The Duke Fuqua MBA Program – An Overview

Breeden Hall exterior views of Science Drive entrance at the Fuqua School of Business.

When evaluating MBA applicants, Duke Fuqua’s MBA program talks about the “decency quotient,” by which they mean that they want to recruit students who are decent human beings, not just selfish, profit-maximizing machines. Fuqua’s intense focus on recruiting students with the right personal qualities means that they often lag behind peer schools in the GMAT– not because they don’t see a lot of applicants with high GMAT scores, but because they stick to their principles of admitting only the students who fit their MBA program’s culture.

This selection process makes sure that students fit in with Team Fuqua, and have a genuine interest in helping others to achieve their full potential. It also supports Duke Fuqua’s outreach to post-MBA employers, who share Fuqua’s desire to recruit people who are not only intelligent but caring.

Fuqua’s location near the Research Triangle puts it next to many interesting companies, including IBM, Credit Suisse, Cisco, Bayer, Dupont, and others. This proximity to innovation has also driven Fuqua to be a pioneer in offering STEM-certified programs, like their MSTeM program (Management Science and Technology Management), which was one of the first US MBA programs to be STEM-certified.

Duke Fuqua MBA Class Profile

Acceptance rate  22%
GMAT Average: 705
Range (mid 80%): 660-740
GRE Does not disclose
GPA Average: 3.5
Range: Does not disclose
Age/Experience Age: 28years
Work Experience (years): 5.5
Diversity Women: 43%
International: 37%
Pre-MBA Industries
Financial Services: 18%
Consulting: 17%
Hospital / Health Care / Health Servi.: 9%
Marketing / PR / Advertising: 7%
Nonprofit / Education / Special Org.: 6%
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Energy / Chemical / Gas: 5%
Government: 5%
Sales / Business Development: 4%
IT: 4%
General Management: 4%
Consumer Goods: 3%
Entrepreneurship: 3%
Manufacturing / Operations: 3%
Media / Sports / Entertainment: 3%
Environment & Sustainability: 2%
Human Resources: 2%
Research & Development: 2%
International Development: 1%
Undergraduate Majors Does not disclose

The data above is from 2019 and represents the Duke Fuqua class of 2021.*
See the full report: Duke Fuqua MBA Class Profile

Student Experiences

Duke Fuqua MBA Employment Report & Careers

Offers & Compensation
Average Salary + Signing bonus: $167,974
% Offers upon Graduation:   84%
% Offers at 3 months: 97%
Post-MBA Industries
Consulting: 32%
Healthcare: 2%
Human Capital: 1%
Strategy: 9%
Technology: <1%
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Other Consulting: 19%
Technology: 23%
Equipment / Hardware / Networking: 5%
Internet Services / E-Commerce: 11%
Software & Applications: 5%
Telecommunications: <1%
Other Technology: 2%
Finance: 20%
Financial Services: 17%
Private Equity / Venture Capital: <1%
Other Finance: 1%
Health: 8%
Biotechnology: <1%
Medical Devices: 2%
Pharma: 3%
Providers & Services: 2%
Other Health: <1%
Consumer Goods: 5%
Beverages / Food: 1%
Luxury Goods: <1%
Post-MBA Locations
United States: 91%
Mid-Atlantic: 6%
Midwest: 11%
Northeast: 22%
South: 17%
Southwest: 9%
West: 25%
Non-US: 9%
Post-MBA Companies
Mckinsey: 45
Amazon: 38
BCG: 37
Microsoft: 23
Dell: 18
Career Development Resources Duke Fuqua Career Development

The data above is from 2019 and represents the career statistics for the Duke Fuqua class of 2019.*
See the full report: Duke Fuqua MBA Employment Report

And to find out what employment resources Duke offers to international students, check out our article: Opportunities for International MBA Students at Fuqua.

