Duke University

Durham, NC, USA

Reviews

Duke University

4.15 Average Rating

Sophomore from Florida

a current student here
53 people found this review useful
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Am learning a lot
In high school, I found that I could ace any class with a study cram the night before any test. By doing this, I never truly learned anything. Sure, I remembered enough for the tests and exams, but if someone were to quiz me a week later, I would have had no clue as to the answers. At Duke, the small classes and interactive environments along with the extremely specific details of some courses makes it impossible not to know what you're studying. I would have to admit that in the three semesters I've been in college, I've learned more than I ever learned throughout high school.
Am enjoying being here
The students and faculty at Duke are extremely receptive and interesting people. There is never a boring day as long as you take the time to get to know those around you. Everyone is from around the world, which has really opened my eyes to different perspectives and cultures. We have a great Greek life, sports program, and events of all sorts every day of the week. The campus is beautiful and the Raleigh-Durham area is an exciting regions, especially with UNC and NC State both within a 20 minute drive. However, as I'm one of the few students who migrated north for college (I would say a large percentage of the population is from the Northeast), I detest the frigid, cold, windy, and rainy winters.
Bang for the buck
For such an expensive school, Duke still sucks every penny that you have left out of you. A parking pass is around $300 and you WILL get at least 3-4 parking tickets in your years here. In addition, the club sports and Greek fees are ridiculous. However, the fact that your professor probably wrote the textbook you're studying and the daily maid service in the dorms definitely make the financial crunch worth it in the long run.
Tips for prospective students
1. Whip out the Halloween costumes every other Saturday and attend football tailgates. 2. You HAVE to go to at least one basketball game and/or tent out for the UNC game, but don't forget to study the cheers beforehand. 3. Get your faculty in resident to approve you for a chapel climb. Don't forget to bring your camera. 4. If you're sick of the Marketplace or Great Hall, head over to Franklin Street for some great restaurants. 5. Study, study, study. Everyone pulls six hour shifts in Perkins Library, so don't feel like a complete nerd when it's your turn.
Great for these types of students
Students who like small classroom settings, students who are willing to sit out on a few Friday nights in order to get some work done, and students who appreciate a competitive nature will excel at Duke. But most importantly, in order to really enjoy your time at Duke, you need to be relaxed and know how to balance work and play.
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Blair from Atlanta, GA

