2022 Duke Fuqua Full-Time MBA Essay Questions – Class of 2025
Duke Round 1 is 1 week, 4 days, 2 hours ago (September 26).
FIRST: One straightforward short-answer question — only 500 characters though, and they’re asking for 2 separate things!
What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first choice career plan and your alternate plan.
Duke is pretty much the only school that invites you to present a “Plan B” for your career goals. For every other application to other schools, you’ll want to focus on just one set of goals.
NEXT, two essays
- Essay 1: 25 Random Things 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. (750 words max, and no more than 2 pages)
- 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? (500 words max, and no more than 1 page)
They say no smaller than 10 point font but hey, we say live a little, you can even go to 12-point right?!?
See the full set of Duke’s requirements around essay length and formatting and the questions in their entirety as posted on the Duke application website .
Three things only — and make them concrete. This is asking for contribution.
Duke was the first to start with this type of “culture/community” question many years back. In recent seasons, schools as varied as Wharton and MIT have also asked somewhat similar questions. Tuck also puts a very high value on community engagement. So, a similar approach may work for some of these other apps, but please remember that you’ll be writing each essay from scratch! Save-as is not your friend when it comes to essays for bschool.
Duke and Standardized Tests
Duke accepts the Executive Assessment for the Daytime MBA — but does it make sense to submit with the EA instead of the GMAT or GRE? Well sure, if you already took the EA, then especially right now in the complicated environment of trying to complete a standardized test during a pandemic… go with the test you have! Typically we see the GMAT as being a preferred test for many applicants still, but it’s very much dependent on the entirety of your profile and what the test score does to highlight strengths for you.
Our Duke MBA Application Guide shows you the best way to approach your 25 Things and what the Duke Fuqua admissions committee looks for in a solid set of career goals, and learn everything else about setting yourself up for success with this perennial favorite bschool.
Duke Fuqua MBA recommendationsDuke has its own set of recommender questions — they’re similar to what other schools ask, but not identical.
Duke requires one recommendation, preferably from a business context so the recommender can talk about your professional experiences. They also allow you to submit a second recommendation. EssaySnark suggests you do so! Giving the adcom more to evaluate is always a good idea when it’s allowed. Just make sure your second recommender gives substantive comments that offer a new perspective or different angle than your primary recommender can do.
These are the main questions that Duke has recommenders answer:
- How do the applicant’s performance, potential, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? [many schools ask recommenders to answer this question or a similar one]
- What do you perceive as the applicant’s areas for growth? [few schools ask this, at least not in this way]
- Describe the applicant’s awareness of these areas and his/her response to constructive feedback.
This is a situation where our Recommenders Instructions Sets can be quite valuable!
Duke Daytime MBA Deadlines – Class of 2025
Early Action (binding): September 7, 2022They’re for real on the “action” part — you’ll hear back pretty darned fast! The “binding” thing needs to be considered, however. There’s no difference in getting in during EA and Round 1 so only go for this round if you’re in love with Duke!
- Round 1: September 26, 2022 Huh, that’s not much extra time after EA. This is a much earlier deadline than Duke typically has for their Round 1 pool. You’ll likely be a bit burned out, given how many other applications are due in the two weeks ahead of this. Pace yourself! The good news is that the Duke essays tend to be somewhat of a lighter lift compared to certain others, particularly since you’ll be in full-on essay-writing-mode at this point. This round has a standard December decision, and it is not binding.
- Round 2: January 5, 2023 This is unfortunately one of the earlier Round 2 dates. It’ll come so fast after the holidays that it’ll make your head spin. There’s a few other schools on this exact day and others clustered around it, and into the following week of January.
Duke has four rounds total: Early Action, plus three numbered rounds. Because Duke had become somewhat less popular in the past several years, there was more opportunity lately to make it in later in the season. However, recent years have been more competitive, and this year appears to similarly be tight. Duke wouldn’t be offering a Round 3 if they didn’t expect to be making admissions then, however we are nervous about recommending anyone try so late. Not impossible, but not the easiest plan to execute on successfully! Try for EA, Round 1, or Round 2 if you can.
If you’re an international applicant, Duke actively discourages applying after Round 2 due to visa issues (in past years, they wouldn’t even accept apps from international candidates past January). Our Late Season Targets service is a quick-hit assessment to help you set a strategy if you’re trying for end of the season.
Check out the Duke Essay Guide to learn more on rounds, interviewing, and multi-school strategies for applying to Duke Fuqua’s MBA program!
Interviewing at Duke
Below information needs to be confirmed for 2021… This is how they USED to do things, unsure if they’re reverting back to the Before Times ways already or not.
Duke has traditionally had two phases of interviews: The Open Interview Period when they make in-person student interviews available to applicants who come to campus, and the By-Invitation Interview Period where only adcom-invited applicants are interviewed. In the era of reduced travel due to coronavirus, then with the Open Interview Period and Early Action admissions, our understanding is that again in 2021, Duke won’t be requiring anyone come to campus, so it’ll be up to you if you want to have an in-person interview.
EssaySnark stuff about Duke
- ($) If this is your Rd 1 list – Tuck, Duke, Kellogg – read on. (July 2016)
- Firsthand experiences on Tuck, Kellogg and Duke, from a military candidate (July 2016)
- Queries from a concerned BSer: “EA/ED vs a fave school. Worth the risk?” (March 2014)
- Timing your Duke campus visit (July 2013)
- Duke Early Action and scholarship money (July 2013)
- What do you want to do with your life? (December 2010)
We’ve reviewed a number of Duke essays on the blahg:
- essay critique: Duke essay 2, What do you tell your friends? (March 2014)
- essay critique part 2: Duke “friends and family reasons” continued (March 2014)
- Crowd-sourcing an essay critique for Duke (November 2011)
- Duke’s main essay: What do you tell your family, friends and colleagues? (October 2012)
The Duke adcom looks for the same strong career goals and personal angles as Ross and other schools, so check these reviews out for some additional guidance:
We’ve got the SnarkStrategies Guide for Duke available to help you craft a strong strategy for the Fuqua MBA application!