Application Requirements | Duke Kunshan University

Application Requirements


How to Apply:
All applications for Duke Kunshan University should be submitted using the Common Application. Students wishing to apply to both Duke University and Duke Kunshan University may do so by applying to each university individually via the Common App.


Application Deadlines:

Early decision application deadline: November 2, 2020 (Midnight EST)

Regular decision application deadline: January 4, 2021 (Midnight EST)


Common Application Checklist

  1. School report
  2. Counselor recommendation
  3. High school transcripts
  4. Teacher evaluations (2)
  5. SAT or ACT test score (optional for Fall 2021 applications)
    • No minimum test score is required for admission
    • International testing school codes for Duke Kunshan University:
      • SAT – 7059
      • ACT – 0621
  6. Personal Essays
    • DKU-specific essay prompts:
    • “Why do you think Duke Kunshan University is a good match for you? And what special qualities do you feel you could bring to Duke Kunshan University?” (Required)
    • “Is there anything else you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you?” (Optional)*
  7. CSS Profile (Required only if applying for financial aid)


How We Evaluate:

The Duke Kunshan Admissions team takes a holistic approach when reviewing applications. This means that all application requirements are taken into consideration, ensuring the most suitable candidates are admitted on the strength of their application as a whole.


What Qualities We Look for in a Successful Candidate:

- High academic credentials and passion for learning

Do your grades and test scores demonstrate academic distinction? Do you push yourself to excel both inside and outside the classroom? We are looking for well-rounded students who are intellectually engaged in a variety of settings and activities, and are well-prepared for a rigorous academic experience.


- Strong interest in Duke Kunshan's innovative, integrated and interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum

Today’s students will soon graduate into a future where global politics, innovation and the environment intersect at every level. Complex global problems can no longer be adequately understood, addressed or solved through the lens of just one discipline, the way that traditional “majors” were designed. We are looking for students who are ready to tackle a unique, interdisciplinary curriculum that will prepare them to understand the world’s complexities from many angles and to make a difference on an international scale.


- An adventurous spirit and global orientation

Studying in a different country requires an open mind and an adventurous spirit. Are you adaptable? Tolerant? Do you have a genuine curiosity toward other cultures? Applicants must demonstrate an eagerness to interact with people from diverse backgrounds.


- Demonstrated impact in campus and community life

We want students with a desire to have a meaningful impact. We look for demonstrated engagement in various extracurricular, co-curricular and service learning activities that show how students can apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations and experience personal growth. How would you become fully engaged in your educational experience, bring value to the Duke Kunshan and broader community, and ultimately to future organizations?


- Excited about the unique leadership opportunity

Imagine the opportunities available to you as one of the first students at a new global university as a member of our third class: helping grow our clubs; joining our first student government; writing for our first newspaper; and helping shape the Duke Kunshan culture and legacy. Furthermore, our students can intern and research with multinational corporations and prosperous startups before graduating into the prestigious Duke Alumni Association. We look for students whose leadership experiences have prepared them to take full advantage of this rich environment.


- Strong English language proficiency

The Duke Kunshan curriculum is taught entirely in English; therefore, all successful applicants must have strong English language abilities. The Admissions Committee will be able to assess an applicant's English language ability through the application process, which may include a live interview via phone or video chat. For non-native English speakers, TOEFL and IELTS test scores may be submitted with an application for consideration, but are not mandatory. The TOEFL school code for Duke Kunshan University is B624.


*Notice: It has come to our attention that in the standard Common Application used by Duke Kunshan and hundreds of other universities, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao are listed incorrectly as individual countries. We have notified the Common Application organization of this error and it is our understanding they are reviewing the situation with the intention of making the appropriate corrections. Please contact the Common Application organization if you have further comments or require further clarification.

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