Duke Enrollment

August 18, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Duke Enrollment

The Ivy League maintains a clear appeal for smart, high-achieving youngsters going through the college application process. Don’t overlook looking south to one of the top Ivy+ institutions, Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, which often outperforms some of its Ivy League rivals.

The Human Genome Project was completed by world-renowned Duke researchers, and Coach K guided the Blue Devils to five NCAA basketball titles. Duke is known for excellence and has a little more distinct cultural vibe than many of its rivals in the Ivy and Ivy+ groups.

Duke is a perfect place to live and learn thanks to its elaborate gothic architecture and lush grounds that are bordered by woods and hiking trails. As the focal point of a vibrant and diverse campus, Duke Chapel is especially impressive with its bell tower inspired by Canterbury Cathedral. Now, let’s discuss the components and tips for Duke enrollment.

How Many Students Are Enrolled At Duke?

You might wonder “How many students are enrolled at Duke?” For the academic year 2020–2021, Duke enrollment has 16,172 students enrolled, comprising 6,717 undergraduate and 9,455 graduate students. There are 15,352 full-time students and 820 part-time students.

Group of students talking near a wall.

According to attendance status, the student gender split of men and women is 7,657 and 8,515, respectively. A total of 2,997 individuals have enrolled in the online degree program that Duke University is solely offering to distance learners.

What Is Duke’s Acceptance Rate?

For the next big question, “What is Duke’s acceptance rate?” The overall admission percentage at Duke for the Class of 2026 was around 6%. They received a record-breaking 49,555 applications in the previous cycle, but only 5.8% of them were accepted, the lowest rate in school history.

In the 2021–22 entrance cycle, only 855 of the 4,015 Early Decision applicants were accepted. This results in an acceptance rate of 21%, which is nearly four times the rate of the initial round. The acceptance percentage for the Class of 2025 the year before was 17%.

Trends in Admissions and Notes for the Class of 2026

  • The number of applications for the Class of 2026 increased from 39,783 to 49,555.
  • The Class of 2026 eventually accepted 110 deferred applicants from the early round.
  • First-generation students make up 11% of the Class of 2025’s enrollment.
  • As opposed to 840 pupils the previous year, 855 students were admitted to ED in 2020. Both numbers correspond to around half of the anticipated freshman class.
  • In contrast to the 5,036 applications for the Class of 2025, Duke only received 4,015 Early Decision applications.
  • The percentage of international students in the Class of 2025 was 14%.

What GPA Is Required for Duke?

Students that are strategizing on how to gain Duke enrollment are frequently interested in Duke’s GPA requirements. The GPA is a crucial criterion for applicants since it indicates how prepared a candidate is for challenging coursework.

So, what GPA is required for Duke? Duke neither discloses its average GPA nor any GPA specifications. However, you can guess the average is close to 4.0 based on the caliber and number of their candidates. These figures should be regarded as the unofficial Duke GPA requirements.

Female student smiling at the camera while her classmates are working on the table.

According to the average high school GPA of the admitted freshmen class at Duke University, which was 3.94 on a 4.0 scale, the majority of A- students are selected and enrolled.

Is Duke Test Optional for 2023?

Preparing for standardized tests is one of the major events in your college admissions journey. Now, let’s discuss the answer to “Is Duke test optional for 2023?” Tests won’t be required at Duke University for first-year and transfer applicants for the 2022–23 admissions season.

For Duke enrollment this year, applicants lacking SAT or ACT results will not be disfavored in the review of their applications. Duke bases their selections on a student’s thorough application materials, whether or not they include test results. They will still take into account SAT and ACT scores as part of an applicant’s application if they chose to submit them, and they will also accept self-reported results. Only if those students enroll at Duke will scores from testing organizations be necessary.

What Are the Requirements for Duke Enrollment?

Knowing what it takes to apply is a key component of comprehending how to get into Duke University. The prerequisite for all undergraduate programs, regardless of the university at the top of your selection, is some evidence of the candidate’s academic qualifications. Let’s tackle what are the requirements for Duke enrollment below.

