Duke University
  • No. Students: 14600
  • Frgn. Students: 1460
  • No. Staff: 35510
  • Study mode: 38 On campus
  • Languages of instruction: English
  • Phone:
  • 9196843214
  • Fax:
  • 9196681661
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Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Duke University was founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James B. Duke established The Duke Endowment, at which time the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.

The university's campus spans over 8,600 acres (35 km2) on three contiguous campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort. Duke's main campus—designed largely by African American architect Julian Abele—incorporates Gothic architecture with the 210-foot (64 m) Duke Chapel at the campus' center and highest point of elevation. The freshmen-populated East Campus contains Georgian-style architecture, while the main Gothic-style West Campus 1.5 miles away is adjacent to the Medical Center.

 

  • The faculty of Arts and Sciences

  • Pratt School of Engineering

  • Graduate School

  • Divinity School

  • Nicholas School of the Environment

  • Sanford School of Public Policy

  • Fuqua School of Business

  • School of Law

  • School of Medicine: Basic Sciences Division, the Medical School

  • School of Medicine: Clinical Sciences Division

  • School of Nursing

  • /

Duke started in 1838 as Brown's Schoolhouse, a private subscription school founded in Randolph County in the present-day town of Trinity. Organized by the Union Institute Society, a group of Methodists and Quakers, Brown's Schoolhouse became the Union Institute Academy in 1841 when North Carolina issued a charter. The academy was renamed Normal College in 1851 and then Trinity College in 1859 because of support from the Methodist Church. In 1892 Trinity College moved to Durham, largely due to generosity from Julian S. Carr and Washington Duke, powerful and respected Methodists who had grown wealthy through the tobacco and electrical industries. Carr donated land in 1892 for the original Durham campus, which is now known as East Campus. At the same time, Washington Duke gave the school $85,000 for an initial endowment and construction costs—later augmenting his generosity with three separate $100,000 contributions in 1896, 1899, and 1900—with the stipulation that the college "open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men."

In 1924 Washington Duke's son, James B. Duke, established The Duke Endowment with a $40 million trust fund. Income from the fund was to be distributed to hospitals, orphanages, the Methodist Church, and four colleges (including Trinity College). William Preston Few, the president of Trinity at the time, insisted that the institution be renamed Duke University to honor the family's generosity and to distinguish it from the myriad other colleges and universities carrying the "Trinity" name. At first, James B. Duke thought the name change would come off as self-serving, but eventually he accepted Few's proposal as a memorial to his father. Money from the endowment allowed the University to grow quickly. Duke's original campus, East Campus, was rebuilt from 1925 to 1927 with Georgian-style buildings. By 1930, the majority of the Collegiate Gothic-style buildings on the campus one mile (1.6 km) west were completed, and construction on West Campus culminated with the completion of Duke Chapel in 1935.

Engineering, which had been taught since 1903, became a separate school in 1939. In athletics, Duke hosted and competed in the only Rose Bowl ever played outside California in Wallace Wade Stadium in 1942. During World War II, Duke was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission. In 1963 the Board of Trustees officially desegregated the undergraduate college. Increased activism on campus during the 1960s prompted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak at the University in November 1964 on the progress of the civil rights movement. Terry Sanford, the former governor of North Carolina, was elected president of the university in 1969, propelling the Fuqua School of Business's opening, the William R. Perkins library completion, and the founding of the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs (now the Sanford School of Public Policy). The separate Woman's College merged back with Trinity as the liberal arts college for both men and women in 1972. Beginning in the 1970s, Duke administrators began a long-term effort to strengthen Duke's reputation both nationally and internationally. Interdisciplinary work was emphasized, as was recruiting minority faculty and students. During this time it also became the birthplace of the first Physician Assistant degree program in the United States. Duke University Hospital was finished in 1980 and the student union building was fully constructed two years later. In 1986 the men's soccer team captured Duke's first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship, and the men's basketball team followed shortly thereafter with championships in 1991 and 1992, then again in 2001 and 2010.

The university's campus spans 8,470 acres (34.3 km2) on three contiguous campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort. Duke's main campus—designed largely by African American architect Julian Abele—incorporates Gothic architecture with the 210-foot (64 m) Duke Chapel at the campus' center and highest point of elevation. The forest environs surrounding parts of the campus belie the University's proximity to downtown Durham. Construction projects have updated both the freshmen-populated Georgian-style East Campus and the main Gothic-style West Campus, as well as the adjacent Medical Center over the past five years.

