Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

by John A. Byrne on

Duke University's Fuqua School of Business is ranked tenth among the best U.S. B-schools by Poets&Quants.

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is ranked ninth among the best U.S. B-schools by Poets&Quants.

Duke University

9. The Fuqua School of Business

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708
Admissions: 919-660-7705
Email: Admissions-info@fuqua.duke.edu
Website: http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/programs/duke_mba/daytime/
Apply Online: http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/programs/duke_mba/daytime/apply_daytime/

Admission Deadlines for Class of 2017:
Round One: 9/17/14
Round Two: 10/20/14
Round Three: 1/5/15

Alums who go off and become successful always reflect well on the school. And Duke can lay claim to providing the MBA education for one of the most famous executives in the world: Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, late founder Steve Jobs’ handpicked successor. No school could get a better living advertisement for itself.

In recent years, the school has had great success at matching its MBA graduates with world-class companies seeking the best and brightest. The breadth and diversity of the recruiters coming to Fuqua is a testament to the quality of its students and what the school does with them.

The first term at the Fuqua School of Business focuses on the development of collaborative leadership and organizational management skills along with a global outlook. The Full-Time MBA program begins with a three-week Global Institute featuring two core courses: Leadership, Ethics and Organizations; and Global Institutions and Environments. This institute begins the process of helping students to become collaborative leaders within a global business environment.Students then dive into the major functional areas in business including economics, finance, marketing, and operations management.

Throughout the remainder of the program, students can undertake a wide-ranging general management education designed to suit their individual goals; alternatively, they have the option to focus on a particular career path through a variety of interdisciplinary concentrations and certificate opportunities.

Latest Up-To-Date MBA Rankings:

Poets&Quants (2014): 9
BusinessWeek (2014): 1
U.S. News & World Report (2015): 14
Forbes (2013): 8
Financial Times (2014): 10
The Economist (2014): 18

Ranking Analysis:

Duke’s Fuqua School of Business held steady in 2012, retaining its tenth-place finish from Poets&Quants’ two previous MBA rankings. Three major rankings remained unchanged from 2011: Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s ranking of sixth, U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of 12th, and Forbes’ ranking of 12th. The latter magazine did not publish a ranking in 2012 because it is an every-other-year occurrence for Forbes.

Of the two remaining surveys, Duke went up in one and down in another. In The Financial Times’ 2012 ranking, Fuqua gained two places to finish eighth in 2012, up from tenth a year earlier. The school, however, slid six places  in this year’s Economist ranking to 19th from 13th. We are not alarmed by the latter fall due to The Economist’s quirky methodology. It’s one reason we give that survey so little weight in our composite index.

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  • Peter Poppins

    What requirements determine stretch, match and safe schools? It doesn’t appear as if there is a correlation with rankings. If I am accepted to Fuqua, I wouldn’t think that my chances of getting into Sloan are better than my chances of getting into Tuck, on average.

    Peter Poppins

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne


    Those schools are largely chosen on the basis of the rankings–specifically the raw index scores that indicate the relative position of each school–and not acceptance rates, GMAT scores, etc. So they’re meant to give folks a general idea of these different schools. A match school is one you feel relatively sure you can get into based on your numbers and experience.

  • Ali

    With a GMAT score of 650, 4+ years of Work-ex in IT, and 70% in Engineering from India should I consider Duke as a Strech or a Farfetch?

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne


    You need to get that GMAT score higher, closer to or around 700 to have a chance at Duke.

  • Ali

    Thanks for the reply John. Could you name a few colleges where in I stand a chance with 650? I am contemplating on writing the GMAT again but if doing so increases my chances for only a few colleges then I dont want to take the GMAT again as I have already taken it twice, 1st attempt was 590( I kinda messedup on the test somewhere) and 650 was the 2nd attempt. Also there are chances that I might mess up the test again and also spoil the rise in the scores if I do badly on the test.

  • Parley

    John – I really think you should do a smack down of Darden vs. Fuqua. They are very comparable, similar geography, ranking, etc. and many students have the choice between the two (if not admitted, than atleast to apply). thanks.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    I agree with you and plan to do this smack down shortly.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/bschool13/ bschool2013
  • Parley

    Great, John. I look forward to it.

  • Naser

    Hi john,

    what you think of the chance of a middle eastern guy, 31, (with unique public sector work ex) with Duke MBA full time? if the gre (77th Q, and 62th V) is just around the lower limit? its somewhat comparable to 610 gmat?

  • Mo

    Hi John,

    I was recently accepted to Duke Law directly out of undergrad and am considering a JD/MBA. I was told they do have a few select spots for students with no full-time work experience. How should I go about applying to Fuqua? My GPA is 3.68 from a top 25 with a degree in economics and I am confident that I can break 740 on the GMAT (I’m good at tests, scored in the 98th percentile on the SATs and LSATs). Is it worth applying?

    Thank you

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Yes. Definitely worth applying. First move is probably to take the GMAT and go from there.

