Although many top business schools are known for promoting collaboration among students, the culture at Duke Fuqua really resonates with those MBA prospects pursuing a team-first environment. The “Team Fuqua” mentality makes an immediate impact on students, who instinctively help one another in their professional development. This atmosphere at Fuqua developed over time, perhaps in part because of class-free Wednesdays (instead of the more traditional class-free Fridays), which are more conducive to forming relationships because they do not encourage potential long weekends out of town. Duke Fuqua’s location also contributes to the culture, with its temperate climate encouraging students to spend time together outside the classroom as well. Durham, North Carolina, is not a large city, but it combines a small-town feel with more than enough cultural amenities to attract individuals used to living in a metropolis. An additional advantage of Durham is its proximity to Research Triangle Park, which is home to more than 300 companies and is the largest research park in the United States. Firms such as IBM and Cisco are happy to hire graduates from Duke Fuqua. If you are applying to the program, you will need to illustrate that you are the type of candidate who will fit in with Duke Fuqua’s collaborative and diverse environment—48% of students in the Class of 2023 are women, an above-average percentage. Fortunately, mbaMission offers a wide range of resources and services to help you prove you will contribute to the classroom and the Team Fuqua culture.
Duke Fuqua Insider’s Guide
After having candid conversations with Duke Fuqua students and recent alumni, we have prepared our Duke Fuqua Insider’s Guide. This comprehensive guide provides detailed descriptions of the program’s location, class size, curriculum, teaching methods, facilities, recruitment focus, and rankings. You will learn whether the flexible curriculum at Fuqua is the right fit for you and which unique classes are offered only at Duke. In addition, you will discover which specific resources will help you achieve your post-MBA goals, such as the Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum or the “Decision Models” class, which are popular among students pursuing consulting careers. The Fuqua Insider’s Guide details specific programs that might interest you, such as the Health Sector Management program, which is one of the largest health industry programs among the top business schools. You will also gain insight into the many Duke Fuqua professional clubs, several of which (including the General Management Club, Marketing Club, and Health Care Club) host Week in Cities trips to enable their members to visit their target companies. The Duke Fuqua Insider’s Guide also discusses the experiential learning opportunities offered only at Fuqua. Learn about the international experiences provided by the “Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE)” course and the Fuqua on Board program, in which students help solve real-world challenges facing nonprofits, as well as the Mentored Study Program, through which Fuqua students work with local start-ups and early-stage companies. After reading this Insider’s Guide, you will understand why Dean Bill Boulding has been so successful in leading Fuqua over the past decade.
Duke Fuqua Interview Guide
We have updated our Duke Fuqua Interview Guide, which includes insights from Fuqua students and alumni. This guide is a must-read for all applicants—not just those who have been invited to interview—because Duke Fuqua is one of the few programs that allow any applicant to schedule an interview, as long as they request one early on in the admissions season. This is known as an “open interview policy,” which allows applicants to further engage with Fuqua. These interviews are conducted by admissions committee members, alumni, or Admissions Fellows, who are select second-year students. Regardless of who interviews you, the goal is to determine whether you will be a good fit for Fuqua’s inclusive community. All Fuqua interviews (currently being conducted virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic) tend to be conversational in nature, and the Duke Fuqua Interview Guide shares commonly asked interview questions, as well as strategies for illustrating why you are a good fit for the school and how you would have an impact on Fuqua’s student-driven culture.
Duke MBA Essay Tips, 2021–2022
Duke Fuqua requires that candidates respond to one short-answer question and two longer essay questions, thereby providing ample opportunity for the Duke MBA admissions committee to learn about each applicant. The Fuqua admissions team, under Dean Boulding, thoroughly enjoys reading responses to its “25 random things” prompt, given that it is one of the more unique essay prompts among all MBA programs. Although Duke MBA applicants are often intimidated by such an open-ended prompt, we encourage you to own each of your 25 points. Ideally, only you could write each of yours. This essay enables the team at Fuqua to get to know the real you, while the other required essay provides you with a chance to show how much you really know about Duke Fuqua. In answering the question of how you will contribute at the school, you should prove not only that you have done your homework on the Fuqua MBA program but also that you are someone who will truly add value to its classroom and community.
Our essay analysis offers in-depth guidance on each of Duke Fuqua’s 2021–2022 essay questions:
- Duke Fuqua Short Answer Question: What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first-choice career plan and your alternate plan. (100 words)
- Duke Fuqua Essay 1: The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets the MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. Please share with us “25 Random Things” about you. The Admissions Committee wants to get to know YOU—beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. Share with us important life experiences, your hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Your list will be limited to 2 pages (750 words maximum). Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be brief, while others may be longer.
- Duke Fuqua Essay 2: Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and to the development of leaders. Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, what are 3 ways you expect to contribute at Fuqua? Your response will be limited to 1 page (500 words maximum).
Click here to read our Duke MBA essays tips
Duke Fuqua MBA Rankings
Duke Fuqua consistently ranks highly in the popular business school rankings, nearly always in the top 20. In 2021, Bloomberg Businessweek—which publishes what is generally considered the most prestigious of the business school surveys—ranked the school 15th in the country, up from 20th in 2019. (Bloomberg Businessweek suspended its MBA rankings in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.) In the 2021 Financial Times survey, Fuqua rose seven spots domestically to number four and seven spots internationally to number nine. In The Economist’s 2019 rankings, the school climbed four spots domestically, from 13th to ninth, and four spots internationally, from 15th to 11th (Fuqua was not included in the most recent survey). Poets&Quants ranked the program 14th in the country in 2020, unchanged from the two previous years. The 2022 U.S. News & World Report survey ranked Fuqua’s MBA program 12th in the United States, unchanged from the previous year.
Duke Fuqua MBA Deadlines (2021–2022 Application Season)
Early Action Application Deadline
September 2, 2021
Early Action Final Decision Release
October 14, 2021
Round 1 Application Deadline
October 11, 2021
Round 1 Final Decision Release
December 15, 2021
Round 2 Application Deadline
January 5, 2022
Round 2 Final Decision Release
March 16, 2022
Round 3 Application Deadline
March 24, 2022
Round 3 Final Decision Release
April 29, 2022