Duke's growth and academic focus have contributed to continuing the university's reputation as an academic and research powerhouse.

In summer 2014, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) opened in Kunshan, China. DKU blends liberal education with Chinese tradition in a new approach to elite higher education in China. The DKU Global Health Research Center will conduct research projects on climate change, health-care policy and TB prevention and control.

In August 2005, Duke established a partnership with the National University of Singapore to develop a joint medical program, which had its first entering class in 2007.

The university is part way through Duke Forward, a seven-year fundraising campaign that aims to raise $3.25 billion by June 30, 2017, to enrich the student experience in and out of the classroom, invest in faculty and support research and initiatives. Every dollar donated to Duke’s 10 schools and units, Duke Medicine or university programs and initiatives counts toward the campaign’s goal.

Among academic achievements at Duke, three students were named Rhodes Scholars in both 2002 and 2006, a number surpassed only by Harvard in 2002 and the United States Military Academy in 2006. Overall, Duke has produced 43 Rhodes Scholars through 2014, including 22 between 1990 to 2011.

Also, the first working demonstration of an invisibility cloak was unveiled by Duke researchers in October 2006. In 2006, three men's lacrosse team members were falsely accused of rape, which garnered significant media attention. On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges and declared the three players innocent. Cooper stated that the charged players were victims of a "tragic rush to accuse."

The university has "historical, formal, on-going, and symbolic ties" with the United Methodist Church, but is a nonsectarian and independent institution.



Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award baccalaureate, masters, doctorate, and professional degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Duke University.

Reaffirmation of accreditation occurs every ten years, with a five year mini review including a report on the progress of the Quality Enhancement Plan. The process has two components: a Compliance Certification (demonstration of compliance with 88 core requirements, comprehensive standards, and federal regulations) and a Quality Enhancement Plan (self-study on a topic pertaining to the enhancement of student learning). General information on these components and the overall process may be found in the SACS Handbook for Reaffirmation of Accreditation.

Duke's last reaffirmation of accreditation was conducted in 2009. More information about the 2009 process can be found here. We are currently working through the 2015 reaffirmation of accreditation process. 

In addition to the decennial and mid-point reviews, Duke maintains compliance with policies defined and enforced by SACS. Some of these policies require periodic reporting to our accreditor. The most common policy for which we have to report is Substantive Change.

Duke's research expenditures in the 2012 fiscal year were $1.01 billion, the seventh largest in the nation. Competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Duke's athletic teams, known as the Blue Devils, have captured 15 team national championships, including four by its high profile men's basketball team. Duke was ranked among the world's best universities by both THE and QS, while tying for 8th in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report "Best National Universities Rankings." In 2014, Thomson Reuters named 32 Duke professors to its list of Highly Cited Researchers. The only schools with more primary affiliations were Harvard, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.

Residential life

A large Georgian-style building exterior with six Ionic Columns and red brick with large arched windows
East Campus' Union building, home to the freshman dining hall
Duke requires its students to live on campus for the first three years of undergraduate life, except for a small percentage of second semester juniors who are exempted by a lottery system. This requirement is justified by the administration as an effort to help students connect more closely with one another and sustain a sense of belonging within the Duke community. Thus, 85% of undergraduates live on campus. All freshmen are housed in one of 14 residences on East Campus. These buildings range in occupancy size from 50 (Epworth—the oldest residence hall, built in 1892 as "the Inn") to 190 residents (Gilbert-Addoms). Most of these are in the Georgian style typical of the East Campus architecture. Although the newer residence halls differ in style, they still relate to East's Georgian heritage. Learning communities connect the residential component of East Campus with students of similar academic and social interests. Similarly, students in FOCUS, a first-year program that features courses clustered around a specific theme, live together in the same residence hall as other students in their cluster.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors can choose to reside on either West or Central campuses, although the majority of undergraduate seniors choose to live off campus. West Campus contains six quadrangles—the four along "Main" West were built in 1930s, while two newer ones have since been added. Central Campus provides housing for over 1,000 students in apartment buildings. All housing on West and Central is organized into about 80 "houses"—sections of residence halls or clusters of apartments—to which students can return each year. House residents create their house identities. There are houses of unaffiliated students, as well as wellness houses and living-learning communities that adopt a theme such as the arts or foreign languages. There are also numerous "selective living groups" on campus for students wanting self-selected living arrangements. SLGs are residential groups similar to fraternities or sororities, except they are generally co-ed and unaffiliated with any national organization. Many of them also revolve around a particular interest such as entrepreneurship, civic engagement or African-American or Asian culture. Fifteen fraternities and nine sororities also are housed on campus, primarily on Central. Most of the non-fraternity selective living groups are coeducational.

