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Major Gifts

A major gift is transformative and can touch every corner of Duke Engineering

Our Donors

We recognize alumni and friends who have made major gifts to the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering.

See a list of our Major Gift Donors »

Your major gift allows us to promote excellence in Duke Engineering's research programs, recruit and retain the most deserving and brightest students and attract and support top-notch faculty.

Major gifts have provided desperately needed scholarships, taken a program to a new level and provided financial stability to a signature program.

A major gift is lasting—It can provide support in perpetuity.

Major Gift Opportunities

Scholarships and Fellowships

Financial aid is a core commitment at Duke. In spite of recent economic challenges, Duke has reaffirmed its commitment to the principles of need-blind undergraduate admissions. More than half of all Dukes undergraduates receive some kind of financial aid. In addition, Duke provides funding to virtually all doctoral students and offers significant support to master's and professional degree students.

The Pratt School of Engineering is honored to recognize the generous support of alumni and friends through scholarships and fellowships. They are listed with our major gift donors, toward the bottom of the page.

Financial Aid at the Pratt School of Engineering

At the Pratt School of Engineering, our formula for success begins with attracting the best students. Support for financial aid, which enables so many students to attend Duke, is the most fundamental way to invest in tomorrow’s engineering leaders.

Thanks to a dedicated faculty and an innovative, hands-on curriculum, Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering offers a premier learning experience. But our vitality as a school comes from populating our programs with phenomenal students seeking to make the most out of the opportunities Duke provides.

Our continued ability to attract such bright and ambitious students—students with the intellect and drive to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges—depends on our ability to provide financial aid. We must offer aid packages that put a Duke engineering education within reach for talented undergraduates with demonstrated need. We also must offer fellowship support that allows us to successfully compete for the best graduate students to work with our faculty on cutting-edge research.

Alumni and friends who contribute to financial aid help strengthen Pratt’s position and help shape the future for countless students. Support for endowed scholarships, fellowships and summer stipends, as well as contributions to the Annual Fund, make all the difference in bringing outstanding students to Pratt.

Undergraduate Scholarships

To lead the way in engineering, we must lead the way in educational opportunity. Pratt’s undergraduate program has flourished in part because of Duke’s commitment to financial aid: We admit U.S. students without regard to their financial circumstances, and meet their full demonstrated financial need. This twin commitment has been key to our ability to attract a wide pool of talented, young problem-solvers who spur each other on to excellence today and who will become leaders in their professions and communities tomorrow.

But maintaining this successful stance is increasingly expensive. With Duke’s growing enrollment and increased demands from students applying for financial aid, university-wide, spending on need-based undergraduate aid has grown to more than $99 million.

We believe that sustaining Duke’s commitment to financial aid not only helps us to compete for the brightest minds, but is also the only honorable choice for an institution of higher education truly committed to educating future leaders. Your investment in financial aid endowment will help us embrace this ideal and make an enduring difference in the lives of students and their families for generations to come.

  • Your gift of $100,000 or more can create an unrestricted scholarship that enables outstanding engineering students to come to Duke
  • Your gift of $300,000 or more can create a restricted scholarship endowment, such as a fund that gives preference to engineering students from a particular region

Graduate Fellowships

Our graduate students are a force for innovation. At Duke Engineering, master’s and doctoral students not only benefit from an excellent education, but also make a profound contribution to the school. They advance the research enterprise, assist faculty, mentor undergraduates, and bring fresh perspectives to a wide range of conversations. Graduate students are also key to our ability to attract top faculty, who know these talented young people will be vital to their own scholarly success. Our challenge is that demand for skilled engineering talent is high, not only among top university graduate programs, but also from every branch of industry and from fields ranging from medicine to finance. We must encourage the most promising students to pursue an advanced engineering degree—and provide them with a good reason to choose Duke—by offering funding packages that compete with those offered by peer institutions.

  • Your gift of $100,000 or more can establish an endowed fellowship that supports engineering graduate students at the master’s or doctoral (PhD) level
  • Your gift of $300,000 or more can establish an endowed fellowship in one of Duke Engineering’s academic departments, such as Electrical & Computer Engineering


Duke’s professors are inspiring teachers, motivating mentors, and leading scholars and researchers. Recruiting and retaining renowned faculty is essential to maintaining Duke’s excellence. By supporting outstanding faculty, alumni and friends help ensure that the university’s professors are true leaders in their fields and that our students receive a relevant and top-quality education.

The Pratt School of Engineering is honored to recognize the generous support of alumni and friends through endowed professorships. You can see a list of current professorships and faculty recipients on our major gift donors webpage.

Program Support

Experiential Education

Today, hands-on experience defines a Duke Engineering education from Day One. Our first-year electrical and computer engineers, for instance, build autonomous robots that can sniff out bad food in a refrigerator or measure how much energy is being produced by solar panels on Duke’s SmartHome.

Our students have an appetite for project-based learning and service above and beyond their standard coursework. In fact, nearly 95 percent of our students have had an intensive research experience or industry internship, or have participated in one of our extracurricular programs before graduation.

Nearly 95 percent of our students participate in a research experience, internship, or extracurricular program before graduation

These experiences which include senior capstone and engineering design courses, as well as projects associated with DukEngage, Duke Engineers for International Development (DEID), the PhD Enhancement Program, Engineering World Health and Pratt Research Fellows are all designed to provide meaningful ways for students to apply their technical knowledge and problem-solving skills in making a difference in the lives of others.

Private support for problem-focused programs like these can help stroke both the intellectual and entrepreneurial curiosity of our students. 

  • Your gift of $100,000 or more can endow support for innovative educational offerings that provide entrepreneurial guidance as well as hands-on experiences that have come to define a Duke engineering education.

Stipends and Internships

Experience is often the best teacher. That’s why the focus of coursework at Pratt is hands-on and applied—and why we encourage our undergraduates and professional master’s students to take advantage of many opportunities outside the classroom.

Internships, research projects, and other immersions bring our students face-to-face with real-world challenges and help them develop the skills they’ll need to be successful in their chosen fields. Unfortunately, many of the most valuable research or internship opportunities—particularly those with startup companies or nonprofits—are unpaid, making them an impossible choice for students who can’t afford to cover their living expenses.

Stipends put learning experiences within reach

Stipends help put these learning experiences within reach and provides students with the chance to put their passions and knowledge to work. At the doctoral level, research stipends and support for professional development are critical as well. Such funds can support attendance at professional conferences, cover travel to connect students with researchers at other sites, or enable students to spend their summers focusing intensely on their projects.

Private support for stipends can give students at all levels the chance to dive into some of the most intensely rewarding projects and experiences of their time at Duke Engineering—projects that will also set our students apart as they compete for professional opportunities early in their careers.

  • Your gift of $100,000 or more can establish an endowment that can deeply enrich the education of students at all levels, providing stipends that enable them to pursue research, internships, and professional development opportunities.