Duke: An institution with the ambition and boldness to make a global impact
Duke University’s campus is in the heart of one of America’s most fascinating and vibrant areas: the city of Durham in North Carolina’s Research Triangle region. With a unique cultural identity, this midsize city is known for its innovative research, nationally recognized cuisine, rich history, and vibrant arts community. Duke students are as diverse and creative as their community, embracing learning and collaboration through an impressive range of academic, cultural, and service experiences. Students who aspire to a Duke education are ambitious, curious students who pursue challenges, are unafraid to question convention, and value innovation.
With thousands of possible paths through our curriculum, Duke provides a wide variety of intellectual opportunities for our students to develop their minds and enrich themselves as individuals. Undergraduates in both the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering have easy access to faculty, research, and independent studies as well as service and learning opportunities around the world. We encourage students to explore all their interests—more than 80% of Duke students graduate with more than one major, and our multidisciplinary certificates are particularly popular options. Wide-ranging, proactive support services, including pre-professional and career advising, are available to students throughout their undergraduate careers.
Duke students have plenty of space for imagination and exploration through service and study abroad opportunities. DukeEngage—a fully funded, immersive summer service program—allows students to address critical human needs and provide meaningful assistance to communities in the United States and abroad. Each year, students participate in a variety of civic engagement activities such as environmental advocacy, community outreach, global health, education, social entrepreneurship, and more.
A private institution tracing its roots back to 1838, Duke enrolls approximately 6,600 undergraduates and 9,000 graduate and professional students who represent every state and over 80 countries around the world. The University continues to evolve in response to the changing needs of the world its graduates serve.
Life at Duke
Duke’s home campus in Durham—a city of more than 270,000 people—comprises 250+ buildings on more than 8,500 acres, including 7,044 acres of the Duke Forest (see sidebar). West Campus, the location of most of Duke’s academic departments, and East Campus, home to first-year students, are connected via a free bus service.
Duke students often refer to the campus as “the Gothic Wonderland,” a nickname referring to the Collegiate Gothic architecture of West Campus. Much of the campus was designed by Julian Abele, one of the first prominent African American architects. Travel + Leisure has recognized Duke among the “Most Beautiful College Campuses in the United States.”
At Duke, undergraduates are required to live on campus for the first three years, fostering a close-knit campus community. All first-year students live together on East Campus, offering students the opportunity to forge friendships with their class as they adjust to college life. West Campus features a variety of living options for Duke’s upperclassmen.
More than 400 clubs and organizations operate at Duke, spanning all manner of student passions, talents, and cultural identities. These include numerous student government, special-interest, and Greek organizations. Many Duke students pursue service opportunities in Durham and around the world, advancing the University’s mission of “knowledge in the service of society.”
Duke’s legendary Division I athletic teams compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference with support from equally legendary fans. Duke has won national championships in women’s golf (1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2019), men’s basketball (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015), men’s lacrosse (2010, 2013, 2014), women’s tennis (2009), and men’s soccer (1986). Duke also fields numerous club and intramural teams.
Duke is committed to a need-blind admission policy for US citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented students, meaning it admits undergraduates without consideration of their families’ ability to pay tuition and other costs. For all admitted students, Duke meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for four years. Over 50% of all Duke students receive some form of financial aid, including need-based, athletic, and merit aid. The average need-based grant is more than $50,000. For more information, visit financialaid.duke.edu.