Should I apply Trinity or Pratt Duke?

For those who don’t know, Trinity is Duke’s arts and sciences school while Pratt is their engineering one. I’m pretty undecided on which to apply to so I’m curious which you guys think would give me a better chance of admissions (and don’t tell me that I should pick the one I like more because I like them both).

Demographically, I’m a white male, and I’ve heard being male is more advantageous for arts and sciences.

If I went into Pratt, it’d be biomedical engineering. For reference, I’ve taken a completer engineering course at my school with five engineering classes but none of which are biomedical, along with AP Bio, Physics 1, and honors chemistry, and this year I’m taking AP Physics C (5s on all APs).

If I went into Trinity, it’d be mathematics (or statistical science) and Spanish/Latino studies. For reference, I’ve maxed out both my school’s Spanish offerings and got a 4 on AP Spanish Lang. This year I’ll be doing AP Spanish Lit. Mathwise, I’ve taken AP Stat, Calc AB, Calc BC (5s on all), and this year I’m doing dual enrollment Calc III and Linear Algebra. Extracurricularly, I have leadership in Spanish Honor Society and Quiz Bowl (which speaks to the fact that I like learning about everything) and do some math tutoring on the side.

Also, I suppose I’m asking this not just for Duke, but with all of the schools that I’m applying to that require you to select a school to enter. Thanks!

I can’t answer the question for you but a few things to think about:

  • it would be easier to transfer from Pratt to Trinity than the other way around if you change your mind about what you want to study;
  • Pratt admissions rely more heavily on course rigor, GPA, test scores (might be different this year with test optional), and research ECs than Trinity tends to have a more holistic review in all areas of the application.
  • Also Pratt will have engineering professors who help out with application reviews so you would want to package yourself well (e.g. your excitement to study biomedical engineering and how you have prepared yourself well in HS). Note: Duke has one of the best biomedical engineering programs in the nation.

Good luck!

Are you saying you’ve taken FIVE engineering courses in HS or that your school OFFERS five engineering courses? Either way, taking engineering in high school has got to be rare. I think that would give you a leg up in admissions. Having a biomedical course in high school would be almost unfathomable, so that’s not a worry, nobody is bringing that into the application unless they sought coursework outside their high school somehow.

I wouldn’t take demographics into account much. Yes, there are traditionally more males than females in engineering so it’s possible female applicants have a tiny admission bump, but BME is the engineering discipline that attracts the MOST female applicants nationwide (as a percentage) probably because of its bent to the medical field/helping people’s health. Duke BME is pretty evenly split and it’s the largest department.

So, I would apply to which college you WANT to enroll in because I think your application would be more likely to show passion and a “better fit.” Thus, your odds of admission will also be improved. Based on the above, sounds like that’s Pratt, but hard to surmise for sure.

I do agree with the above poster that Pratt is perhaps more “numbers focused.” So, if you have a very strong application numbers-wise, your chance of admission to Pratt may be higher, as Trinity is more “random”/looking at other less quantifiable features like community impact, extracurriculars, etc. So, one could argue somebody with “high numbers” (GPA, test scores, course rigor) has a lower chance of admission to Trinity because there is more variability/chance based on other applicant qualities and that applicant pool has more hooked applicants (athletes, legacies, URM, first gen, etc.).

For the record, I am also a white male who graduated from Duke with a major in BME (and minor in Pysch).