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Reviews 840 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: No top tier university can boast an athletic program like Duke's. Two Division One basketball championships inside of a decade along with a bevy of golf, tennis and now lacrosse titles. The campus goes wild during basketball season; it seems everyone is a rabid fan. Students have camped out for 8 WEEKS to get front row tickets to some of these nationally televised games. And don't you dare wear light blue any time close to a Duke-North Carolina game; people will stare daggers at you!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: Bring Rainboots – Going to school in the South means sunshine and shorts well into November. Be prepared for some serious humidity the first four weeks of school, however! Duke gets maybe three snowstorms a year and then completely shuts down the following day. I am from Colorado and I find this absolutley hilarious. We do get plenty of moisture though..

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Diversity: There are a lot of people of different races at Duke, although they seem to self-segregate a bit. I have never sensed any racial tension among students here. Finally, there is a large Asian population!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: This school is filled with amazing people. Like any high caliber university, nearly everyone is a brilliant and engaged student. What's unique about Duke is that most people are also social and extroverted individuals. "Work hard, play hard" is the mentality every student seems to have and the culture suits me well. Attention all Prom king/queen valedictorians: This is your dream school!

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Administration: A Dichotomy of Standards Across Campuses – One of the great things about Duke is that it has an entire campus dedicated to Freshmen. East Campus houses all undergraduate students during their first year and grants freshman space to become acclimated to the college lifestyle amongst themselves. Everyone living on East is under 21 and the campus is strictly dry as a result.
In contrast West Campus, which is home to most juniors and sophomores, has a very loose drinking policy. This dichotomy on alcohol policy creates a unique nightlife environment. West campus is where all the parties are because, frankly, a freshman could pound a beer in front of a cop without repercussion. East's tighter regulation means that, even on a Saturday night, the space is relatively quiet. I think it's great; as a freshman, I had a safe and fun place to drink and a quiet place to sleep and work.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Tough for Freshmen – Let's be honest, Duke is not famous for its smoking hot babes. They do exist, but are few and far between. Freshman year can be tough if you have high standards; upperclassmen will quickly identify and move in on the more attractive underclassmen women.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Parking: Sort of Lame – Parking for juniors on Central Campus apartments is pretty much the best parking the school has to offer. Freshman parking is limited but still better than parking on West campus. I think the price for a parking permit is undeserved because the lots are so far away from the dorms, particularly on West, and cars must be moved during football games.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Athletics: AWESOME ATHLETIC PROGRAM – Duke won the NCAA championship this year in both lacrosse and basketball, and sports are a huge part of the Duke community. I spent five weeks in K-ville this past year in order to attend the Duke-Carolina game, and it was fantastic! The feeling of camaraderie with fellow Cameron Crazies is beyond anything I have ever experienced. Duke does a lot for its athletic programs and students are able to go to all varsity sports games without the hassle of buying tickets.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Local Area: Great Opportunities and Lots of Fun – Durham is a very cool city, especially since renovations and upgrades have begun. However, there is still some speculation among students as to whether or not their safety will be upheld, and this fear is intensified each time there is talk of a robbery near campus. Overall, though, Duke itself is a very safe place to live with a gorgeous campus and much to do by day and night. The diversity of the city and campus makes Duke an excellent place to attend the local cultural events. Besides Durham, both Chapel Hill and Raleigh are nearby and provide excellent entertainment and shopping. The Durham Performing Arts Center and the Durham Bulls baseball park are really great as well.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: I Have the Worst Luck – Duke is renowed for its Gothic architecture on West and its colonial red brick dorms on East. Freshman year I lived in Gilbert-Addoms, the biggest and ugliest dorm on East Campus. Despite the lack of AC and amenities, I loved my time in Gilbert-Addoms. The fact the East is only freshman creates a great atmosphere that really encourages the formation of friendships and socialization. East is located right by downtown Durham and the social atmosphere was wonderful. Next year i'll be living in Edens. The rooms and closets are not always spacious, the windows are minimal, and the floorplan seems both illogical and labyrinthine. AC is a saving grace.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Food: Options=West Campus – West campus has many food options, all of them varied and reasonably priced. The Refectory provides a delicious brunch option, while the Blue Express provides great home cooked meals. However, the Marketplace, the only dining hall on east, doesn't have the best quality of meals. Plus, all freshman are required to purchase a dining plan which forces students to eat dinner there almost every night of the week. This proves troublesome when students are required to stay on West, since it is the hub of campus activities. Therefore, a night spent eating on West due to a club meeting, studying, or a concert means students are literally throwing away $14--the, overpriced, cost of dinner at the marketplace. Besides this one issue campus dining is overall satisfying.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drinking Is Most Popular, Smoking Cigarettes Is Least – Alcohol is consumed pretty openly and obviously, but if anyone gets out of line, the police will crack down. Marijuana is certainly around campus, and cocaine can be popular among the fraternities and some of the sororities. Most of this is behind closed doors or rumored though. And practically nobody smokes tobacco on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Above Average – I've never felt like I really was underserved by any of the facilities on campus, except maybe the lack of an on-campus grocery for basic fresh food products. The gym is sufficient, though not extensive. The dining options are seemingly broad. The student union keeps most of what I need in the same place (school supplies, post office, smoothies, posters, theaters). The library is open at all hours of the day and night, practically (and literally during exam periods). So, though not excellent in every regard, Duke's facilities are above sufficient. And the campus is beautiful!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: No Veil Here – Duke's security system is closely connected to its students. Every student receives a text message, email, and regular updates when something important or dangerous is happening on campus; the response team arrives within minutes of an important call; the police are fair when it comes to student activities (i.e. sporting events, drinking, quad parties) without being completely absent. I always feel safe on campus, even though it is relatively open to the public. You have to be smart, though: don't cross campuses (ie, walk from East to West) at night, by yourself, with a big bag.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: The students at Duke are fun but also hardworking. You're in a nice environment where everyone wants to help each other succeed and isn't really cut-throat at all. The campus is extremely beautiful and offers lots of opportunities for students to pursue their interests through clubs and sports. The school spirit is great with our basketball team, making tenting one of the most memorable college experiences you will have.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life is more prevalent during the second semester when rush begins. Greek students are very much part of the school community, and their parties are usually open to all. It's also important to know that only the frats live together.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Party Scene: You can't really drink off campus if you're under 21 so the fun is really at the house parties and Greek section parties on campus (which are easily accessible). It is also quite safe because you have buses running between all the campuses until late at night.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Breaking Stereotypes and Living up to Them – I'm not a big fan of greek life and have chosen to live in a Selective Living Group (SLG). Some frat guys seem to live up to the stereotypes of affluent misogynistic white bros. However, so many duke men completely break these stereotypes and surprise you when you find out what frat they're in. I'd say there's only a couple of frats that fall into the overall poor category, while the rest are important contributors to campus. Overall, Duke greek life dominates the social scene a bit too much, but at least it's interesting and diverse.

