Duke University was initially established as Brown’s Schoolhouse in 1838 by the Union Institute Society of Methodists and Quakers. Largely due to tobacco industrialist Washington Duke’s generosity, the school was moved from Trinity to Durham in 1892. Renamed to honor the Duke Endowment by 1924, the college broadened itself into a comprehensive private, nonsectarian research institution. With research expenditures surpassing $1.03 billion, Duke holds RU/VH status as America’s seventh wealthiest university. Each year, Duke University educates over 6,400 undergraduates and 8,400 post-graduates across 12 schools. Online learning is growing enrollment beyond its main 8,470-acre suburban campus in North Carolina’s Research Triangle.

According to the U.S. News, Duke is the eighth best national university, eighth top value, 12th most innovative school, and third most veteran-friendly college. In particular, Duke University houses America’s 32nd best online engineering and fifth top online nursing degrees. On Forbes, Duke was ranked 11th nationally for percentage of billionaire alumni. Duke University was placed #5 in the United States for best financial aid by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Graded A+ overall, Duke was crowned the 10th “College with the Best Professors” on Niche. The Wall Street Journal distinguished Duke University as the sixth top “feeder” school. Globally, Duke stands as the 18th best institution by Times Higher Education.

Duke University Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed at Level VI in 2009, Duke University is regionally accredited under the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). All bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs are therefore recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Online programs at Duke have also pursued specialized accreditation from:

• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

• Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)

• Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Duke University Application Requirements

Gaining a competitive edge is essential to pass Duke University’s “most selective” admission rate of just 12 percent. Graduate applicants interested in online education must hold a regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. Admission criteria varies by department, but the undergraduate grade point average is typically well above “B.” Duke asks applicants to calculate a UGPA by multiplying credit hours by grade value for grade points. Online degrees generally require 5+ years of professional experience for entry. MBA programs accept applicants with an average GMAT score of 690. Interested nursing majors must hold valid RN licensure with at least one year of acute care experience.

Application deadlines to the Duke Graduate School range from October 15th to May 31st, so check your chosen program’s admission page. Online students should submit the graduate application with the following attachments:

• Application fee of $85 (Visa or MasterCard)

• Official collegiate transcripts for each year

• Satisfactory GRE or GMAT testing results

• English language proficiency scores (if applicable)

• Resume or curriculum vitae of achievement

• Three recommendations letters of support

• One-page, single-spaced statement of purpose

• Writing sample uploaded in PDF format

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time master’s students at Duke University are charged an average tuition of $24,750 per semester or $49,500 every nine months. Graduates pay an estimated $2,875 per credit with a $772 health fee and $20 services fee each year. Unless waived, health insurance adds another $2,525 annually. Online students luckily forego paying the extra $8,658 and $4,644 for room and board respectively though. Remember that actual program costs can differ greatly from the average. For example, the Online MSN in Nursing Education requires $10,380 per part-time semester. The Online MEM program charges $37,290 for inclusive education expenses yearly.

The NCES reports that 62 percent of full-time Duke scholars earn assistance. The average financial aid package gifts a whopping $39,584. Funding resources are slightly limited for graduate students who don’t qualify for Pell Grants, FSEOG Grants, and the like. Master’s and doctoral candidates are eligible for Grad PLUS loans. The Duke Graduate School confers research and teaching assistantships with tuition waivers. Institutional awards like the Dean’s Graduate Fellowship, James B. Duke Fellowship, Pratt-Gardner Graduate Fellowship, and Phillip Jackson Baugh Fellowship are available. Full-time Duke University students could earn the Child Care Subsidy for $5,000 yearly. MSN in Nursing Education students from North Carolina could earn the Community College Faculty Scholarship. The Duke University Scholars Program also offers 100 percent tuition funding.

Online Degrees Available

Duke University Online makes it simpler for learners worldwide to access the prestigious school’s graduate education. With a retention rate of 97 percent, Duke confers five master’s degrees and online doctoral program primarily online. Undergraduates could also complete online “flip” courses in subjects like statistics and creative writing during the summer. Thanks to the low student-faculty ratio of 6:1, online students receive personalized mentoring via Blackboard and Coursera. Prospective Duke Blue Devils could earn the following online:

Master of Environmental Management

Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment delivers an innovative, four-semester Master of Environmental Management (MEM) online to train working professionals on analyzing ecosystem health. The 30-credit curriculum begins with one August orientation in Durham before progressing through synchronous and asynchronous online sessions. Courses will study sustainable energy, water resource management, climate change, restoration ecology, and environmental law through case studies. Along with a master’s project, MEM students participate in a Leadership Module in Washington, DC.

Master of Science in Nursing

The CCNE-accredited School of Nursing offers its Master of Science in Nursing online for RNs seeking graduate clinical training for advanced practice roles. Consisting of 40 credits, the online curriculum allows for majors in Nursing Education or Nursing and Health Care Leadership. Duke nurses progress through courses like pharmacology, health assessment, population health, evidence-based practice, and nursing management. Online students must attend three face-to-face intensives in Durham and tackle 224 practicum hours. Graduates will qualify for National League for Nursing (NLN) certifications.

Global Executive MBA

Meeting AACSB standards, the Global Executive MBA is delivered at a distance through the Fuqua School of Business to advance senior-level professionals’ leadership expertise. The 16-month curriculum blends online coursework with two residencies in Durham and three residencies globally from Latin America to Asia. Students can select concentrations like Finance, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Strategy, and Energy. Duke students benefit from developing global business connections with a network of over 19,000 alumni.

Related Resource: 50 Most Affordable Online Colleges with High Graduation Rates 2015

Other online offerings at Duke University include the Master of Engineering Management, Cross Continent MBA, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Executive Environmental Leadership Program.