Duke ED 2025 (Economics Major)

Hi I am planning to ED to Duke this year and I am very interested in majoring in economics. I know that Duke has one of the best departments in the nation so I was wondering if it would be harder to get into if I applied as an econ major? I do not really have any spikes in economics or finance so would this negatively impact my chances? What other major could I apply as and then switch to econ after the first semester or year?

At Duke, as at most other similar schools you’ll have until your sophomore year to officially declare your major. You can major in anything in Trinity College or even transfer into Pratt School of Engineering (although there are requirements to do so, and idk if it’s competitive or not.)

Regarding choosing which major to “apply” for (this choice isn’t binding at Duke, and you can definitely end up majoring in CS or English even if you chose the other on your Common App) choose the one that fits best with the “story” your application is trying to tell: Do your essays, letters, extracurricular activities etc. show your interest and fit for the major you’ve chosen on your application? IMO the Admissions office is much, much more interested in this than the relative competitiveness of your major/school (although they are also trying to create a well-rounded CLASS.)

If Duke is your top choice, I highly, highly recommend applying ED (there is also a definite admissions advantage according to the admissions website, and it’s the ULTIMATE FORM OF DEMONSTRATED INTEREST, even for schools that don’t consider it,) however, you should only do so if ALL of the following are true:

  1. You LOVE Duke and would 110% attend if admitted.
  2. You're confident you can present a well though-out and crafted application by the ED deadline of November 1st.
  3. You and your family can afford Duke if admitted (run the financial aid calculators if applicable.)

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!