5 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Available, Comfortable, but Transportation Hassle – As an rising sophomore, off campus housing isn't even on my mind yet. At Duke, we don't get the chance to live off campus until we are seniors, which seems sensible to me with the good setup we have on campus. Those I know who live off campus do love it and have gotten good deals. There's a variety of places to live whether houses or apartments, but in terms of location, a car is a big help.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Diverse but Expensive – Nearby we have ethnic cuisine of all kinds and great markets like Whole Foods. However, without lower end more practical markets, keeping in budget is a little difficult. Places like Brightleaf Square are over rated and expensive. Finding the best that Durham has to offer probably takes you off the well trodden path a bit.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Generally Friendly and Accepting – Generally, the students are diverse and accepting, but I have heard about occurrences where this was not so.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Generally Great – Generally, there are great professors who are happy to interact with students one-on-one and help. There are some departments which could have a wider selection of courses. The workload is tough, as expected, but manageable.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Technology: Not Crowded, Great Printing System – The computer lab in my dorm was never full, but the computers were a little outdated. I never saw the library computer labs full. Most people have a laptop and use library computers for their software. The wireless internet is great and rarely had any downtime. e-Print is fantastic and there is no need for a personal printer.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: All Four Seasons – Rain in the spring, cold in the winter, hot and humid in the summer, but never outrageous and often beautiful.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Parking: Terrible: hard to find spots and expensive. Vigilant police force writes a lot of tickets, although appeal committee is lenient.

1 person found this useful Report
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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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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