Duke University

Well known for its contributions in North Carolina’s Research Triangle and its strong position in men’s basketball, Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina. The striking 9,350-acre campus includes 7,700 acres of forest, and the 210-foot tower of the Duke Chapel accentuates the predominantly Gothic architecture of the West Campus. Duke is a private institution with an enrollment of more than 11,500. The university was established in 1924 by expanding Trinity College, which traces its roots back to 1838.

Boasting superb academics, gorgeous facilities, and a fistful of national championships, Duke is routinely listed among the nation’s top academic institutions. Duke’s engineering programs – particularly electrical and biomedical – are national standouts. The natural sciences, most notably biology, chemistry, and physics, are also first-rate.

Duke University Medical Center, established in 1930, comprises clinical, training and research programs. The medical center has one of 40 federally funded comprehensive cancer centers, an eye center, a general clinical research unit and other highly advanced treatment and research facilities.

Duke’s Fraternities and sororities are at the center of campus life. Twenty-nine percent of the men and 42 percent of the women pledge, and fraternity parties are open to everyone. “As for extracurricular activities,” says a student, “there are three: Basketball, basketball, basketball.”

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The Blue Devils compete in the 12-member Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and field teams in 26 NCAA Division I varsity sports. Duke’s men’s basketball team consistently is ranked among the nation’s elite and won the national championship in 1991, 1992, 2001 and 2010. The football program has participated in all four major bowl games and has won or shared the American Football Coaches Association’s academic achievement award a nation-leading 12 times for the highest graduation rate in the country, most recently in 2005. The men’s soccer team won the national championship in 1986 and reached the NCAA final in 1996; the men’s lacrosse team won the national NCAA title in 2010 and reached the championship game in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

The Duke women’s programs are just as exceptional. The women’s basketball team has advanced to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 every year since 1998 and reached the Final Four in 1999, 2002 and 2006. The women’s golf team won the NCAA national championship in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. The women’s tennis team won its first NCAA championship in 2009, has won 16 ACC championships and reached the NCAA Final Four seven times. The women’s field hockey team reached the NCAA final in 2003, 2004 and 2006; the women’s lacrosse team won the ACC championship in 2005 and reached the NCAA Final Four in 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. For more information, visit Duke Athletics.

Visit the Official Site of Duke Athletics.

Student Info

Student (full-time) Enrollment – Fall 2010

  • Undergraduate 6,504
  • Graduate and Professional 7,744
  • Total: 14,248

Expenses (2010-2011 academic year)

  • Undergraduate Tuition and Fees $40,575
  • Room and Board (average) $11,830
  • Total (Excluding books, supplies and personal expenses) $52,405


Duke Chapel, a symbol of the university, is at the center of the Gothic West Campus. Built in 1932, the chapel is dominated by a 210-foot tower housing a 50-bell carillon. Washington Duke and his sons Benjamin and James are entombed in the Memorial Chapel. Duke Chapel is open to visitors 8 a.m.-10 p.m. during the academic year and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. during the summer. Ecumenical worship services are held every Sunday at 11 a.m. During the academic year, a Tuesday night communion service and Thursday evening Vespers service are held at 5:15 pm.

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Duke University Libraries is the shared center of the university’s intellectual life, connecting people and ideas. The William R. Perkins Library and its four branches, together with the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library and the separately administered libraries serving the schools of Business, Divinity, Law, and Medicine, comprise one of the nation’s top 10 private research library systems. The website at http://library.duke.edu is the online gateway to all of the Libraries’ services and resources, which include more than 6 million volumes, 18 million manuscripts, 168,000 electronic resources, more than 115,000 items in digital collections, and tens of thousands of films and videos.

The John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies, named after the acclaimed historian and civil rights advocate, is home to 19 Duke programs in the humanities and social sciences. At the center, scholars, artists and members of the community have the opportunity to engage in public discourse on such issues as race, social equity and globalization. The center is located at Erwin Road and Trent Drive and includes gallery space, state-of-the-art rooms for classes and lectures, and digital and video-editing facilities.


Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman’s College of Duke University until 1972, when the men’s and women’s undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.