Duke University Admissions

Duke University Admissions

Designing the journey for the ideal Blue Devils 

For students with limitless potential, answers can’t come from just checking boxes. 

As a top-ranked school, Duke University always attracts brilliant students, but there’s something that unifies and connects them which goes beyond acumen and transcends demographics—an action-first mindset. 

Duke standouts succeed because of their desire to exceed expectations, and not just through individual achievement, but through radical collaboration. So, when Duke came to us wanting to revitalize their admissions experience to make Duke a first choice for students like this, we knew right where to start. 

Building UX around a mindset 

Students don’t remain in the same headspace from start to finish of an admissions journey. Along the way they’re looking to answer specific questions, things like “Is this school a good fit?” “What will life be like here?” or even “Does this school care about me?”.  

We mapped our content and UX strategies to student mindsets. This allowed us to remove friction from the process by serving students the answers they were naturally looking for at each step.

Turning Edifices to Faces 

To accurately answer some of those mindset-driven questions, we needed to rethink the look and feel of the admissions experience. Duke’s previous materials oversampled on images of the campus and their iconic buildings.  

For questions like “What are Duke students like?” we needed to put people front and center. And not just happy, well-balanced students, but students at work and at play—showcasing the uniquely collaborative and team-oriented life that Duke offers to students. 

Crafting a distinctively Duke experience 

Students who find themselves naturally drawn to Duke often identify with a sense of service—a hope that they can leave the world better than they found it. Throughout our revitalized journey, we tailored our messaging and hard-working content to speak to prospective students who desired more than anything to be somewhere they felt they could have a meaningful impact.  

Messages like the new admissions page headline, “How many lives can you live in four years?” serve as guiding light for the kind of students that find their ideal home at Duke.

What we did

  • Digital strategy
  • Collateral
  • Digital design
  • Website

How it worked


increase in early decision applicants.