Durham, NC
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 964 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Haven't had any run ins with campus police

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: The farther away, the cheaper it may be. Public transportation is really good.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Haven't heard of any issues

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Haven't had any issues with it so far

4 College Freshman

Weather: HOT summers and Cold winters

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Of course, more fin aid would have been welcome. Wouldn't say I received all the fin aid I needed but what I received definitely helps.

4 College Junior

Weather: Paradise. The weather is great during winter months, but it gets super humid during the summer and into September.

5 College Junior

Computers: The Duke wireless network is amazing, always providing HD streams of TV shows.

5 College Junior

Academics: Truly outstanding. Professors expect a lot, but are extremely knowledgable about their topics. The competition is tough, making As hard to come by, so prepare to work very hard to receive grades you may not like. Popular majors include economics, biology, chemistry, biomedical engineering, public policy, and political science.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Majors: I enjoy my course of studies immensely, and feel that the academics at Duke have been outstanding. Most classes are small, allowing for a personal relationship with the professor, but the workload is very demanding. Expect about 200 pages of reading a week. Still, most humanities professors enjoy teaching, conversing with students, and helping them succeed. Even in a poor job market, nearly all students are able to find some job after college. History is not an easy major, and a true passion for the subject should be present before declaring.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Majors: There's a lot of pressure on campus to get amazing internships, especially in public service. I have held one internship in public service grant writing, allowing me to apply the research and writing skills learned through my major.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Plenty of students go to Chapel Hill on weekends for parties, and there is NHL team nearby.

5 College Junior

Athletics: With one of the top basketball programs in the nation, winning four national titles, and led by Coach K, the success and common interest in the basketball team brings the school together and generates hope for success unthinkable at a Top 10 institution. The football team is also on the rise, and the facilities for non-athletes are very nice as well.

4 College Junior

Transportation: Overall, the buses are pretty reliable, though it certainly can get old waiting for a bus. Many students have cars, making transportation off-campus easy.

College Junior

Drug Safety: Alcohol use is easily visible every weekend, and it is fairly common to smell weed. A higher percentage of students than at other schools use hard drugs (such as coke) but it is hidden. Study drugs are common.

4 College Junior

Facilities: Cameron Indoor Stadium! What separates Duke from peer schools is the beauty of its campus, especially Cameron. It is one of the 5 best stadiums in sports, and going to games is an absolute blast, even if you know little about the game.

5 College Junior

Campus Strictness: The administration really allows students almost total freedom, not spending much time looking into alcohol or drug use. The school does place a lot of value in its honor code.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Most students stay on campus for three years, but there a number of luxury apartments populated by seniors.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Durham is truly a great place to find anything to eat! There are a number of upper-end restaurants that students occasionally eat at, but most of the students are found eating on Ninth Street or on Erwin Road. Still, if you want to explore the dining options, you will find a variety of appealing, affordable options. Favorites include Pizza Mia, Don Marcelo's, and La Vaquita.

3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: It's very hard to find students in serious relationships at Duke, with a student body overwhelmingly interested in themselves. The students are extremely well put together, looking like a page out of a J Crew photo shoot. The social life revolves around drinking and partying, with few clubs that promote activities without alcohol. You find a diverse mix of types at Duke, ranging from preppy, alpha male types to extremely nerdy individuals. As someone who would identify as a 'nerd,' I'd say it's been difficult to find students who truly hold similar interests. The girls are decent-looking, in very good shape, and follow the same spectrum of party all the time types to bookworms. I'd say most students at Duke are well-groomed, driven, drink alcohol at least once/week, and present a 'cool nerd' image.

3 College Junior

Diversity: Duke provides outlets for students of diverse backgrounds to find other like-minded students, but oftentimes looks to emphasize its diversity at the expense of the student. The student likes to show off their wealth, making students from lower economic classes uncomfortable.

1 College Junior

Greek Life: Greek Life allows a bunch of snotty, rich kids the freedom to party, drink, and belittle other groups of people. Moreover, it promotes a culture of anti-intellectualism at Duke, while making it difficult for students to find a living group unless they party.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: The university has become a leading forum for open exchanges across students from all walks of life. I would rank Duke's diversity among its most impressive and distinctive qualities.

4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Duke students are famous for their ability to balance work and play and do not cut corners on either front. Not everyone drinks, though, and you are not looked down upon if you decide to abstain. Under no circumstances should you attempt Shooters without at least mild intoxication, however. I personally have never seen drug use but know that it exists. Overall, we do like to party, but almost all of us do it intelligently and responsibly.

4 College Sophomore

Parking: People love to hate on the parking system and policies here, but I haven't had any issues with either. Compared to other universities' parking configurations, Duke is heaven on earth.


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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.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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