Is Duke a good school if I'm interested in Business?

Hi everyone. I am a junior in high school right now and am planning on Majoring in Finance or Marketing (haven’t decided yet) and minoring in computer science. Duke has always been my dream school, and assuming I’m accepted (I know how hard it is), do you think I should attend? I’m trying to figure where I should ED too, and I’d rather it be to a Duke caliber school that focuses on business rather than a school I’ve generally loved for years. Advice? Thoughts?

Duke does not have an undergraduate business program.

No, but going to Duke will provide me with every opportunity for networking, interviews, internships, etc. Possibly to the point where I might not even need to go through an undergraduate business program.

You could get a B…S. in Economics and minor in Finance. They also have a Markets & Management certificate (7 course requirement) similar to a minor.

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Yes, it’s a good school if you’re interested in a career in business (finance, banking, accounting, etc.). Of course it’s not a good school to study business given there is no ugrad degree. But that hasn’t stopped Duke graduates from doing very well on Wall St and other business locations. Duke students are highly sought and are taught fundamentals as it relates to business concepts. All the top firms recruit from Duke and they don’t seem to care that there isn’t an official business school for ugrads.

Honestly, most top schools don’t have undergraduate business except Wharton. After talking to somebody who went to Wharton, sounds like there are definitely some advantages to NOT studying business ugrad (you can always go MBA later). I wouldn’t remove Duke from your list if you simply want to go into business and are okay studying finance/econ and markets/mgmt/comp sci. If you want a very traditional business curriculum, of course Duke does not offer that for undergrads. Hope that helps.

Duke does send grads into good business jobs.

The real issue is choosing a major if you want to go into business, and the school doesn’t offer traditional business majors.

That typically leaves economics…and what if you start taking micro and macro, and realize you don’t like econ? Then you will be in a bind…you could consider a math or statistical science major at Duke, or any type of quant econ/methods type majors that other schools may offer.

But none of those majors are going to have any courses cover marketing principles/concepts in great detail. Duke does have the finance minor…but would you be studying things you want to? Will a major in X and finance minor prepare you for the type of job you want?

You have plenty of time to think about this, and perhaps even take AP Econ next year.

Good luck.

For finance, consider the Wharton School at UPenn, NYU, University of Michigan, Univ. of Texas at Austin, MIT or UCal-Berkeley.

For marketing, consider Michigan, Penn-Wharton, UCal-Berkeley, NYU, or Univ. of Texas at Austin.

There are many other great undergraduate schools for finance and/or marketing.

The University of Virginia, Indiana University, Cornell, USC, Notre Dame, and Minnesota are some other schools to consider for an undergraduate business degree.

If you are serious about a career in business, then you’re going to have to get an MBA from a school with a solid program. When I went to B school, the best prepared students studied something other than business as undergrads and had a couple of years of real world experience under their belts.

A degree in economics, math, stat science or engineering from Duke would prepare you well for that real word experience and for success at a highly ranked MBA program.

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I took AP Macroeconomics in my sophomore year. I got a 3 on the final exam but a high A in the class. I enjoyed the class, but I don’t know if I would want to major in it. Thank you for the advice.

Hmmm. Are you suggesting that Duke is still a viable option? It sounds like you think it is. Can I even get an MBA at Duke?

Yes, Duke University has an MBA program in the Fuqua School of Business.

Even those with undergraduate degrees from Duke are eligible to apply to & to attend Duke’s MBA program and become a “double Dukie”.

FYI, Duke has an interesting Markets & Management certificate program (similar to a Minor)

“The Markets & Management Certificate Program provides an innovative, liberal arts approach to business education. It draws on knowledge from a variety of disciplines including sociology, economics, political science, history, and business. Each course in the program deals in some way with the impact of different organizational forms on managing human resources, coordinating work, integrating technology, and using business networks in an increasingly competitive global economy. The program exposes students to cutting-edge research and provides opportunities to engage in real-world experiences both at home and globally.“

I am currently a Duke student studying economics (finance) and computer science. I would like to give a nod to @socaldad2002 concerning the M&M certificate. I have heard it is FANTASTIC and gives you some great real-world knowledge about business.
Other than that, I would say there is a reason why we do not have an undergrad business program: they are often useless. Like said above, there is a reason almost every top 10 university does not offer undergrad business programs. Duke places their graduates at just as good places, if not better, than the top undergrad business programs. The only exception to this assertion is probably Wharton. Even then, at recruitment days/weekends at some of the most respected companies, you will find plenty of Duke and Wharton students both there. Especially in the finance industry.

