Duke Fuqua 2019-2020 MBA Application Deadlines

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business set an early action deadline of Sept. 19 for MBA applicants in its 2019-2020 admissions season. The round one deadline is nearly a month later on Oct. 14th.

For candidates who apply in the early action round, Fuqua promises to send interview decisions by Oct. 2, with final admission decisions to be released on Oct. 28th. That fast turnaround for the early action candidates is for applicants who are ready to commit to attending Fuqua’s MBA program. Round one applicants will get their interview decisions on Nov. 1, with final decisions out on Dec. 18th.

Round two has a deadline of Jan. 6, with interview decisions on Jan. 31 and final decisions on March 18. The third and final round three sports a deadline of March 11, with interview decisions on March 25, and final decisions on April 20th.

Duke Fuqua’s 2019-2020 MBA Application Deadlines

Fuqua Rounds Application Deadlines Interviews Decisions
Early Action Sept. 19, 2019 Oct. 2, 2019 Oct. 28, 2019
Round 1 Oct. 14, 2019 Nov. 1, 2019 Dec. 18, 2019
Round 2 Jan. 6, 2020 Jan. 31, 2020 March 18, 2020
Round 3 March 11, 2020 March 25, 2020 April 20, 2020


One thing that is different in the admissions process at Fuqua is that all applicants, regardless of the round in which they apply, are eligible to interview during the Open Interview Period from Sept. 11th to Oct. 9th. A completed application is not required to interview during the Open Interview Period. Travel to Durham to complete an interview is required for some Early Action applicants. If you don’t take advantage of this opportunity, you’ll face an additional admissions hurdle common at most other schools: you have to be invited to interview.

In its MBA application Fuqua asks applicants to answer all three of the following questions, responding in just 500 characters or about 100 words:

What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?

What are your long-term goals?

Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize, what alternative directions have you considered?


The school also requires an iconic essay that is often among the most favorite exercises for most applicants: You have to list 25 random things about yourself, numbering all of the items from one to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. In any case, the school advises that the complete list should not exceed two pages.

Finally, the second long essay is based on the school’s community and the applicant and should be no more than two pages in length. Here’s the prompt:

“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 are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.

“Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community outside of the classroom?”


Applications to Fuqua fell by 6.2% during the 2017-2018 cycle to 3,557. Still, the acceptance rate also held steady at a demanding 22%, with 798 getting admit letters and 440 enrolling in the class. Academically, the 2020 Class ranks among the school’s best ever. Average GMATs continue their steady climb. Last year’s 704 average is two points better than the previous year – and eight points above the 2017 Class. Even more, its 3.5 undergraduate GPA average is a 0.1 of a point bump over the past three years as well.

In recent years, Fuqua has also trended towards accepting more business and accounting majors. Three years ago, these students represented 29% of the class. Last year, that share is 37%. This number has come at the expense of engineering and natural sciences majors, which fell from 26% to 22% over the past year. Liberal arts held steady at 19%, as economics majors hold 17% of the class’ seats.

In terms of professional backgrounds, Fuqua segments them into very small slices. Translation: there are three industries with larger blocs followed by 16 more with 5% or fewer members of the class. Not surprisingly, consulting ranks as the largest segment of the class at 24%. Financial services (22%) and healthcare (7%) also make strong showings in the class.


“One of the unique things about Fuqua’s application process is the “25 Things About Me” essay. Don’t take this lightly, as it highlights the emphasis we put on authenticity and finding the right people to fill each class. It is important to spend time thinking about how you can genuinely convey something unique that you bring to the Fuqua community. Fuqua prides itself on bringing together a strong group of diverse leaders who will excel in the classroom, but more importantly can connect well with people and have the potential to lead teams.” — Rob Belk, Class of 2019 Fuqua MBA

“Fuqua is the best fit for applicants who embody our Paired Principles. Two of our principles that resonate with me the most are Authentic Engagement and Supportive Ambition. When applying to Fuqua, think about what you are passionate about and how you would engage with the student body. We value getting to know each other and what makes each person unique. We also pride ourselves on creating a community that supports each other. When applying to Fuqua, reflect on the ways that you would support your classmates and how you plan to have an impact on the school.” — Ashley Brown, Class of 2019 Fuqua MBA

“Think carefully about what you want for your career. If you want to be a leader of people, then seriously consider Fuqua. If you solely want to focus on your technical skills or recruiting efforts, then seriously consider somewhere other than Fuqua. If you do consider Fuqua, then make sure to be authentic in your application essays and interviews. Lean into who you are, and let that shine through by focusing on what really matters to you.” — Colin Emerson, Class of 2019 Fuqua MBA

