Duke University campus


Acceptance Rate

Test Scores

SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
670 - 760
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
690 - 790
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
680 - 780
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
31 - 34


Early Decision
November 1

January 2

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Class Rank
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores
Application Essay

Extracurricular Activities
Talent / Ability
Character / Personal Qualities

Selectivity Rating

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years


  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biology

  • Engineering

  • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering, General
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Engineering Mechanics

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General
  • English Language and Literature/Letters, Other

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • African Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • French Language and Literature
  • German Language and Literature
  • Italian Language and Literature
  • Linguistics
  • Russian Language and Literature
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • History

  • History, General

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General
  • Geology/Earth Science, General
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Public Administration and Social Service Professions

  • Public Policy Analysis

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Economics, General
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Sociology

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
  • Design and Visual Communications, General
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Music History, Literature, and Theory

Students Say

Duke University is “all about academic excellence complemented by highly competitive Division I sports and an enriching array of extracurricular activities,” making the university “an exciting, challenging, and enjoyable place to be.” Undergraduates choose Duke because they “are passionate about a wide range of things, including academics, sports, community service, research, and fun.” And because the school seems equally committed to accommodating all of those pursuits; as one student puts it, “Duke is for the Ivy League candidate who is a little bit more laid-back about school and overachieving (but just a bit) and a lot more into the party scene.” Academics “are very difficult in the quantitative majors (engineering, math, statistics, economics, premed)” and “much easier in the non-quantitative majors,” but there’s an “across-the-board excellence in all departments from humanities to engineering.” In all areas, there’s a “supportive environment in which the faculty, staff, and students are willing to look out for the other person and help them succeed.” It’s the norm to have large study groups, and “the review sessions, peer tutoring system, writing center, and academic support center are always helpful when students are struggling with anything from math homework to creating a résumé.” Professors’ “number-one priority is teaching undergraduates,” and their love of discussion means they “would rather that the students lead the class as opposed to them leading the class.” “There are a few who make me want to stay at Duke forever,” says a student. Because “the school has a lot of confidence in its students,” it offers them “seemingly limitless opportunities.”


Post-Bachelor's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Services
Interest Inventory

Prominent Alumni

Grant Hill
Former NBA Player

Elizabeth Hanford Dole
Former president of the American Red Cross

Clay Felker
Founding Editor New York Magazine

Henry Hyde
Member of U.S. House of Representatives

Martin Kratt
Creator and star of Zoboomafoo

Judy Woodruff
News Anchor

Sean McManus
President of CBS Sports

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Services
Interest Inventory

ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Median Starting Salary

Median Mid-Career Salary

Alumni with High Job Meaning

Return on Education (ROE) rating

Students Say

Duke students “are focused on graduating and obtaining a lucrative and prosperous career.” The “engaged Career Center” provides a range of services (such as seminars, workshops, and online databases) that help students fine-tune their skills. Career fairs are held throughout the year (including the “Just-in-Time” Career Fair in the spring, for employers who have immediate openings for graduating students. Drop-in advising is always available. Fifty-three percent of Duke graduates who visited Payscale.com reported feeling their jobs had a meaningful impact on the world, and averaged a starting salary of $55,900.

Colleges that Create Futures

Hands-on Coursework

With fifty-four majors, fifty-two minors, and twenty-one certificates that can be combined in any way, Duke students certainly have a lot of options. Some of Duke’s specialized majors are designed to be completed as “co-majors” in conjunction with another field of study. When these degrees are paired with experiential learning requirements, such as the global health co-major, students effectively carve out a specialized niche in their field. The school told us that “more than 80 percent of Duke students go beyond their major to obtain a second major, a minor, and/or a certificate.” However, these options provide something beyond variety. They help students probe a subject and really figure out what it is that interests them the most.
Becca Ward ’12, a public policy major who now works as a legislative aid for a U.S. senator, explained how this process affected her career: “I have always known I wanted to work in the environmental conservation/protection space, but it was a nebulous idea when I matriculated. While I am still trying to find my exact path, Duke gave me insight into different perspectives and concentrations within conservation and public policy influence the way I approach my job everyday.”
Duke offers ways for students to further customize their education and degree beyond the established majors. Ana Homayoun (’01) raved about one such opportunity: “One of the greatest opportunities Duke gave me was the chance to be a Program II major. Program II is a self-designed curriculum where a student is allowed to design a curriculum around a personal interest. At the time mine was International Health Policy. I took classes in the graduate school and at UNC School of Public Health, and it was quite interesting in so many different ways. But the most important thing it taught me is that there is no one pre-set path to success, and there are ways in which you can create your own blueprint for success. Duke gave me the opportunity to be an entrepreneur of sorts when it came to shaping my education, and I took that confidence in starting a business shortly after graduation.”
Duke encourages students to become the authors of their own educational and career paths, which students at Duke take very seriously. This collective sense of agency and self destiny has a powerful effect. “In aggregate sense,” Becca Ward explained, “the opportunity to be surrounded by so many incredibly passionate and intelligent peers and advisers helped me understand that there is no right or standard path, and inspired me to be brave and unapologetic about forging my own.”
Service Learning

