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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, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application.

Choose One

Dates, Deadlines, and Checklist

Early Decision applications are due November 1.

Regular Decision applications are due January 2.

Scroll down for additional deadlines.

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


When evaluating applications to Duke, the admissions committee reviews several documents that make up each file. As a part of our holistic approach, we consider both your academic and personal interests, what you’ve accomplished, and your unique experiences, perspectives, and background.

The information below represents the 2023-24 admission cycle requirements and deadlines.

For a quick reference of deadlines, click here.

Early Decision v Regular Decision

Early Decision is a binding program for students whose top choice is Duke.

Regular Decision is for students who want to keep their options open.

Visit our FAQs for more information.

For a quick reference of deadlines, click here.

Early Decision Deadlines


November 1

  • Application for Early Decision
  • Early Decision Agreement
  • High School Transcript
  • First Quarter Grades (submit via Optional Report; will accept through November 20 or when your first term ends)
  • Secondary School Report with Counselor Recommendation
  • Two Teacher Recommendations
  • SAT and/or ACT Scores (optional, last day to take standardized tests is November 6)
  • Arts Supplement (optional)

November 1

November 15

  • Additional Financial Aid Documents (like your taxes)


  • Decisions released

Regular Decision Deadlines


January 2

  • Application for Regular Decision
  • High School Transcript
  • Secondary School Report with Counselor Recommendation
  • Two Teacher Recommendations
  • SAT and/or ACT Scores (optional, standardized tests must be taken by January 31)
  • Arts Supplement (optional)

February 1

February 15

  • Midyear Grade Report (or as soon as first marking period grades are available)

Late March/Early April

  • Decisions released

More Information

Click here to learn more about what we look for in applications.

Course Selection

Enroll in the best available and most challenging courses. We recommend four years of English and at least three years of mathematics, natural sciences, foreign language, and social studies. We generally expect students to enroll in five academic courses per year, and if a student does not take four years in a particular subject area, it should be replaced with an academic course of equal rigor. For students applying to the Pratt School of Engineering, we require coursework in calculus and strongly recommend physics. We also encourage students to enroll in advanced-level work in as many areas as reasonable, regardless of your intended major. For some students, this will include AP or IB courses, whereas for others it will include honors, accelerated, or college courses.

First Quarter Grades, Midyear Grades, and Final Transcripts

We look at the courses you’ve taken from what’s available to you, individual grades in academic courses, overall GPA, and class rank (when available). 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/marking-period grades for all Early Decision applicants to be submitted with the Common or Coalition Application by your counselor with the application or as soon as they become available. If your school is unable to provide us with first-quarter grades, you should request an unofficial progress report.

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

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

College and Summer School Transcripts

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.

Test Optional Policy 2023-2024

Duke University will be test-optional for both first-year and transfer applicants in the 2023-24 admissions cycle.

Students who apply without SAT or ACT scores this year will not be at a disadvantage in our consideration of their applications. Our decisions are based on a student’s comprehensive application materials, with or without test scores. 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.

How should I decide whether or not to have my SAT or ACT considered?

The decision of whether or not to have your SAT or ACT considered is entirely yours. Choosing not to have SAT or ACT scores considered will not impact your admissions decision. You may wish to consult our ADMISSIONS PROFILE for students admitted to Duke in previous years as a guide. If you’re still uncertain, you may wish to opt-out of having your scores considered when you apply because you will be able to opt-in later.

We do not require SAT Subject Tests, but we will consider those scores, along with other scores like AP and IB, if you choose to report them. Please note if you choose to not have your scores considered, we will not suppress SAT Subject Test scores or AP scores if they are already on file with Duke.

Visit our FAQs for more information about our Test-Optional Policy.

Duke CEEB Code: 5156


Duke will consider official scores as well as scores that are self-reported on the application. Submitting essay scores from the ACT and/or SAT is optional.

For students who submit both ACT and SAT scores, Duke will consider your best score.


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 the 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 the test date. SAT with essay and SAT Subject Tests have been discontinued. If you have SAT essay or SAT Subject Test scores, you are welcome to submit them, but they are optional.


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 English proficiency tests.

  • Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency (Minimum score expected is 180)
  • Duolingo (Minimum score expected is 130)
  • IELTS (Minimum band score expected is 7)
  • PTE Academic (Minimum score expected is 70)
  • TOEFL (including the TOEFL Home Edition)
    • Minimum scores expected:
      • 100 on the internet-based TOEFL
      • 75 on the revised TOEFL paper-delivered test


Duke University awards a limited amount of course credit and advanced placement on the basis of scores earned on Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and pre-matriculation college course work. However, course credit and advanced placement are not granted until the student has been admitted and until the official reports are received and evaluated by our Registrar’s Office. Since this process is handled outside the Admissions Office, a credit evaluation cannot be made until the student arrives on campus. Click here for more information.


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.


The application includes space for up to ten extracurricular activities. Use as few or as many spaces as you need. Be sure to include school, community, family, and work commitments on your list. Keep in mind that we are more interested in seeing sustained commitment rather than a long list.


Duke does not accept separate resumes. You may include extra honor and accomplishments in the “additional information” section of the application.


