PAL Graduate Certificate Requirements

  • Each student must also write a research paper and present it at a workshop at Duke.

This presentation may take place anytime after the completion of at least four of the graduate level courses required for the certificate. The workshop will be organized regularly according to need. The format for the final PAL Certificate workshop will be a PAL Forum. The candidate must make the paper available 2 weeks before the session. It will be sent out to all who sign up for the Forum. At the Forum, the candidate will present the paper briefly, and open for discussion. Everyone present may participate in the discussion. The only difference between this session and an ordinary PAL Forum is that a minimum of three members of the steering committee must be present. The candidate should choose one member of the steering committee as an advisor for the paper. The advisor’s task is to approve the paper for presentation. There are no specific rules about the length of the paper, however, we expect that the candidate will pre-circulate a full-length research paper, maybe ranging from 20 to 40 pages, and with full scholarly notes and references. The paper could often be a a dissertation chapter, or a paper that the student hopes to submit for publication. The public presentation itself should present the substance of the paper, in a form that takes around 30 minutes.

  • Students are expected to have an interdisciplinary experience in the Certificate. Students must therefore take courses in a minimum of three different departments.

Exceptions to this requirement may be granted by the DGS if sufficiently diverse courses have not been offered in the relevant period. A student cannot earn the Certificate by taking five courses in the same department or five courses with the same professor.

Every semester the steering committee will approve a minimum of 2 courses that will count towards the certificate. These courses will be listed on the PAL website. As a rule, only approved courses will count for the Certificate. However, to ensure that no suitable course is excluded from the Certificate, students may also petition the DGS to count a non-approved course towards the Certificate. To do so, they must provide a detailed syllabus of the course.

If the PAL course you want to take is offered at UNC, details about inter-institutional registration can be found on the Duke Registrar’s Website. Once you’ve registered for the course, you’ll need to get a form signed by either your advisor, or your DGS. You cannot audit an inter-institutional course. As UNC-CH states on their website:

“Cooperative Registration for Courses Offered at North Carolina Central University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Only full-time students are eligible for “interinstitutional” registration (see Bulletin), and such registration requires at least an equivalent number of units be taken at Duke during the same semester. The student should first register at Duke for the desired course(s) in the normal process of registration. After securing a form from the Duke registrar certifying eligibility for interinstitutional registration, the student must then complete the registration process at the cooperating institution. Tuition will be charged for all course(s) at the Duke rate.

Doctoral students who have completed all the necessary coursework at Duke may still take courses under the interinstitutional agreement; however, the student will have to register for an equivalent number of Research units at Duke. (Remember that Ph.D. tuition charges are disconnected from registration units: a student who has completed all coursework has probably completed tuition payments for the requisite six semesters.) Any additional fees for courses at other institutions (e.g., laboratory or computer fees) are the responsibility of the student and are not considered part of Duke tuition.”

As a rule, Independent Studies cannot replace an approved course.

How to Sign Up for the PAL Graduate Certificate

  1. You can enroll in the PAL certificate program using the admissions form provided by the Graduate School at Duke. You can enroll in the certificate program at any point during your graduate career.
  2. This form must be signed by Dr. Moi and then returned to the graduate school via email. Please send it to and cc and
  3. Once enrolled, your certificate program should show up in ACES.
  4. Any course designated on the PAL website as a certificate course will count towards the certificate, even if you took that course before you formally signed up for the certificate.
  5. After you have finished the required courses, present your research paper at a PAL Forum.  After the event, have steering committee members sign your PAL Graduate Program Checklist Form and submit it to Toril Moi, the PAL DGS.
  6. Upon completion of your requirements and approval from the DGS (Toril Moi in the case of PAL), go into ACES and apply for graduation for your certificate. This can be done at any point during your graduate career and does not need to be the same semester you graduate (although it cannot be after you graduate).
  7. Any further questions about graduate certificate programs at Duke can be directed to:

Denise Leathers
Staff Specialist
Duke University Graduate School
Office of Academic Affairs
2127 Campus Drive, P.O. Box 90068
Durham, NC  27708-0068
Office – 919-681-3252
FAX – 919-684-2277