Greek and social life

A large group of individuals gather in a parking lot alongside a tent campground with lightposts
Cameron Crazies gathering in K-ville
About 30% of undergraduate men and about 40% of undergraduate women at Duke are members of fraternities and sororities. Most of the 15 Interfraternity Council recognized fraternity chapters live in sections within the residence halls. Starting in 2012, the nine Panhellenic Association sorority chapters decided to live in houses (clusters of apartments) on Central Campus. Not all sorority members live with their chapters, though, as membership exceeds house space. Eight National Pan-Hellenic Council (historically African American) fraternities and sororities also hold chapters at Duke. In addition, there are seven other fraternities and sororities that are a part of the Inter-Greek Council, the multicultural Greek umbrella organization. Duke also has Selective Living Groups, or SLGs, on campus for students seeking informal residential communities often built around themes. SLGs are residential groups similar to fraternities or sororities, except they are generally co-ed and unaffiliated with any national organizations. Fraternity chapters and SLGs frequently host social events in their residential sections, which are often open to non-members.

In the late 1990s, a new keg policy was put into effect that requires all student groups to purchase kegs through Duke Dining Services. According to administrators, the rule change was intended as a way to ensure compliance with alcohol consumption laws as well as to increase on-campus safety. Some students saw the administration's increasingly strict policies as an attempt to alter social life at Duke. As a result, off-campus parties at rented houses became more frequent in subsequent years as a way to avoid Duke policies. Many of these houses were situated in the midst of family neighborhoods, prompting residents to complain about excessive noise and other violations. Police have responded by breaking up parties at several houses, handing out citations, and occasionally arresting party-goers. In the mid-to-late 2000s (decade), the administration made a concerted effort to help students re-establish a robust, on-campus social life and has worked with numerous student groups, especially the Duke University Union, to feature a wide array of events and activities. In March 2006, the university purchased 15 houses in the Trinity Park area that Duke students had typically rented and subsequently sold them to individual families in an effort to encourage renovations to the properties and to reduce off-campus partying in the midst of residential neighborhoods.

Duke athletics, particularly men's basketball, traditionally serves as a significant component of student life. Duke's students have been recognized as some of the most creative and original fans in all of collegiate athletics. Students, often referred to as Cameron Crazies, show their support of the men's basketball team by "tenting" for home games against key Atlantic Coast Conference rivals, especially University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Because tickets to all varsity sports are free to students, they line up for hours before each game, often spending the night on the sidewalk. For a mid-February game against UNC, some of the most eager students might even begin tenting before spring classes begin. The total number of participating tents is capped at 100 (each tent can have up to 12 occupants), though interest is such that it could exceed that number if space permitted. Tenting involves setting up and inhabiting a tent on the grass near Cameron Indoor Stadium, an area known as Krzyzewskiville, or K-ville for short. There are different categories of tenting based on the length of time and number of people who must be in the tent. At night, K-ville often turns into the scene of a party or occasional concert. The men's basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, occasionally buys pizza for the inhabitants of the tent village.

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In the 2015 U.S. News & World Report ranking of undergraduate programs at doctoral granting institutions, Duke was tied for 8th. In the past twenty years, U.S. News & World Report has placed Duke as high as 3rd and as low as 10th. In 2014, Duke was tied for 25th in the world by the QS World University Rankings and 18th in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Duke was ranked the 14th-best university in the world by Newsweek and 31st best globally by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2014, focusing on quality of scientific research and the number of Nobel Prizes. The university also ranks 22nd in the world on the alternative Academic Ranking of World Universities which excludes Nobel Prize and Fields Medal indicators. The Wall Street Journal ranked Duke sixth (fifth among universities) in its "feeder" rankings in 2006, analyzing the percentage of undergraduates that enroll in what it considers the top five medical, law, and business schools. The 2010 report by the Center for Measuring University Performance puts Duke at 6th in the nation. The 2011 Global Employability Ranking as published by The New York Times surveyed hundreds of chief executives and chairmen from around the world and asked them to select the best universities from which they recruited. Duke placed 13th in the world and 9th in the country. In 2013, Duke enrolled 139 National Merit Scholars, the 6th university in rank by number. Duke ranks 5th among national universities to have produced Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, and Udall Scholars. As of 2012, Duke graduates have received 25 Churchill Scholarships to the University of Cambridge. Only graduates of Princeton and Harvard have received more Churchill awards. According to the 2011 Princeton Review '​s survey on "Top Dream Colleges" among parents, Duke ranked as the 6th dream university. Kiplinger '​s 50 Best Values in Private Universities 2013–14 ranks Duke at 5th best overall after taking financial aid into consideration. According to a study by Forbes, Duke ranks 11th among universities that have produced billionaires and 1st among universities in the South. A survey by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education in 2002 ranked Duke as the #1 university in the country in regard to the integration of African American students and faculty. According to a poll of recruiters conducted by The Wall Street Journal, Duke ranks 2nd in terms of producing the best graduates who have received either a marketing or liberal arts degree. In a corporate study carried out by The New York Times, Duke's graduates were shown to be among the most valued in the world, and Forbes magazine ranked Duke 7th in the world on its list of 'power factories' in 2012.

