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16 Duke Fuqua facts every international student should know

Duke Fuqua MBA

Duke Fuqua, pronounced “Duke Few-Kwa,” as opposed to “Duke Foo-Kwa, is the business school of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. It was established in 1969. In 1980, the school was named after J. B. Fuqua (1918-2006), who gifted it $10 million.

Duke University was a sort of alma mater to Fuqua—as a teenager, he had borrowed books on finance and banking from the university library, getting them delivered by post. Fuqua never went to college but taught himself. Duke’s support was obviously adequate: Fuqua later started his own business, a small brick-manufacturing company, which went on to become a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate.

That was a slice of history. Now here are 16 other facts about the b-school that every aspiring international student should know.

16 Things every aspiring international student should know about Duke Fuqua


1. Location

Durham, Duke Fuqua’s home that lies between beautiful mountains and sunny beaches, offers the best of city, suburban, and rural living to its 1.3 million residents.

It is part of the Triangle metropolitan area that also includes Raleigh and Chapel Hill, both university towns. The cost of living in Durham is low, and there are plenty of opportunities for fun activities—parks, wildlife, museums, eateries, and shopping centers. Must-see places, such as Washington, DC, are only a day-trip away.

2. High ranking

Fuqua Daytime MBA secured top US rankings in the 2015 lists of Bloomberg BusinessWeek (8th), Poets and Quants (11th), and Forbes 12th, and the US 2016 lists of US News and World Report (12th) and The Financial Times (12th; FT world ranking 21st). In 2014, BusinessWeek ranked the Daytime program (see below) the best of its kind in the US. FT ranked it 19th globally in their 2018 rankings.

3. Is Duke Fuqua an Ivy League school?

No. Duke Fuqua is not an Ivy League school. But it has strong overlapping traits with Ivy League institutions. Duke Fuqua professors work in harmony in their teaching and research, and use interscholastic methods, bringing business knowledge to health, environment, and policy issues.

The professors choose the teaching method most appropriate for a course, using a blend of lectures, discussions, and case studies. They ensure the active participation of each student, so that everyone is able to share their knowledge and experience.

4. Faculty

Fuqua has been consistently ranked No. 1 in intellectual capital by Bloomberg Businessweek. Apart from senior faculty, headed by the Dean, Bill Boulding, the school has a Board of Visitors comprising 60 top-level executives from global majors such as Coca Cola, Citigroup, FedEx, McKinsey, and Johnson and Johnson. The board, which includes a few Indian businessmen, functions as an advisory body.

5. Duke Fuqua Programs

Fuqua takes pride in creating graduates with a broad worldview and competitive advantage. The “Daytime MBA” is Fuqua’s traditional, full-time MBA program. It is conducted over 22 months with ten core courses and over 100 electives. Other MBA programs include the Global Executive MBA. Fuqua also runs a Weekend Executive MBA program and Executive Education modules, besides one-year Master of Management Studies and Master of Quantitative Management programs.

6. Daytime MBA

The full-time MBA program starts with a Global Institute course that develops a collaborative approach among students, which helps them function in global professional environments. The program then moves on to building general management skills in the business areas of finance, economics, and marketing.

A travel experience course provides students experiential learning in the US and outside, while a client-consulting course exposes students to the requirements of international and domestic industries.

Fuqua has integrated the MBA curriculum with business studies involving the economies of India, China, UAE, Latin America, UK, and Russia. Through an entrepreneurship course, students learn how to define, plan, launch, and fund new business ideas as part of teams comprising students, teachers, and professionals.

7. What Duke Fuqua looks for in an MBA applicant

Fuqua’s academic objectives go beyond creating technically competent managers who can thrive in a global economy. The school aims at developing “consequential leaders” who can demonstrate not only efficiency and purpose but also character.

The other qualities that Fuqua looks for—from accountability and empathy to humility and trust—are listed in detail on the school’s website (see the “Why Fuqua” link listed in Resources below).

8. Fuqua MBA Fees

The Daytime course involves a significant financial investment. The first-year tuition for students is around $68,200.

Other educational expenses ($7,650), cost of educational supplies ($1,300), and student living expenses ($18,000) take the “total cost of attendance” (TCA) for the first year to about $94,700. The TCA for the second year is a few grand less.

9. Scholarships

Scholarships and financial aid, and a combination of both, are available. The Fuqua Financial Office provides assistance to students.

All applicants are considered for merit scholarship based on their academic record, leadership qualities, extracurricular interests, and professional accomplishments.

Keller scholarships (funded by Fuqua, endowments, and corporate donors) are the most prestigious, and are awarded based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership initiatives.

10. International student loans

Fuqua offers “no-cosignor” loans to international students. Students admitted during 2016 were eligible to borrow up to 80 percent of their total cost of attendance.