DukeEngage is another way that Duke allows students to customize their education and gain practical experience through socially conscious efforts. “This is a program where students identify an opportunity to provide a service anywhere in the world and Duke will help fund your travel, immunizations, lodging, etc.,” alumnus Jin-Soo Daniel Huh told us. “DukeEngage also provided training that prepared us to perform service in communities. Students can go as individuals or professors will sponsor groups to work on a project. I had the opportunity to go to Mali and work with an international development group and help measure the impact the schools they were building in rural areas were having on the communities.” DukeEngage service projects last a minimum of eight weeks and take place in seventy-eight countries around the world. Thanks to an endowment from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Duke Endowment, the program has covered the cost of 2,800 students since its 2007 inception. “It was an incredible opportunity to apply the skills I had developed in class in a tangible way,” he added. “To do this with the financial support and programmatic support of Duke made it an even more meaningful experience.”
Faculty Mentors

Members of Duke faculty are among the most respected in the world. While they are public intellectuals who hold appointments in the National Academy of Sciences and provide expert testimony to the United States Congress, they “are [also] committed to giving students the individual attention that pushes them to excel. . . . Undergraduates, even in their first year, interact with senior faculty on a regular basis,” the school told us. A 8:1 faculty to student ratio certainly means that Duke students can get plenty of face time with their professors. But Duke encourages these interactions further with “programs like ‘FLunch’ where a student can invite their professor to lunch at the college’s expense, and have an hour-long chat about their classes, their experiences & future plans, as well as hearing about what the professor does,” Dr. Mohamed Noor, a professor of biology told us. A casual, hour-long chat with a world expert and free lunch? Who could say no? Based on the success of FLunch, “Duke recently also started ‘FINvite’ to have students and professors have longer interactions such as a group dinner and games at a dorm or going out to a restaurant,” Dr. Noor explained. “I’ve participated in many of these each semester, and the interactions they stimulate are great . . . those are some of the kinds of interactions that make me love my job.”
Dr. Noor explained how these relationships strengthen over time and told us that, “students who’ve worked directly on research with me are like family . . . they come to our lab meetings, have regularly scheduled meetings to go over their research progress, and join the lab social network. These undergraduates often operate, in effect, like starting PhD students, often leading to publication of research, too.”
Faculty gain valuable perspective from these interactions as well, which helps them when it comes time to make decisions about the curriculum. Duke faculty, Dr. Noor told us, enjoy a great deal of control over the curriculum. “[We] are currently involved in a committee that is reimagining what general education requirements we offer to all Arts & Sciences undergraduates, and our committee is thinking about the impact not just about ‘classes’ but also about the totality of student experiences—undergraduate research, study abroad, even extra- or co-curriculars."
Alumni Network

Prominent alumni like Elizabeth Hanford Dole, a former president of the American Red Cross, and Benjamin Chavis, Jr., civil rights activist and former executive director of the NAACP exemplify Duke’s commitment to leadership and service. And that is a nice group to join. A current biomedical engineering student told us, “Duke has a very strong alumni network, which makes for great connections when coming out of school and looking for opportunity all over the globe in the professional world.” Part of the value of a Duke degree lies in these extensive alumni networks. Alumni connect and collaborate through two primary channels: through groups that focus on particular regions of the world, which can be a huge help when moving to a new community, and through “affinity groups,” such as the Duke Global Health group or the Women as Leaders group. Becca Ward is currently in a mentoring program through the Duke Politics and Policy group, and she told us “I am constantly amazed at the supportiveness and warmth of the Duke alumni network.” Since the 2008 economic downturn, grads in the Young Alumni group have been able to check out “a series of online conversations with knowledgeable Duke alumni to answer questions relating to ‘what to do now,’” according to the university. Leave it to a university that focuses on leadership and service to produce alumni networks that are so consistently helpful.


