Duke University Enrollment: Acceptance Rate, Rankings & More

Duke University, known for its academic rigor and vibrant campus culture, has a captivating enrollment journey that continues to attract aspiring students seeking excellence. This article explores the factors contributing to Duke’s allure and its transformative experiences. From its rich history to groundbreaking research, Duke’s enrollment process showcases its commitment to intellectual curiosity, inclusivity, and the pursuit of knowledge.

Join us as we delve into the pillars that make Duke University an educational institution of choice and uncover its remarkable impact on student’s personal and professional growth.

We will also examine Duke University’s scholarship opportunities, campus life and accommodation, and academic programs.

About Duke University

Duke University, founded in 1838, is a private institution in North Carolina, USA. Since it has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,717 (fall 2020), it follows a semester-based academic schedule. In the 2022 edition of Best Colleges, the University is ranked ninth among National Universities.

Duke University has 3 campuses in Durham and a maritime site near Beaufort, totaling over 8,600 acres. The main campus, designed mainly by Julian Abele, mixes Gothic architecture with the overpowering presence of Duke Chapel.

Moreover, the campus’ centerpiece seats almost 1,600 people! In addition to being the seventh-richest private institution in the United States, Thomson Reuters also added 32 of its professors to its list of highly cited researchers in 2014. 

Duke University is North Carolina’s second-largest private employer and is associated with 10 Nobel laureates and 3 Turing Award winners. Its most recent academic accomplishments include 3 students being designated Rhodes Scholars in 2002 and 2006.

To the pleasure of Harry Potter enthusiasts worldwide, Duke researchers also released the first practical example of an invisibility cloak in 2006.

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Why Should I Go To Duke University?

If you’re not sure about Duke University enrollment or still contemplating applying to the school due to Duke’s enrollment record, here’s why you should apply regardless:

Duke University has an approximate student population of 15,000, with the majority being graduate students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1, ensuring a personalized and intimate learning environment.

Additionally, the university emphasizes on-campus living, allowing students to fully engage with the exceptional athletic facilities and completely immerse themselves in the vibrant student life.

Furthermore, Duke offers a diverse range of over 400 student groups, encompassing cultural, faith-based, political, and service-oriented organizations. These groups foster student connections, facilitate the exchange of ideas, and provide opportunities for students to explore and cultivate their interests and passions.

And if you need more reasons to apply to Duke, check out the campus, academic programs, and more.

Campus and Location

Duke’s main campus is on 8,691 acres in Durham, North Carolina. The campus features Gothic architecture, beautiful landscaping, and state-of-the-art facilities. In addition to the main campus, Duke also has several satellite campuses and research centers across the state and around the world.


  • There are two recreation centers on-campus, Brodie Recreation Center and Wilson Recreation Center. 
  • In addition, they provide free group fitness classes, personal trainers, aquatics facilities, physical education, and outdoor adventure options.
  • The school has over 400 student clubs and organizations to select from, including student government, special interests, and service groups.

The above facilities guarantee that the students are stimulated and rejuvenated, allowing them to concentrate on their studies.

Academic Programs

Duke University offers various undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs. The university is organized into ten schools and colleges, including.

Research and Innovation

Duke University is a leading research institution committed to innovation and discovery. Faculty and students engage in cutting-edge research across numerous fields, including biology, engineering, medicine, computer science, and social sciences. Duke is affiliated with various research centers and institutes, such as the Duke Global Health Institute, Duke Energy Initiative, and Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.


Duke’s athletic teams, known as the Blue Devils, compete in the NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Duke has a strong athletic tradition and is particularly renowned for its men’s basketball program, which has won multiple national championships. The university offers various varsity sports for all genders.

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Campus Life

Duke University provides a vibrant campus life with numerous extracurricular activities and organizations. There are opportunities for involvement in student clubs, cultural organizations, performing arts groups, publications, and community service initiatives. The campus also hosts various events, including academic conferences, guest lectures, concerts, and sports competitions.

