Duke University Admissions 2023: Requirements, Programs, Tuition Fees ,Durham,USA

  • Durham,USA
Rahul Singha

Duke University has a history dating back about 100 years. There are a total of 10 graduate and undergraduate schools that come under Duke’s umbrella, namely Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, School of Law, Divinity School, Graduate School, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Pratt School of Engineering, Fuqua School of Business, Nicholas School of the Environment, and the most recent, Sanford School of Public Policy. In addition, the university also has 12 specialized, discipline-specific Institutes and Centers for the promotion of education, research and engagement in various fields. Duke Libraries rank among the top 10 private libraries in the US. An impressive faculty strength of 3,870 members, its student-faculty ratio is 6:1. The university awarded 2,387 degrees between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, alone. At Duke, about 97% of students returned to college after their first year in 2019. Moreover, 95% of its students successfully completed their four-year degree and graduated in 2019.

With a sprawling campus encompassing over 8,500 acres of land, Duke University has over 256 buildings, its own golf course as well as Duke Forest.James B. Duke, the founder of Duke University, had started the Duke Fund with USD 40 million, which was valued at USD 8.6 billion as onJune 30, 2019. These assets are used for funding Professorships, Instruction & Research, as well as providing financial aid to students. The largest fundraising campaign run by the university, Duke Forward, raised USD 3.85 billionon June 30, 2017. This exhaustive campaign aided all the 10 graduate and undergraduate schools of Duke in addition to Duke Health, Duke Libraries, Duke Athletics, and a whole spectrum of programs and initiatives at the university.

Courses Offered


What all courses are available to international students?


Duke University has different schools for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Undergraduate Students

Duke has two schools committed to undergraduate studies, namely Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and Pratt School of Engineering. Undergraduate students may choose from 53 Majors, 52 Minors and 23 Certificate programs, with over 200 program choices across each field. Certificate programs are integrative in nature, similar to Minor programs. Students have the flexibility to combine different fields of study or go for a specialized course, opening them up to 4,37,989 exclusive academic combinations. The university also offers specialized programs such as Program II, research programs, and various international opportunities, as discussed below.

Program II

For students whose academic interests lie beyond departmental boundaries, Duke allows them to create their own degree program depending on their interests, which is called Program II. It is not a Major but a combination of degree programs of your choice.

Undergraduate Research

Duke offers its undergraduates the opportunity to research in their field of interest and encourages original and independent thought. As an undergraduate, research can supplement your coursework. Duke spends USD 800 million on research annually, with 53% of its undergraduate students graduating with research experience.

International Opportunities

More than half of Duke’s students choose to study in a foreign country before graduation for international experience. Programs offered areDuke Engage, Duke Immerse, DukeIn Programs, Bass Connections, Duke Marine Lab, and Duke Engineers for International Development. Students may get in touch with the Global Education Office at Duke for further information.

Source: Duke University

Please note: About 83% of Duke students pursue more than one Major.

Postgraduate Students

The Graduate School of Duke University offers Master’s and Doctoral programs in over 80 departments and fields of study. Additionally, Certificate Programs, Dual and Joint Degrees, and Graduate Programs at Duke Kunshan are also available choices for postgraduate students. Students will have the opportunity to work in conjunction with the faculty at nine other schools, and conduct research at Duke’s campus research institutes and centers.

Certificate Programs

Making use of Duke’s research institutes and faculty, the Graduate Certificate programs are created to provide students with advanced training in interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary fields. Students pursuing this program can take advantage of the resources at their disposal at Duke or in the Research Triangle Park area.

Dual and Joint Degrees

Students who have inter-disciplinary research interests can pursue the specialized Dual and Joint Degree options at Duke. The following four options are available for students:

  • MD/PhD (MSTP program) with the Duke School of Medicine
  • JD/MA with the Duke School of Law
  • JD/PhD with the Duke School of Law
  • Joint PhD program in German Studies, developed and offered with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Graduate Programs at Duke Kunshan

Located in Kunshan, Jiangsu province in China, Duke Kunshan was born out of a partnership between Duke University and Wuhan University, China. This university offers a variety of programs and conferences for students from China and the world. Currently, there are two Master's degree programs on offer through Duke Graduate School:

  • Master of Science in Global Health
  • Master of Science in Medical Physics

PhD Students

PhD students may choose their field of specialization from the participating departments, as mentioned in the program description on the university website. This must be done in the second year of the program.

Please note: Duke University has its programs externally evaluated every six months in order to ensure that they are relevant and up to industry standards.

For more information, please visit the official university website.


Eligibility & Documents Required


What are the eligibility requirements?