a current student here
25 people found this review useful
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Am learning a lot
Yes, Duke is a top ten university, and yes, they get some of the brightest students in the country, but the level and quality of academics at Duke is so much more than that. In my first semester here, I learned how to communicate basic information in Arabic, to edit film not only digitally but manually by cutting and taping actual film strips together with 16mm film, the intricacies of court cases that involve the most controversial parts of the First Amendment, and the vast differences of the cultural aspects of languages, among other things. Duke does a great job of balancing the vast variety of classes offered with in depth exploration of a class' main focus. While, yes, there are some professors that can be a bit of a bore, almost every class at Duke will teach you something new (even if that comes through a textbook rather than your professor). However, the classroom isn’t the only place where you can learn something new. The diversity and, well, pure awesomeness of Duke’s student body provides a great resource for anyone looking for something new. For example, I learned some basic Russian phrases from a girl down the hall from me, how to play ultimate Frisbee from my roommate, and even how to (properly) lift a cherry pie from the dining hall. With so many interesting people around you all the time, I would say, unless you live under a rock during your time here, it’s pretty impossible not to learn something new almost everyday.
Am enjoying being here
I absolutely love Duke, and am proud to call it my home and school. The people here are amazing. Yes, they can sometimes seem a bit judgmental or a little too nice, but most everyone loves being here, and it shows. When you first come in to Duke as a freshman, it can be a bit overwhelming. There's so much to do and so many people to see. Pretty much anything you've ever wanted to do or try can probably be found in one of Duke's clubs, and if it's not there then grab a group of friends and make it happen. The social scene here is also good. A lot of clubs in Durham are 18 and up, so most weekends you can find people pre-gaming at frat parties or mixers before heading off to the clubs. Frat parties are pretty big on campus, although we also have these things called SLGs (selective living groups) that are basically co-ed frats or themed living groups that also throw parties. The Duke police are really great; they won't get you in trouble for drinking, and are really there to keep you safe. A lot of people tend to complain about Durham because there doesn't seem to be much to do, but Durham has a lot of good restaurants, and if you get tired of the social scene there's always Franklin Street (part of the school down the road...ugh haha). Speaking of UNC, basketball at Duke is the best. The games are so much fun. I am currently tenting (sleeping in a tent for close to a month in k-ville) in order to get into the Duke vs. UNC home game, and, although cold, it is a blast bonding with the people in my tent and everyone else in k-ville.
Bang for the buck
The many programs and things to do at Duke, make it for the most part worth the money. We have unique study abroad programs such as DukeEngage that allow you to spend a summer in another country for free doing civic engagement, cultural immersion study abroad programs, and programs dedicated specifically towards your field of study. For instance, you can spend a semester at Duke's marine lab to learn about marine biology or in L.A. to study film. There are also a lot of help services such as the career center, study abroad office, psychological services office, academic advising for regular students and athletes, along with a ton of other services just for students. The one thing that I will say seems to me to be a huge rip off is the Freshman meal plan. Freshman have an allotted amount of meal swipes per week that can only be used at the Dining hall on East Campus, while upperclassmen are on a foodpoints system that allows them to eat virtually anywhere on campus. Each dinner meal swipe is supposed to be equal to $12, but in reality with the price of the meal plan it's equal to something like $23...that's a lot of money for dinner. (But I guess it's all you can eat so you can't complain too much). The one thing I wish Duke would do to help those in need of money for tuition is offer a few more scholarships to students. While, yes, they do offer some scholarships, these are usually reserved for a very very very small and incredibly intelligent portion of the student body. Also, they do a good job on financial aid for low income families, but not as well for medium income families.
Tips for prospective students
make yourself stand out in your application by focusing on a few of your best strengths or accomplishments. Write an essay that you would enjoy reading and get to know your duke counselor for your area. For legacies, if you don't think you meet the benchmark of applicants, get someone closely related to Duke to write you a letter of recommendation.
Great for these types of students
people who love to learn
BME majors (2nd best BME program in the country)
all-around people
sports people
people who like to have fun but also study hard
prospective business men or public policy majors
pre-med students or anyone looking to go into the medical field (Duke has a great hospital)
students interested in religion (one of the best Divinity schools in the country)
basketball fans (not football fans...our football team's not that great)
active people (or non-active people)
friendly people
minorities
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Larissa from Clayton, NC

a current student here
25 people found this review useful
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Am learning a lot
We cover a lot of material and very quickly. As long as you can keep up with the reading you're usually okay, and you will learn SO much on so many different topics. Duke's T-reqs or Trinity Requirements (http://trinity.duke.edu/academic-requirements?p=graduation-requirements) ensure too that your education is truly well-rounded. I came here thinking I was really only going to take science classes and uncovered a newfound love for history and philosophy!
Am enjoying being here
I wholly, uncompromisingly and unreservedly endorse Duke University. The motto here is work hard, play hard. We study and learn a LOT, but we also have so much fun, whether that means your extracurriculars, your parties, or both. If you want to meet interesting people who are smart and funny and [usually] not too cocky, come here! If you want to make a lot of friends, come here. (The rule of first-years only living with other first-years seems dumb at first, but it creates such camaraderie.) If you want to unite with hundreds of other students over Duke Basketball (and trust me, if you're not a fan now, you probably will be), come here! Oh and also, the campus, a mix of Georgian, gothic, and modern architecture, is absolutely beautiful, as if you had to be reminded. It doesn't get old; I still think probably every other day, Wow, it's beautiful here. My only complaint is that the food on East Campus can get old after a while. But what else can I say?
Bang for the buck
Yes, Duke's tuition and housing is now about $50,000 per year. However, it covers 100% of your demonstrated financial need as shown by FAFSA, loan-free. I come from a family of seven (four younger sisters) on a pastor's salary, and we're fine!
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared to study. Perkins Library and particularly Von Der Heyden are my favorite places. Cut down on the Facebook/online shopping/YouTubing, etc. Meet all the people in your dorm. Rush if you can, even if you don't decide to join a sorority/frat house. Know the Duke Basketball team or be embarrassed. Find a group that will help you keep in shape--our workouts for cheerleading have been my savior for that; no freshman 15 for me! GET YOUR WORK DONE during the week, and on Saturday during the day. It leaves plenty of time for fun on the weekends! They say you can only choose two of the three of grades, sleep, and social life, but I know firsthand it IS possible to get all three! Grab an apple from the Marketplace every time you go...good midnight snack and better than Skittles from the vending machine every night.
Great for these types of students
Duke Basketball fanatics. The adventurous. The partiers. The homebodies or more studious types. Those who want to take advantage of Duke's fantastic study abroad/service programs.
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Autumn from Spring, TX

