Duke (Pratt) Engineering Admissions

ED deadline is coming up! I was wondering if anyone had any insight on the Duke admissions process, specifically for Pratt engineering. I’ve heard that their admissions process is more numbers and experience-based (essays don’t weigh as much as they do for Trinity). I’m about to be done with all of my Duke essays (super happy with them), and I’m getting worried about this. I feel like I don’t have much to offer experience-wise (no internships or research) and my academic stats are pretty much on the high-end of average. I’ve also heard that for Pratt admissions, the professors actually read applications and weigh in on the decision making. Is this true? Is there any way to get a last-minute boost for my application? Or do I just turn it in and hope for the best?

These are silly questions, but I’d love to hear admissions stories from past or present Pratt students. Thanks :slight_smile:

Idk about Duke but other T20s (such as Cornell and Brown) do have Professors read your applications. After I was admitted, one of the professors who read my application contacted me and told me about their thoughts about it. IMO it’s nice, because you’re being evaluated by people familiar with what you’re interested in and what you’ve done so-far in HS, so don’t stress about it too much! :smile:

@riverandsasha3 There is a Youtube video from a college counselor out there that talks about Pratt vs Trinity applications-it is very accurate. Look that up. If you are a White or Asian male applying to Pratt your stats & ec’s need to be exceptional. Even in ED. It’s interesting because Duke is certainly a top school, but Pratt is not a top ranked Engineering program at all.

@2022soon Duke’s BME program is one of the top in the nation, FYI. State schools tend to be higher-ranked for engineering due to size, but no one’s going to scoff at an engineering degree from Duke or any other T20.

@PikachuRocks15 @2022soon Yeah, I thought Duke BME was top 3 in the nation.

Also, sadly I am half White and half Asian. Does being biracial help because they can technically put me in the “Other” category of their demographic stats? Or will this hurt my chances?

I’m going to stick with both White and Asian on my Common App anyway because one of my essays is about my racial and cultural identity. I’d just like to know if this is lowering my chances.

@riverandsasha3 Will pm you! :smile:

BME is only one area in Engineering, so I stand by my comment that no Duke is not a top ranked Engineering program. MIT, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon are in the top 4 best Engineering programs for 2021. Obviously they are not large public Universities. Pratt is not top 20 it’s #23 nearby NC State #24 on the 2021 rankings.

@riverandsasha3 I don’t know the answer to that, but your essay sounds great! Find that YouTube video on Duke admissions though it’s helpful. Also official Duke Admissions did a Reditt last year you may want to look up.

I’m a Duke graduate and interview every year. My son goes to Pratt. Like all engineering schools, the admissions office is looking to see that you challenged yourself by taking the more difficult classes at your high school, particularly in math and science, and performed well. And then - at least before the pandemic - strong math scores on SAT/ACT, SAT 2s and APs. My son was admitted to many terrific engineering schools (Michigan, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon) but chose Duke because of its size and because he felt most comfortable there. I’d not get caught up in rankings. Most undergraduate engineering programs have rigid (and similar) requirements because of ABET accreditation rules. Larger research universities (like Cornell and Michigan) offer more breath, but this really doesn’t come into play until graduate school. Carnegie Mellon’s computer science program is a special case, obviously, since it is probably the best out there, but it is very difficult to get into. MIT, CalTech and Stanford also stand apart. At Duke, it’s signature engineering program is BioMed, so if that is your thing, you can’t find much better anywhere.

Going off of this thread, does intended major affect admissions at all? Is the applicant pool for BME more competitive than other engineering majors at Duke? Or are all applicants evaluated based on general engineering?

I don’t think your intended major w/in engineering matters - so you are not disadvantaging yourself if you indicate an interest in BME. You are admitted to the engineering school and not a particular major w/in the school.