Road Trip: "Aha Moments" at Duke University

Every college visit has its “aha moments”.  My August 2014 trip to visit five North Carolina schools included many.  Here are a few to share…Duke – Aha!

It’s HUGE, and not just in basketball. 

The size of Duke’s campus was striking.  9,000 acres for 6,500 undergrad and 8,500 grad students.  There are actually three campuses, East, West, and Central.  A free bus runs all day long connecting the three campuses (and it runs through the city of Durham as well).   All freshmen live on East Campus; the oldest campus of about 100 acres that was originally Trinity College. West Campus, anchored by the Chapel, is the “academic and residential heart “of the university including the bulk of the library system and undergraduate research.  Central Campus houses Juniors and Seniors along with an art museum and gardens.  Duke Hospital is found between West and Central campuses.  An interactive map can be found here.

Other points of interest at Duke: Campus life, outside of basketball-crazy, is quite heavily Greek – with 30% of female and 50% of males in sororities or fraternities respectively.  Students apply separately for Trinity College (85% of undergrads) or Pratt School of Engineering (15% of undergrads).   Notice that there are more grad students than undergrad students at Duke, so it is prudent to be aware of university priorities. Duke is one of the few school that requires all SAT or ACT scores  -- “You must send your full record of scores” -- from which they select the top score per sub-section. Also, the Robertson Scholars, a 4-year scholarship and leadership program shared between Duke and UNC applicants, must be applied to separately from the application to either school. 

Consider Duke: if you look to balance the academic rigor of a top ranked school, with a social life that is athletics and Greek dominant.