a current student here
17 people found this review useful
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In three sentences
Duke is an amazing school with an incredible, if sometimes overwhelming, number of opportunities available every day. Duke administration and students work to be academically, artistically, and socially open to new things and representative of the incredibly diverse student body. A Duke student is sure to have a one of a kind experience and is sure to find a place they feel at home.
Academic Rigor
Even the easy classes at Duke aren't easy. Because of the low student-professor ratio, it's often not possible to get away with just not doing your work or preparing for class.
Students taking more difficult classes, from something in the natural sciences to a language to an entry level weed-out class often have more trouble than they can handle, and are forced to withdraw from a course.
All this said, academically, Duke isn't too scary for most students. There are systems in place that make it difficult to just completely fail or to be utterly lost in terms of classes and grades; the system is easily navigable and there are always people there who can help along the way.
Dorm Life
Not everyone loves dorm life, but it has its perks. Dorm life is very conducive to the creation of community regardless of the dorm one finds themselves in. Additionally, by the end of their first year it seems most freshman LOVE the system of all freshman on East campus. It becomes a place of refuge and is a great first place to learn your way around.
Some prefer apartment style living to dorm life mostly on the basis of space, kitchen access/cooking ability, and overall comfort.
I know some individuals who dislike the small amount of space they feel they've been given to live in compared to the amount of space others in other dorms get; but I haven't known anyone to find their space unlivable and unbearable. Most dorm rooms (doubles for two people, at least) have plenty of space for two beds two desks, two small bookshelves, and if there isn't closet space, a wardrobe.
On the issue of kitchen access, the dorms are fit with kitchens. Though those who enjoy cooking and preparing meals might prefer to have a kitchen shared with fewer people or access to more cooking devices and utensils, I've found that dorm kitchens have more than enough amenities to accommodate everyone's basic needs.
I found my dorm experience to be fairly comfortable. There aren't any Duke dorms known to be particularly prone to infestation or flooding or any other kinds of disasters/discomforts. While those living in dorms may have to walk a bit farther to get to the bathroom, those with apartments have to keep their bathroom and any hallways clean themselves. Dorms are also just fit with more public spaces for social events to go on and interaction to occur.
Food and Dining
The worst part of food and dining is the same no matter who you ask - the freshman meal plan. Every duke student gets food points. $1 = 1 food point. Food points are payed for through the dining plan (bursar's account) and are accessed through the use of one's DukeCard. Food points are easy to refill if you run out and as a freshman, it is likely that you will run out. Here's why: all the freshman meal plans include swipes in to East Campus' dining hall: The Marketplace. Marketplace, quite frankly, becomes inconvenient for most students, as there are only specific times one can eat at that specific location. Especially as a student who participated in tenting, the increased time spent on West campus meant that I needed more access to food points and fewer meal swipes. Additionally, the
What to do for fun
Duke sporting events are always incredibly exciting - don't let them go to waste!
Frats are likely the most common source of open parties, but many organizations throw parties throughout the year as well.
Shooters is the go-to club in the area, a 5-10 minute walk from East Campus. Devine's is another, less common, club that people go to.
Bang for the buck
Duke is an incredibly expensive university - but often times the amenities offered seem to make up for this. There are top notch academic professors, there is easy to find funding for special events and activities, new, well kept athletic facilities are readily available, freebies are often easy to find, and one always feels safe on campus. I can't say for sure whether Duke is worth the price tag, but most students rarely feel they're being cheated.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Tenting! Check out http://kvillenation.com/ to learn more.
Bench burning after Duke beats UNC or wins another big game.
Most unusual traditions at Duke have to do with basketball games and traditions, or Duke sports in general.
Duke has an all day party every year, on LDOC the Last Day of Classes. Great artists are hired to come and perform, and it's a great way to de-stress and have fun before reading week and finals.
Great for these types of students
Academically competitive. Socially, students who rarely or even never plan on going out and students who plan on going out multiple times a week all find their place and enjoy the scene at Duke.
Clubs and Activities
The possibilities are literally endless. Duke has more clubs than one could ever even consider joining, and making new clubs is a simple process.
Greek Life
Greek life is a BIG part of life at Duke, and not always in a good way. Those who choose not to participate in Greek life will feel the difference between themselves and their peers. This is not to say that one cannot have a social life without joining a Greek organization - quite the opposite is true. It is only that Duke is socially dominated by Greek Life in many ways, but unimportant in some others. Duke also has selective living groups, which allow students to join organizations and live with a specific group without Greek traditions.
Campus Safety
Duke is very safe. Durham, though there are mishaps, is a wonderful, historic, often misunderstood city. Those who call it ghetto or dangerous have likely only heard about Durham from news channels and Duke Alerts (announcements that some criminal or dangerous activity has gone on nearby).
Duke police are kind and helpful, and are always available if needed.
The danger at Duke, like at many other universities, is mostly connected to women and sexual assault. I do commend Duke on it's commitment to talk about this issue, much more so than many other schools do, but I cannot condone the way students accused of sexual violence are only minimally punished.
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robert from phoenix, md

