Duke Kunshan University

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Duke Kunshan University
DKU Logo whitebackdrop.jpg
Established 2013[1]
Chancellor Liu Jingnan
Executive Vice Chancellor Denis Simon
Location Kunshan, Jiangsu, China
Affiliations AALAU, Duke University, Wuhan University
Website dukekunshan.edu.cn

Duke Kunshan University is a Chinese-American partnership of Duke University (Durham, North Carolina, United States) and Wuhan University (Wuhan, Hubei, China) to create a liberal arts and research university offering academic programs for students from China and throughout the world.[2] DKU received approval from the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2013 and its curricula is also approved by the Jiangsu Provincial Education Bureau.

Students have the opportunity to study at both the DKU campus in Kunshan, China and at Duke University in Durham, United States. Undergraduate students spend a semester on the Duke University campus and are conferred degrees from both institutions.

Both Duke University and Wuhan University have been recognized in the top ten in respective national rankings.[3][4] The universities collaborate on academic programs and administration for Duke Kunshan University, while the city of Kunshan agreed to lease land for the DKU campus at no cost for 10 years and funded the construction of the US$200 million campus buildings.

In 2018, DKU placed 5th out of 9 institutions in a ranking of the best foreign-domestic partnership universities in China.[citation needed]

Administration and organization[edit]

Duke Kunshan University is governed by an independent Board of Trustees.[5]

Liu Jingnan, the Chancellor of Duke Kunshan University, is the former president of Wuhan University and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Denis Simon, Executive Vice Chancellor, is an expert on U.S.-China bilateral science and technology relations and a member of the U.S. Experts Group within the U.S.-China Innovation Dialogue.

Haiyan Gao, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Duke Kunshan University, is also the Henry Newson professor of physics at Duke University.


Undergraduate admissions[edit]

Duke Kunshan University admitted its first undergraduate students as part of the Class of 2022. Significantly exceeding its original target of 1,500 applicants, the university received a total of 3,143 applications for an estimated 225 first-year spots, including 2,551 applications from China and 332 from the United States. There were 80 countries represented in the applicant pool, including Kazakhstan, South Korea, Pakistan, and Ethiopia.[6]

In March 2018, DKU admitted 251 students, or 7.98% of its inaugural applicant pool, a selectivity similar to the 8.3% acceptance rate at Duke University.[7]

Chinese students applying to DKU are required to take the gaokao, the national college entrance exam of the People's Republic of China. The gaokao enables students to list Duke Kunshan University as one of their college choices. International students, including those from the United States, submit transcripts, SAT or ACT standardized test scores, and application essays.[6]

Duke Kunshan University has planned to expand each undergraduate class to 500 students, for a total of 2,000 undergraduates.[6]

Academic programs[edit]

Duke Kunshan University has signed legally binding agreements with Education Ministry of China that guaranteed academic freedom on campus.[8]

The university began enrolling graduate students in 2014. It offers Master's programs in Medical Physics, Global Health, Environmental Policy and Management Studies.

In 2018, DKU began enrolling undergraduate students for the Class of 2022, with an initial class size of roughly 225 students. Each undergraduate major consists of an interdisciplinary set of courses that integrate different forms of knowledge and a distinct set of disciplinary courses that provide expertise in specific areas.

Current undergraduate programs include:

Natural Sciences

  • Material Science/Physics
  • Environmental Science/Chemistry
  • Global Health/Biology
  • Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences/Math
  • Data Science

Social Sciences

  • Political Economy/Political Science
  • Institutions and Governance/Economics
  • Cultures and Movements (with tracks)
    • Sociology
    • Cultural Anthropology
  • Global Health/Public Policy
  • Environmental Science/Public Policy

Arts and Humanities

  • US Studies (with tracks)
    • History
    • Literature
  • Ethics and Leadership (with tracks)
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
  • Global China Studies/History
  • Global Cultural Studies/Literature
  • Media and Arts (with tracks)
    • Creative Practice
    • History

Current graduate programs include:

  • Master of Environmental Policy
  • Master of Science in Medical Physics
  • Master of Science in Global Health
  • Master of Management Studies

In 2017, Duke Kunshan University selected PeopleSoft's Campus Solutions to manage its student records and transactions and Oracle Student Cloud to support student recruitment, enrollment and engagement.[9]


Panorama of the central business district of Kunshan, Jiangsu, China

Duke Kunshan is located in a 200-acre campus in Kunshan, a city in Jiangsu province. Kunshan itself is located in close proximity to Shanghai and Suzhou, two of the largest metropolitan areas in China.[10]

As part of the partnership between Duke University, Wuhan University, and the city of Kunshan, the municipal government has leased the Duke Kunshan University campus to the university at no cost for the first ten years as well as paying for construction of the buildings.[11]

Research centers[edit]


  • International Meteorite Conference, Meteorite China - Duke Kunshan University hosted China's first-ever international meteorite conference on 15 September 2017. Over 80 scientists from China, the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Russia met at the three-day event. Enthusiasts and meteorite collectors also participated in the conference.[13]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

31°25′3.67″N 120°53′35.96″E / 31.4176861°N 120.8933222°E / 31.4176861; 120.8933222Coordinates: 31°25′3.67″N 120°53′35.96″E / 31.4176861°N 120.8933222°E / 31.4176861; 120.8933222