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Duke University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research Duke University in Durham, NC. Learn about its admission info, degree programs, and financial aid to make an informed education decision.

About Duke University in Durham, NC

Duke University is a private research school that was founded as Trinity College in 1838. The college expanded into Duke University in 1924 as a memorial to Washington Duke, a Durham, NC, patriarch to a tobacco and electricity production empire. The university has grown into three campuses and several associated facilities spanning 8,470 acres to accommodate more than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. All first-year students live in residential buildings on the East Campus.

The university is ranked eighth on the US News and World Report list of National University Rankings for 2012. In addition to a world-class medical program, Duke University is well known for their NCAA Division I championship-winning men's basketball team. The university is also highly active in the arts, hosting nearly 70 music, theater, dance, and speaking engagements in campus facilities annually.


Duke University encompasses ten schools and colleges and is accredited to award bachelor's, master's, doctorate, and professional degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Undergraduate students may enroll in either of two main academic paths in liberal arts or engineering programs.

The Trinity College of Arts & Sciences offers nearly 100 different academic programs that culminate in either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. Subjects include natural sciences, quantitative studies, civilizations, performance, literature, and social sciences. The Pratt School of Engineering offers BS degrees through four departments: computer and electrical, mechanics and materials, civil and environmental, and biomedical. Students may choose to study up to two engineering disciplines or combine engineering and arts.

Graduate programs are offered through the Pratt School of Engineering, Fuqua School of Business, School of Law, School of Medicine, Sanford School of Public Policy, School of Nursing, Divinity School, Nicholas School of the Environment, and The Graduate School. Duke University has ten libraries across its campuses and is also a member of the Triangle Research Libraries network.


Prospective Duke University freshman may apply online with the Common Application or the Universal College Application and the Duke Supplement. Paper applications are also accepted. Applicants must state whether they are applying to the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. Official test score reports must be submitted for the ACT, including the writing section, or SAT with two subject tests. Engineering applicants must take one SAT subject test in mathematics. Additional required application materials include two teacher recommendations and one counselor recommendation. A personal recommendation and interview with a university representative is optional. A $75 fee or waiver must be submitted with the application.

In 2011, all of Duke University's undergraduate students were age 24 and under and attending classes full-time. The university had a diverse student population with more than half of undergraduates of non-white ethnicity and an even ratio of male and female students (50% v. 50%).

Tuition & Financial Aid

The 2012 estimated tuition and fees rate for a Duke University undergraduate student is $44,101 per year, with room and board adding roughly $11,770. Students should also plan to pay approximately $3,472 per year for books and personal expenses.

Applicants are admitted to the university regardless of the ability to pay tuition as long as they are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and 100% need-based financial aid is available. Merit-based, athletic, and ROTC scholarships are also available for students as well as loans and work-study programs.

School Type Private not-for-profit; 4-year**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, doctorate**
Religious Affiliation United Methodist**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Midsize city**
Student Body 6,680 undergraduates; 8,747 graduates in 2011**
Student Housing Undergraduates required to live on-campus for first 3 years;
4 years of on-campus housing guaranteed*
Schools and Programs 10 schools, nearly 100 undergraduate programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 7 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Bachelor's: Social sciences (375)
Master's: Business, management, marketing, and related (700)
Doctorate: Law (303)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates For students beginning in 2003:
89% in 4 years
95% in 6 years
95% in 8 years**
Admission Rate 16% of applicants in 2011-2012**
Entering Class Size Roughly 1,711 in 2010**
First-Year Retention Rates For 2010-2011:
97% (full-time students)**
Average SAT Score of Admitted Students Middle 50% range totals for 2011:
Arts & sciences: Critical reading: 680-780; math: 690-790
Engineering: Critical reading: 690-770; math: 760-800*
Application Due Date November 1st for early decision, January 2nd for regular decision*
Decision Notification Date December 15th for early decision, April 1st for regular decision*
Tuition (2012-13) Undergraduate tuition is $44,101*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: Federal grants (19%), Pell grants (13%), other federal grants (17%), state and local grants/scholarships (11%), institutional grants/scholarships (47%), federal loans (35%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 62% in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Duke University in Durham, NC; **IES Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Duke University, 2138 Campus Dr, Box 90586, Durham, NC 27708
  • Phone: (919) 684-3214
  • Website:

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