a current student here
14 people found this review useful
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In three sentences
there is no other place in america where you will tap into a richer infusion of pioneering professors in their fields, fully-funded research and civil service opportunities both at home and overseas, and a fabled athletics program enveloping a worldwide fan base than at duke university. from developing single-sound multispeakers to researching glioblastoma-curing applications with renowned faculty in electrical engineering and cancer medicine, duke students are contributing to the world's next breakthroughs in communications and medicine by day, before donning the blue and white body paint to senselessly cheer for one of the most iconic and winningest athletics program in all of sports history, by night. for these reasons and many more, it's no wonder why any aspiring eighteen-year-old difference maker wouldn't want to spend four years of his or her life on this incredible campus.
Tips for prospective students
1) you are coming to duke to both inspire others, as well as be inspired.

if you remember this simple fact, you will never struggle to entertain a classmate's creative idea for a project proposal, to find the inspiration to study harder for a test after your best friend aced the previous one, or to find the courage to start your own public initiative on campus. you are here only because the admissions office saw promise in you to change the campus in a positive light, and beyond. that being said, you are now surrounded by thousands of other colleagues who demonstrate similar promise. listen to their stories, hear their unique perspectives, and you might just come away from your conversation with greater perspective than before, which equates to even greater promise.

2) you'll never know if you've mastered the material until you are tested upon it.

whether it's a lecture class of 200+ or a seminar with a mere twelve of your peers, you are now competing against some of the best students in the world for grades. which means the only stratifying barrier to success that now divides the ranks of your classmates is good, old work ethic--how much time you are willing to put in. and if you do not put in the time to adequately study for midterms, quizzes, and tests at duke, then you are going to have a miserable experience at duke. the reverse is also true. if you can average 2.5 hours of studying (excluding homework assignments) per every hour you are in class, you will not only be ready to garner excellent grades by the time the assessment comes around, but you will retain a critical knowledge base with which to apply what you've learned to other disciplines, and make connections. it is these types of skills that employers are really looking for after graduation, so adopting this critical perspective on all of your courses will sharpen your competitive edge significantly when you go to apply for jobs.
Academic Rigor
although six-and-a-half hours of homework a night from 3+ ap classes a semester may seem challenging now, duke is far more academically challenging in a very multilayered way. this is because you have other factors at duke in the equation of being successful with respect to:

1) interdisciplinary emphasis
2) level of competition
3) your personal work ethic
4) nature of instructors

1) duke is known for designing a curriculum that challenges students to draw upon multiple disciplines to form critical connections and generate new ideas. this means that you will be able to experience more academic success if you can apply the fda breakthrough status drug you are learning about in one class to a trend in biotechnology stocks that you are analyzing in another. while not always imperative to excelling academically, this ability to "connect courses" can afford a competitive edge to certain students, which adds a new dimension of rigor.