Notable Alumni

Duke University boasts a distinguished alumni community that includes leaders in various fields. Some notable alumni include former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, journalist Melinda Gates, NBA player Grant Hill, Nobel laureate chemist Robert Lefkowitz, and actress and activist Ken Jeong.

Duke University Enrollment?

Duke University is a private institution that was founded in 1838 and had a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,883 (fall 2021) – USNews.com.

The University’s ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities #10. Its tuition and fees are $63,054.

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Undergraduate school

Undergraduate programs at Duke University are classified into Liberal arts and Engineering. You’ll be able to choose among 53 majors, depending on your interests, including-

  • Mathematics
  • Global Health
  • Environmental engineering
  • Russian
  • Visual arts
  • Romance studies
  • Arts and humanities 
  • Engineering and technology 
  • Life Sciences & Medicine 
  • Natural sciences 
  • Social sciences and management 
  • Others

Graduate school

The graduate school at Duke University offers approximately 70 certifications, master’s degrees, and PhDs, including-

  • Arts and humanities 
  • Business & management 
  • Engineering & technology 
  • Life Sciences & Medicine 
  • Natural sciences 
  • Genetics & genomics
  • Earth & ocean sciences
  • Molecular cancer biology
  • Public policy studies
  • Psychology & neuroscience

Ph.D. Programs

  • Arts and humanities 
  • Business & management 
  • Engineering and technology 
  • Life Sciences and medicine 
  • Natural sciences 
  • Social Sciences and Management 

Tuition and expenses

Students must cover their expenditures for food, lodging, laundry, transport, and other necessities. An estimated budget for international students looking to study at Duke University is given below.


In-state tuition $60,594
Out-of-state tuition $60,594

Additional costs

Room and board $9,284
Books and supplies$3,410

Duke University Rankings

  • QS World University Rankings, 2022, place it at 52nd number.
  • Times Higher Education ranked Duke University as the 5th best in the world in 2022.
  • Times Higher Education ranks it 23rd in the World University Rankings for 2022.
  • U.S. News and World Report ranked it 9th among the best national universities in 2022.
  • U.S. News & World Report states that Duke University ranked 13th for Best Undergraduate Teaching & Value Schools in 2022.

Duke University Admission Process

Gaining admission to Duke University is highly competitive and demands a solid academic and overall background. The acceptance rate for the Class of 2024 was less than 6%, indicating a highly challenging admissions process.

Portal of application: (Choose to apply using the Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application).

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Acceptance Rate

This institution maintains a meager acceptance rate. It employs a highly selective admissions process, accepting only a few applicants. Specifically, during the 2020-2021 academic year, the acceptance rate stood at 8%.

While schools with moderate acceptance rates may have stricter admission criteria, they remain accessible to many students who apply.

Retention Rate

Duke University boasts an impressive retention rate of 97%, indicating that many students choose to continue their education at the university. Compared to other schools, Duke’s retention rate is notably higher.

This suggests that students are generally satisfied with their choice of attending Duke University and express a desire to continue their studies there. Specifically, during the academic year starting in Fall 2019, 97% of full-time students returned to the university for the following academic year, which commenced in Fall 2020.

Graduation Rate

Duke University boasts a commendable graduation rate, with a higher percentage of students completing their degrees than other schools. A high graduation rate reflects a school’s quality and indicates that most students finish their studies on time.

Specifically, out of all full-time, first-time students who started their studies in Fall 2014, 96% graduated. It’s important to note that the number of first-time students is typically low as many students enrolling at Duke are not traditionally classified as first-time students, with a significant portion of adult learners.

Documents required

  • Official transcripts from prior educational institutions.
  • International candidates must submit the results of their English proficiency tests.
  • Personal Essay.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • 3 letters of recommendation. 
  • ACT or SAT scores
  • Personal Interview.
  • Graduate admittance may necessitate the GRE/GMAT and additional tests depending on the subject.

