Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University is a private research university. Quakers and Methodists originally founded the school in Trinity in 1838 before it was moved to Durham in 1892. According to a Reuters survey, Duke is among the most innovative schools in the world, and a number of university rankings reports include Duke among the best worldwide post-secondary institutions. In 2012, Duke was ranked seventh on Forbes’ list of worldwide “power factories.”

Duke University Accreditation Details

Duke University is recognized and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award professional, doctorate, master’s and baccalaureate degrees.

Duke University Application Requirements

To begin the application process to Duke University, students must first submit the Coalition Application or the Common Application. This step includes academic and biographical information as well as essay writing and details regarding extracurricular activities. Prospective students must also send official transcripts from high school and any previous accredited post-secondary institution, a nonrefundable $85 application fee and indicate their academic concentrations. All candidates for admission must complete the SAT and/or the ACT and submit their scores to the school for enrollment consideration. The school also requires three letters of application: two recommendations from teachers who taught in a major academic course and one recommendation from the student’s guidance counselor. Prospective students may also choose to complete an alumni interview as part of the application process.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Annual tuition at Duke University is $51,500. However, 55 percent of students do not pay the full cost of tuition. The school is committed to its financial aid program and attempts to meet full demonstration financial need for each student. Duke University offers a number of types of financial aid, including need-based aid, merit scholarships and athletic scholarships. However, no financial support from the computer science department is available for students in the Master of Science in Computer Science Degree or the Master of Science in Economics and Computation program. The school provides ROTC programs for interested students, and each program offers financial aid in the form of scholarships and other options. Duke University welcomes veterans and their family members and offers several educational benefits such as certification, networking opportunities and campus and community resources for servicemembers.

Computer Science Degrees Available

Duke University offers a number of computer science degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including a B.A. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Computer Science as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science. Students may also wish to complete a certificate or training program in areas such as information science, computational biology and bioinformatics, nanoscience and cognitive neuroscience.

Students pursuing a B.A. or a B.S. in Computer Science from Duke University benefit from an internationally recognized leader in education and research. Undergraduate students are involved in cutting-edge research, take classes with renowned faculty and build a strong foundation for future work or study in a number of fields. The Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science degree is typically pursued in conjunction with a minor or other major such as biology, art, English, economics and mathematics. The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree is designed for students who wish to continue studying the field after graduation. This degree combines a wide-ranging and in-depth view of computer science with mathematical applications and foundations. Coursework for both undergraduate degrees includes discrete math for computer science, an introduction to operating systems, computer organization and programming, data structures and algorithms and an introduction to the design and analysis of algorithms. Students are also required to take three electives: one in computer science and two in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, statistics or math. Duke University also offers a B.S. double major with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In this program, students are prepared for technical careers in the field of computer science, including artistic, scientific, financial, programming and consulting jobs.

The Master of Science in Computer Science from Duke University combines training in current applications and technologies with a firm grounding in theoretical foundations. Graduates are flexible enough to either continue with doctoral studies or to pursue careers in research. The department offers two master’s options: a project- or thesis-based master’s degree or a course-only master’s degree. Students pursuing the 30-credit-hour project- or thesis-based option must successfully complete an oral defense of a research project or thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The program is comprised of 12 credit hours in computer science coursework, six credits of non-computer science coursework, six credit hours from electives and up to six credits of ungraded research. Students pursuing the course-only option must successfully complete 18 credit hours of graduate-level computer science courses, six credit hours of coursework outside of the department, at least six credit hours in approved elective courses and a portfolio consisting of presentations, project reports and research papers.

Students interested in both computer science and economics may consider pursuing a Master of Science in Economics and Computation from Duke University. This joint master’s program allows students the opportunity to take courses with doctoral degree students in computer science, economics, statistics and business. Students benefit from flexibility and cover more advanced material in the classroom while also engaging in significant research.

The Ph.D. program at Duke University allows students to familiarize themselves with the research being conducted, meet and become acquainted with the world-renowned faculty while also attending research group seminars to gain exposure to a variety of topics. Students will conduct a research initiation project during the first two years of the degree program, where they will receive an introduction to the current state of computer science, research methodologies and presentation of their results. Students must also complete the breadth requirement by the end of the second year by passing an exam or scoring a B+ or better in four out of six core subject knowledge areas. Once a student completes his or her course requirements, breadth requirement and research initiation project, he or she continues independent research before attaining candidacy and finally developing a doctoral dissertation defense. The P.h.D. in Computer Science at Duke University takes approximately five years to complete, and students must have at least one semester of teaching experience, typically in the form of an assistantship.


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