“Be self-aware and authentic. In fact, “Authentic Engagement” is one of our paired principles. Future leaders of consequence should take time to internalize what that means to them and how they would engage and leave this school in a better place than when they found it. Also, if at first, you don’t succeed, try again! “Failing up” is okay! I did not get into school on my first attempt, but I learned a lot through the process and the reward is well worth the journey!” — Julian A. Gordon, Class of 2018 Fuqua MBA

“Be authentic. The Fuqua community encourages everyone to be themselves, including during the admissions process. I would recommend that you use the essays, resume, and interview to tell different but complementary sides of your story to show who you are and what you would bring to Team Fuqua.” — Paige Swofford, Class of 2018 Fuqua MBA


“I went back to business school for a career switch into the sports business. I wanted to go to a school that would give me an opportunity to build a network in the space as well as gain valuable internship experience. The Duke alumni base is incredibly talented, generous, and engaged in helping students succeed. Relative to its size, Duke has the strongest sports business alumni base in the country. Furthermore, Fuqua set me up to succeed in a relevant internship and working experiences. Fuqua gave me the foundational support and the connections to intern with Wasserman and the NFL, while also giving me opportunities with the Duke Athletic Department.” — Rob Belk, Class of 2019 Fuqua MBA

“The first time I visited Fuqua was during a Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) seminar, which was hosted by Duke. At the seminar, a Fuqua alumna spoke about the support her classmates showed her during a particularly challenging time in her life due to health issues. From her story and my interactions with the students as an applicant, I began to understand the meaning behind “Team Fuqua.” I wanted to be a part of a community that goes above-and-beyond for each other and one that invests in being responsible business leaders above all else. Additionally, in business school, it was important for me to develop my leadership skills. Fuqua offers a variety of hands-on opportunities to do this including the COLE Fellowship Program, where we not only work with first-year teams but also receive specialized training and hear from influential leaders such as Coach K.” — Ashley Brown, Class of 2019 Fuqua MBA

“I chose Fuqua because the Team Fuqua culture really resonated with me. I was confident that I could get a strong general management education at any of the top schools, and I wanted to go to a school that would push me to be a better teammate, mentor, and leader. My wife often reminds me that I felt Fuqua would provide this the first time I visited, and I have been happy about my choice since day one. The “team” in Team Fuqua is more than simply working together on projects—it is an ethos that permeates everything from how we behave in the classroom to the expectation that we make personally beneficial decisions without being self-interested. Through my roles as a COLE Leadership Fellow, a leader in the Human Capital Club, and willing learner in our diversity initiatives, I have had the opportunity to lead, work for, and work with classmates who have held me accountable to my goal of becoming a better people developer for ALL people.” — Colin Emerson, Class of 2019 Fuqua MBA

“Fuqua is truly a happy place. Fuqua students have a strong commitment to helping one another achieve their personal and professional goals. The administration and faculty are also equally yoked in ensuring that we collectively achieve a greater good for all. Those commitments resonated deeply with me. From the first time I walked through our school, it felt like home to me. It was for those reasons that I felt compelled to run for co-president of this school. As a student who has received so much support, it felt like it was my opportunity to pay those gifts forward.As someone who intends to start his own health care company, I was very interested in the Health Sector Management certificate. Given that health care is such a people-oriented field, I wanted to engage with a school that values leadership as much as business fundamentals.Finally, Fuqua truly values diversity, in all its forms. The school gives students an opportunity to tap into the value of diversity by structuring first-year teams to create an environment where diverse backgrounds can be called upon. I knew that Fuqua would give me an opportunity to interact with classmates from all walks of life on a daily basis, and that is something that I truly value.” — Julian A. Gordon, Class of 2018 Fuqua MBA

“In applying to business school, I was searching for a program that would allow me to explore my interest in the connection between business and the environment. I chose Fuqua for its academics, extracurricular opportunities, and the community. Academically, Duke offers a dual degree Master of Environmental Management and MBA (MEM/MBA), allowing me to take energy-related courses at both Fuqua and the Nicholas School of the Environment. Outside of classes, Fuqua offers educational events, experiential learning, and networking opportunities for students, with endless ways of getting involved and taking on leadership roles. Finally, the Fuqua community is both collaborative and ambitious, with students encouraging each other to learn and grow. I also have had access to a wide network of energy-focused faculty, students, and alumni across the broader Duke community to help me make my career transition.” — Paige Swofford, Class of 2018 Fuqua MBA


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