Leadership, teamwork, and ethics are essential elements of the Duke Fuqua MBA, which is why you’ll need to make sure you express your passion for these qualities in your application essays. Impress the Fuqua adcom by positioning yourself as an innovative leader and team player, as someone who can see the big picture, work collaboratively, and shape global business.
To learn more about Duke Fuqua, listen to our recent podcast interview with Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of Admissions.
Duke Fuqua 2022-23 MBA application essay instructions
You’ll need to provide your thoughts on one short-answer question and two longer essay questions as part of your application.
Instructions for all written submissions:
- Responses should use 1.5-line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
- Do not repeat the question in the document you upload with your application as this will cause the essay to be flagged for plagiarism.
- Respond fully and concisely.
- Length requirements vary by question and are detailed below.
- Responses must be completed before submitting your application.
All submissions are scanned using plagiarism detection software. Plagiarism is considered a cheating violation within the Honor Code and will not be tolerated in the admissions process.
Duke Fuqua required short-answer essay question
Instructions: Answer the following question in 100 words.
What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first-choice career plan and your alternate plan.
What’s your professional direction? And if you cannot progress in your career in the most direct way, what is the alternative route to your desired destination? Since you are dealing with a 100-word maximum, you will have to think long before you start drafting and write succinctly to get your point across.
Duke Fuqua MBA required essay #1 (25 random things about yourself)
The ‘Team Fuqua’ spirit and community is one of the things that sets the MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. Please share with us “25 Random Things” about you. The Admissions Committee wants to get to know YOU – beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. Share with us important life experiences, your hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are.
Your list will be limited to 2 pages (750 words maximum). Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be brief, while others may be longer.
Have some fun with this list. It certainly allows a more creative approach than permitted by most essay prompts. Note that the question asks you to go “beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript.” So you can list your Pez collection or perhaps your brief membership in a rock band, or the fact that you took violin from ages 6-18, or your membership in a gospel choir, or your volunteer work in a hospital, your needlepoint, your favorite recipe or photo. Gosh – the list is endless. Just let it reflect you. Think of this list as an introduction to potential friends.
For more insight into this question and the motivation behind, please read Megan Overbay’s, the former Director of Admissions, advice. Yes, it’s old, but I believe you will find it helpful. And very friendly. For even more ideas, check out Associate Dean for Admissions Shari Hubert’s 25 Random Things or these examples from different Fuqua students.
Watch: Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of Admissions at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business on How to answer the 25 Random Things Question:
Duke Fuqua MBA required essay #2 (The Fuqua community and you)
Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and to the development of leaders. Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, what are 3 ways you expect to contribute at Fuqua?
Your response will be limited to 1 page (500 words maximum).
Do your homework about Fuqua (and yourself) before responding to this question. What activities and groups appeal to you? How do you see yourself participating? Making a difference? Imagine how you would participate, collaborate and sometimes lead. While you can reference similar activities in the past, keep the focus of this essay on what you would do at Fuqua, and choose those three activities/groups that most appeal to you.
One approach to responding to this question: Address a letter to a close friend or colleague and tell them how you would contribute to this very participatory culture. That letter could easily morph into this essay.
Duke Fuqua MBA optional essay #3 (Tell us more)
If you feel there are circumstances of which the admissions committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance). Note that you should NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area. The Optional Information section is intended to provide the admissions committee with insight into your circumstances only.
Your response will be limited to 1 page (500 words maximum).
Why isn’t your current supervisor writing your rec? Why is there a six-month gap on your resume? Why did your grades dip during the first semester of your senior year? What are your responsibilities while working for a family business after having left a prestigious investment bank, and why did you make the change? If these questions aren’t addressed elsewhere in your application, answering any of them (but hopefully not all) could be the topic of your optional essay.
Duke Fuqua at a glance
Duke Fuqua average GMAT score: 713
Duke Fuqua average GPA: 3.48
Duke Fuqua acceptance rate: 19.2%
U.S. News ranked Duke Fuqua #12 in 2023.
Has this blog post helped you feel more confident about approaching your Fuqua application? We hope so. It’s our mission to help smart, talented applicants like you gain acceptance to your dream school. With so much at stake, why not hire a consultant whose expertise and personalized guidance can help you make your dream come true? We have several flexible consulting options—click here to get started today!
Duke Fuqua 2022-23 MBA application deadlines
|Round||Application Deadline||Decision Notification|
|Early Action||September 7, 2022||October 20, 2022|
|1||Sept 26, 2022||December 8, 2022|
|2||January 5, 2023||March 10, 2023|
|3||March 28, 2023||May 2, 2023|
International applicants should apply in EA, Round 1, and Round 2 to allow time for visa processing.
Source: Duke Fuqua website
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted. Linda earned her bachelors and MBA at UCLA, and has been advising applicants since 1994 when she founded Accepted. Linda is the co-founder and first president of AIGAC. She has written or co-authored 13 e-books on the admissions process, and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, Poets & Quants, Bloomberg Businessweek, CBS News, and others. Linda is the host of Admissions Straight Talk, a podcast for graduate school applicants. Want an admissions expert to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!