Duke Undergraduate Admissions

For Counselors

We understand the difficult task with which you are faced—working hard to prepare all your students for the college selection process and trying to help each make the best decision based on individual academic interests and goals. With thousands of institutions of higher education, you are probably overwhelmed with brochures from colleges and universities around the country. We appreciate the immense challenge of your job and the many demands on your time.

Our website includes information about Duke’s academic, extracurricular and research programs, as well as our admissions requirements and our approach to the admissions decision process. We hope this information will make the college selection process at Duke a little easier to understand. We’ve also included some links to help you find specific information about Duke and our admissions process. If you'd like an overview of some university highlights, facilities, facts, and figures check out Duke at a Glance and our Quick Facts guide.

In addition, we are always willing to speak with guidance counselors about college admissions issues and encourage you to take advantage of the Admissions Office staff information provided within this section of our website.

Recent Counselor Communication From the Dean

Regular Decision Deadline Extension to January 5 (January 3)

Do you have any students still working on their application to Duke? We have good news.

With the Common Application being down for a few hours on January 1 and winter weather causing power outages in the North, we are extending our Regular Decision deadline to Sunday, January 5 at 11:59 pm ET. Please note that while we prefer to receive all application materials by January 5, school reports and recommendations may be sent after the deadline if a school is closed for the holidays or for inclement weather.

We hope the extra days will allow those who have been inconvenienced by the storms to finalize their applications and submit them to Duke.  Of course, if an application is ready to go, don’t delay – send it now for faster processing. Admissions officers are eager to review applications for the class of 2018!

Early Decision Update (December 9)

Greetings from Durham!  Since one or more of your students has applied to Duke under our binding Early Decision plan, and our notification date is approaching, I thought this would be a good time to provide you an update on our process.

We’ve received almost 3200 Early Decision applications this year; that’s more than a 25% increase over last year’s total, and by far a record number for us.

We plan to enroll 1705 first year students this year, and we want to continue to admit less than half of our class through the Early Decision process.  That means that our admit rate for Early Decision applicants this year will be roughly 25%, a measurable decrease from last year’s 30%.

It seems that again this year we’ll defer to Regular Decision about a fifth of our Early Decision applicants, and deny admission to a little over half of them.  We want to be respectful of the students who have identified Duke as a first choice school, and as responsive as we can be to their interest in Duke.  At the same time we want to be honest with them, and if we’re certain they won’t be competitive applicants in the spring we want to let them know sooner rather than later, so that they focus on the other colleges to which they’ll be applying.  Our Regular Decision admit rate last year for students we deferred was 8 percent, and I anticipate this year will be similar.  That makes it a long shot for students we defer, but within a percent or two of what I expect our overall admit rate for Regular Decision applicants will be.

We plan on posting our decisions this coming Thursday, December 12, at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.  I’m pleased we did not have to delay our decision date, given the many challenges students and schools faced in applying this year.

Thank you again for all you do for your students and your school.  We appreciate the fall is a challenging time for everyone.

All best wishes.

Christoph Guttentag
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions