Resources For Students & Parents Duke University Admissions Statistics Learn About Duke and the GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores You'll Need to Get In Share Flipboard Email Print Duke University Chapel. uschools / Getty Images For Students & Parents College Admissions Testing Graphs College Admissions Process College Profiles College Rankings Choosing a College Application Tips Essay Samples & Tips College Testing Financial Aid Extracurricular Activities Advanced Placement Homework Help Private Schools Test Prep College Life Graduate School Business School Law School Distance Learning View More by Allen Grove Dr. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. Updated January 10, 2019 Duke University, with a 10 percent acceptance rate in 2017, is one of the most selective universities in the country. Successful applicants will need grades and standardized test scores well above average, strong writing skills, and meaningful extracurricular involvement. Because of its many strengths, Duke ranks among the top national universities, top southeastern colleges, and top North Carolina colleges. Why Duke University? Location: Durham, North CarolinaCampus Features: The stunning stone architecture of Duke's main campus is just a small part of the university's 8,693 acres. The school has a 7,000+ acre forest, marine lab, golf course, and medical campus.Student/Faculty Ratio: 7:1Athletics: The Duke Blue Devils compete in the NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).Highlights: Duke rivals the Ivies for selectivity. The school has an $8.5 billion endowment and is part of the "research triangle" with UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. The area has the highest concentration of PhDs and MDs in the world. Duke University Admissions Statistics 2017-18 For the class that entered Duke University in the 2017-18 academic year, the acceptance rate was just 10 percent. Below are SAT and ACT score percentiles for admitted students. SAT Score Percentiles Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile ERW 670 750 Math 710 790 ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing The SAT scores needed to get into Duke are comparable to the Ivy League. To be competitive, applicants will need to earn scores that are significantly above average. ACT Score Percentiles Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile English 32 35 Math 30 35 Composite 31 35 The ACT is more popular than the SAT for Duke applicants. An average score is about 21, so as with the SAT, you can see that successful applicants nearly always have scores that are well above the norm. Why You Might Consider Duke University Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is one of the most prestigious and competitive universities in the south. Duke is part of the “research triangle” with UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The area boasts the highest concentration of PhDs and MDs in the world. Because Duke is highly selective, has a multi-billion dollar endowment, and is home to numerous impressive research centers, it consistently does well in national rankings. Not surprisingly, Duke made our lists of top national universities, top southeastern colleges, and top North Carolina colleges. The university is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa because if its many strengths in the liberal arts and sciences. On the athletic front, Duke competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Duke University GPA, SAT Score, and ACT Score Graph Duke University GPA, SAT scores, and ACT scores for admission. Graph courtesy of Cappex The GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data in the graph was self-reported by the actual applicants to Duke. You can see the real-time graph and calculate your own chances of getting into Duke with a free account at Cappex. Discussion of Duke University's Admissions Standards In the graph above, the blue and green dots representing accepted students are concentrated in the upper right corner. Most students who got into Duke had GPAs in the "A" range (typically 3.7 to 4.0), SAT scores (ERW+M) above 1250, and ACT composite scores above 27. Test scores well above these lower ranges are typical and will improve your chances measurably. Also, realize that a lot of red dots are hidden beneath the blue and green (see the graph below). Many students with a 4.0 GPA and extremely high standardized test scores get rejected from Duke. For this reason, you should consider a highly selective school like Duke to be a reach school even if your grades and test scores are on target for admission. At the same time, keep in mind that Duke has holistic admissions. Duke's admissions folks are looking for students who will bring more than good grades and standardized test scores to their campus. Rejection and Waitlist Data for Duke University Rejection and waitlist data for admission to Duke University. Graph courtesy of Cappex When you look at the graph at the top of this article, you might conclude that an "A" average and high SAT scores give you a good chance of being admitted to Duke University. When we strip away the acceptance data points, however, we can see that a lot of extremely strong students were not admitted. The reasons why a strong student gets rejected are many: a flawed Common Application essay and/or supplemental essays; letters of recommendation that raise concerns (Duke requires two letters and a counselor recommendation); a weak alumni interview (note that the interview isn't required of all applicants); a failure to take the most challenging courses available (such as IB, AP, and Honors); a lack of depth and accomplishment on the extracurricular front; and so on. Also, you can improve your admissions chances if you highlight true artistic talent in an artistic supplement, and by applying to the university early decision (do this only if you are 100% sure that Duke is your first-choice school). More Duke University Information Duke has the financial resources to offer significant grant aid to qualifying students. You'll also find that the university admits extremely well-prepared students and, as a result, has high retention and graduation rates. Enrollment (2017) Total Enrollment: 16,130 (6,696 undergraduates)Gender Breakdown: 50% Male / 50% Female100% Full-time Costs (2017 - 18) Tuition and Fees: $53,500Books: $1,260 (why so much?)Room and Board: $14,798Other Expenses: $2,206Total Cost: $71,764 Duke Financial Aid (2016 - 17) Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 68 percentPercentage of New Students Receiving Types of AidGrants: 49 percentLoans: 44 percentAverage Amount of AidGrants: $47,836Loans: $6,114 Academic Programs Most Popular Majors: Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Economics, English, Political Science, Psychology, Public PolicyWhat major is right for you? Sign up to take the free "My Careers and Majors Quiz" at Cappex. Retention and Graduation Rates First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 97 percent4-Year Graduation Rate: 88 percent6-Year Graduation Rate: 95 percent Intercollegiate Athletic Programs Men's Sports: Football, Tennis, Wrestling, Basketball, Fencing, Track, and Field, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming, and DivingWomen's Sports: Track and Field, Lacrosse, Rowing, Soccer, Volleyball, Tennis, Basketball, Swimming and Diving, Field Hockey, Cross Country, Fencing Like Duke University? Then Check Out These Other Top Universities If you're a big fan of Duke University, you may like other highly competitive universities in the Middle Atlantic states such as Vanderbilt University, Georgetown University, Wake Forest University, and Emory University. Wake Forest can be a great choice for students with an excellent academic record but less-than-ideal standardized test scores—the school has test-optional admissions. If you're open to attending college anywhere, you might want to also look at the Ivy League schools, Washington University, Stanford University, and the University of California at Berkeley. Just remember to choose a few match and safety schools as well. Data Source: Graphs courtesy of Cappex; all other data from the National Center for Educational Statistics Continue Reading What GPA and Test Scores Do You Need to Get into Brown University? Think You've Got the GPA and Test Scores for Georgia Tech? Check This Graph Yale University: What GPA and Test Scores Do You Need to Get In? What Test Scores and GPA Get You Into Princeton? Learn About Vanderbilt University and Its GPA, SAT & ACT Requirements Will Your Test Scores and GPA Get You Into Texas A&M? Check Out This Graph Will Your GPA and Test Scores Get You Into Villanova? Do You Have the GPA and Test Scores for Boston University? 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