The admissions committee takes into consideration various facets of a student’s personality apart from just academics. Your interests, non-academic accomplishments, exclusive experiences, along with your perspectives and background, are all taken into consideration.

Below are the eligibility requirements for the various degrees.

Undergraduate-Level Requirements

  • Official transcripts for all academic work completed in high school,post-secondary or summer coursework
  • First-quarter/marking-period grades for all Early Decision applicants to be submitted with the Common or Coalition Application
  • Mid-year grades for all applicants by February 15 or as soon as they are available
  • Duolingo English Test (DET) (Minimum score expected is 120)
  • IELTS (Minimum band score expected is seven)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic (Minimum score expected is 70)
  • TOEFL (Minimum scores expected: 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL and 75 on the revised TOEFL paper-delivered test)

Please note: Duke University awards a limited amount of course credit and advanced placement on the basis of scores earned on Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and pre-matriculation college coursework. However, course credit and advanced placement are not granted until the student has been admitted and until the official reports are received and evaluated by the Registrar’s Office.

Graduate-Level Requirements

  • A four-year US Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited institution. The institution must be accredited by the governing educational body of the country (like the Ministry of Education). No specific cut-off set by the university
  • GRE/GMAT/MCAT/LSAT scores. Not more than five years old, calculated from August 1 of the application year.There is no absolute cut-off for these scores
  • TOEFL (Minimum 577 for paper-based and 90 for Internet-based)
  • IELTS (Minimum 7.0)
  • Duolingo English Test (DET) - (Minimum 115)

Please note: There are no special eligibility criteria for students with disability. By the rule of law, at no point during the admission process, will the university ask you to disclose your disability.


What all documents are needed for the application?


Undergraduates may apply to Duke either through Common Application or Coalition Application. Graduates can apply through the official university website directly. In both cases, students will be required to submit documents for review, based on which admission will be granted.

Documents Required



Official Transcripts of All Previous Academic Qualifications



Letters of Recommendation (LOR)



Minimum and Maximum LORs:

Minimum three LORs

Maximum three LORs (unless otherwise specified)

More than three LORs allowed:

  • One LOR from Counsellor, two from teachers
  • For Pratt School of Engineering: At least one from Mathematics/Science teacher
  • Personal Recommendation (Optional) from employer/mentor

Any more than three will adversely affect the application







Statement of Purpose (SOP)



Test Scores






Supplemental Information



May provide evidence of artistic talent (related or unrelated to the course) through the online SlideRoom portal

Please note: All documents uploaded must only be in PDF format,no more than 75 pages and maximum 5GB size. Graduate students must submit their scores in the GPA format.


Application & Tuition Fees


Is there any application fees?


Undergraduate students are required to pay a fee of USD 85 along with the Common Application or Coalition Application. Graduate school applicants need to pay a fee of USD 95. Both payments can be made via Visa or MasterCard. The Common Application and Coalition Application also accept payments via electronic checks.Checks must be for payment in USD and must be drawn on a US bank.


What is the fee structure of courses offered by the university?


While the fee structure widely varies depending on your program and lifestyle choices, below is an estimate of what one should expect to spend while studying at Duke.

Undergraduate Fee Structure 2018-19

2018-19 Estimated Cost*

Tuition and Fees

USD 55,960


USD 8,706

Meal Plan

USD 7,238

Personal Expenses, Books, and Supplies Costs

USD 3,466

Total Billed Expenses

USD 75,370

Source: Duke University

Undergraduate Fee Structure 2019-20

Undergraduate Tuition & Expenses


Arts & Sciences and Engineering

USD 53,760

Room and Board, Fees, Supplies, Books, and Personal Expenses (Average)

USD 24,848


USD 78,608

Source: Duke University

Master’s Fee Structure

2020-21 Estimated Cost*


Fall 2020

Spring 2021


USD 27,840

USD 27,840

Health Fee

USD 429

USD 429

Transcript Fee

USD 120


Graduate Student Services Fee



Health Insurance

USD 3,605


Total - Tuition/Fees

USD 32,002

USD 28,276

Books & Supplies

USD 312

USD 312


USD 4,624

USD 5,780


USD 1,480

USD 1,850

Local Transportation

USD 736

USD 920

Personal & Miscellaneous

USD 1,600

USD 2,000

Total - Living Expense

USD 8,752

USD 10,862

Total Per Term

USD 40,754

USD 39,138

Total Cost of Attendance

USD 79,892

Source: Duke University

*For latest cost, please visit the official university website.


Scholarships & Financial Aid


Is there any scholarship or financial aid available for international students?


