Duke University Summary

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Basic Statistics

Location
Durham, NC
Website
www.duke.edu
Full-Time Undergrads
6,631
Part-Time Undergrads
24
Setting
Mid-sized city
In-State Tuition
$43,623
Out-of-State Tuition
$43,623
Room & Board
$12,433
Acceptance Rate
14 %
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
Average SAT Scores
2020–2300
Average ACT Scores
30–34

Best ThingsMore . . .

  • Cameron Crazies! (college basketball)
  • Caring professors
  • Duke Chapel
  • "Gothic Wonderland" (aka the beautiful campus)

Worst ThingsMore . . .

  • Catching the bus
  • Greek life with high school-style cliques
  • Some bitter kids who didn't get into Harvard
  • Loafers and pink shorts

Frequently ComparedCompare . . .

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.

Duke Student Reviews

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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
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