Application Deadlines
Mar 1
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms

Business Farm Supp
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent

Bottom Line

With a moderately sized campus of 6,000 undergraduates, students have the opportunity to work closely with the school’s accomplished faculty. Academics are challenging, especially in the quantitative majors like science and mathematics. However, there are plentiful student resources, including a writing center and a peer-tutoring program, not to mention the constant support from the school’s teaching staff. Innovation and independence are encouraged; the school offers grants for undergraduate research projects, as well as travel grants and awards for artistic endeavors.

Bang For Your Buck

Duke is dedicated to making its outstanding education affordable. More than half of undergraduates receive some sort of financial assistance, including need-based aid, and merit or athletic scholarships. Students are evaluated for admission without regard to their ability to pay. If admitted, Duke pledges to meet 100 percent of need. There are no loans or parental contributions required for families with incomes under $40,000. Families with incomes under $60,000 are not required to make a parental contribution, and the school offers capped loans for eligible families with incomes of more than $100,000. The biggest value is the academic experience. One student explains, “Every single one of my professors actually knows me very well. They know where I’m from; they know what I actually find funny in class; they know when I’m sick and are incredibly parental in making sure that I get all of my work done and stay healthy; they know ME. How many other students can say that in any university?” Another student adds, “I wanted a medium college that was not too large but had research opportunities. I liked the culture at Duke and the choice was easy because they also gave me the best financial package.”

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Other
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Out of State

Foreign Countries Represented



50% female
50% male
88% are out of state
100% are full time
0% are part time

Students Say

The typical Duke student “is someone who cares a lot about his or her education but at the same time won’t sacrifice a social life for it.” Life involves “getting a ton of work done first and then finding time to play and have fun.” The typical student here is studious but social, athletic but can never be seen in the gym, job hunting but not worrying, and so on and so forth.” Everyone is “incredibly focused,” but “that includes social success as well.” Students tend to be “focused on graduating and obtaining a lucrative and prosperous career,” and although they “go out two to three times a week,” they’re “always looking polished.” An “overwhelming number” are athletes, “not just varsity athletes…but athletes in high school or generally active people. Duke’s athletic pride attracts this kind of person.” The student body “is surprisingly ethnically diverse, with a number of students of Asian, African, and Hispanic descent,” and “every type of person finds a welcoming group where he or she fits in.”


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Small Urban

Housing Options

Apartment Single
Dorms Coed
Dorms Female
Dorms Male
Frat Sorority
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Students Say

Life at Duke “is very relaxed,” and “you can either be a part of nothing, or you can be so over-committed that it’s not even funny.” Because “the student union and other organizations provide entertainment all the time, from movies to shows to campus-wide parties,” there’s “a wealth of on-campus opportunities to get involved.” Indeed, weekends are for relaxing, and “people usually stay on campus for fun,” because hometown Durham “has a few quirky streets and squares with restaurants, shops, clubs, etc., but to really do much you have to go to Raleigh or Chapel Hill,” each twenty to thirty minutes away by car. The perception that “Durham is pretty dangerous” further dampens students’ enthusiasm for the city. Undergrads’ fervor for Blue Devils sports, on the other hand, can be boundless; sports, “especially basketball, are a huge deal here,” and undergrads “will paint themselves completely blue and wait in line on the sidewalk in K-ville for three days to jump up and down in Cameron Indoor Stadium.” Greek life “plays a big role in the social scene here,” but “almost all the parties are open, so it definitely isn’t hard to get into a party.” Though it’s a “very party-heavy school,” a lot of people “just do their own thing—have a movie night, go exploring, go skiing or to the beach for a weekend.” Still, the social scene can be “a little too intense” at times.

Special Needs Admissions

Program / Service Name
Services for Students with Learning Disabilities and AD/HD

Type of Program
For LD/ADD Only

Emma Swain

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Documentation Requred for LD
Current psychoeducational testing: within 3 years

Documentation Requred for ADHD
current psychoeducational testing: within 3 years

Special Need Services Offered

Calculator allowed in exams

Dictionary allowed in exams

Computer allowed in exams

Spellchecker allowed in exams

Extended test time



Oral exams


Distraction-free environment

Accommodation for students with ADHD

Reading machine

Other assistive technology

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations

29% join a fraternity
42% join a sorority


Athletic Division
Division I

Men's Sports (Blue Devils)
15 Sports

Cross Country
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Women's Sports (Blue Devils)
14 Sports

Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Field Hockey
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor

Student Services

Day Care
Womens Center
Army ROTC Offered on-campus
Navy ROTC Offered on-campus
Air Force ROTC Offered on-campus


At Duke University, sustainability starts from the bottom up—each year the administration commits $50,000 to fund student, staff and faculty led initiatives which will “green” Duke. The fund has been used to put on conferences, conduct research, provide education and training, and seed new programs. Numerous grants have been awarded in the past year. For example, funding went to water bottle refilling stations in the School of Public Policy to reduce need for disposable plastic water bottles and a student organized sustainable dinner at Duke on national Food Day. There are numerous active environmental student organizations on campus, spanning the undergraduate and graduate population—including Duke’s Business, Medical, and Law schools. Furthermore, the sustainability office pays fifteen student employees to work on campus sustainability projects throughout the year as part of the Students for Sustainable Living program. There are also many opportunities for students to study sustainability in the classroom. The Nicholas School of the Environment offers four undergraduate degrees: an AB and BS in environmental sciences, and an AB and BS in earth and ocean sciences. Classes often have practical implications — one course called “Food and Energy” has helped lay the groundwork for an ongoing project to create a Duke campus farm. A signatory of the ACUPCC, Duke has thirty-five buildings that are LEED-certified or seeking certification, and has committed to become carbon neutral by 2024. In fact, Duke has eliminated the use of coal on campus through the renovation of the campus steam plants as part of the university’s Climate Action Plan. As a result of this effort and other GHG reduction strategies, Duke has reduced overall GHG emissions 28 percent from a 2007 baseline.

School Has Formal Sustainability Committee

Sustainability-focused degree available

School employs a sustainability officer

Public GHG inventory plan

% food budget spent on local/organic food

Available Transportation Alternatives

Car Sharing Program

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling

School Developed Bicycle Plan

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2015.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

Campus Visits Contact

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
2138 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC 27708


Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Duke Chapel
Primate Center
Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Duke Forest
Levine Science Research Center

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Duke Homestead
N.C. Museum of Life and Science
Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Ninth Street
Southpointe Mall

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday; Saturday
8am-5pm; 10am-1pm

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: No
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

Varies throughout the year (see Web site)

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Coach Directly

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available


Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

1-night stay; high school seniors. Contact Student Locator Service, 919/6843322


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
The Raleigh-Durham International Airport is 18 miles from campus. Limousines, taxis, and rental cars are available at the airport. Amtrak trains serve Raleigh and Durham. You must make your own arrangements for transportation from there to campus. Greyhound bus service is available to Durham, approximately 3 miles from campus. Taxis are available at the station.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From I-40 (from Raleigh and the airport), bear right onto Durham Freeway north (NC Rte. 147); continue into Durham and exit at Swift Ave./Duke University-East Campus. Turn left at the top of the ramp; turn right at flashing light (Campus Dr.). Proceed for 1 mile to the admissions office; the driveway is to the right as you approach the traffic circle. From I-85 S., take the exit for 15-501 S. Bypass-Duke University/Chapel Hill; proceed for 2 miles and exit at the sign for NC 751/Duke University. Turn left on Rte. 751 and go 1 mile to the 4th stoplight; turn left onto Duke University Rd. and continue for 1 mile. Turn left onto Chapel Dr. at the stone pillars. At the circle, turn right onto Campus Dr.; the admissions office is the first building on the left. From I-85 N., exit onto Rte. 70 E. at the sign to NC 751/Duke University. Proceed on Rte. 70 for 2 miles to the intersection with Rte. 751; turn right onto Rte. 751 for approximately 4.5 Turn left at the fifth stoplight (Duke University Rd.) and proceed for 1 mile; turn left onto Chapel Dr. at the stone pillars. At the circle, turn right onto Campus Dr.; the admissions office is the first building on the left.

Local Accommodations
The Millennium Hotel-Durham (2800 Campus Walk Ave.; 800-633-5379) and the Durham Hilton (3800 Hillsborough Rd.; 919-383-8033 or 800-445-8667) are a short drive from campus. The inexpensive Brookwood Inn (2306 Elba St.; 919-286-3111 or 800-716-6401) is across the street from the university hospital and has a shuttle to campus. The Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club (3001 Cameron Blvd.; 919-490-0999 or 800-443-3853) is convenient to campus. The inn has a golf course, with tennis and swimming facilities nearby. A complimentary shuttle service is available within the city of Durham.