2) another dimension of rigor can be found in the caliber of competition you will face in both your large lecture and small discussion classes. you are now competing against students who have won straight-a's, state debate and mock trial championships, and have even founded and co-founded businesses and organizations all throughout their high school careers. since everyone wants the a equally, but there is often a scarcity of a's to hand out, you often must work even harder at duke to achieve the same result that you did in high school.

3) fortunately, even the greatest minds cannot succeed without values of hard work and sheer discipline, and this is your secret weapon. no amount of innate intelligence is a suitable substitute for the one who is willing to put in the extra time and repetitions to ingrain difficult academic concepts, and there are myriad empirical studies to back this claim in the context of public schools, parenting children, and other ares. this idea holds true at duke as well, in that you can improve by tw...
Dorm Life
at duke, you will learn within the first couple of weeks who are the late-night drinkers and partiers and who are the dryer, early-to-bedders in your dorm, and your overall dorm life experience will ultimately revolve around where you fall along this spectrum. but the diversity of students duke attracts ensures there is no shortage of acceptance of wherever you choose to identify.

these are kids who will love to engage in open dialogues with you about everything from the benefits of social media to the consequences of fracking, and this characteristic of the student body never shines more brightly than back in the common room after a school day or all throughout the weekend. your dorm-mates will become your family almost immediately upon arrival, and much like family almost universally accepts you for whatever you choose to believe in, your hall-mates will seldom think negatively of you for whatever you choose to get involved with on campus.

finally, upon your arrival as a first year, you will be welcomed on to the freshmen east campus--which is a six-minute bus ride apart from the main one--and together you and your dorm-mates will bond over your freshman experiences together at a common gym, library, dining hall, auditorium, nearby grocery chain, and events space, away from the hustle-bustle of duke university's west campus. most everyone at duke will rave on and on about this system of allowing the freshman to reflect on one another's successes and failures in their own peaceful "slice" of duke in order to maximize the confidence and the courage with which they will attack their future years at duke upon graduating to the main campus.
Food and Dining
duke dining ranks nothing less than 5th in the nation by the daily meal publication, and it's no wonder this is the case upon sampling the plethora of stimulating food options on campus. from marketplace's american-style buffet to the a la carte vendors of au bon pain bakery, the loop pizza grill, and dozens of food trucks that rotate around campus, there's a diversity of choices for everyone -- even for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher, halal, and any number of other dietary lifestyles that you can find on duke's campus. a particularly exciting time for duke dining will be this fall 2016, when approximately 10-13 additional vendors will be rejoining duke's newly renovated west union in three floors and a vendetta devoted to cafeterias, project rooms, and discussion and study spaces for groups ranging from two to a hundred participants. i could not begin to imagine how different the duke experience would be without the culinary gems that further illuminate its national reputation, but don't just take my word for it, you must come on down here and try the food for yourself!
What to do for fun
a cornerstone of the duke experience that separates it from several of its peer institutions is the knowledge that if you are a student in attendance, you will have nothing but fun when you are not working your hardest. aside from the enthralling experience promised at any of duke's 26 varsity division i sports competitions--all free of charge to students, who need only show their student ids to gain admission--students are the beneficiaries of such organizations as duke university union (duu), pitchforks, and duke university improv, which bring speakers and top artists, nationally renowned a cappella singing, and positively hilarious college humor to touch the hearts and minds of students who otherwise have their heads buried in the library out of sheer love of learning and a desire to excel in school. while devils after dark provides laser tag, movie nights, trips to the local mall, and any number of other college staples to appeal to just about all students on campus, students also have the option to rush for any of the dozens of fraternity and sorority chapters and duke selective living groups (slgs) on campus and derive most of their friday and saturday night fun from the brotherhood, sisterhood, and other bonds of companionship these groups afford duke students. whatever your taste in having a good time, there's an awfully good chance that duke has got the entertainment to hit your sweet spot, and keep you coming back every week for even more fun than you had the last time.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
"bricks to stone" ceremony -- one of the most monumental events of the school year for all first years -- occurs towards the beginning of finals week second semester when all of the freshmen are recognized for completing their first year among the georgian brick architecture of their east campus home and are now graduating to go live among the gothic stone architecture of a new, west campus home, where they will make the majority of their contributions to the duke campus climate, and beyond, and forge the majority of their memories as sophomores, juniors, and eventually, graduating seniors.

