Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Duke University Fuqua School of Business, a renowned institution for MBA education, has recently faced a decline in MBA applications for the second consecutive year. In the 2022-2023 application cycle, the school received 3,292 applications, which is a sharp decrease of 7% compared to the previous year. Moreover, this number represents a significant 12.5% decrease from the school’s peak of 3,762 applications for the graduating class of 2021.
This declining trend has resulted in a reduction in the class size at Duke Fuqua. With only 385 students enrolled, there has been a 14% decrease over the past two years. This is the lowest number the school has seen since at least 2018.
Despite this decline in applications, Duke Fuqua continues to maintain its position as a leader in terms of international and women’s enrollment. Additionally, the school’s admits boast high test aptitude scores, reflecting the caliber of students being accepted.
The acceptance rate at Duke Fuqua has grown slightly, reaching just over 22%, up from 20.5%. This rate is similar to pre-pandemic levels, suggesting that the pandemic may have played a role in the decline but is not the sole factor.
It is worth noting that other top business schools, such as Wharton and UCLA Anderson School of Management, have also experienced decreases in applications. However, Duke Fuqua has been less affected compared to these institutions.
Remarkably, the MBA Class of 2025 at Duke Fuqua showcases the second-highest average GMAT score in the school’s history. Additionally, the students excel in terms of GPA and GRE averages, further solidifying the quality of education the school offers.
Despite slight declines, Duke Fuqua still maintains high levels of diversity, with significant representation of women, international students, U.S. minorities, and underrepresented minorities. The school’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity is emphasized by Duke Fuqua Dean, William Boulding. He highlights research indicating that diverse teams outperform homogeneous groups in business leadership.
Boulding expresses enthusiasm for the diverse makeup of the new class and underscores the important role of business schools in increasing access and creating opportunities for individuals to improve lives and communities.
Overall, while Duke Fuqua has experienced a decline in MBA applications, the school’s commitment to diversity, high test scores, and strong academic performance continues to position it as a leading institution in MBA education. The declining trend in applications may be reflective of broader industry trends rather than indicating a decrease in the quality of the program.