On an average, about 52% of Duke students receive some sort of financial aid and 64% of Duke’s postgraduate students graduate debt-free. The average, need-based grant awarded in 2018-19 was USD 53,255. However, financial aid for international students is limited. Every year, around 20-25 international students enroll in Duke with complete financial assistance provided by the university. All international students who are admitted under the “no financial aid interest” category, will not be eligible to receive financial aid during their entire under-graduation. You will also be required to submit the following:

  • College Board’s Profile using your family’s most recent foreign tax forms
  • Details of the financial struggles of your family
  • Anapplication written in English from your parents’ employer(s) stating the amount of their annual income
  • A Foreign National Form and payroll certification

All the necessary financial aid documents need to be sent to the Financial Aid Office.

For undergraduate students, Duke awards four-year scholarships that are automatically renewed at the end of each term.

Postgraduate students need to go to their specific program on the university website to get details of the scholarships on offer.


  • Early Decision Students: Mid-November
  • Regular Decision Students: Early February

*Please visit the official university website for information on latest deadlines.


Admission Process


When do the admissions start?


Admission dates vary as per the choice of program. For all dates listed below, the deadline is 11:59:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students have two admission cycles:

  • Early Decision
  • Regular Decision

Source: Duke University

Please note: Students who apply for Early Decision have an advantage. In 2018-19, Duke admitted 21% of students who applied for Early Decision vs 6% of students who applied for Regular Decision.

Graduate Students

Graduate students have mainly three admission cycles:

  • Fall Semester
  • Spring Semester
  • Summer Session

Source: Duke University

Please note: Very few departments accept students for the Spring term. Below is a list of departments that open applications for the said term.


Please note: The only program that begins in the summer is the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program.

In case you miss a deadline, the option to apply for the program will not show up on your application. In such a case, you will have to take special permission from the said department, who will then notify The Graduate School, at their discretion.

*For information on latest deadlines, please visit the official university website.


What are the steps to the application process?


The application process is different for undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduates can choose to apply either through the Common Application or Coalition Application. You will directly be taken to your choice of application through the options on the official university website.

Graduates can apply directly through the university website using the Apply Now tab.

All applicants will be notified via e-mail regarding their admission. If you are offered admission (unless specified otherwise), you must notify The Graduate School through the applicant portal within 15 days of your receipt of the admission letter.

If the university does not hear back from you within the deadlines, the offer will be automatically termed as declined.

The university does not mandate an interview. However, you may choose to opt for an alumni interview wherein you will be matched with volunteering alumni in your area.

Step 1: Log onto the official university website and create a new account via Duke OneLink. Select “Register Here” to start your application process.

Step 2: Enter your personal details to receive the invitation e-mail.

Step 3: You will receive a link on the e-mail ID mentioned above. Use that link to continue your registration. Create a new username and set a password for your OneLink account.

Step 4: You will be directed to the Application Management System, which will require you to fill in the details as mentioned below. The Application Menu is divided into 13 sub-parts that require you to furnish information regarding Personal Background, Academic History, Program Information, among others, along with a Review section that lets you check the status of each of the sub-parts.

At any point while filling the application, you may save your progress and return to it later.


When will I hear from the university after I submit my application?


While the results for your application differ depending on the department, most Fall applicants should expect to hear from the university between February* and March*. Spring application results usually come out by early November*.

Undergraduates who have applied under the Early Decision category will hear from the university around mid-December* whereas Regular Decision category students will hear from the university around March end*.

*Deadlines are subject to change, please visit the official university website for latest and exact deadlines.


Student Diversity & Preferred Profile


How difficult is it to get an admission?


Admission to Duke is highly competitive as the university receives applications from around 100 countries all over the world. However, each year the rate of admission varies depending on the number of applications received and seats allowed per program that year. In recent years, it has been observed that on an average, about one in five applicants gets selected. This average may be different for some programs. For the class of 2016, applications received increased by 6% from the previous year, reaching 31,600. The following three years, applications received grew by 46%. The acceptance rate was about 13%, known to be even lower for the later years.

Duke 2023 Class Profile






Undergraduate Enrolled for Fall


Median Age


Per-cent Employed after graduation (Class of 2019)


Mean Base Salary (2019 Law)

USD 1,90,000

Per-cent of Women in the Class (Undergraduate)


Per-cent of International Citizens (Undergraduate)


Source: Duke University


What is the acceptance rate of the university for international students?


Presently, there are over 15,634 students at Duke, including 6,526 undergraduates and 9,108 postgraduates. While the acceptance rate is subject to change every year, it is important to note that for Fall 2019, out of 41,497 applications received, only 1,730 undergraduate students were granted admission, making the acceptance rate stand at 4.2%.


How many international students are studying at the university?


