Durham, NC: This past summer, I was fortunate to visit the campus of Duke University. Duke is a private university that consistently ranks among the top five in the nation. It is a medium-sized school with just over 6,000 students who hail from all over the country and the world. There are hundreds of courses offered and one may major in virtually anything one wants. Professors and advisors are there to guide students every step of the way in choosing a major and selecting courses. The class size hovers around 20 students, but freshmen have the opportunity to enroll in a special FOCUS program that promotes learning in seminar-type environment while keeping classes small and class discussion personal.
In addition to extremely strong academics, Duke offers an array of Division I varsity sports for both men and women. They have fully equipped athletic facilities and offer many club sports for those who simply want to participate on a recreational level.
The campus itself is located just outside downtown Durham. Its beautiful buildings and gardens are accentuated by the breathtaking Gothic cathedral situated in the very heart of the campus. As a whole, the campus is relatively new but gives the visitor a sense of rustic charm. The residence halls and classroom buildings are very clean. Nearly all residence halls have computer clusters that give access to the Internet and online campus services.
Another aspect that impressed me was their commitment to making the first-year transition to college an easy one. All freshmen live in what is known as East Campus. It has its own dining facility, fitness and athletic facilities and several classroom buildings. Freshmen are encouraged to socialize with each other, and many parties and activities are planned during the year. Although East Campus is separated from the main campus (West Campus) by a mile, Duke offers free shuttle service which runs day and night, ensuring that freshmen aren’t entirely separated from the rest of the students. Bus service also runs between Duke and downtown Durham as well as nearby Chapel Hill, home of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Overall, Duke University is an ideal school for someone interested in incredibly strong academics as well as an atmosphere that supports the needs of students. It is located in a beautiful area and its majestic buildings could make anyone fall in love with the campus. I definitely encourage a visit to Duke and its surroundings. f
Duke University Review by
Reviewed in 1998