puppies in perkins -- quite the beloved occasion every finals week on duke's campus... local canine therapy organizations directly tied to duke university volunteers bring in a pack of therapy dogs to provide comfort and relieve stress for highly anxious duke students on the verge of entering finals week!

duke vs. unc / cameron crazies -- not just a campus-renowned tradition, but a world-renowned tradition, one that draws not just 1,000+ duke students bathed in blue and white body paint from head to toe six hours in advance of the greatest rivalry game in college basketball, but also a televised audience of millions around the country and around the globe who wish they could be there to watch!

duke lemur center -- after madagascar, duke university is home to the world's second largest lemur sanctuary, affording students, faculty, and visitors from around the globe the opportunity to walk among these fabled prosimian primates, without fences or borders to prevent contact, and the experience is simply breathtaking... it is as if you finally get to meet all of your favorite characters from dreamworks' madagascar!

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Elisabeth from Durham, NC

a current student here
13 people found this review useful
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In three sentences
Duke's a diverse school with students of all sorts of races and backgrounds. The education is vigorous, so you'll get out whatever you put in. There are hundreds of student groups, academic opportunities and living environments to choose from, so once you've found your niche you'll have discovered that Duke is more than just a university, it's an entire college experience.
Tips for prospective students
During Orientation Week you'll learn the basics about campus (where everything is - classes, food, dorms, etc.) Although it might sound scary, I would recommend approaching an upperclassman (in your class, on the main quad, or in line for food) and ask them about campus life. After your second and third years, you've learned a lot about campus concerning the ins and outs of professors and classes, and upperclassmen are Dying to help freshmen avoid any mistakes they made in the past. Find a good mentor that fits your style, and you'll see doors opportunities open up for you.
Academic Rigor
Duke is not an patsy school. In order to get the A's that you got in high school, you'll have to work hard and apply yourself. Really, it all comes down to time management. Create a schedule for class, studying, and fun. Actually, there are a few campus offices that will even help make a schedule that fits your lifestyle (early bird, night-owl, etc.) Two centers come to mind, the Career Center and Academic Advising...they even give tips for great (free) tutors!
Dorm Life
The majority of Duke's dorms have been renovated or are scheduled for renovation in the near future. During the first year, all freshmen live on the same campus. It sounds like a pain, but it actually helps create a strong bond within your class that I've yet to see in any other college setting. While you're required to live on campus for at least three years, you'll have a wide variety of choices (substance free, apartments, suites, and standard rooms). Also, if you join a selective living group or frat, you have the option of housing with them.
Food and Dining
Duke's food is Great! There are so many options (Mediterranean, Oriental influence, Hispanic, etc). There are over 40 eateries on campus, and more than 30 off-campus businesses that deliver to your campus address.
What to do for fun
There are Hundreds of student groups and clubs at Duke. From bowling to console-gaming, to volunteer work, to club sports, you're sure to find something that grabs your attention. Duke also has a variety of sports teams, so going to basketball and lacrosse games is always a favorite weekend pass-time. Depending on the weather, you can find a campus-wide scavenger hunt (where you can win cash money). Also, we have frequent concerts and events (that are free to students). In the past, we've had artists such as Ludacris, Wale, and several European bands perform for the students.
Bang for the buck
With the networking and connections you'll make throughout Duke, it is Worth the Buck! My freshman year, I had a very prominent professor offer me a job after I graduated (that's a Huge opportunity)! You'll have the option to do professional level research with faculty members, or you can be sponsored to attend prominent conferences throughout the country (at no charge). Duke has an amazing integration of students and faculty, so if you take advantage of the tools you're giving, you will Enjoy It!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Duke Basketball is HUGE! The rivalry between Duke and UNC (ugh) is unparalleled by any other. Both the men's and women's teams play in Cameron Indoor Stadium where students pack the house to watch the action. However, if you'd like to witness the Infamous Rivalry Game first-hand, you'll have to team up with some students and tent outside the stadium because the seats don't last long! Tenting is a Large part of student culture, because everyone wants to be there for the game.
Clubs and Activities
Duke has Hundreds of student groups you can join. Here's a link to the website of organizations with a small description about each one: http://duke.collegiatelink.net/organizations
Greek Life
Duke has a multitude of Greek organizations on campus. NPHC, Panhel, Inter-Greek Council, and IFC (Inter-Fraternity Council) are just to name some of the umbrella groups. All that you need to know about Greek Life at Duke can be found at the following website: http://studentaffairs.duke.edu/greek
Campus Safety
The campus is located in the heart of Durham. For that reason, there are people from the town who come on campus. However, we have a very active Duke Police Department, with deputies on every campus. To be honest, I see multiple Duke Policeman each day on campus (even late at night when I'm leaving the library). The bus system runs pretty late, so you'll almost never have to walk home. But if you're out later and you don't feel comfortable walking home, you can call Duke Safe Rides and they will take you to your dorm/apartment free of charge.
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Dukie