Among the accepted students, about 10-30% make up the international student population. This international student body is further segregated into:

  • 10% of international students from undergraduate courses
  • 30% of international students from graduate courses

Graduate/Undergraduate Student Body Representation

Source: Duke University

The number of international applications at Duke has increased by 42% over the past five years, and 23% from 2016-17. Graduate-level courses have the maximum number of international students. In 2017, Duke welcomed over 1,300 international, graduate-level students and over 200 new international, undergraduate students. It is interesting to note that since 2012, 60% of Duke’s international student body mainly comprises students from the following five countries:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. South Korea
  4. Canada
  5. Turkey


Part Time Work While Studying


Can I work while studying here?


If you are an undergraduate student, you will be allowed to work while studying if you have applied for financial aid at the time of application. However, if you are a postgraduate student, your Work Study eligibility will depend on your program. You will need to contact your program’s Financial Aid Office for details.

General Guidelines

  • You must set up direct deposit
  • You will not be allowed to work outside of the US (this applies to all students studying at Duke)
  • International students will be allowed to work while studying provided their Visa permits them to do so

Approved rate ranges for hourly-paid student employees for 2020-21

Position Type

Min Wage

Max Wage

Student Assistant - General

USD 10.25/hour

USD 16.25/hour

Student Assistant - Specialized

USD 11.25/hour

USD 19.25/hour

Source: Duke University

For more information, please visit the official university website.


Campuses & Accommodation


How many campuses/schools does the university have?


Duke University has 10 graduate and undergraduate schools and 12 specialized, discipline-specific Institutes and Centers. They are situated in four campuses of the university, namely West Campus, East Campus, Central Campus and Medical Center.

Schools Under Duke University

West Campus

East Campus

Central Campus

Medical Center

Allen Building

Academic Advising Center

Central Campus Housing Office

Bryan Research Building

Biological Sciences

The Ark

Undergraduate Admissions

Davison Building

Bryan Center

Art Building

Parking Services

Jones Building

Card Gymnasium

Baldwin Auditorium

International House

Medical Science Research Building

Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences

Biddle Music Building

Center for Muslim Life

Nanaline H. Duke Building

Divinity/Westbrook Building

The Bishop’s House

Nasher Museum of Art

Sands Building

Duke Chapel

Bivins Building


School of Nursing

French Science Building

Brodie Recreation Center



Global Education

Brody/Branson Theatre



Gray Building

Carr Building



Gross Chemical Lab

East Campus Union



Hudson Hall

Friedl Humanities Building




Lilly Library



Levine Research Center 

Smith Warehouse



North Building

West Duke Building



Old Chemistry




Perkins Library








Sanford Institute




Social Sciences Building




Sociology-Psychology Building




Student Health & Wellness




Teer Engineering








Union Building





Is on-campus housing available? How much does it cost?


Duke requires all its students to stay on-campus for the first three years of study (to the extent of available housing). After the third year, students can choose to live off-campus. Doing so, they must inform Housing and Residence Life (HRL) within the stated deadlines. All first-year undergraduates live together on East Campus. The university also hosts first-year seminars, Writing 101, and Marketplace brunches to build a sense of community among first-years.

The standard double rate of USD 4,582 per semester will be charged for all rooms.

Graduate-level students live on-campus at 301 Swift. Students who are living away from home for the first time will be given priority. They will also be assigned a roommate, whom they may also choose at the time of filling the form. Both parties must have each other’s names mentioned on their respective forms.

The housing includes basic furnishings, a dining room table and chairs, a stove, sink and refrigerator, a couch, lamp and end tables. Each bedroom has a bed, chest of drawers, and a desk. Linens, housekeeping supplies, and cookware are the student’s responsibility. The rent includes water, electricity, and high-speed internet. Laundry facilities are available on the property.

Proposed Rates for Swift 301 for Fall 2020

Apartment Type

Proposed Semester Rate

Proposed AY Rate

Shared Bedroom

USD 6,053

USD 12,106

Private Bedroom

USD 9,164

USD 18,328

Source: Duke University

2020-21 Proposed Adjusted Housing Rates

Room Type

Semester Rate

Academic Year Rate

All Room Types

USD 4,582

USD 9,164

All Apartment Types

USD 4,582

USD 9,164

All Satellite Locations

USD 4,582

USD 9,164

Source: Duke University

As a student at Duke, you will have a Bursar Account, to which your housing will be charged.


University Contact Information


Whom should I contact in case of any doubts?


You may reach Duke University here:

Website: duke.edu

Telephone: +1 (919) 681-3257

Postal Address:

The Graduate School

Old Chemistry Building, Room 313

415 Chapel Drive, Box 90065

Durham, NC 27708



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