From its humble beginnings as a Quaker and Methodist seminary established in 1836, Duke University has grown into one of the most recognized and respected private schools in the United States.
Located in North Carolina’s research triangle, Duke boasts a magnificent campus, complete with a historic chapel designed by renowned African-American architects Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele, as well as one of the best medical Centers in the country.
thanks to your $12.7 billion endowmentDuke has more than enough funding to support several highly innovative research programs and initiatives.
Some of the most notable include the Duke Global Health Center, through which students and faculty work together to address diseases that affect some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
At the Duke Center for Genomics and Computational Biology, scientists work to study the human genome and apply the knowledge they gain to improve human life.
As you would expect from a school with such prominent support, Duke has partnered with some of the world’s greatest leaders.
Alumni include Senator Elizabeth Dole and President Richard Nixon. Duke faculty and alumni include five Nobel Prize winners, as well as some of the biggest names in business, including NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Any school would be happy for just a couple of these attributes. But great research and respected alumni are only part of what Duke University is made of.
What majors and academic studies is Duke known for?
Duke’s academic reputation is so great that it is regularly mistaken for an Ivy League school, such as Harvard or Yale.
Although Duke is not in the Ivy League Athletic Conference, a quick look at its most well-known top shows shows why people would make that assumption.
A Fuqua Business Schoolstudents can take advantage of Duke’s legendary law school to earn a unique JD/MBA degree.
In just four short years, students can earn a joint degree with a focus in their chosen field. The program puts future legal experts on the fast track, preparing them for careers in finance, law, management, and more.
Perhaps Duke’s best-known programs are related to the School of Medicine, such as its degree in anesthesiology. Leveraging the university’s state-of-the-art Medical Center, the anesthesiology program prioritizes collaboration, working closely with nurses and staff.
Emphasizing outcome-based care, the program teaches students to become professionals who put the needs of the patient first.
Students in the anesthesia program may participate in the Development of excellence in research in the management of anesthesia (DREAM) Campaign, which awards students funds for collaboration and research.
That’s just one of the many research projects available to students at the School of Medicine. Working with resources like the state-of-the-art FG Hall Laboratory, faculty members and students can study diseases and cures in unprecedented detail.
Working in translational research, students at the School of Medicine bridge the gap between laboratory study and real treatments, improving the lives of patients every day.
Is Duke a good school?
Duke University is one of the best-known schools in the world. But that reputation isn’t just marketing hype, as it’s been confirmed by nearly every major ranking outlet in the world.
According to The Princeton ReviewDuke is ranked #19 on the list of Best Value Colleges and #12 for Career Placement. forbes magazine places Duke in the top ten nationally and number one among Southern institutions.
Thanks to the school’s academics, diversity, courage and more, niche.com gives Duke an overall grade of A+.
Niche ranks Duke at the top of several of its specialized lists, including the best colleges for student-athletes in America, the best colleges for public policy in America, and the best Christian colleges in America.
But for many, the only classification that matters is the one made by US news and world reportthe most respected outlet covering higher education.
Even by the site’s exacting standards, Duke stands out, tied for ninth in national universities, along with such luminaries as Johns Hopkins University and the California Institute of Technology.
While Duke presents a face of noble academics and serious scholarly work, the school also offers plenty of traditions to keep things relaxed.
Unsurprisingly, the most well-known traditions relate to the basketball team and a group of fans who call themselves “crazy cameron”, after the school’s main stadium, Cameron Stadium.
The Crazies show their support for their team by filling the student section in outrageous costumes, making as much noise as possible to throw off the opposing team and give the Blue Devils an extra boost.
On the more relaxing side of things, there is midnight breakfast. Before exams start, students gather to take a break from studying and cheer each other on over a midnight breakfast.
The midnight breakfast is part of the meal plan for freshmen, but others can join by paying separately.
Freshmen also play an essential role in beautifying the campus by participating in the bridge painting program. The school encourages students to paint the Pettigrew Bridge across campus road and bring their own personal spirit of expression to the structure.
Featured Clubs and Extracurricular Activities at Duke
At a historic school like Duke, new students risk feeling disconnected and alone. Fortunately, the university has a wide range of opportunities for students to interact with each other.
One of the livelier clubs at Duke is hoof and horn, a student-run musical theater group. Since 1936, Hoof’N’Horn has brought together students with a passion for acting.
The group presents two musicals, ranging from classics like The Wizard of Oz to new favorites like Into the Woods and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Computer geniuses can put their skills to good use as part of hackduke, an annual charity coding event. Members come together to consider new ways technology can improve their communities. By launching their coding and design projects, participants work to make the technology more accessible and useful.
These two are only beginning to scratch the surface of the many offerings at Duke. For every interest and every hobby, there is a club or event that students can participate in.
What sports is Duke known for?
Duke may be located in North Carolina, but Blue Devils sports fans can be found all over the country. The Blue Devils field 27 varsity teams, plus numerous intermural teams.
One of the school’s most successful programs is the women’s soccer team. Competing in NCAA Division I, the Blue Devils have reached the NCAA tournament 25 times since the team began in 1988.
During that time, the team won three conference regular-season championships and was the NCAA Tournament runner-up three times, most recently in 2015.
Duke also has one of the most prominent men’s lacrosse programs, competing in the sport since 1938.
As part of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the lacrosse team was awarded the conference crown seven times, including three consecutive championships from 2007-2009.
The team has appeared in the NCAA tournament 24 times, winning the championship three times, consecutively in 2013-2014.
But without a doubt, the best-known program at Duke is its men’s basketball team. Since its first season in 1905-1906, the team has posted an impressive record of 2,214–904 and five NCAA championships.
All of these championships occurred under the leadership of legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, who guided the team for 42 years.
Chances are, you’ve heard of Duke and its reputation for excellence. As one of the best schools in the country and an elite private institution in the heart of the research triangle, Duke is also one of the most popular schools in the country.
In fact, Duke gets more applications than even many Ivy League schools. In 2020, 35,220 applicants applied to Yale and 23,836 applied to Princeton, but 39,783 students applied to join the Class of 2024 at Duke University.
Also, Duke has a low enough acceptance rate to rival most Ivies. Where Brown accepts 6.9% of its applicants and Harvard 4.9%, Duke has a 7.7% acceptance rate, making it an incredibly competitive institution.
For every ten students who apply, eight will be rejected in most cases.
Faced with such odds, some might wonder if running for Duke is worth it. But that question fades when you look at all that Duke has to offer.
Each year, the school spends more than $1 billion on research, ranking 10th in the nation in research spending. With that support, Duke offers its students unprecedented learning opportunities—opportunities you won’t find anywhere else.
But as we’ve seen, at Duke it’s not just about studying the books. With plenty of proud traditions and an active student body, Duke is sure to expand your social horizons as it expands your mind.
And with one of the best athletic programs in the nation, there’s always something exciting happening on campus.
None of this makes the application process any easier, but it goes to show that there is no better option than Duke for a student who only wants the best.