Duke Fuqua MBA Academic Programs 

MBA Curriculum

Duke Fuqua’s MBA curriculum is distributed over a period of 22 months. The MBA begins with a month-long orientation that covers three courses. After that, each academic year is comprised of four six week-long terms. Students complete 14 core courses during their time at Fuqua, three of which take place during the summer orientation month. The remaining 11 courses are taken over the first year of the program. At Fuqua, you will begin taking electives in the second half of your first year. The program offers a selection of over 100 electives, including classes in Strategy, Decision Sciences, and Health Sector Management.

See the full offering of courses: Duke Fuqua MBA Course Catalog

Majors

Although Fuqua does not offer majors, students are free to pursue a concentration or certificate. Fuqua students can choose from one or more of 12 concentrations.

  • Decision Sciences
  • Energy and Environment
  • Energy Finance
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Finance
  • Financial Analysis / Accounting
  • FinTech
  • Leadership and Ethics
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Strategy

Fuqua also offers certificates in Finance and Health Sector Management. In addition, for students who would like to refine their analytical skillset, Fuqua has established the Management Science and Technology Management track that focuses on providing students with the tools needed to improve their analytical decision-making abilities.

Experiential Learning Programs

Fuqua’s experiential program provides three distinct ways in which students can gain hands-on experience while in the program. Students interested in gaining practical consulting experience can do so via the Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum (FCCP). Those interested in undertaking new commercial or social ventures in the future can prepare themselves by participating in the Program for Entrepreneurs. Moreover, through Fuqua on Board, students are matched with a local non-profit organization to serve on their boards as a non-voting member.

Research Centers

Duke’s Fuqua hosts five research centers that cover a range of subjects across a variety of sectors: the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Fuqua Center for Leadership and Ethics, the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment, and Health Sector Management.

MBA International Study Programs

As part of their international study program, Fuqua partners with a number of business schools across the globe, where students can complete a semester or a short-term program abroad. Students can also learn about other cultures by taking one of the language courses offered at Fuqua.

Video Resources on Duke Fuqua Academics

Duke Fuqua MBA Application

The latest application requirements set by the Duke MBA admissions office are described below.

Essays

Here are the prompts for Fuqua’s 2020-2021 application:

  • Short Answer Question: What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first-choice career plan and your alternate plan. (100 words)
  • Essay 1: 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 maximum)
  • 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? (300 words maximum)
  • Optional Essay: If you feel there are circumstances of which the admissions committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance), please explain them in an optional essay. (300 words maximum)

Letters of Recommendation 

The 2020-2021 Fuqua recommender questions are as follows:

  • Comment briefly on the context of your interaction with the applicant.
  • How do the applicant’s performance, potential, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles?
  • What do you perceive as the applicant’s areas for growth? 
  • Describe the applicant’s awareness of these areas and his/her response to constructive feedback.
  • Please include additional comments you feel will be helpful to the admissions committee.

Video Resources on Duke Fuqua Admissions

Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions Interviews

The Fuqua MBA interview is 30-45 minutes long and carried out by one of three people: An admissions staff member, an alumnus/a, or an admissions fellow (a second-year MBA student). Former interviewees report that the interview is more about seeing if you are a good “fit”, rather than elaborating on your resume and work experience. MBA candidates can interview during the “Open Interview Period” or by invitation in each application round.

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What Makes Duke Fuqua Unique?

Team Fuqua: “Team Fuqua” is their word for the special camaraderie between students and the practices that maintain it. “It is a way of working. It’s the instinct to draw out strengths in others to move a team forward toward a common goal.”

Program Location: Durham: “Today, Durham is a global economic player driven by knowledge-based enterprises—including everything from software and information technology to film and TV production.”

The Research Triangle Park (RTP) provides several opportunities to work with innovative local companies.

MSTEM Program: This program not only teaches business analytics, but also allows international students to qualify for a STEM extension to the OPT period attached to their student Visa. (It is similar to MSDS program at Darden)

Decency Quotient, “DQ”: One of the three measures Fuqua Dean Bill Boulding believes make a great leader, along with Intelligence, “IQ” and Emotional Intelligence, “EQ”. DQ implies “that you not only have empathy for others, but genuinely care about them and will act in the interest of helping them.”

*All data retrieved from the Duke Fuqua MBA Program webpages, unless otherwise stated.