Daytime alumni who work full-time for selected government organizations and nonprofits are eligible for education loan forgiveness schemes, and students who opt for the social sector are eligible for special financial assistance programs.

11. Focus on ethics

Perhaps, one feature of the school that stands out while browsing Fuqua’s website is the focus on integrity in professional and personal life.

For Fuqua, a leader of consequence, while performing professional tasks, also observes business ethics and the simple principles of honorable conduct and honesty.

The school has evolved a detailed charter of “community standards” that it expects its students to adhere to.

12. Diversity, admission statistics

Fuqua ensures diversity in its classroom. A recent MBA class included a cancer activist who had raised $200,000, a stand-up comedian, a calligrapher who has displayed his work at the Louvre, a math lover who has memorized pi to 500 places, and a competitive eater.

Here are the stats from a typical Daytime class profile:

Duke Fuqua MBA Class Profile

Number of students 440
Average age 29 years
Women 35 percent
Minorities 20 percent
International students 39 percent
GMAT score range 640-750 (middle 80 percent of students)
GPA 3 – 3.83 (middle 80 percent)
Majors 32 percent engineering and natural sciences
29 percent business and accounting
23 percent liberal arts
15 percent economics
Average work experience 5-6 years


13. Career development

Fuqua has a Career Management Center that helps students define their career path, prepares them to reach their career goals, and puts them in touch with prospective employers. Personal career coaches, webinars, and other resources are available to students to enable them to integrate their personalities, interests, and motivations with their career objectives. The resources are available not only during the course but also when needed throughout an entire career.

14. Jobs after MBA

The major recruiters are Amazon, Deloitte, McKinsey & Co, BCG, Microsoft and other elites. Over 90% of the class of 2017 had job offers by the time they graduated.

The career center at Fuqua provides Daytime international students with a global perspective and helps them position themselves as strong candidates for jobs within the US.

It may be possible for international students to get Duke-sponsored summer internships and full-time employment for a certain period under work authorization sponsored by Duke.

The career center can help students interview for positions outside the US on campus or through videoconferencing. Various Duke students’ clubs also facilitate job search outside the US.

15. Salaries after Duke Fuqua MBA:

According to Fuqua’s employment statistics from 2017, the annual base salary ranged between $52,000 to $200,000 with a mean of $123,000 and a median of $125,000, depending on the position. The signing bonuses were on average $30,000. As per industry classification, Consulting paid had the highest average salary of $134,000, closely followed by Technology at $124,000.

16. Notable alumni

Fuqua has an impressive list of famous alumni, which includes Tim Cook, Apple CEO; Melinda Gates, Co-Founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; W. Bruce Johnson, who was interim President and CEO of Sears Holdings; and Ranjana Clark, Head of Transaction Banking, MUFG Americas Holdings.

Also read MSTeM concentration at Duke Fuqua offers STEM OPT benefits for international students

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 | Image credit: Duke Fuqua Blog

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

3 thoughts on “16 Duke Fuqua facts every international student should know”

  1. Nice Article Sameer Sir.

    I want to know one thing which is mentioned in the article “McKinsey (24 students hired), Deloitte (21), Microsoft (19), Boston Consulting Group (17), and Amazon (15) were the top employers from Fuqua’s Daytime Class of 2015.”

    So, If the batch size is say 200, Then what the rest students do If they don’t get the job ? Or the placement is 100% at Fuqua ? What is the scenario for the students who don’t get job ? especially for International Indian student.


  2. Dushyant, The placement ratio after 3 months of graduation was 95% (not 100%). Around 86% were able to find employment in the US.

    Among the 377 Duke MBA students who were actively looking for placements, there were 149 who didn’t have permanent U.S. work authorisation. .Considering that context, the placement figures are quite impressive since many international students were also able to find work in the U.S.

    In each MBA class, there are some students who don’t seek employment. This may be for several reasons – some may be company sponsored, some might want to launch their own startup, while others may want to take a break before going back to work.

    Hope that helps.

    We’ve shared this post with the Duke MBA team. Let’s see if they’d be willing to share some insights into the placement statistics specifically about Indian students (as that data isn’t directly available publicly).

  3. Hi Sameer,

    Brilliant article, as always. I am an IIT Madras Graduate and I obtained 710 in GMAT (Q51, V34, AWA 5). I have been working at Vodafone India from July 2014, right after my graduation.

    I was confused as to whether I should apply to Michigan Ross or Duke Fuqua? I am from a Technology Background and the reason I want to do an MBA is because I want to change my function to a more customer centric profile, a profile which uses Technical expertise to build customer focused strategies. I have known from my 2 years work ex in Vodafone that I am really efficient in projects wherein direct impact to customer markets is seen and so I have decided to pursue MBA so that I could move to such a profile/role.

    Also, can you please suggest other schools which would help me in my endeavour?

    Thank you.
    Rohit Kumar.


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