Tips For Applying

Here are some tips to consider if you are planning to apply to Duke University in the upcoming admissions cycle, keeping the following points in mind:

  1. Test-Optional Policy: For the admissions cycle of 2022-23 (Class of 2027), Duke will maintain its temporary test-optional policy. This means that submitting standardized test scores (such as the SAT or ACT) is not mandatory, and applicants will not be disadvantaged by choosing not to submit them.
  2. Alumni Interviews: Duke offers optional alumni interviews as part of the admissions process. Once you submit your application, you may be matched with an alumni interviewer in your area on a first-come, first-served basis. These interviews typically last between 30 to 60 minutes. Not every applicant will be granted an interview, and those who don’t receive an interview invitation can submit an additional recommendation with their application.
  3. On-Campus Interviews: It’s worth mentioning that on-campus, evaluative interviews with Duke admissions officers are not granted to every applicant. The interview process primarily involves alumni interviews, as mentioned earlier.

These tips can help you navigate the application process effectively and increase your understanding of Duke University’s specific requirements and procedures.

Duke University | Scholarships

Duke University provides a range of scholarships and incentives tailored specifically for international students pursuing studies in the United States. Moreover, the university is committed to meeting the demonstrated financial needs of students.

Duke offers work-study programs that allow students to earn up to USD 2,200 annually. Financial aid is available to approximately 54% of undergraduate students, and a significant portion of graduate students (64%) can complete their studies without incurring any debt.

Additionally, candidates can explore various student loan options with favorable interest rates.

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The following are some ‌scholarships available at the institute –

1. University Scholars Program

This program is open to students undertaking multidisciplinary research. This scholarship’s grant value is flexible.

2. A.B. Duke Scholars Program

This merit-based scholarship program recognizes students with academic and professional leadership potential. The entire value of this scholarship is around 315,000 USD, distributed over four years.

3. Karsh International Scholars Program

This scholarship is specifically designed for exceptional students who have the potential to make a global impact. It covers not only tuition, fees, lodging, and board but also addresses documented financial needs that go beyond these expenses. Additionally, the scholarship provides up to $7,000 for research and service opportunities.

These factors mentioned above are among the primary reasons why international students choose to pursue their studies at Duke University.

We hope you found this blog informative and enjoyable to read. If you have any questions or uncertainties, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below to share your thoughts.


Q1. What distinguishes Duke University?

Answer- Duke University, noted for its academic philosophy, fosters multidisciplinary work outside of the classroom. Thus, as a result, Duke University provides a rich environment where students may explore the world around them, from academics to athletics to art.

Q2. How difficult is it to get into Duke?

Answer- In the 2019-20 admissions season, Duke’s acceptance rate was 8.2 percent. Even though in 2020-21, it was only 5.8 percent, it was the lowest rate in school history.

Q3. How many overseas students are admitted to Duke University?

Answer- Duke University is a popular institution with around 664 international students out of ‌approximately 6,682 undergraduates. However, the admittance rate for overseas students at Duke University is 9%.

Is Duke University Ivy League?

Duke is not an Ivy League school, which is the short answer to the question.

What is Duke University famous for?

The university is regarded as one of the best in the South, if not the nation, for its competitive admissions, outstanding academics, championship-level athletics, and global reach. Duke University is one of the most recent and prestigious research universities in the nation.

Is Duke University a top 10 school?

The ninth-ranked national university, Duke University, is well-known throughout the world. In several assessments conducted both domestically and abroad, it comes in first place or very close to it. Generally speaking, Duke’s graduate and research programs are rated higher than its undergraduate ones.

What GPA do you need for Duke?

Duke expects you to be at the top of your class with a GPA of 4.13 and almost all A’s in your academics. You should also have finished some AP or IB classes to demonstrate your ability to flourish in academic difficulties.


Duke University’s enrollment process reflects its commitment to academic excellence and cultivating a community of exceptional individuals. The competitive journey attracts ambitious students worldwide, resulting in a vibrant and talented student body.

Once admitted, students thrive in an intellectually stimulating environment, benefiting from renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, and robust support systems.

Duke’s emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and service prepares students to become well-rounded leaders with a global perspective. The enrollment process is a gateway to a transformative educational experience that shapes future leaders and makes a lasting impact on society.


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