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The Fuqua 2013-2014 Application
Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has released its application for the Class of 2016. The Duke application is very different from many other top business schools — the essay topics are unique and extremely time demanding. While other business schools have revamped their essay requirements this year by shortening length requirements and the number of required essays, the Duke application and essay requirements this year have remained almost identical to the radical changes we saw last year.
Fuqua 2013-2014 Application Deadlines
Below are the application deadlines as announced by Duke for the Class of 2016.
Early Action: Applications due September 18, 2013
Round 1: Applications due October 21, 2013
Round 2: Applications due January 6, 2014
Round 3: Applications due March 20, 2014
Last year, Duke significantly reformed their essay requirements, panning everything into three 250-character maximum short answer questions and two 2-page maximum essay questions. This year, Duke’s essay questions remain unchanged from the previous year. The Duke essay requirements are unique because each section asks respondents for a very different type of response. For example, the short answer section allows a mere 250 characters per response, meaning that answers should be short, concise, and factual. (Note, that is characters – not words.) However, the essay section gives applicants an opportunity to respond through a (comparatively) lengthy two pages to the unconventional prompts, which include asking applicants to list 25 random things about themselves. Although the long essay prompts are less traditional, Duke’s decision to repeat the questions for a second year in a row shows that they provided deeper insight into applicants’ character and behavior.
The essay requirement portion of the Duke 2013-2014 application will appear on the application as it does below:
Required Short Answer Questions: Answer all 3 questions
For each short answer question, respond in 250 characters only (the equivalent of about 50 words).
Short Answer Question 1: What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
Short Answer Question 2: What are your long-term goals?
Short Answer Question 3: 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?
Required Essays: Answer both essay questions
Essay 1: The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.
In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you—beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU. Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.
Essay 2: When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you. Your response to this essay question should be no more than 2 pages in length. Please respond fully and concisely using 1.5 line spacing.
For each of these responses, answers should be in a font no smaller than 10-point. There are two additional essay prompts that may also be relevant to your application: First, there is an optional essay where applicants may explain any extenuating circumstances (such as gaps in work, lower-than-expected GPA, etc.); and second, there is another essay required of all re-applicants to discuss self-reflection and growth in the past year since applying to Duke.
Other Application Requirements
In addition to the essay requirements, all students must submit scanned official transcripts from all institutions attended (hard copies will be required if you are accepted to the program), a 1-page business resume submitted online, two letters of recommendation submitted through the online application portal (no emailed or mailed letters will be accepted), a valid TOEFL score if English was not the primary language of instruction when earning an undergraduate degree, a valid GMAT or GRE score, and a $225 application fee.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com