Interested in joining a top-ranking medical school to make your dream of becoming a doctor a reality? Read on to learn everything you need to know about getting into Duke medical school.
Dedicated to “preparing the next thought leaders in medicine, research, and patient care,” the Duke University School of Medicine is a respectable choice for aspiring doctors. Ranking as the sixth-best medical school for research, this university is well-known as a prestigious med school giant.
If you’d like to attend this impressive school known for producing excellence, this comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about getting into Duke University medical school.
If you’re certain you’d like to join the medical field but aren’t completely set on becoming a doctor, you can explore your options at Duke. Here’s a list of their various medical programs:
Depending on where you are in your journey to becoming a doctor, it’s important you explore your options.
You might wonder how many people make it past the application process and how hard it is to get into Duke University medical school. The Duke School of Medicine acceptance rate is 2.9%.
If you’re set on joining Duke medical school’s MD program, the next step is submitting your application. You’ll need to meet the following Duke School of Medicine requirements to apply:
While Duke doesn’t require any prerequisite courses in prospective students’ undergraduates, they strongly recommend students have these courses and competencies to better prepare them for a rigorous medical curriculum:
If you’re wondering how hard it is to get into Duke medical school, it’s useful to check GPA requirements. The average GPA range of admitted students is approximately 3.78 to 3.97!
While these high ranges were the average GPAs, there were students admitted with much lower GPAs; students were admitted with GPAs as low as 3.25!
So, hope isn’t lost if you have a lower-than-average GPA – it just means you’ll have to make up for it in other parts of the application.
Duke University School of Medicine expects high MCAT scores. The average MCAT score range of Duke students is 516 to 522. Again, there were students offered admissions with lower scores. Duke medical school offered admission to students with MCAT scores as low as 505.
Regardless, it is important you get well-prepared for the MCAT so that you have a competitive advantage.
Along with your application, you must submit at least four letters of recommendation from people who can attest to your character. Two of these must be from science faculty members.
One of the most important Duke med school requirements is the supplemental application. In this application, you can expect to answer multiple short essay prompts.
The essay prompts work to humanize applicants by giving the admissions committee deeper insight into students’ character, values, and experiences. As such, these essays are extremely important to help you stand out!
So, if you want to know how to get into Duke medical school, the answer is learning to write some incredible essays.
Luckily, we’ll review Duke medical school’s essay questions and provide tips on how to properly answer them to ensure your individuality shines through!
“Tell us more about who you are. This is your opportunity to tell us how you wish to be addressed, recognized and treated. (500 words)”
As you only have 500 words to tell the committee about yourself, you’ll want to condense all of your ideas and consider the following before answering the question:
This essay question is a combination of a “tell us about yourself” and a diversity essay prompt. Stick to only one or two relevant experiences when discussing your diversity. This is a great place to talk about challenges or obstacles you have faced that make you a diverse candidate and how you overcame these challenges.
Remember, you don’t necessarily have to prove how these experiences will make you a better physician. Instead, you should use this essay to talk about the life you have led, your passions, and your ability to persevere. You may also talk about how this experience inspired you to become a doctor or ignited your interest in medicine.
“Describe a situation where you have chosen to advocate for someone who is different from yourself. Define your view of advocacy. What risks, if any, might be associated with your choice to be an advocate? (400 words)”
To make your answer concise and to the point, ask yourself the following:
Your act of advocacy can be as small as addressing discrimination within your own friend group or family. Regardless, focus on a realistic experience you had; even if it was a relatively small interaction, you might have still learned a lot from it.
Remember to answer all aspects of this question! When defining advocacy, don’t use a definition you found online (and on that note, don’t start this essay with “the dictionary defines advocacy as…” as it’s overdone).
Think about what advocacy means to you, use a dictionary definition as a foundation if you’re stuck, and build on it to make it more personal. Don’t forget to mention potential risks – this is a three-part question.
“Not achieving a goal or one’s desire can sometimes be disheartening. What have you learned/gained from your setbacks and disappointments and how does this translate to your current way of thinking? (400 words)”
Humans fail all the time. We’re imperfect, and that’s what helps us grow and become better people. To narrow down your setbacks/disappointments, consider the following:
Again, be honest. Focus on a real setback or time you’ve been disappointed in yourself without trying to just list a failure you can turn into a strength.
It’s okay to show some vulnerability and humility here; just be sure you show how your setback helped you grow.
“Describe a situation in which you had to utilize your values to interact with people from different backgrounds. How did those values impact the relationship? (400 words)”
This question focuses on your values and interpersonal skills. Answering these questions can help you formulate your writing:
You only have 400 words to write your answer, so you’ll need to keep your writing concise. Remember, you first need to describe the situation (anecdote), describe your values, and conclude with how they impacted your relationship. You’ll need to demonstrate cultural awareness and compassion in your answer.
