Note to Parents

A father and sonWelcome to Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering. We understand that choosing a college is one of the most exciting, daunting and important decisions your child will make. We also understand that as a parent, you want what is best for your son or daughter, and have questions and concerns of your own.

Duke's Pratt School of Engineering offers a superior engineering education—pairing the rich resources of a top-tier research institution with an outstanding liberal arts school. Our students have won Rhodes, Fulbright, Churchill and Goldwater scholarships. They have gone on to noteworthy, productive careers in engineering (both as academics and in industry), as well as medicine, law and business. A rigorous engineering education gives students a solid basis in quantitative problem solving, and this is a skill that transfers to any number of careers.

Our goal at Pratt is to build men and women with the skills to be leaders of consequence. People who can thrive in our increasingly technology-based, global society. We view education not just as taking classes and labs—but also being active in student groups and clubs, attending lectures from visiting scholars, study abroad, as well as taking part in community service, service learning and hands-on research. These activities expose students to new ideas, new people and new challenges that help them figure out what they want to do in their careers, and more importantly, their lives. We like students who make intelligent and interesting mistakes. Further, we like students who understand that in risking failure we become stronger, better, and smarter.

While Duke offers the advantages of a world-class research institution, it retains the benefits of a small university such as small class size and close relationships with faculty. In addition, we believe that every student can be successful at Duke—not just a select, elite handful from each graduating class. Our curriculum is challenging, and we have our straight-A students, but we also recognize that there are many different ways to be successful. We celebrate the contributions of our engineering students, from those who excel in engineering designs contests or make research advances through independent study, to those who pair their academic excellence with accomplishments in athletics or music or humanitarian efforts.

Throughout the Pratt School of Engineering website, we have included a wide range of student profiles and feature stories about engineering student groups to help you and your student see what is possible here at Duke. We also encourage you to fully explore Duke’s undergraduate admissions site.

Walking Tours

Many applicants visit Duke on one of our walking tours.