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Duke isn't a world-renowned institution for nothing. The professors here, on a whole are extremely knowledgeable and very willing to help students who take the initiative to talk with them and learn more. Of course, some of the professors can be hit-or-miss and doing a little research on prospective professors can save a lot of frustration during the class registration process.
Your fellow students can also be a very valuable source of knowledge. I am constantly amazed at just how incredibly intelligent and thought-provoking my classmates are both in class discussions and during casual chats.
Depending upon the path taken, each student will have a varying degree of flexibility in class choices (For example, engineers will have a very limited number of electives compared to those in the humanities). However, Duke offers such a wide variety of courses on a diversity of interesting topics that will make you wish you could overload each semester.
Overall, the academic environment here is challenging, but extremely rewarding. Some of the classes will be hit-or-miss, with professors that may not live up to the standards you would expect at Duke. However, the truly amazing classes more than make up for the mediocre ones.
Am enjoying being here
Like any other school, Duke takes a little adjusting to especially if you are like me and are more of the shy type. However, the people are generally very friendly and open to making new friends, especially during the first few weeks of school.
Duke has a reputation for being a work hard, party hard school, which is pretty accurate. Students are able to buckle down, study, and get all of their work done during the week and then have fun on the weekends.
The basketball games are really fun and not to be missed - the school spirit and just the feeling of being part of such a large, enthusiastic student group is amazing.
There are always plenty of things going on around campus and there's something for almost everyone to enjoy.
Bang for the buck
Duke's expensive tuition can be a deterrent for those who don't qualify for financial aid. Although Duke does have decent financial aid, many families may find it lacking. Personally, while Duke does offer a world-class education, I wouldn't consider it a good bang for your buck.
However, much of this depends upon the individual student's own willingness to take advantage of the opportunities that Duke offers. By doing something like DukeEngage, a fully paid 8-week immersive volunteer trip to places all around the world or participating in one of the many undergraduate research opportunities with faculty members, students can make full use of their tuition.
Of course, a Duke education also comes with its prestigious reputation, which to some people may justify its pricey tuition.
Tips for prospective students
Take the time to get to know your professors - go to office hours, engage them after class, take them to a FLUNCH (Faculty lunch - fully paid for by Duke!), ask to do research with them, etc...
It is especially important during the first few weeks to step outside of your comfort zone to meet new people. Freshmen will generally be very receptive of making new friends so do not hesitate to sit by someone new at the marketplace or to introduce yourself to someone on the bus.
Manage your time well! If you get your work out of the way, you will find that you can enjoy yourself so much more on weekends and have time to pursue other extracurricular activities.
It may be hard at first for many students because they will find that, for the first time in their academic careers, they are no longer automatically at the top of their class. Expecting straight A's is no longer realistic in college and you will have to work much harder in order to do well. However, success is not impossible and with the right amount of dedication, you will do well.
Great for these types of students
Duke is especially great for students who take advantage of opportunities and are outgoing. However, there is a place at Duke for all types of students - as long as they are hard-working and intelligent.
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KZ

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Duke is the located on the most beautiful campus in America, right in the great state of North Carolina. Duke students are the ones who coined the term work hard, play hard, as you will never find a place as challenging but rewarding as you will find in Duke University. If you love basketball, you have to come to Duke- we are the school that most recently won that thing.
Tips for prospective students
Duke lets you be whoever you want to be here, so never feel afraid to do the things you want and say the things you want to say. Go to as many basketball games as you can, Cameron Indoor Stadium is a one-of-a-kind experience. Just live life, and Duke will reward you immensely with memories.
Academic Rigor
No one ever said it was going to be easy. But there is a reason why Duke is an elite institution and why it takes a special type of person to be admitted. If you are admitted, remember all the hard work you put in to get there. Then take that work up just another notch and you will be just fine at Duke.
Dorm Life
Dorms are great. People are great. Housing and dining staff are the friendliest groups there, so everyone will feel right at home.
Food and Dining
Duke is all-around great. The food is no exception. Duke dining is ranked 5th in the nation. A school that produces national champions in basketball, Rhodes Scholars, and Nobel Prize winners deserves nothing less.
What to do for fun
So. Much. Opportunity.

