Scott Edinburgh
July 16, 2021

Duke MBA Application Deadlines and Essay Advice: 2021-2022


Duke Fuqua has confirmed its essay questions for 2021-2022 MBA hopefuls. Both required essays have remained the same this year, though the word count has increased for the second essay.

For those interested in applying to Duke Fuqua, the school offers an early action deadline, along with three regular rounds.

The Duke MBA Application Deadlines Are:

Early Action: September 2, 2021

Round 1: October 11, 2021

Round 2: January 5, 2022

Round 3: March 24, 2022

Please see below for Personal MBA Coach’s tips on how to answer the Duke MBA essays.

Personal MBA Coach’s Duke MBA Essay Tips:

In addition to a required short answer question: What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first choice career plan and your alternate plan, Duke asks applicants to answer two essay questions.

Essay 1: 25 Random Things About Yourself

The ‘Team Fuqua’ spirit and community is one of the things that sets the MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. Please share with us “25 Random Things” about you. The Admissions Committee wants to get to know YOU – beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. Share with us important life experiences, your hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are.

 Your list will be limited to 2 pages (750 words maximum). Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be brief, while others may be longer.

With this first Duke MBA essay, be yourself and have fun. The majority of this essay should be personal, including hobbies, passions and interesting facts. These facts do not need to be formal. This is your chance to show how you are unique.

There are no wrong answers here, but Personal MBA Coach advises that clients limit repetition and do not include a lot of professional details.

Check out these examples from Duke to get some additional inspiration!


Essay 2: The Fuqua Community and You

Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and to the development of leaders. Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, what are 3 ways you expect to contribute at Fuqua?

Your response will be limited to 1 page (500 words maximum).

For this Duke MBA essay, pick only THREE things.

An ideal answer will show that you are a well-rounded and engaged citizen and will act this way as well once you get on campus. They want to see that you did your research and really know why you want to go to Duke and how you will improve the community.

You should include a mix of what you have done in the past AND specifically how you will be active on campus. In addition to discussing the Fuqua culture, you should specifically mention how you will be involved on campus.

Name specific clubs you might join, programs you hope to establish and/or ways you would like to become involved in the broader community. Despite the fact that Duke Fuqua shortened this essay, it is particularly important to Fuqua that candidates have clearly thought through their unique roles on campus, so be sure to devote plenty of time to research for this essay!

duke-mba-essaysOptional essay: Tell us more

If you feel there are circumstances of which the admissions committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance). Note that you should NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area. The Optional Information section is intended to provide the admissions committee with insight into your circumstances only.

Instructions: Your response will be limited to 1 page (500 words maximum).

Duke Fuqua also has an optional essay. However, DO NOT feel compelled to answer this application essay. In most instances, Personal MBA Coach advises candidates only with extenuating circumstances (i.e., low GPAs or gaps in employment) to provide additional information here.

About Personal MBA Coach:

Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach has been guiding clients for 14 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading sources including Poets&Quants.

We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing and mock interviews. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and former M7 admissions interviewers.

Last year, our clients earned more than $6.5M in scholarships!