two female duke students in their caps and gowns laughing together at commencement
student in orange jumpsuit posing on volcanic ash


Join Our Community of Doers

The outstanding individuals who apply for admission to Duke each year continually astound us. We are always excited to welcome a new class into our collaborative community of intellectual explorers.

student in orange jumpsuit posing on volcanic ash
two female duke students in their caps and gowns laughing together at commencement

Start Your Application

Choose to apply using either the Common Application or Coalition Application.

choose early or regular

Students who apply Early Decision commit to enroll at Duke if admitted in December. Regular Decision applicants can apply to multiple colleges before choosing one to attend in the spring.

Check your checklist

Once we receive the student-submitted portions of your application, you’ll receive an email to access your Application Checklist.


Official transcripts for all academic work completed in high school are required and must be submitted by your school counselor or another school official.


We require first-quarter or first-marking-period grades for all Early Decision applicants by November 12 or as soon as they are available, to be submitted by way of the Common or Coalition Application by your counselor. If your school is unable to provide us with first-quarter grades by November, you can request an unofficial progress report to be sent by a school official.


We require midyear grades for all applicants by February 15 or as soon as they are available, to be submitted by way of the Common or Coalition Application by your counselor.


We want to see all your high school work, including any that you may have done outside of your high school offerings. If you have taken postsecondary or summer coursework that does not appear on your high school transcript, please request an official transcript and/or a progress report from the institution that provided instruction.


All admitted students must request that a final official transcript be submitted along with the Final Report form with the Common or Coalition Application.

Due to University policies regarding COVID-19, Undergraduate Admissions is not receiving paper mail at this time. If you are sending an official or time-sensitive document, we encourage you to email it instead to


Duke University is adopting a test-optional policy for students applying for admission to the first-year undergraduate class in the 2020-21 admissions cycle.

Students who are unable to or choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores this year will not be at a disadvantage in our consideration of their applications. Our process has always considered SAT or ACT scores as only one part in our multifaceted review of applications as we seek to understand each applicant as a whole person and potential member of the Duke community. We will continue to consider SAT and ACT scores as part of the application of students who choose to submit them and will accept self-reported scores for purposes of assessing an application. Scores sent from testing agencies will be required from those students only if they enroll at Duke.

We do not require SAT Subject Tests.

Questions about testing? Visit our FAQs.


Students must submit at least one full set of scores from a single test date but may also submit scores from subsections taken individually on different test dates. Duke will consider the highest scores on each section, regardless of test date, and will create a new composite score by averaging those scores. We do not require the optional essay.



Duke will consider the highest scores on each section of the SAT, regardless of test date. We do not require the optional essay.


If you are a non-native English speaker or if you are not currently studying in an English-medium curriculum, we recommend but do not require that you take an English proficiency test. If you take the test more than once, we will use your highest score, and we do not have any preference among the four tests.

  • Duolingo (Minimum score expected is 120)
  • IELTS (Minimum band score expected is 7)
  • PTE Academic (Minimum score expected is 70)
    • Minimum scores expected:
      • 100 on the internet-based TOEFL
      • 75 on the revised TOEFL paper-delivered test


Both the Common Application and the Coalition Application include a one-page personal essay as well as short essay questions specific to Duke. You can submit the supplemental essays with or after the other student portions of the application, no later than the application deadline.


  • All applicants who complete the Common Application will respond to one of seven essay prompts.
  • All applicants who complete the Coalition Application will respond to one five essay prompts.
  • For transfer students, we would like to understand more about you and your academic path. Why and how did you choose your current or most recent college or university? What has changed since then, and what has led you to consider transferring? Please respond with an essay of between 250 and 600 words.


  • The following question is required for all applicants to Duke University:
    • Please share with us why you consider Duke a good match for you.  Is there something in particular about Duke’s academic or other offerings that attract you?  (200 words maximum)
  • The following questions are optional for all applicants to Duke University:
    • 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 that would help us understand you better, perhaps a community you belong to or your family or cultural background, we encourage you to do so here. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke. (250 words maximum)
    • Duke’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. If you would like to share with us more about your identity, you can do so here, or use any previous essay prompt you feel is appropriate. (250 words maximum)
  • The Common Application will also include a section for students to disclose if they were impacted by community disruptions such as natural disasters and COVID-19.


We require three letters of recommendation for each applicant: one from your school counselor and two from teachers who have taught you in major academic courses (English, mathematics, social studies, sciences, foreign languages), preferably within the last two years of secondary school.

