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5 College Sophomore

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

3 College Junior

Diversity: I think it depends on who you hang out with. Overall, the school is very diverse, but individuals groups of people are more homogenous.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: Diversity at Duke is very good, I'd say, especially compared to a lot of other communities/college campuses. That being said, Duke minority students, I'd say, are very VERY aware of their minority status and of their reception on campus. This isn't always a good thing or the best feeling. The conversations that need to be had are being had, though, and I'd say the community is pretty good about providing space and opportunities for those conversations to take place.

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2 College Freshman

Diversity: Sexism and racism are still very much alive here.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 314th
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1081st
    Most Conservative Schools
  • 1139th
    Most Open-Minded Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Though it may not be the most diverse campus in the world, Duke does have a large and thriving community of students from almost every ethnic background. Sometimes these "diverse" groups self-segregate (particularly through race-specific clubs or Greek organizations), but, on the whole, the ethnically and geographically diverse student body meshes well. 

Economic diversity at Duke is a bit of a different story. In this regard, the Duke population is noticeably homogenous. The majority of students hails from the upper-middle class, as evidenced by the rich, preppy style sported by many on campus. This is not to say that everyone owns a yacht, plays golf and squash at a country club, and will come into a trust fund at graduation, nor that students are obnoxious and eager to show off their wealth—but you will want to be aware of this social makeup before you come to Duke. 

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Florida
  • Foreign countries
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 1%
18-19: 21%
20-21: 21%
22-24: 18%
25+: 39%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 4%
Asian American: 12%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 7%
Native American: 0%
White: 75%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
The gay scene is not very visible at Duke, but gays are certainly not singled out for persecution. A recent campaign for gay acceptance, involving T-shirts reading "Love is Love," was met with an enthusiastic response, as students across campus lined up to get the shirts; the 2,000 shirts ordered quickly ran out.
Political Activity
Duke, like most universities, has a strong liberal streak, but conservatives have made their voices heard, as well. There are a variety of political organizations on campus that are populated by a significant percentage of the student body. Students advocate for a wide range of political causes, and the University regularly schedules guest political speakers, which are usually very well attended. For example, in 2010, more than 1,000 tickets to see Al Gore lecture sold out in a matter of minutes.
Economic Status
The Duke student body is definitely upper-middle class. Even those who use financial aid usually manage to look well-off. There are, of course, people from a variety of economic backgrounds, but you wouldn't think it in your first glance of campus. Duke is clearly image-conscious.
Most Common Religions
The spires of Duke University Chapel dominate the West Campus view, and in the basement of the Chapel, Duke's Religious Life Center funds and promotes many of the religions most prominent on campus. The most popular faiths are Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. The Freeman Center for Jewish Life provides a location for Jewish activities and kosher dining, and Duke University Chapel hosts services for a wide array of denominations every week.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Duke has a number of thriving minority clubs, which put on astounding cultural programs each year. Perhaps one of the most active is SAASA, the South Asian-American Student Association, which involves most of the South Asian students on campus. The ASA (Asian Students Association) is also a vibrant part of the community.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 39 responses

  • 3% Progressive/very liberal
  • 15% Liberal
  • 49% Moderate
  • 5% Conservative
  • 8% Very conservative
  • 15% Libertarian
  • 5% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 38 responses

  • 3% Progressive/very liberal
  • 50% Liberal
  • 24% Moderate
  • 13% Conservative
  • 5% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 5% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 41 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 39 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 39 responses

  • 44% Very accepting.
  • 36% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 13% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 8% It's hard to be a minority here.


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