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Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions Part 1: The Decency Quotient

At Menlo Coaching, we respect Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business for aiming to admit students who are intelligent, collaborative, and above all, decent human beings.

Menlo Coaching’s founding partner David White sat down with Duke Fuqua’s Associate Dean for Admissions Shari Hubert to discuss what distinguishes the Fuqua School of Business from other business schools.

If you are applying to the Fuqua MBA program, you want to understand:

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Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is committed to accepting applicants who represent more than just the hard statistics. To this end, Fuqua admits students based on their so-called “Decency Quotient,” as well as tests scores and GPA. They are looking for applicants who push excellence not only within themselves, but also in others.

The Decency Quotient

Fuqua believes that business can be an engine for good across society. To succeed in business, one needs excellent leadership skills, which in turn requires an individual to channel the strengths of a team to work towards a common goal. Leaders not only need to be smart and empathic, but also decent human beings who can deal with polarizing viewpoints and differences within a team. This Decency Quotient (“DQ”) is what Fuqua uses to identify and train future leaders.

Impact of the DQ on MBA value

The Fuqua community strives to support the ambition of its students. Students are generally happy due to the sense of community in the program. 

At Fuqua, the value of an MBA goes beyond the classroom and is enhanced by the wealth of information gained from peer interactions. For example, second-year Career Fellows mentor first years as they navigate the job search. This support system, brought on by the DQ, promotes an amicable and team-oriented environment.

It isn’t just the student body that recognizes the DQ’s positive influence; employers are also aware of the importance of DQ at Fuqua. Fuqua Dean Bill Boulding sends out emails to employers about the DQ, and time after time, employers report the DQ as a factor that differentiates Fuqua graduates.

The Fuqua training prepares its students to face team challenges and dynamics. In 2018, the ability to work with others was reported by a GMAT survey as the most important personal quality expected of business school graduates. Fuqua simulates real world environments in the classroom to ensure that students develop collaboration and leadership skills to work towards a common goal in a team.

Demonstrating DQ

An applicant’s DQ can be demonstrated at various stages of the application process. We’ve broken this down for you.

All in all, the emphasis that Fuqua puts on the DQ has a positive effect on the MBA experience: both in terms of the atmosphere on campus and in preparing students to succeed in leadership roles.