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 for the 2023-24 admissions cycle.
  • All applicants who complete the Coalition Application will respond to one of six essay prompts for the 2023-24 admissions cycle.
  • 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 2023-24 applicants to Duke University:
    • What is your sense of Duke as a university and a community, and why do you consider it a good match for you? If there’s something in particular about our offerings that attracts you, feel free to share that as well. (250 word limit)
  • We want to emphasize that the following questions are optional for all 2023-24 applicants. Feel free to answer them if you believe that doing so will add something meaningful that is not already shared elsewhere in your application. Five optional questions are available – a maximum of two can be selected. Please select 0 – 2 optional essay topics. (250 word limit for each)
    • We believe a wide range of personal perspectives, beliefs, and lived experiences are essential to making Duke a vibrant and meaningful living and learning community. Feel free to share with us anything in this context that might help us better understand you and what you might bring to our community.
    • Tell us about an intellectual experience in the past two years that you found absolutely fascinating.
    • We believe there is benefit in sharing and sometimes questioning our beliefs or values; who do you agree with on the big important things, or who do you have your most interesting disagreements with? What are you agreeing or disagreeing about?
    • We recognize that “fitting in” in all the contexts we live in can sometimes be difficult. Duke values all kinds of differences and believes they make our community better. Feel free to tell us any ways in which you’re different, and how that has affected you or what it means to you.
    • Duke’s commitment to inclusion and belonging includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Feel free to share with us more about how your identity in this context has meaning for you as an individual or as a member of a community.
  • The Common and Coalition Applications will also include a section for students to disclose if they were impacted by community disruptions such as natural disasters and COVID-19.

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.


Alumni interviews are an optional component of the Duke application process. Due to the volume of applications to Duke, we regret we are unable to interview all applicants. The Admissions Office will prioritize interviews for students for whom we need additional information. Not being offered an interview does not affect your chances of admission. After students submit their applications, those offered an interview will be matched with alumni volunteers who will contact them via phone or email to arrange a virtual interview. Students may expect the interview to last 30-60 minutes. We do not offer on-campus interviews with admissions officers, nor can students request an interview.

Applicants are also welcome to record a Glimpse video. Glimpse is an opportunity to share a 60-90 second video helping us to get to know you better. For more information about Glimpse please visit the Glimpse website here. Currently, Glimpse is only available for students attending high school in the United States. For consideration in the Duke Admissions Process, Glimpse videos must be submitted by November 6 for Early Decision and January 16 for Regular Decision.

For international applicants, Duke will also consider interviews from InitialView. Students attending schools in China are particularly encouraged to arrange an interview with InitialView. Applicants interested in an InitialView interview are encouraged to make a reservation here as soon as possible in order to secure a timely appointment.


If you have exceptional talent in dance, music, photography, film/video/digital, or theater, you may submit optional arts supplement(s) to be evaluated by a Duke University faculty member in that program or department. Typically, such submissions should demonstrate extraordinary talent beyond standard high school level accomplishment. Arts supplement applicants have often received significant awards and honors at a state, national, or international level. Consider carefully whether your supplemental materials demonstrate unusual talent before submission. For more information about what we look for, you may reach out to the departments directly.

For the 2023-2024 admissions cycle, we are unable to accept visual art supplements (including photographs of artwork).

Learn more about art 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 one additional letter of recommendation should you choose to submit it.

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.


  • 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.
  • Students who attend Duke Kunshan University and wish to transfer to Duke University are not at an advantage in our admissions process.
  • A high school diploma or GED is required for admission to Duke.
  • 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.
  • Please note that Duke will be test-optional for transfer students for the 2023-2024 cycle.

2022-2023 Transfer Student Application Cycle

  • Applications: 2,126
  • Admitted Students: 89
  • Matriculated Students: 56
  • Admit Rate: 4%

2022-2023 Admitted Transfer Student Profile

  • GPA average = 3.90
  • Mid-50% range = 3.85 – 4.0


  • Your application must be submitted electronically through either the COMMON APPLICATION or COALITION APPLICATION by March 15. The Transfer Admissions Committee begins to review applications after the application deadline. We will notify applicants of admissions decisions by mid-May.
  • 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), and required financial aid forms.
  • Duke University is test-optional for transfer students who plan to apply during the 2023-2024 admissions cycle for enrollment in the fall of 2024. If you choose to submit ACT or SAT scores, they must be completed within the past five years.
  • If you intend to apply through the Common Application, please visit their website for a TRANSFER APPLICATION GUIDE.
  • 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 your current college/university does not allow the submission of recommendation forms through the Common Application portal, you can find printable Duke-specific PDF versions on the Common Application portal. These forms should be either mailed or faxed to our office.
  • If you have exceptional talent in dance, theater, art, or music, you may submit supplementary material to be evaluated by an appropriate faculty member. LEARN MORE ABOUT ART SUPPLEMENTS
  • 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 virtually.


  • 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 all majors, minors, and certificates 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, or 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.




  • 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.


  • Duke offers need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships to US citizens and to foreign citizens following the different policies outlined below.
  • For U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens, an applicant’s need for financial aid, or the fact that a student has applied for financial aid, will not disadvantage a student in the admissions process. Students needing financial assistance are strongly encouraged to apply for aid at the same time as for admission. Please go to the Financial Aid website for more information.
  • Foreign citizens must apply for need-based financial aid in the original first-year application in order to be eligible for need-based funding from Duke at any point. You can find the comprehensive costs for attending Duke in 2023-2024 here. You can find more information about financial aid for foreign citizens at Duke here.
  • The admissions process for foreign citizens is more highly selective: the admit rate for foreign citizens seeking financial aid is usually less than half of the overall admit rate. We consider admissions applications from foreign citizens requesting need-based financial aid in this more competitive pool no matter how great or small the family’s financial need may be.
  • Duke offers a small number of merit scholarships for which all applicants to Duke are automatically considered. Applying for need-based aid does not have any negative effect on merit scholarship selection. You can find more information about merit scholarships at Duke here and here.
  • We do not require applicants to submit any financial forms as a part of the admissions process; the financial aid application is simultaneous with but separate from our admissions consideration. The amount of need-based financial aid for which each student/family qualifies depends solely on financial calculations and not on the strength of the admissions application.
  • If you have more specific questions about financial aid, please feel free to contact the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support at


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 2021, 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.