If you are applying to the Pratt School of Engineering, at least one recommendation should be from a math or science teacher.

Ask your recommender to submit the letter through the Common Application or Coalition process. We will also accept letters by email, fax, or postal mail.


You can submit one Personal Recommendation from an employer, mentor, or anyone else who knows you well and can give us a better idea of who you are. Ask your recommender to submit the letter through the Common Application or Coalition process. We will also accept letters by email, fax, or postal mail.


Alumni interviews are an optional component of the Duke application process. After applying, students are matched with alumni volunteers on a first-come, first-served basis if an alumni interviewing committee is present in their area. Students who wish to interview must submit their application by the Early Decision deadline (November 2) or the Regular Decision priority interview deadline (December 20). An alumni interviewing committee member will contact you via phone or email to arrange an interview.

Interviews are typically conducted in a central location (e.g., a coffee shop or your high school counseling office) and last 30–60 minutes.

We do not offer on-campus interviews with admissions officers.


Unfortunately, we cannot offer interviews to all candidates. Candidates who do not hear from an interviewer by November 20 (Early Decision) or the second week of February (Regular Decision) are welcome to submit an additional recommendation in place of the interview. Your chances of admission won’t be affected adversely if we are unable to offer you an interview, nor will they be affected if you choose not to send an extra recommendation.


If you have exceptional artistic talent, you may submit supplementary material to be evaluated by Duke faculty through the online SlideRoom portal. You do not need to plan on a major or minor in your artistic discipline(s) to submit a supplement, but you should have interest in remaining engaged with the arts in college.

Learn more about artistic supplements

Resumes, Abstracts, etc.

We hope to get to know you through the documents we require as part of our application process. Therefore, Duke does not accept resumes, research abstracts, and media files. We are happy to accept artistic supplements. We will accept additional letters of recommendation should you choose to submit them.

If you have information that you need to share with us that will not be reflected elsewhere in your application, you may add it to the Additional Information section of the application.

Submitting Payment

You must send your nonrefundable $85 application fee or fee waiver request along with the Common Application or Coalition Application. Both applications accept online payment via credit card or electronic check.  Please note that we do not accept credit card payment by telephone.  If you pay by check, please make the check payable to Duke University. Checks must be for payment in U.S. dollars and must be drawn on a U.S. bank.


fee waivers

We offer fee waivers for qualifying students, which means under many circumstances we will waive the $85 application fee for students with high financial need. Through your Common Application or Coalition Application you may request an application fee waiver online, and your school counselor will receive an email invitation to endorse your request.


  • If you have attended any college or university in the past four years and will have successfully completed at least one full year of transferable college work by the August in which you hope to enroll, you qualify to apply to Duke as a transfer applicant.
  • All transferable college work should be completed at an accredited degree-granting institution. College work completed at a vocational, technical, performance, or professional program will not be considered.
  • If you are a high school student in an “early college” or dual-enrollment program earning an associate degree while finishing high school, you should apply as a first-year applicant.
  • If you have already completed an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree at a four-year college, you cannot be considered for transfer admission.
  • Unfortunately, you may not apply for transfer to Duke as a part-time student.  Instead, we encourage you to contact DUKE CONTINUING STUDIES for information on taking courses on a non-degree basis.
  • The admissions committee seeks applicants who can provide evidence of academic preparation within the past four years. If you have not recently attended high school or college, we strongly encourage you to do so prior to applying for transfer, either through DUKE CONTINUING STUDIES or an accredited degree-granting institution in your local area.


  • Transfer admission to Duke is highly selective, with the admission rate ranging from 3% to 7% over the past five years. Transfer applicants are expected to have demonstrated a high level of academic talent, both at their current higher education institution and in high school.
  • The most successful applicants will have a minimum college GPA of 3.7 in a challenging academic program. Of those admitted in 2018, the GPA middle 50% was 3.75 to 4.0, the middle 50% of ACT was 32 to 35, the middle 50% on the old SAT was 1440 to 1540 and 1490 to 1530 on the new SAT.


