Frequently Asked Questions
Below are frequently asked questions relating to the Exchange program at Duke Law. For information about Duke's LLM program, please see the LLM website.
My university is not listed as a partner school; can I apply to the Exchange program?
Duke Law has exchange agreements with leading universities around the world. Therefore, while it welcomes queries from university law faculty representatives, it is unlikely to enter into additional semester exchange agreements at this time. If your university does not have an agreement with Duke, you are welcome to suggest to its administration that it contact our office. We regret that we are unable to entertain applications for exchange semesters directly from students.
What are Duke Law School's English language test requirements?
Because Duke Exchange students take most of their courses with JD students and are graded on the same scale, Exchange applicants must have good English language skills.
To assess English language skills, Duke accepts either TOEFL or IELTS scores but prefers to review the TOEFL. Waivers of the TOEFL or IELTS requirement are granted only for applicants for whom English is their first language or who have studied for three years or longer in a degree-granting program taught in English at a university in a country in which English is an official language. To request a waiver, please include with your application a statement describing why you believe you are eligible. Please note that applicants who receive a TOEFL or IELTS waiver will not receive extra time on Duke Law exams that allow extra time for eligible Exchange students.
Duke’s minimum TOEFL score requirement is 100 and minimum IELTS score requirement is 7.0 and test scores should be no more than two years old from the date of application. All aspects of applications are closely reviewed, however. Applicants whose scores are below 100 or 7.0 but whose academic background and experience are otherwise strong may explain in their personal statement why they think their test score does not reflect their English language ability.
Duke reviews all scores in all categories from all TOEFL or IELTS tests reported. It does not accept the TOEFL MyBest Score or the new Essentials score reports. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on TOEFL and IELTS testing, we will also accept official scores from the TOEFL Special Home Edition, as well as the IELTS Online test.
Does Duke accept the MyBest Score?
No, we do not accept the MyBest Score. Duke reviews all scores in all categories from all TOEFL or IELTS tests reported in the two-year period.
How much does it cost to attend Duke Law School?
Though tuition is waived between the partner universities, students are responsible for educational fees and living expenses. Bills are issued and normally due before students arrive on campus to begin their program.
How do I apply?
Applicants to the exchange program must submit their application materials directly to our office either electronically or in hard copy format. Please note that you must omit the box number from our address if you plan to send hard copy application materials via courier (DHL, FedEx, etc.) to the International Admissions office. Application materials may also be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you grant application fee waivers?
The application fee is waived for Exchange program applicants.
To learn more about applying to the Exchange program for foreign law graduates visit this page.
How many credits does the Exchange program require?
Credit requirements are based on Exchange students' home universities. Exchange students are required to enroll in a minimum of eight credits to maintain valid visa status.
How do students select and register for courses?
Course selection is done during orientation. During orientation, faculty members provide information about courses. In addition, every student will meet with a faculty member or administrator who will offer advice on courses. There is also an add/drop period during which students can make changes after attending their choice of courses. New students should therefore not worry about selecting courses before arriving at Duke. There will be ample time to seek advice during orientation.
What if I have an academic or personal problem while I am a student at Duke?
The Law School International Studies Office has a staff of seven professionals who are dedicated to assisting international students. The School’s goal is to provide an outstanding education in a supportive, congenial environment. This “open door” policy allows students easy access to staff members. The University’s International House is also available to offer a variety of services to all international students.
Do I need to have a car in Durham?
It is desirable to have a car while living in Durham. Many students buy inexpensive used cars (sometimes from graduating students) or lease cars. If you decide not to buy a car, it is recommended that you live close to campus. There is good bus service around the campus, but less reliable bus service off-campus.
What about housing at Duke?
Durham has many attractive apartment complexes and other housing options close to the University and Law School at competitive rates. They are usually not furnished, but furniture can be rented or bought for a reasonable cost.
What is special about Duke’s location?
Duke is located in a beautiful forested setting, midway between the ocean and the mountains. The quality of life is exceptional and the cost of living reasonable; the climate is moderate; amenities such as good restaurants and shopping are available in the Triangle formed by Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill; and the area has more PhDs than almost any other part of the U.S. Duke students take advantage of the excellent golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, basketball courts and more.