  • Christopher

    Hi John,

    I have six years of experience working for a small business,annual revenue ~35 million a year, my father owns and prior to that 6 months of experience at NASA. My undergraduate is degree is in chemical engineering (3.72/4.0) from a top 25 university and my GMAT score is a 730. My community involvement is fairly weak. I have three questions:

    1) Do you think I have a shot for round 4 of this year for Fuqua?
    2) In my application I can get a reference from either a current student or a faculty member, which one do you think admissions would prefer?
    3) What advantages do I gain by waiting to apply for 2013 admissions?

    Thanks you for your advice

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne


    You’re a very good candidate for Duke with a very solid GMAT score and a very impressive GPA in a tough, rigorous subject. I think you need to show a record of achievement and leadership. That is crucial. I would get a reference from the faculty member but only if he or she knows you well enough to write a noteworthy recommendation. The big advantage in waiting to apply next year would be that you would have more time to perfect your app and apply to a broader range of schools. A final round, no matter what admissions say, also tends to be the most competitive round. But if you have your heart set on Duke and feel that your application there is as good as you can get it, by all means apply in the fourth round. Good luck.

  • Ree698

    I believe Duke and Yale will be like Stanford and Harvard in competing against each other for places between 5 to 8…

  • Rebecca

    With extensive leadership experience in undergrad: working with a multi-million dollar non-profit fundraising venture, having started a very successful dance club and another engineering club and having been president of 2 other university clubs, being one of only a handful of girls in Computer Science (BS) and a GPA of 2.95 and GMAT so far of 570 (planning to retake it at the end of the week), what sort of chances do I have at Duke?

    Thank you.

  • Guest

    Not very good. The admissions committee will have serious concerns about your analytical ability with a 2.95 GPA and 570 GMAT. Get over 700 on the GMAT and you may compensate for your GPA. You are female, so that helps a bit. But unless you are an underrepresented minority, it’ll be an uphill battle.

  • YJ

    There is a lot to like here but your Achilles heel is academics, I can see that a girl (definitely a minority) in CS (difficult major) the 2.95 can be mitigated slightly but unless you get 680+ above on the GMAT, Convincing Duke will be an uphill battle and your extracurriculars will have to be of extremely high impact and visibility.

  • cking6178

    John, what are your thoughts on Duke’s Cross Continent program? I have done a cursory search on your website – which I have only recently discovered & am thoroughly enjoying – and couldn’t find anything. I understand this falls into the dreaded “part time/online” realm, but I just got off the phone with an admissions counselor and some of the recruiting stats were eye opening. One thing I would contribute to the argument in favor of some of these online programs (there are only a handful that are even worth considering – probably 5-8 max) is that the schools are going to shy away from overly touting these distance programs bc they don’t want to detract from their full time programs – but some schools are seeing a more focused recruiting of their online programs due to the, typically, more seasoned professionals and more global reach of some of these programs. Now let me be clear, I am in no way stating that any of these online programs (including Dukes CC) hold a candle to H/S/W, only that they are worthy of consideration in certain circumstances & in some cases are actually more favorable (in recruiters eyes) than there daytime counterparts. Anyway, I would love to hear (read) your thoughts on the CC program.

  • Nick

    Hmmm…Idk. I agree Duke will be fighting for places 5-8 but not with Yale…Yale is completely overrated. I feel that even a school like Cornell Johnson is way better than Yale. Going to Yale for your MBA is like going to Harvard for engineering, really? You go to Yale for law.

    I could see Duke vs Columbia or Duke vs Tuck…Frankly, I could see Fuqua breaking into top 5 in due time…it has only been around since 1970s….can’t forget the time advantage that Tuck, HBS, Wharton, etc. have in terms of being open as a b school (and raising endowment money)…idk my 2 cents.

  • Nick

    Fuqua is a top notch program…recently did some work with BCG Dallas (tons of Fuqua grads there) at the Dallas office. Every single person I met was just a super star. I’m surprised their average GMAT score is slightly below 700…why do you guys think that is? Only “surprising” thing to me…

  • Nick

    Not Duke vs Yale…Yale will not be breaking the top 10 anytime soon…you don’t go to Yale for business…you go for law. More like Duke vs columbia or duke vs tuck. I strongly believe that Duke is one of those “sleeper” schools that will break top 5 in due time…give them time…very young school that has only been around since the 70s…

  • Nick

    Duke / Fuqua alums are known to be incredibly loyal…definitely helps on the recruiting front…as a Dukie outsider, I am incredibly impressed with the progress the school has made over the last two decades…way more progress to be seen in the near future…

  • M.F.

    Got admitted to Duke in round 1 and recently accepted!!!!! Only school I applied to. I cannot wait for the experience to begin….GO BLUE DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dukie

    M.F., congrats! Welcome to the Duke Family. Enjoy BDW weekend (April one is awesome)!!!

  • Dukie

    Nick, I think most b schoolers would agree the GMAT is a waste of time. Who cares what the average GMAT score of a school is? Do you think a test really dictates how well someone will manage in the future? Definitely not. I personally think that a lot of the top 10 schools purposely accept “high GPA / high GMAT score” people to boost rankings since places such as US News rely heavily on it. Everyone I’ve met at Fuqua has been brilliant…some may have had 750+ scores while others barely broke 650. At the end of the day, discussions inside and outside of the classroom have been fruitful, and all of my classmates are landing spots at tops companies like McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Apple. So, all in all, who cares about the average GMAT score. I’m sure Duke could ramp up the average to its peers (720 ish level) if the school really wanted to…but fit is most important with Duke…

    On another note, thanks for the kind words about Fuqua grads – I would have to agree although I am biased 😉

  • Dukie

    Right on!