  • Required materials for transfer admission include an application for transfer admission, College Report, college transcript, final high school transcript, two instructor evaluations (at least one evaluation must be from a college instructor), valid ACT or SAT scores completed within the past five years, and required financial aid forms. Please see our Checklist and Deadlines page for more information.
  • If you intend to apply through the Common Application, please visit their website for INSTRUCTIONS on where to find the College Report/Mid Year Report/Final Report in your transfer account.
  • If your current college/university does not allow the submission of recommendation forms through the Common Application portal, you can find Duke-specific PDF versions of the recommendation forms below. These forms should be either mailed or faxed to our office.
  • Both the Transfer Common Application and the Coalition Application include a one-page personal essay as well as short essay questions specific to Duke.  The transfer application has a character rather than a word limit. If your essays exceed the character limit, you may email the essay to Please ensure that you include your full name, date of birth, and current college so that we match it with the correct application.
  • If you have exceptional talent in dance, theater, art, music, photography or film/video/digital media, you may submit supplementary material to be evaluated by an appropriate faculty member. You may begin to submit artistic materials on February 15.  All submissions are due by March 20.
  • Alumni interviews are offered on a very limited basis, based on the availability of our volunteer alumni.  Unfortunately,  we are unable to interview every applicant, every year. If we are unable to assign you an interview, please don’t worry.  It will not hurt your application in any way.  There is nothing that you need to, or can do, to request an interview. If we were able to assign you an interview this year, you will be contacted by the interviewer to coordinate.  All interviews will be conducted via SKYPE or phone.
  • We continue to monitor the situation currently presented by COVID-19 and, due to school closings, test cancellations and other challenges, understand that barriers may have arisen preventing you from completing your application. Our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS will hopefully cover any concerns you may have.


  • Duke does not offer a preliminary credit evaluation to prospective transfer students.
  • We are unable to connect prospective applicants with an advisor to discuss credit transfer. However, there is a good chance that credits will transfer if coursework taken at the applicant’s current/previous accredited college is comparable to courses offered at Duke in areas such as natural science, math, foreign language, literature, social sciences and the arts.
  • Duke will grant credit for no more than two years of coursework completed elsewhere, regardless of the number of credits a student has previously earned. In order to earn a Duke degree, a transfer student must spend at least two years at Duke.
  • At least half the courses of a student’s major field must be taken at Duke, although individual departments and programs offering majors may require that a greater proportion be taken at Duke.
  • Please see the DUKE UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADUATE BULLETIN for more information on how transfer credits are evaluated.
  • You may find a list of courses offered at Duke by searching our online course catalog.


  • The number of semesters of aid eligibility for students transferring to Duke is based on the policy of up to nine academic semesters less the number of semesters studied elsewhere. This also includes financial assistance for one summer term, if needed.
  • Duke admits transfer applicants who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, undocumented or DACA students without regard to financial circumstance or aid eligibility and meets 100 percent of each admitted student’s demonstrated need throughout their undergraduate enrollment.  Unfortunately, need-based financial aid is not available for international transfer students.  In addition, Duke does not offer merit-based scholarships to transfer students.
  • Application fee waivers are only available for transfer students who are US citizens, permanent residents or undocumented or DACA students. Transfer application fees may be waived if transfer students are Pell grant eligible or meets one of the following indicators of economic need. There are three ways to apply for a fee waiver: submit a fee waiver via Common Application, sign and submit the NACAC Transfer Fee Waiver Form [link], or can provide a brief statement describing why you are unable to pay the application fee. Fee waiver requests should be directed to We are unable to provide fee waivers to international transfer students.
  • For detailed instructions on how to apply for financial aid, please visit the OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE FINANCIAL AID


Students from more than 100 countries have found a home at Duke. Innovative, restless, and driven: these are qualities not confined by geography.

There is no separate application for international students.


  • All applicants for the first-year class are required to complete the full testing requirements.
  • The SAT and ACT tests are given throughout the year at testing centers around the world.
  • Results of national examinations such as the GCSE or A-levels cannot be substituted for the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, or ACT.
  • We do not require any English proficiency tests, though we recommend them for non-native English speakers who feel their English proficiency test scores might represent their English ability better than their SAT or ACT scores do. We accept the Duolingo English Testthe IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System), the PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English), and the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): we will consider scores from any of these tests along with all other application materials.
  • We understand that some students do not have access to a testing center in their home countries (e.g., mainland China). These students may be exempt, and if so, will not be disadvantaged in the evaluation process.



  • To obtain an F-1 visa for study in the United States, a foreign citizen must furnish his or her home country’s U.S. consulate with proof of ability to meet educational expenses, along with a certificate of eligibility for a visa application (the I-20 form). I-20 forms for incoming foreign students are issued only after a student has accepted an offer of admission at Duke and returned a completed Certificate of Financial Responsibility.
  • Visa services and advice on federal regulations concerning non-U.S. citizens are available through Duke Visa Services.



