Founded in 1838, Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, named after the university’s great benefactor James Buchanan Duke’s deceased father, Washington Duke.
Its campus spans over 8,600 acres on three campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort. The main campus – designed largely by architect Julian Abele – incorporates Gothic architecture with the looming presence of Duke Chapel, the campus\’ centerpiece that seats nearly 1,600 people and contains a 5,200-pipe organ.
Duke is the seventh-wealthiest private university in America and in 2014, Thomson Reuters named 32 of Duke\’s professors to its list of Highly Cited Researchers. Ten Nobel laureates and three Turing Award winners are also affiliated with the university, which is the second-largest private employer in the state of North Carolina.
From its early days as Brown’s Schoolhouse, Duke has evolved into a global academic and research powerhouse. Its Levine Science Research Center is the largest single-site interdisciplinary research facility of any American university, and in 2014 Duke spread its tentacles eastwards, opening a Chinese outpost, Duke Kunshan University, which blends an American-style liberal arts education with Chinese traditions.
Its recent academic achievements include three of its students being named Rhodes Scholars in 2002 and 2006. Also in 2006, Duke researchers unveiled the first working demonstration of an invisibility cloak, to the delight of Harry Potter fans around the world.
A total of around 15,000 students attend Duke, with the majority of them being postgraduates. There is an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which personalizes the learning experience.
Undergraduates have access to four academic schools including Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, and the Sanford School of Public Policy. Graduate students can enroll in nine graduate and professional schools, including Duke Law School, Fuqua School of Business, and the School of Medicine.
The university has an ethnically diverse and politically engaged student body: activism in the 1960s prompted Martin Luther King Jr to speak on campus about the civil rights movement, and, following violence in Charlottesville in 2017, the statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee was removed from the entrance to Duke University Chapel.
The majority of Duke students live on campus, where they can take advantage of the university’s enviable sports facilities and get fully involved in student life. Duke is home to over 400 student organizations – cultural, faith-based, political, and service-based – that foster student interaction and exchange, and help students develop their interests and passions.