When Do Duke Decisions Come Out?

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May 18, 2022
About DukeWhen Do Duke Decisions Come Out?What Are The Ways I Can Apply to Duke?Pros and Cons For Each ProgramFAQs


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/14/22

Duke University is one of the most prestigious universities in the country, ranked the ninth top national university by U.S. News & World Report. If you have applied to Duke, you’re probably wondering when Duke decisions come out. You’re in the right place!

Read on for more information about when Duke admissions decisions come out, as well as information about different application paths.

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About Duke

Originally called the Union Institute Academy, Duke opened in 1838 as a men’s preparatory school. In 1851, it was renamed the Normal College. When they received financial support from the Methodist Church, they once again changed their name, this time to Trinity College. 

In 1897, Trinity College became one of the earlier co-education universities and began accepting women as students after Washington Duke requested it. In 1924, the school went through its final name change and became Duke University in honor of Washington Duke and his son, James Buchanan Duke. 

Many influential scientists and writers have come from Duke University. Two of their faculty, Professor Robert Lefkowitz and Professor Paul Modrich, have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Duke researchers have also contributed vital research about the human chromosome, HIV and AIDS, and many other important areas. 

As their top priority, Duke aims “to foster a lively relationship between knowledge and faith; to advance learning in all lines of truth; to defend scholarship against all false notions and ideals; to develop a love of freedom and truth; to promote a respectful spirit of dialogue and understanding; to discourage all partisan and sectarian strife; and to further the advancement of knowledge in service to society.” 

With an 8:1 student to faculty ratio and a reputation for producing brilliant professionals who succeed in their field, Duke is a dream school for many.

When Do Duke Decisions Come Out?

While Duke does not provide exact dates that you can expect to hear the decision about your application, they do provide date ranges to give you an idea of when to expect decisions for each kind of application (Early Decision, Regular Decision, Transfer).

Duke Early Decision Notification 

If you choose to apply Early Decision to Duke, your application will be due on or before November 1st and you will receive your admissions decision in mid-December. 

Duke Regular Decision Notification 

If you apply through Regular Decision, your application will be due on or before January 4th and Duke will send you your decision between late March and early April. 

Duke Transfer Decision Notification

For students applying to transfer to Duke, the application is due March 15th and decisions are released in mid-May.

What Are the Ways I Can Apply to Duke?

There are three methods with which you can apply to Duke: Early Decision, Regular Decision, and as a transfer. Transfer students only have the one application path, but high school seniors can choose to apply through Early Decision or Regular Decision.

While your application package may vary slightly depending on whether you apply Early Decision, Regular Decision, or as a transfer student, most of the required components for your application to Duke will be the same. The required components of your Duke application are:

The due dates for each component vary depending on whether you are applying Early Decision, Regular Decision, or as a transfer student. 

Next, let’s cover the timeline for applying to Duke. 

Early Decision

Early Decision is something that a lot of schools offer, and can be either restrictive, binding, or non-binding. Duke’s Early Decision program is binding, which means that if you apply Early Decision and are accepted, you must attend. You can still apply to other schools early as long as their programs are not binding. If you get accepted to Duke and other schools, too, you’ll have to reject the other offers. 

For Early Decision applicants, here are the items that are due on November 1st: 

The following items are due on November 16th:

Regular Decision

Regular Decision students make up the bulk of applicants for any college or university. This type of program just means that students are applying through standard means. You are not bound to Duke when you apply and get accepted through Regular Decision. For applicants who apply through this route, the timeline looks slightly different. 

The following is due on December 20th:

The next components are due January 4th: 

Due February 1st:

The last piece of your application is due February 15th:


Every fall, approximately 50 transfer students join Duke (usually as sophomores in credits). Here are the deadlines for transfer applicants for the 2021-22 application cycle.

Due March 15th, 2022:

Due March 20th: 

Your final college transcript from the college that you’re transferring to Duke from is due between May and June—whenever that transcript becomes available.

Pros and Cons of Each Program

Below, we go over some of the biggest advantages and disadvantages for each program. Read on to learn more. 

Early Decision

While most applicants choose to follow the Regular Decision route when applying to college, Early Decision can be a better path for certain applicants. Here are some pros of applying Early Decision to Duke:

However, applying Early Decision is not without its disadvantages. Here are some cons of applying Early Decision to Duke:

As you can see, Duke’s Early Decision program is constructed for a specific kind of applicant. According to Duke Magazine, “Early decision was originally designed to cater to the student who has wanted to attend a specific college all her life, never wavering in her loyalty. This is the student who has had a Blue Devil on her pillow and a Duke poster on her wall since birth, and for whom Duke is seen to be a good fit by those who know her and the institution well.” 