Standardized Test Scores

When it comes to the standardized examinations that they accept for admission, each university has distinct standards. Applicants to Duke University have the option of submitting their SAT or ACT exam results; Duke does not prefer one test over the other. The admissions panel uses both tests to assess how prepared high school students are for college.

Students answering a test on a desk.

The fall of their junior year or the spring of their senior year is when most students take standardized examinations. The test date you choose should allow you adequate time to repeat it if necessary in order to improve your score before submitting your application.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure which exam to take for your Duke application. To assist you in making that choice, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the SAT and the ACT.


The College Board developed and delivers the SAT, a multiple-choice exam “centered on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education.” The exam’s subject matter takes into consideration both what you have already studied in high school and what you will learn in college.

By challenging test takers to move past cramming, memorizing, and regurgitating vocabulary words or facts, College Board hopes to go far beyond what is normally thought of when thinking of standardized examinations with the SAT. Instead, in order to ensure long-term retention, students are encouraged to engage in critical thinking and problem solving.

The Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections make up the majority of the SAT. There is a third, optional element called the Essay. For a total of 1600 points on the SAT, you can score between 200 and 800 in each section. The average score for Duke students is between 1500 and 1560.


The ACT is a multiple-choice test that was developed and is given by the nonprofit organization ACT. Similar to the SAT, the ACT examines subjects that students would have studied in high school and gives them a preview of what to expect in college.

ACT results are used by universities like Duke University to assess applicants’ readiness for the rigorous intellectual demands of post-secondary education. The ACT is often taken by high school students either in the spring of their junior year or in the fall of their senior year. Give yourself enough time for a retest, as mentioned with the SAT.

Students lined up in a desk and writing.

The four tests that make up the ACT are English, Math, Reading, and Science. The Writing Test, another optional element, is judged independently from the other tests and has no bearing on your overall result. Similar to the SAT, Duke does not require applicants to submit their ACT writing scores, though it is advised.

The ACT is finished in 2 hours and 55 minutes without the essay portion (3 hours and 30 minutes including breaks). The optional essay will take you approximately three hours and forty minutes to complete (just over 4 hours with breaks). Scores for the ACT range from 1 to 36. The average score for successful Duke applicants is between 33 and 35.

Application Requirements

You can start your Duke application with either the Coalition for College App or the Common App. The Duke admissions website makes all components of the application available, but only students who create an account and start the application process will have access to the official Duke application checklist.

Transcripts and School Reports

Duke values its students’ intellectual prowess and requests a variety of transcripts and school reports to get a complete picture of your achievement in the classroom.

  • Grades for the First Quarter (only for Early Decision)
  • Mid-Year Report from the School (due February 15th)
  • Unofficial Transcripts
  • Transcripts from Summer and College Programs
  • Official Transcripts (to be submitted at the end of the school year)

Duke admissions wants to hear about all of your extracurricular activities in high school, so please list any online, summer, or community college classes you might have taken. They request updated school reports throughout the year in order to monitor your success during your senior year.


Both a lengthy personal essay and a Duke-specific short answer question are required of applicants for admission to Duke. You will select one of seven lengthy essay questions from the Common App, and from five short essay questions from the Coalition App.

Using a laptop to type in a table.

Duke admissions suggests that you select the short essay prompt that most closely ties to your intended field of study. Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering are Duke’s two undergraduate institutions. Based on your choice of these two schools, you will immediately be shown the short answer questions that become accessible to you.

Recommendation Letters

Three letters of recommendation are needed for Duke applications; one must come from a guidance counselor, and the other two must come from instructors who have taught a major subject like English or Math. One of these letters, intended for prospective engineering students, must be from a math or science teacher. Additional letters of recommendation from a mentor, coach, or employer are optional but may be submitted.

Supplementary Materials

Duke invites you to contribute any additional artistic pieces using their chosen online platform, SlideRoom, if you have artistic talent. Duke will not, however, accept any other materials, such as a resume, cover letter, research papers, or media assets, that do not directly relate to your artistic ability.

Fee for Application

Duke University charges a non-refundable $85 application fee. Both the Coalition App and the Common App offer opportunities for fee waivers. Your school counselor will automatically be prompted to authorize this request if you choose a fee waiver due to extreme financial need.