You can do literally anything you like at Duke. Campus is very large, and very open to everyone. You have to come to see what its like though, I won't spill all the secrets for non-Dukies to steal.
Bang for the buck
It is costly, but financial aid and scholarships can alleviate the burdens. Yet I think after it's all said and done in four years, every graduate feels that it was worth every penny.
Greek Life
FRAT AF
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Ariana from Fort Myers, FL

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Duke's campus is absolutely beautiful. The professors are great and the academics are very rigorous. Also, school spirit is huge.
Clubs and Activities
Duke has hundreds of student organizations so you are sure to find your fit if you look!
Dorm Life
I had the good luck of having my dorm renovated this year, so my roommate and I were able to live in the Swift Luxury apartments building that Duke bought last year. They are absolutely beautiful and very roomy.
Campus Safety
I always feel safe on both East and West campus. Central campus has had increases in security coverage so I feel much safer heading to my apartment at night too!
Bang for the buck
Duke is expensive but they always make sure to help with the payment if your family has financial need.
Tips for prospective students
1.Visit the campus and get a tour!
2. Go to Blue Devil Days. You learn a lot and meet a lot of people.
3. Try to test out of math. Duke math is notoriously difficult.
4. Look for specific clubs or organizations you want to work with and get started right away.
Academic Rigor
Duke math and science courses are hard work but the professors are great and there are always many opportunities for free help and tutoring.
Food and Dining
West Union has a great variety of different, often ethnic dishes. With restaurants for sushi, Korean food, Indian food, Southern food, and crepes, it’s hard to get sick of the food.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The Duke tradition of burning house benches when we win the last Duke v UNC game of the season is unusual from the outside but it is a huge school spirit event and is a must see!
Great for these types of students
Duke is great for students who are willing to put in the work and study hard, and who do well with competitoon, as Duke classes, especially STEM classes are full of smart students!
What to do for fun
Go into Durham and walk around in the old tobacco district. Also, visit the nearby Eno River State Park. Highly recommended
Greek Life
I do not participate in Greek life or SLGs.
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BlueDevil

a past student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Duke is a top-notch research university with a massive amount of school spirit. There is no typical Duke experience - each student makes it his or her own. However, the most successful students are entrepreneurial types who are not afraid to take advantage of all Duke has to offer.
Tips for prospective students
Visit, visit, visit. Try to see a Duke game, stay in a dorm, eat the food, sit in on a class. Duke is a spectacular institution but is not the right fit for everyone. Also make sure to check out the parking requirements for visitors before coming.
Academic Rigor
Duke classes are challenging, especially in the STEM fields. That being said, the professors are tremendous.
Dorm Life
Freshman dorm life is the greatest on the freshman campus. Dorm life for upperclassman is more of a mixed bag. I lucked out with a wonderful group of friends but not everyone has a similar experience.
Food and Dining
Duke food is actually quite delicious. The food plans are generous and there is plenty of variety.
What to do for fun
Duke students exemplify Work Hard, Play Hard. After studying and getting good grades, the majority of students find their release in sports, partying, and other high energy activities. However, there are still activities like concerts, speakers, and art activities to cater to a variety of student interests.
Bang for the buck
Duke is expensive but has great financial aid. The Duke name carries.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Sports are huge. Tent in KVille for at least one season to get tickets to the Duke/UNC basketball game. Its an experience like no other.
Great for these types of students
Entrepreneurial, outgoing, confident go-getters who will take advantage of the many programs and grants Duke offers.
Clubs and Activities
So many. And its easy to start one if nothing exists.
Greek Life
Prevalent, but not overbearing. Fraternities host a majority of the parties but they are generally open with a large amount of alcohol. Can be a fun way to experience Duke but is not necessary to the Duke experience.
Campus Safety
Generally felt safe on campus. Many officers patrolling.
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