Not every Duke Early Decision applicant will fit perfectly into this image, but it can provide guidance on which program (Early or Regular Decision) is a better fit for you. If you’re confident that Duke is your top choice school, you are willing to take on the financial commitment, and you are prepared to fill out your application early, then applying Early Decision is likely a great choice for you.

Regular Decision

For high school seniors, Regular Decision is your other option for applying to Duke. Here are some pros of applying Regular Decision:

Most of the pros of applying Regular Decision revolve around having more time, which is a huge asset in the college application process. Here are some cons of applying Regular Decision:

While all applications are reviewed in the same holistic manner, Duke says, “There is an advantage in the admissions process to applying Early Decision. In 2020-2021, we admitted 16.7% of students who applied Early Decision and 4.7% of students who applied Regular Decision.”

However, this statistical advantage should not be the deciding factor between Early Decision and Regular Decision. If you want more time to work on your application and are not sure if Duke is your top choice or not, Regular Decision is probably the best path for you.

Transfer Students

The transfer student does not offer options like Early Decision and Regular Decision, so it does not have the same kinds of pros and cons. However, let’s go over a few important things about applying to Duke as a transfer.

Duke does not accept mid-year transfers, so you will have to apply for an academic year beginning in the fall. On their application, transfer students also have to submit college transcripts in addition to their high school transcripts. Overall, applying to Duke as a transfer is almost entirely the same as applying Regular Decision, just with different due dates. 

According to Duke, these are the eligibility requirements to apply as a transfer student:


These commonly asked questions about Duke admissions and decisions may help ease your mind.

What can I do while waiting for Duke decisions to come out?

Once your application is submitted, it’s mostly out of your hands. This can be stressful, but it should also be a relief! Let your application speak for itself. The only other thing you can do is keep track of other deadlines (such as those for financial forms and midyear grade reports). Other than that, relax and enjoy your senior year of high school!

If I apply Early Decision to Duke, can I apply Early Decision to other schools?

You can apply to other schools early as long as they are not binding. Duke’s Early Decision program is binding, which means that if you apply Early Decision and are accepted, you are committed to enrolling at Duke. 

Should I apply Early Decision or Regular Decision?

This all depends on how confident you are that Duke is the school for you. If you’re ready to submit your application by November 1st, and you feel confident that you definitely want to attend Duke, you should apply Early Decision. However, if you’re not completely sure that Duke is your top choice and you want to apply to other schools, as well, then Regular Decision might be a better choice.

What does Duke look for in applicants?

According to Duke, the admissions committee initially looks for five things:

As you can see, both your personal and academic qualities are important. Make sure you challenge yourself, work hard, and most importantly, be yourself in your application!

When should I start preparing my application?

It’s a good idea to start as early as possible, so you have the maximum amount of time to perfect your essays. The Common Application and Coalition Application open in mid-August, so you can start filling it out as early as then!

What if I get rejected?

Duke is a very prestigious, competitive school, so if you apply, there is always the chance that you may get rejected. If this happens, it’s okay to be disappointed. It’s a hard reality to face, so take the time to grieve and recover.

If you applied to Duke, the chances are high that you have a really competitive application. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start applying to other schools. It may be disappointing, but there are still good things in your future!

If I apply Early Decision and get rejected, can I re-apply Regular Decision?

Unfortunately, no. If you are rejected Early Decision, you may not apply to Duke again under the Regular Decision program.

What if I am accepted Early Decision but realize I can’t handle the financial commitment?

While this is a scenario we hope you never find yourself in, tragedies happen and sometimes your financial situation does not look exactly like you expected it to. Duke is committed to fully meeting demonstrated financial need, but, “In the rare instances when students ultimately cannot afford to attend Duke, they may be released from the binding Early Decision commitment after discussions among the family, the Financial Support Office, and the Admissions Office.”

Does Duke accept transfer credit?

Yes, Duke does accept transfer credit. If Duke offers a similar course, and you have taken either three and four-hour courses on a semester basis or five-hour courses on a quarterly basis, then the credit will typically transfer.

Is Duke an Ivy League school?

Duke is an incredibly prestigious school, but it is not one of the eight Ivy League schools.


Sometimes the worst part about applying for college is waiting to receive your admissions decision, especially when you apply to a school as prestigious as Duke. Although this is a tough part of the college application process, it’s a necessary one. 

While it may seem impossible, try to avoid stressing over something that’s out of your hands. You put in the work; you should feel confident about your application! In the meantime, fill your time with extracurriculars, and enjoy your senior year

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