Four Important Characteristics of the Duke MBA Program

Business School Application Guides
Continuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth insider’s guides to 15 of the world’s top MBA programs, this week we investigate a few things that make Duke’s approach to graduate management education unique. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free with registration, but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your Fuqua School of Business research.)

Like most elite business schools, Duke is focused on providing hands-on learning opportunities, global perspective, and a flexible curriculum. What makes Duke somewhat different is that the school is focused most of all on collaborative leadership. Other than Kellogg and perhaps UCLA Anderson, few business schools can cite that as the program’s most distinguishing feature to the degree that Fuqua can.


With that in mind, the following are the key elements of the Duke Approach:
  • Collaborative Leadership. Teamwork and leadership are common in every aspect of the Duke MBA experience from inside the classroom to clubs and activities. Each class includes group projects as a learning tool, so the ability to lead and work in a group environment is essential for success at Fuqua. Outside of the classroom, students are encouraged and almost expected to assume a leadership role in a club, activity, or Fuqua-related event. Fuqua is truly a student run program, which generates numerous opportunities to lead projects or even create new ones.
  • Global Perspective. “Global” is a major MBA buzzword in this day and age, but few schools boast an international emphasis and flavor that rivals that of Fuqua. Each incoming MBA class begins with “Global Institute,” a one-of-a-kind program that runs for three weeks prior to the first term and introduces students to the global business environment and the world economy structure. Students discuss current global business issues and are exposed to diverse backgrounds and perspectives while also gaining exposure to more traditional “orientation” concepts such as leadership and team building. Fuqua also offers study abroad programs and the increasingly popular “Global Academic Travel Experience,” a course where students study international business trends from select regions and then travel to designated locations for hands-on experience.
  • Diversity of Instruction. As has become increasingly common among innovative business schools, Duke’s courses feature a blended teaching approach that includes an almost equal distribution of case studies, lectures, and team projects. Each class is typically two hours and fifteen minutes long, allowing ample time for a highly interactive case discussion, followed by a course lecture. Duke professors conduct leading research and are adept at integrating relevant and topical business issues into every class. Team projects are absolutely an integral part of each course, and select groups are called upon to present insights and strategic recommendations as a way to launch a class discussion. Class participation is expected and is a prominent grading criterion.
  • Experiential Learning. While Duke does not boast of an experiential learning program as robust as that of Ross or Tuck, Fuqua does offer numerous courses which help students convert theory into application. These classes provide knowledge and experience by assisting real-world businesses in such areas as consulting, strategic planning, marketing strategy and business plan development. Faculty members guide and participate in strategy sessions with the students to reinforce the translation of academic concepts to real world solutions.

Today’s installment was clipped from our Duke (Fuqua) Annual Report, one of 15 guides to the world’s top business schools, available for purchase on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Fuqua or other top MBA programs, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

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