  • FuquaBlue

    I love Fuqua so so so much. I wish business school was 4 years…don’t want to leave at the end of this year :(

    Prospective students: apply!!! You won’t regret it. Good luck to all!

  • theKomodo

    I agree w/ Dukie – Duke seems to be one of those schools that look on your overall profile and not place an emphasis on the GMAT over the other factors, unlike schools in the same tier such as Tuck and Haas. It doesn’t seem to negatively affect its post-MBA recruitment as top consulting companies (MBB) have consistently been recruiting at Fuqua, and in fact the overall placements in consulting keep on increasing in the past few years. This is confirmed by its #6 rank in the latest BusinessWeek MBA Ranking, a survey that is largely based on two customers of the BSchools – recruiters and graduating students.

  • http://twitter.com/chilledfire cmoney

    Yield seems to be a problem at Fuqua. If a candidate has a 750 GMAT and 3.5 GPA+ from a respectable school, then the adcom is probably a little nervous to admit on the basis that the candidate is top 5 talent. Hence all the why do you want to go to Fuqua questions in the application. Given this adcom attitude, Dukie’s comments make a lot sense. I believe Fuqua’s search for fit is both holistic and realistic.

    Further, the GMAT is certainly not everything, but realistically most people can go from 600 to a 700 with enough focus, effort, and time. I found this to be the case with my personal experience with the GMAT and unlike the SAT, test takers GMAT scores don’t correlate well with their IQs. Why would business schools use a test that isn’t an indicator of absolute intelligence? I think because in general (smart people will always crush any test) the GMAT is an indicator of effort. In the business world, effort and persistence pay off far more than innate ability.

  • http://twitter.com/chilledfire cmoney

    I am by no means an expert but I am a little leery of the program. I have a friend who was rejected by Fuqua’s full time program and later offered a spot in the Cross Continent program. I love my friend but with a 540 GMAT and barely a 3.0 from a middle of the road college, he has no business getting into a top 10 MBA. I think all programs -full time, part time weekends, whatever- should have the same standard of admission, which is clearly not happening at Fuqua. Digging a little further into the numbers I discovered that 20% of the incoming class’s GMAT score was LESS than 540.

    I can’t confirm it, but my smell test is telling me that this program is a cash cow for Fuqua. Anyone ever watch HBO’s The Wire? “You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money, and you don’t know where the @#$% it’s gonna take you.” I guess from the perspective of my friend, he’ll end up with the same MBA as a full time students, but if I were a full time student, I’d be a little worried about brand dilution.

    Any from Fuqua who actually knows what they are talking about (unlike me) care to comment on the program?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25503923 Bruce Vann

    Did this ever happen? No pressure I’m just curious to read it if so.

  • SMishra

    Maybe for schools that receive tens of thousands of applications, the GMAT score serves as a screening tool. Quite like a PMP (Project Management Professional) credential helps sift through thousands of resumes to hire project managers. At the end of the day, a credential cannot guarantee your success as a project manager. But it saves a lot of effort from recruitment standpoint. I can imagine if there were a world without GMAT, TOEFL scores, the number of applicants to each school could skyrocket. Imagine yourself in such a scenario, as an adcom member of a reputable school. Going through reams of essays, resumes and what not.

  • sayakbhattacharyya

    Hello John. I have a 750 GMAT(49,42), with 4 yrs of international work ex as junior management in a Fortune 500 tyre manufacturing Company. Worked in 3 countries(US, Thailand and India) and visited 3 more. Have a Honors degree in electrical Engg from a top 10 engg college in India (that would probably translate to a 4.0 GPA in US). I am applying to LBS, INSEAD, ISB etc.

    Now what good US B-school do you think I have the maximum chance of getting an atleast 50% scholarship? Because otherwise the cost factor of a 2 year MBA is prohibitive for me!!

  • Minkamed

    Question for John A. Byrne. What are my chances at Fuqua? I went to undergrad at Tulane. Science pre-med major 3.9. Attended medical school on the East Coast. I am published. I am also an artist–very diverse background–3 languages etc. I am applying to Duke Full-time program Round 3. I am particularly interested in their healthcare concentration. Taking the GMAT in Two weeks.

  • Vinayak

    Duke really is my dream school, i see a perfect fit both in terms of the program structure and my career objectives. My only concern is the GMAT. I see this has been addressed below, but i’d still like to clarify. I have a 720, but am from India. Would that put me at a disadvantage, since it is pretty much just an average score for an Indian?

  • j

    How about that Fuqua v. Darden smackdown?

  • JohnAByrne

    In the new year. Right now, we’re trying to wrap up an awful lot of stuff on the site. But I’ll be returning to smack down mode finally once we get through this last week or so.

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