Durham, NC
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1054 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Duke seems to have taken a tougher stance on the illicit activities inherent to Greek organizations, such as hazing, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use. Otherwise, it exercises considerable (and appreciated) leniency for students who operate on an "all things in moderation" principle. If a student becomes incapacitated, for example, the campus police's first directive is to secure that student's safety and wellbeing. From an academic standpoint, Duke abides by the honor code to which all students pledge. Of all the offenses one could incur, plagiarism is usually the most dire.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Durham and Duke have made a concerted effort to bridge the gulf between their respective communities. A city-wide transportation system is available to all students, and it stops at all of the city's major attractions. The American Tobacco Campus, Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), Durham Art Guild, historic Carolina Theatre, and numerous other attractions have transformed downtown Durham a vibrant destination that rivals Raleigh's cultural appeal and Chapel Hill's college town charm. DPAC, for example, now hosts all of the touring Broadway shows and many of the major concert acts that visit the Triangle region. Disregard the literature Duke publishes about not needing a car on campus: as much as I admire and respect environmental efforts, my car is often the only means of transportation between the university and anything beyond Durham proper, such as the city's swanky Southpoint Mall complex.

5 College Junior

Campus Dining: At the moment, the principal dining venue on West Campus is undergoing extensive renovations, so on-campus dining options are not as abundant as they once were (and will be upon the new structure's completion). However, the university has responded by bringing a number of food trucks to campus on weekdays; in my opinion, they collectively offer more diverse dining options than were previously available.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: The most commonly voiced complaint about Greek life at Duke is that the fraternities and sororities control the vast majority of social activities, and, to some extent, that is true. However, those activities are largely homogenous; if your interests extend beyond aimlessly drinking in the fraternity and sorority houses with an occasional dose of formal events, alternatives are certainly available. Selective living groups (SLGs) constitute another avenue of fostering a communal atmosphere among students. Ostensibly, they are more accepting and diverse in purpose than the Greek organizations.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Majors: Any student can pursue any major, as long as he/she is enrolled in the correct college. Transferring from Pratt to Trinity or vice versa is fairly simple. While the major requirements themselves aren't bad, the Trinity requirements are pretty awful, considering the number of different types of courses you have to take to graduate.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Majors: While pre-med students don't necessarily have an easy life, Duke helps you do the best you can. I like the different opportunities that I have while being pre med, like majoring in something completely unrelated. There are a lot of opportunities for what ever you may want - internships, research, shadowing, jobs, etc.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Durham is a great college town, and Raleigh is very close as well.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: A majority of off campus parties are thrown by Greek life. I think it is great experience, and if you don't want to be a part of it you don't have to. It's not overwhelming at all.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: While Greek life isn't for everyone, who ever wants to be a part of this can easily do so.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Campus dining is not really the best, especially for freshman. The freshman dining hall is not adequate for late night options, or even having variety on a day to day basis.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: It is a very accepting environment, whether that be for sexual orientation, ethnicity, economic status etc.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Durham is considered the foodiest town in the USA, so there are a plethora of off campus dining options.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: I think this university portrays a mixture of both a southern school and a northern school. I think the economic status of the students' families are fairly easy to assess based on the social culture created at the school. While there may be some socio-economic differences between students, for the most part there is a tight-knit community feel, and no one is left out.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: While the courses themselves are great, sometimes the course expectations are set in the beginning. For example, a Public Policy course that I took ended up being curved to a specific letter grade, and we were not informed of this in the beginning of the course. I think if grade curves are clearly specified in the beginning it can help students choose a more balanced course load.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: There are no complaints with the quality of the education. The ranking of the university is reflected in the opportunities and services available to the students, in addition to the professors and courses.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Duke is really pretty lenient about most everything that doesn't make them look bad. They understand that their students are going to party, and are going to drink, and as long as freshman aren't being obvious, they can drink whenever. Other then that, as long as you aren't being openly racist, sexist, or classist, you can do a lot without problems.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: There are a lot of forms to fill out, but I got a $12k scholarship I didn't even have to apply for, which was nice.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Duke police are on top of crimes and there are many resources for sexual assault (the Woman's Center is the best one).

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Freshman have the Marketplace, which is buffet style for breakfast and dinner. They have 5 stations that stay the same every day (pizza, pasta, stir fry, hamburgers/hotdogs/grilled chicken, and a salad bar) and one station that changes every day. However, it gets so boring and repetitive by the winter.

Dining on west is great.The Loop is my favorite and everything is practically in the Bryan Center. On central there is only Food Fac, but it's great. You can buy drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic) and snacks on food points there too.

Food points come in many different plans. Freshman get "swipes" to use at the Marketplace and around 400 food points. Sophomores and up can choose a plan with 1700-3000 points and more can always be added very easily.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I absolutely love Duke. There's such diversity, the people are great, North Carolina is beautiful, and our Blue Devil spirit can't be matched. There are so many opportunities to take hold of. It's great.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: Pre-med is hard. Normal students take four classes that meet twice a week (8 meetings per week in total) whereas pre=med students have labs, recitations/discussions, and lectures. I have 14 class meetings per week

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Duke is known for its academics. Everyone is very smart and they're expected to try their hardest.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Never had a problem or heard of problems with the campus police.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Durham is known for it's variety in restaurants. And the food truck rodeo is great!

College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are required to live on campus. There are apartments that are non-Duke affiliated near the school that are good though.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Duke students are generally very happy with their experience, but it’s not impossible to find students who imagine they’d be happier somewhere else. Great academics, a vibrant social life, and the beauty of campus make this school an easy choice for many. However, a lot of students are peeved by the top-down social programming they see coming from Duke’s administration to counter the fraternity- and sorority-dominated student programming. Students and the administration are still trying to find the right balance of power and a unified direction, but the friendships students have forged with peers and professors easily make up for whatever shortcomings they might perceive.

Duke is one of the top academic schools in the country, but that’s not its only hook. You’ll never see Harvard’s basketball team in the Final Four, or Yale students camping out for weeks to get sports tickets. Obviously, basketball shouldn’t be your major concern in choosing a college, but it is often used as an example because it typifies the difference between Duke and so many other top universities. There’s an emphasis on friends and fun here, and it’s important to consider these aspects as well as academics when you’re choosing a school. Remember, you’re choosing the place you’ll spend the next four years of your life, not just the name that shows up on your degree at the end.

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