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School Name: Duke University
School Location: Durham, NC
School Type: Research University / Liberal Arts
Category: High Reach

Duke University Admissions Rates Fall 2020

Applications: 39,639
Admitted: 8%

General Info


Test Optional for 2021-2022
Admission Cycle

Fall 2020 Test Scores
Math: 750-800
ERW: 720-770
ACT: 34-35


Early Decision: November 1
Early Results: Mid-December
Regular Deadline: January 4
Regular Results: April 1

School Information

Schedule: Semester
Curriculum Type: 
General Education
Greek Life: 

“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 Application Requirements, Admissions Tips, and University Guide:

Founded in 1838, Duke is a private university located in Durham, North Carolina. Over the past decade, Duke’s prestige has grown considerably, and it is now commonly ranked as a top ten university in the United States. Unsurprisingly, admissions have become incredibly competitive. Duke accepted just 4.3% of regular decision applicants to the class of 2025. The campus is home to just under 7,000 undergraduate students, and around 10,000 graduate students. The university 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 need 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. Test optional for SAT or ACT scores (can superscore)
  3. An English proficiency test is recommended for non-native English speakers
  4. One mandatory 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

Duke has both Early Decision and Regular Decision application options. Applying to Duke Early Decision means that you commit to attending if you are offered admission. If you apply for Regular Decision, you have the opportunity to be admitted by multiple universities and choose which school to attend out of those that admit you.

  • 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 4th.
  • Duke’s Art Supplement deadline is January 4th.

Can I afford Duke?

Tuition at Duke costs approximately $60,594, 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 $81,488. This is a hefty sum, but with an $8 billion endowment, Duke offers financial aid to 52% of its students. 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?

Duke has a faculty:student ratio of 8:1. Since it is a well-funded research university, 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 be paid 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 48 majors, 50 minors and 23 certificates. It also boasts the option to create an interdepartmental major by taking courses from two majors or an alternative major to design a student’s own curriculum through Program II. Duke requires all students to complete a core, which includes five areas of knowledge, five modes of inquiry, a first-year writing course, a first-year seminar, and two small group learning experiences that are typically seminars, tutorials, thesis courses or independent study courses. At many 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 machine learning and artificial intelligence, electrical & computer and energy engineering. Pratt has core requirements of its own, which differ from those of Trinity.

Is Duke diverse?

As of fall 2020, Duke University’s student population is predominantly white, with just under half, 41%, of students being white. Duke also has a significant population of Asian students, 21%, and a smaller population of Black or African American, 9%, Hispanic and Latino, 7%. 52% of students are women.

What is life like on campus?

In your first year at Duke, you’ll live close to all of the other freshmen on East Campus. However, since you’ll be required to live on campus for three years, you’ll likely 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, but if you’re not competing in 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.