  • While not required for admission, interviews provide an opportunity for the applicant to learn about Duke and for a representative of the university to learn about the applicant’s strengths. We have alumni volunteers conducting interviews in forty-two countries worldwide.
  • Because of the high volume of applicants we receive from China, Duke will accept admissions interviews from InitialView for students attending school in China. These interviews will serve in lieu of alumni interviews. We encourage interested students to arrange an interview with InitialView as soon as possible in order to secure an appointment. All interviews must be submitted by December 1 for Early Decision and March 1 for Regular Decision.


We welcome applications from undocumented and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students. DACA applicants apply in the same way U.S. citizens and permanent residents do, and your application will be considered the same way U.S citizens and permanent residents are, by the regional admissions officer responsible for where you attend high school.

When you apply, you should be honest about your current citizenship status. You do not need a social security number to use the Common Application or Coalition Application; that field can be left blank.

Beginning with students who are applying for admission for Fall of 2020, Duke will review undocumented and DACA students using the same “need-blind” process as applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.



  • Undocumented or DACA students who wish to apply for financial aid should fill out the CSS Profile by the appropriate Early Decision or Regular Decision deadline.
  • Information about the financial aid process for undocumented students can be found here, and answers to frequently asked questions can be found here. For general instructions on how to apply for financial aid, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid website.



  • Duke University’s goal is to provide access, inclusion, and support to all of our students and their diverse backgrounds and needs.
  • We encourage you to read more about how this support applies to undocumented and DACA students in this message from the Duke University President.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact our office.


Duke welcomes applications from students who are educated in alternative ways such as homeschooling and online-schooling. While we do not have any additional application requirements for these students, there is some benefit to providing supplementary information to help us better understand the context, the rigor, and the students’ achievements in their chosen educational path.


Below are some suggestions for homeschooled or online-schooled students to better elucidate their academics and involvement in our application process.



  • In general, students should take the best and most challenging courses available. We recommend but do not require four years of English and at least three years of mathematics, natural science, foreign language, and social studies.
  • For students applying to the Pratt School of Engineering, we require coursework in calculus and strongly recommend physics.
  • We understand that each individual family best decides the choice of curriculum. Whatever path a student chooses, we would like information about the student’s homeschool experience and environment that would be helpful for our committee.



  • In addition to the courses and grades, we are interested in knowing how and why the student and family chose an alternative means of schooling and the philosophy behind the education provided.
  • For courses that are taught at home, we would like an explanation of the grading scale or other methods of evaluation.
  • When a student indicates that he/she is homeschooled, the Common Application generates supplemental questions on the School Report that should be completed and submitted to provide this information.
  • Students are also welcome to share their insights into their educational choice, especially their thoughts about the benefits they have gained and how the experience will allow them to contribute to the community at Duke.
  • If the student has taken courses from a distance learning program, traditional secondary school, or any institution of higher education, we require official transcripts from these institutions. Applicants are not required to present a GED or proof of accreditation.



  • The standardized testing requirements are the same for all Duke applicants.
  • We encourage homeschooled students to submit AP test and/or additional SAT subject results in the absence of grades to demonstrate additional evidence.



  • Although a parent may complete your school report to provide context for your academic choices, we encourage students to provide two additional letters of recommendation from non-relatives and preferably from individuals who have worked with the student in an in-person academic setting.
  • Employers, religious leaders, sports coaches or other adults can write these recommendations if all academic instruction takes place in the home.
  • Letters from online instructors are less helpful if they have not had direct contact with the homeschool student.


Duke offers military veterans a high level of support as they transition to our campus community. For more information about the resources available to veterans, please visit Student Affairs or the Office of the University Registrar.


Duke University is committed to the equality of educational opportunities for all qualified students. Students with disabilities (including learning disabilities, hearing or visual impairments, mobility impairments, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders, psychiatric impairments or chronic health disabilities) who apply to Duke can choose whether or not to disclose their disability to us.


  • Our office is prohibited by law from making inquiries about a student’s disability in the admissions process. We will not require you at any point in the admissions process to disclose if you have a disability.
  • We evaluate a student’s accomplishments within the context of any opportunities or challenges presented to that student. We do not use information about a disability to deny admission to a student.
  • There is no separate admissions process at Duke for students with disabilities. All students who apply to Duke, including those who have a diagnosed impairment/disability, are evaluated using the same criteria.
  • If you have questions or require additional information, please contact the Admissions Office at (919) 684-3214 and ask for the admissions officer responsible for students with disabilities.



  • All students have the right to request reasonable accommodations at Duke.
  • Students requesting consideration for accommodations must have an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and should contact the Student Disability Access Office.