Guaranteed and Competitive Funding

All incoming students are guaranteed five years of funding. This includes full tuition and stipend, contingent upon adequate progress in the program. You are also encouraged to pursue grants for fieldwork and dissertation write-up. It is a requirement of our program that all students undergo the process of competing for funding as this is an important learning process that will be critical for your career.

All students are expected to apply for the Graduate School grants for which they are eligible. Review the Find Funding opportunities on the Graduate School website.

In order to receive full departmental funding students must be in residence at Duke and completing service work as a teaching assistant (TA) or graduate assistant (GA). This does not apply to the fieldwork year (during which the student will receive full departmental funding if they were not awarded external funding). 

COVID-19 Update: many classes are being taught remotely and service to the department is being performed remotely as well. Graduate students residing away from campus in the ten states and one district with which Duke has a tax relationship may continue to reside elsewhere and to receive financial support. Those states include: California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C.

Option to Bank Funds

Students who receive a grant from a source external to the department that covers their fieldwork expenses will receive "banked" funding for one semester after they return to Durham. Please click on this link to see how the banked funding relates to the TA and GA policy.

If a student in year six applies for the Sixth Year Tuition Scholarship and the student already has banked funding they are not eligible to receive the scholarship, due to the banked funding. 


We recommend that students spend at least one year in the field. Students who have received a fellowship award/grant may spend an additional semester in the field (18 months total). Those who are awarded outside fellowships and spend 18 months in the field will return to Duke with three semesters of funding.  

Students who have not received outside funding and spend one year in the field will return to Duke with two or three semesters of funding contingent on when they left for the field (following three years of coursework or following two and an half years of coursework, respectively). Track 1 involves leaving for the field after five semesters and returning after seven (three and an half years). Track 2 involves leaving after six semesters and returning after eight (four years).

Duke offers fieldwork grants through the Graduate School.

Dissertation Research

In the spring of the second year, students should collect information about relevant grants for their field dissertation research. Please note: some deadlines are as early as mid-summer following the end of second year. In the fall of the third year, you are expected to apply to all relevant sources for external funding for dissertation research. There are also grants specifically allocated to support students, after fieldwork, during the dissertation writing stage.