Duke Admissions Deadline

You have two deadlines to apply to Duke:

Early Decision Deadline: November 1

Regular Decision Date: January 4

Early decision applicants should anticipate hearing back by the middle of December, and regular decision applicants should hear back by late March or early April.

How To Get Into Duke?

Will you be able to gain Duke enrollment? Of course, you will! You’ll be able to accomplish that with the help of the guide we have provided for you below. See how to get into Duke and the steps that you need to do.

1. Be aware of the qualities that Duke University seeks in its applicants.

You need to understand what Duke University is looking for in a student before you get all giddy and eager to discover what it has in store for you. You can’t just walk in and assume you understand everything right away.

Don’t worry; Duke University explains everything for potential students like you: “We’re looking for students ready to respond to those opportunities intelligently, creatively, and enthusiastically.

We like ambition and curiosity, talent and persistence, energy and humanity.” With this short statement, you can tell what Duke University is looking for by dissecting the elements. Be sure to look within and recognize that you already possess them all.

2. Create the spike internally.

You must find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition when you create your application so Duke University knows you are the applicant they want and need. Forget the idea of being well-rounded.

You are different from the other well-rounded applicants by nature; you do something that stands out in a significant way. Simply said, success is around becoming the best in your field. Gaining the status will be difficult and intimidating. You can spend so much time on it that you just give up. Think about someone like Bill Gates if you need some inspiration.

You can tell what he’s known for just by using his name. You would think he has it all, but even the bright techie who created the Microsoft and Xbox companies had a difficult childhood and was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. To finally get to where he is, he had to put in a lot of effort and overcome many obstacles. You can accomplish it, too!

3. Organize how you’ll create your spike.

Keeping track of the interests you currently excel in will help you choose the one you are most convinced can be leveled up to the highest level as you build your spike. You can be skilled in painting or fixing technological equipment, for instance.

Once you’ve chosen your area of interest, begin looking at techniques to maximize your skill levels. You might consider taking advanced courses, looking at paid online courses, and doing other things to improve your talents. It will take a lot of work, but once you notice a difference in your performance, you’ll know you’ve reached a level that most applicants your age would only hope to achieve.

4. Join exclusive clubs and organizations.

Join the prestigious clubs and organizations you see around you while you’re still in school. Being a part of these clubs and organizations, whether they entail math or allow you to conduct research, will show Duke University that you’re the kind of student who wants to view the world from a variety of angles. Additionally, it demonstrates to the institution that you are sociable and you enjoy interacting with others.

5. Avoid doing too many tasks at once.

Even while having a little bit of a spike in you is fantastic, it’s best to avoid taking on too many tasks at once because doing so will demonstrate to Duke University that you are not focused on who you are. Additionally, it will just eat up time that you can spend on important tasks.

How do you approach it then? Simply make a list of the interests you truly have and then give priority to those that are most important. Choose the five that matter and ignore the other 10 if you have ten areas of interest. From there, you can decide which of your interests is worthwhile for growing a spike while continuing to succeed at the other four.

6. Start taking AP classes and passing the AP examinations.

Taking AP classes and doing well on the examinations is a terrific approach to improve your credentials on your application and demonstrate to Duke University that you’re no average student. You can sample some of the workload that all college students deal with through AP classes. While finishing up your high school coursework, also gives you a glimpse into the world of college while earning credits that help you move along in your quest.

It may seem like a lot of work to many students, but for you, it will be an opportunity to prove to Duke University that you are truly unique by taking on additional coursework. Additionally, if you ace the AP tests at the end of the courses, Duke University will consider you for one of their requirements.

It’s understandable why so many students are eager to succeed in Duke enrollment, given the school’s excellent academics, fantastic athletics, and hip campus. However, the admissions process at Duke is extremely competitive due to the influx of applications. How to stand out among the rest? Consult AdmissionSight. We have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world.

On average, 75% of AdmissionSight’s students are admitted to an Ivy League university, Stanford, MIT, UChicago, and Caltech, one of the highest track records in the industry. Feel free to set up an appointment today to book your initial consultation.


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