If you want to go deep into business, getting your MBA is your true education and training for the corporate world and most of Duke’s undergraduate programs will more than prepare you for the top MBA programs. And, after a couple of years of experience, a Fuqua School of Business (Duke) admissions representative will smile to see Duke on your undergraduate degree.

Now that we’ve more or less established the academic side, go to the school you want to go to “college” at! When you move into the world of this caliber of high education, most places will provide you with almost the same resources and opportunities to show your talents. The slight differences in undergraduate degree programs are marginal that will fade until they are meaningless by the time you are in your profession. If you love Duke, as a school and community, I implore you to do what you can to get here (sorry, I am a bit biased)! I do not think to myself “dang, I am at the objectively best place I can be at to get to [INSERT GOAL HERE]” when I am sitting in my classes. I am thinking “wow, I love these people so much and would not want to be at any other institution”. That’s what matters. If you do end up EDing or going here, worrying that you lack opportunity will be nonexistent.

Ultimately, If you do end up EDing or going here, worrying that you lack opportunity will be nonexistent. I am happy to answer any more questions about this topic or others in this thread or feel free to DM me :slight_smile:

Hi @TheNerdyOboist. Thank you for the great and insightful reply. I was wondering if I could ask you more questions. You said to DM you, but I don’t know how to DM in CC. Could you send me a message with contact info or reply here with it? Thanks!


Besides Wharton - top schools like MIT, Berkeley, Michigan, CMU, NYU, Texas, UNC, Virginia and Cornell all have AACSB-accredited undergrad business programs.

LONG comment coming through… I graduated from Duke '19 and did not study econ or finance but did have the M&M certificate. Now I work at a bulge bracket investment bank in a client-facing role. I’m glad for the M&M certificate because it’s important to take some classes to be sure I was actually interested in business.

That said…Here’s what’s up. Jobs in business in client-facing roles are not about hard skills. Yes, a foundation in financial accounting is important (though I know some analysts who have never read a 10-K before working at the bank), but if you’re not going to be accountant, you don’t need to major in this. If you have the skills to get into Duke, you have the qualitative and quantitative reasoning to get top consulting and IB jobs. Job recruiters know this, that’s why Duke is a core school for many top firms, whether it’s IB, consulting, or a business role at FAANG.

It’s not about what you know or what you major in. It’s all about who you know. Duke will get you any business job you want as long as you put the effort into recruitment and networking. The Duke alumni network is fantastic. Duke students go into consulting and IB with every type of major because the name recognition tops any lack thereof of a business school.

If your focus is to get a prestigious business job, Duke is a great place to do so. You have to think “do I want to spend my four years specializing in something I’ll be working in after graduation anyways, or do I want to spend my four years exploring whatever I want and still get the same job at graduation?” That’s the difference between majoring in business at another school (similar caliber to Duke) vs. going to Duke.

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The one thing not mentioned in any of the posts is cost. Do your parents have the money to pay the tuition costs? Duke is a great school, but how much debt would you walk away with? If you’re looking at $80k to $100k or more, that’s going to be far too much debt for a bachelors degree. No school is THAT great.

I feel the need to provide some further context to this assertion. Roughly half of undergraduates at Duke receive financial aid and that needs to be emphasized more. So many high school students, including myself, were scared on this forum by this argument. Which, by the way, mostly impact lower-middle income students. People told me schools like Duke will be a HUGE cost for me and probably will be unreachable for me financially. BUT my price ended up being cheaper than in-state public schools with my need-based aid. Anyone reading this, it is important to run a Net Price Calculator to estimate your financial aid before you write off a school. Even if the NPC comes back high, if your family’s finances are weird (self-employed or otherwise), take it with a grain of salt because my actual cost was a fraction of my NPC estimate. I know this deviates somewhat of the main topic of this thread but it is EXTREMELY relevant. There is NO DOUBT that the price I pay is INCREDIBLY worth it. I am going into investment banking. If I didn’t go to Duke or a similar school, it would be incredibly difficult to break in since I have no family connections. Apologies if I rambled in this comment; however, I felt the need to emphasize this context.