“Leadership, teamwork, and communication flow synergistically. What do you value most as a leader and as a contributor? What attributes do you possess as a leader and as a team member and how do you apply them on a daily basis? (400 words)”
Answering these questions will help you answer this prompt:
This prompt asks you to reflect on both sides of the coin – the purpose is to show that you’d be a stellar addition to the Duke class as both a leader and a team member. Remember to emphasize your answer on the last point of this question – Duke wants to see how you apply your qualities on a daily basis. Give examples!
“Critical thinking involves a number of characteristics. Research experience enhances critical analysis skills. Describe any research experience or another situation in which you utilized critical thinking. How will critical thinking be important in your future career? (400 words)”
These are some guiding questions to ask yourself before writing:
You don’t have a lot of wiggle room on the word limit here to go in-depth on more than one or two anecdotes. Ensure you don’t spend most of your answer only describing this experience! The second part of the question is equally, if not more, important than the first.
“Potential sources of health inequities exist. Duke’s Moments to Movement (M2M) is a collective stand to address these issues. Describe your experience and reflection with race and its relationship to disparities in health, health care and society. Consider the values of justice, diversity, inclusion and equity. (400 words)”
These are some things you should do and consider before writing:
You’ll definitely need to read more about Duke’s Moments to Movement collective and its goal. Reflect on either your own experiences, a friend’s, or a family member’s; this will lay the foundation for a response rooted in your values and beliefs.
The last step is your interview. Duke calls this their “fit” day, as applicants are reviewed to see if they would be a good match and fit.
These virtual interviews take the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format. The MMI is a series of 8-10 interview stations or encounters that last approximately 9 minutes and are actually centered on a "scenario."
These questions are intended to assess your thinking process and provide more insight into your empathy, problem-solving skills, insight and integrity, and compassion. While we’ve all attended virtual meetings in our pajamas, you’ll want to take care to dress professionally and be prepared for this interview to make a good impression!
Obtaining an MD from Duke doesn’t come cheap. Students can expect to pay at least $72,757 in Duke School of Medicine tuition and fees in their first year of medical school. However, here’s a breakdown of the total cost of attending Duke School of Medicine as a first-year student:
Fortunately, there are various medical school scholarships that can ease the financial burden of medical school! These scholarships offer full and partial funding for tuition.
Duke medical school also offers selective needs-based financial aid through grants and low-interest loans.
Be sure to pay attention to the following dates to ensure you apply to Duke med school in a timely manner:
Ready to boost your chances of acceptance at the Duke University School of Medicine? These tips can help you increase your odds.
Although Duke doesn’t have course requirements, taking recommended courses can help you learn skills and knowledge you’ll need for med school and show you’re ready to handle the rigorous curriculum Duke offers. Consider taking:
While you don’t need to take all these courses, doing so helps you prepare for the road ahead!
You’ll need to write at least seven short essays as part of your Duke secondary application. Each of these essays has a word limit of between 400 and 500 words. Many sources recommended quickly turning around secondaries to demonstrate interest in the school.
As such, you may find value in pre-writing your secondaries before you receive your application. While prompts may change, they usually maintain the same theme or idea – this also gives you more time to write!
Duke University’s Patient First MD curriculum means you’ll develop patient care skills from day one, condense science knowledge into one year instead of two, and care for patients a year earlier than at other med schools. Showing your commitment to patient care through clinical experiences can help demonstrate your fit.
If you still have questions about how to get into Duke University medical school, read on to find the answers.
The average GPA range of admitted students is 3.78 to 3.97. However, some applicants with lower GPAs were offered admission.
As a prestigious medical school with a low acceptance rate of 2.9%, Duke medical school is competitive!
Do your best to maintain a high undergraduate GPA, gain experience that will make you stand out, study hard for the MCAT, learn how to write excellent essays, and prepare for your interview.
But most importantly, ask for help if you need it! Inspira Advantage gives you the necessary resources and support to significantly increase your chances of getting into Duke medical school or any other school you’re interested in!
You should aim to score between 516 and 522, but getting into Duke with lower scores is still possible.
The interview consists of eight to ten virtual multiple mini interviews.
Duke accepts MCAT scores that are less than five years old. However, at the latest, you must take the MCAT in September of the cycle you’re applying in. We recommend taking the MCAT earlier to provide an opportunity for a potential retest if needed.
No, but Duke does recommend students take courses such as Biochemistry and Cellular Biology.
This guide has provided all the information you need to know about how to get into Duke medical school. Despite the stats of admitted students and the low acceptance rate, if you put in the work and are dedicated, you too can become a Duke Blue Devil and take the first big step toward realizing your dream of practicing medicine at Duke!