In U.S. News & World Report '​s "America's Best Graduate Schools 2015," Duke's medical school ranked 8th for research. The hospital was ranked 12th in the nation by the 2013–2014 U.S. News & World Report Health Rankings of Best Hospitals in America. The School of Law was ranked 10th in 2015 by the same publication. Duke's nursing school ranked 7th in U.S. News & World Report '​s 2012 rankings, while the Sanford School of Public Policy ranked 16th overall in 2012, with its Environmental Policy and Management program ranked 2nd. Among business schools in the United States, the Fuqua School of Business was ranked 4th for its Executive M.B.A. program, 6th for nonprofit, 7th for marketing, 10th for management, and 14th overall by U.S. News & World Report in 2015, while BusinessWeek ranked its full-time MBA program 1st in the nation in 2014. The graduate program for the Pratt School of Engineering was ranked 29th while the biomedical engineering program was ranked 5th by U.S. News & World Report. Taking the U.S. News & World Report Professional School Rankings in 2008 based on Mean Reputation Score, Duke ranks 7th among national universities. Times Higher Education ranked the mathematics department tenth in the world in 2011. Duke's graduate level specialties that are ranked among the top ten in the nation include areas in the following departments: biological sciences, medicine, nursing, engineering, law, business, English, history, physics, statistics, public affairs, physician assistant (ranked #1), clinical psychology, political science, and sociology. In 2007, Duke was ranked 22nd in the world by Wuhan University's Research Center for Chinese Science Evaluation. The ranking was based on journal article publication counts and citation frequencies in over 11,000 academic journals from around the world. A 2012 study conducted by academic analytics ranks Duke fourth in the nation (behind only Harvard, Stanford, and MIT) in terms of faculty productivity. The study takes into consideration books and journal articles published, grants, honors and awards received, and how often faculty members are cited in their specialties' literature. In 2013, Duke Law ranked 6th in Forbes magazine's ranking of law schools whose graduates earn the highest starting salaries. The data utilized by Forbes was generated by Payscale.com, and the ranking also showed that Duke Law grads earn the second highest mid-career salaries in the country. In 2013, Duke's Fuqua School of Business was ranked 6th in terms of graduate starting salaries by U.S. News & World Report. In the same year, a ranking compiled by the University of Texas at Dallas ranked Fuqua 5th in the world based on the research productivity of its faculty. The MEM (Masters in Engineering Management) program has been ranked 3rd in the world by Eduniversal.  In 2013, Forbes ranked Duke 4th in the nation in terms of return on investment (ROI). The ranking used alumni giving as a criteria to determine which private colleges offer the best returns. In the same year, Above the Law ranked Duke Law 6th in the nation in its ranking of law schools based on employment outcomes  In 2012, Business Insider ranked Duke 10th in its ranking of the smartest colleges in America. The ranking was based on data collected by lumosity, a cognitive training website. In 2013, Business Insider ranked Duke's Fuqua School of Business 5th in the world based on an extensive survey of hiring professionals. In the same year, Forbes magazine ranked Fuqua 8th in the country based on return on investment. In 2014, Linkedin named Duke the 3rd best undergraduate university in the US for media professionals. Duke also ranked 4th for investment bankers, 7th for finance professional and 8th for software developers. The ranking was based on career outcomes. In 2014, US News ranked Duke as the 20th best global research university. The ranking was based on 10 indicators that measure academic research performance and global reputations.

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