Duke University Requirements and Campus Guide

School Name: Duke University

School Location: Durham, NC

School Type: Research University / Liberal Arts

Class of 2025

  • Regular Applications: 44,481
  • Regular Admitted: 2,014
  • Regular Acceptance Rate: 4.4%
  • Early Decision Acceptance Rate: 16.7%

General Info

Historical SAT/ACT Score (Test Optional for 2021 Applicants)

  • SAT: 1500-1560
  • ACT: 33 -35


  • High Reach


  • Early Decision: November 1
  • Early Results: MidDecember
  • Regular Deadline: January 4
  • Regular Results: April 

School Info

  • Schedule: Semester
  • Curriculum Type: General Education requirements
  • Greek Life: Yes
  • Athletics: DI

Quote from person at Command who went there

  • “Duke prides itself on being younger and scrappier compared to many of its peer institutions. Students are encouraged to challenge the status quo and make use of the school’s inexhaustible resources to combine their interests in innovative and exciting ways. You don’t have to love basketball, of course, but I will say that ‘tenting’ in the dead of winter for tickets to the Carolina game is a great way to make friends for life (as well as potentially wind up with frostbite). All in all, I’d stress that Dukies feel very strongly about their status as Blue Devils. If you come here, you can expect your fellow classmates to be one thing: passionate.” -Caroline, class of 2018

Duke Requirements and Campus Guide 

Here’s everything you should know before you apply to Duke University!

Duke is a private university located in Durham, North Carolina, founded in 1838. Consistently ranked in the top ten schools, Duke’s acceptance rate is typically 10%, so it is a Duke requirement to be an excellent student in order to be admitted! Home to just under 7,000 undergraduate students, and around 10,000 graduate students, Duke is split into two undergraduate schools; the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering. Keep reading to learn more about Duke!

How do I apply to Duke?

You can apply to Duke through both the Common Application and the Coalition Application. You’ll be required to submit all of the items from the following list in order to apply:

  1. Official high school transcript, submitted by your school counselor or another school official
  2. Either SAT or ACT scores, essay score submission is optional, SAT II strongly recommended for students who submit the SAT (can super-score)
  3. An English proficiency test is recommended for non-native English speakers
  4. One Duke required supplemental essay in addition to your Common or Coalition App Essay
  5. Two optional supplemental essays
  6. Three letters of recommendation – one from your counselor and two from teachers who taught you in a major academic course (English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, or Foreign Language). If you are applying to the Pratt School of Engineering, at least one recommendation should be from a math or science teacher


  1. Additional recommendation letter from an employer or mentor
  2. Interview with an alumni
  3. Artistic Supplement submitted through the SlideRoom Portal

Application Options and Deadlines

You can apply to Duke Early or Regular Decision. Applying to Duke Early Decision means that you are required to attend if you are offered admission. If you apply Regular Decision, you have the option of applying to more than one school, and choosing which school to attend out of all of the schools to which you are admitted.

  • Duke’s Early Decision deadline is November 1st.
  • Duke’s Regular Decision with priority consideration for an alumni interview is December 20th.
  • Duke’s Regular Decision deadline is January 2nd.
  • Duke’s Art Supplement deadline is January 7th.

Can I afford Duke?

Tuition at Duke costs $60,408, Room and Board cost $9,164, and $ 8,320, respectively, and books and supplies are estimated to cost $3,410. Duke is estimated to cost $81,302. This is a hefty sum, but with an $8 billion endowment, Duke offers financial aid to 52% of its students and 67% graduate debt-free. If you want to get a better idea of what your financial aid package would look like, you can use Duke’s net price calculator.

What is Duke faculty like?

Dule has a faculty: student ratio of 8:1, with 72% of classes having less than nineteen students. Duke is a research university, meaning that many professors conduct their own research in addition to teaching. Students can pursue their own research projects under professor supervision through research assistantships, internships, summer programs or volunteering, and may either earn credit or pay for their work.

What are academics at Duke like?

Duke’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences offers bachelor of science and bachelor of art degrees in more than 44 majors and 46 minors, with the option of creating an interdepartmental major by taking courses from two majors, or an alternative major, a curriculum of a student’s own design through Program II. Duke requires all students to complete a core, which includes five areas of knowledge and five modes of inquiry, first-year writing and first-year seminar and two small group learning experiences, which are typically seminars, tutorials, thesis courses or independent study courses. Like in many other colleges with a required core, these classes provide the freshman class with the opportunity for shared experiences; it’s possible you’ll meet some of your closest college friends in your freshman year writing course or your freshman year seminar.

Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering offers degrees in biomedical, civil, environmental, electrical and computer, and mechanical engineering majors, as well as minors in electrical & computer or energy engineering. Pratt has core requirements of its own, which differ from those of Trinity.

Is Duke diverse?

Duke University’s student population is predominantly white, with just under half, 46.5%, of students being white. Duke also has a significant population of Asain students, 20.7%, and a smaller population of black or African American, 9.5%, Hispanic and Latino, 8.1%. An equal number of male and female students attend Duke.

What is life like on campus?

In your first year at Duke, you’ll live with all of the other freshmen on East Campus

. Since you’ll be required to live on campus for three years, you’ll live on West or Central Campus as an upperclassman. Duke Athletes, the Blue Devils, compete on 27 varsity sports teams in the NCAA Division I. If you’re not competing on Division I sports, you can still play your sport on a club or intramural team. Outside of sports, Duke has 400+ student organizations, including the Duke Disability Alliance, the Black Student Alliance, and the International Association. With 400+ clubs to choose from, you’ll be sure to find your niche, and maybe explore something you haven’t before.

Duke is located in Durham, North Carolina, a small city home to big companies like IBM, Credit Suisse, and Biogen. At 150 years old, Durham has a long history and a flourishing arts and food scene. The city will provide many welcome opportunities for adventure when you’re in need of a study break or a weekend night out.