the applicant’s academic and professional credentials, essays, letters of recommendation, and English proficiency. Past applicants have held positions in U.S. and foreign government agencies, NGO’s, public international organizations, private corporations, the U.S. military, and the U.S. Peace Corps. 


What are the Admissions Requirements for the MIDP Program?



  • A strong academic background that demonstrates the capability to successfully undertake graduate studies. Duke University requires the completion of a four-year undergraduate degree to be eligible to apply.
  • A professional background of at least five years which shows an increase in responsibilities over time. Development-related experience is preferred. 
  • Essays which demonstrate a commitment to working in development and a deep awareness of development issues. 
  • Strong letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic references, which speak in detail about the applicant's potential and skills.
  • For all applicants, strong written and oral English skills are absolutely essential to succeed in the MIDP program. 


Additional Requirements for the One-Year Degree Program

To be eligible for the one-year degree, applicants must have completed at least one year of graduate-level coursework in a relevant field, and must also have an academic background in market-based economics with high grades/marks.


Requirements for Non-Native English Speakers

In addition to taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam, Duke University requires all accepted applicants whose native language is not English to take both oral and written English assessments upon arrival at Duke. Based on the results of these assessments, fellows may be required to take one or two English language courses. English language course credits do not count toward the MIDP degree requirement. They must be taken in addition to the regular course-load as part of the Duke University graduation requirements. Read more about academic policies related to English language courses.


Do I Have to Submit Standardized Test Scores for the MIDP Program?

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 or who are not U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores (not older than two years). 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.

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:

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


I still have questions. How can I reach someone in the MIDP program?

Email us at and a member of our staff would be happy to answer any of your questions. We look forward to hearing from you!