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Duke University Admissions Consulting & Coaching

Duke University Admissions Guidance

 

What is Duke Looking For?

 

Don’t let the Cameron Crazies and Duke basketball fool

you - Duke is a serious academic institution that looks for

students who can make an impact both during their time

in Durham and after. Like the Ivies, Duke looks for top

students who are specialists, not for students who are

well-rounded. At Solomon Admissions, we feel that the

applicant evaluation system at Duke tends to be more

egalitarian versus the system at the Ivies.

 

 

At Duke, the applicant evaluation process varies greatly between the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering. For applicants to Trinity, applicants are rated on six different criteria, and each criteria is weighted 10 points for a total of 60 points maximum. Applicants generally need to have a composite score above 45 out of 60 points in order to have a serious shot of getting into Trinity:

 

  • Strength of curriculum (AP courses, etc.) = 10 points

  • Grades and class rank = 10 points

  • SAT/ACT scores = 10 points

  • Extra-curricular achievement with focus on national awards = 10 points

  • Essays = 10 points

  • Letters of recommendation = 10 points

 

For admission to the Pratt School of Engineering, the weighting of the criteria is skewed more heavily towards numbers and test scores and away from soft factors. Engineering faculty are on the admissions committee, which means that there is a focus on STEM research, grades and test scores. Also, underrepresented applicants to engineering, such as female applicants, are given an admissions boost when applying to Pratt. Applicants generally need to have a composite score above 75 out of 100 points in order to have a serious shot of getting into Pratt:

 

  • SAT/ACT scores = 30 points

  • Grades and class rank = 20 points

  • Strength of curriculum (AP courses, etc.) = 20 points

  • Extra-curricular achievement with focus on national awards = 10 points

  • Essays = 10 points

  • Letters of recommendation = 10 points

 

For applicants who are torn between whether to apply to Trinity or to Pratt, the strength of their application relative to the criteria should be weighed carefully since transferring between schools is not difficult (although more difficult if one wants to go from Trinity to Pratt). Applicants with very high numbers across the board but a subpar story to tell should apply to Pratt over Trinity. Conversely, applicants with lower numbers but a unique story to tell should apply to Trinity.

 

 

Approaching the Duke Supplemental Essays

 

(Optional) Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you'd like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you've had to help us understand you better-perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background-we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke. (250 word limit):

 

Duke looks for students who are specialists who will make an impact on campus. In the supplemental essay, you want to focus on what kind of impact you will have either academically or extra-curricularly on campus. Also make sure to define diversity broadly. Diversity is not simply cultural or religious in nature - you can define diversity within your own racial, gender or religious group.

 

 

For more information about the college application process,

contact us at 1.646.598.8174 or info@solomonadmissions.com