Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering admits 12 students from DKU’s first undergraduate class | Duke Kunshan University

Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering admits 12 students from DKU’s first undergraduate class

December 16, 2021

By DKU Staff

The Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University has made early admission offers to all 12 students from Duke Kunshan’s Class of 2022 who applied through a fast-track application process.

Master’s programs at elite universities in the United States typically announce admissions offers in the spring. However, the Pratt School of Engineering created a tailored pathway for applicants from Duke Kunshan, allowing them to apply and receive decisions earlier. Although faster, the pathway is just as rigorous and as highly selective as the standard application process.

The Duke Kunshan seniors have been accepted to Duke Engineering master’s programs in financial technology, electrical and computer engineering (ECE), biomedical engineering (BME), artificial intelligence and product innovation, engineering management, and environmental engineering.

“The Office of Undergraduate Studies worked closely with DKU’s graduate programs and Duke Engineering to organize the early admissions process for these well-deserving students,” said Jason Gainous, associate dean of undergraduate students and one of the leaders of Pathways to Success, a program that guides Duke Kunshan seniors in planning and preparing for life after graduation.

Gainous said the fact the Pratt School of Engineering accepted every Duke Kunshan undergraduate who applied through the early admission program this year is a testament to the solid professional foundation and rich research experience provided by DKU’s distinct liberal arts and sciences education. “Our team is so proud of these students’ accomplishments,” he said. “We’re thrilled that the Pathways to Success program was able to help them along the way.”

“The Early Admission Pathway is a great example of the collaborative relationship between Duke University and Duke Kunshan University that mutually benefits the schools and our students,” said Brad Fox, associate dean of master’s programs at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University.

“The applicants from Duke Kunshan University’s inaugural undergraduate class have both strong interdisciplinary expertise in the field of engineering and extensive research and practical work experience, as well as cross-cultural communication and collaboration skills, which very much meet the admission standards of the Pratt School of Engineering. I look forward to seeing the students' success in their studies, and their contributions towards addressing global challenges and creating a better world together.”

Founded in 1939, the Pratt School of Engineering is a cornerstone of Duke and counts among its faculty 9 members of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The Academy has also inducted 25 Duke Engineering alumni. Academic Analytics ranks the school No. 3 in the U.S. for faculty scholarly productivity in computer engineering, and 11th in electrical engineering.

Duke Kunshan senior Runya Liu has received scholarship offers from two Duke Engineering programs: ECE, and artificial intelligence and product innovation. An applied mathematics and computational science major, she studied humanities at high school and explored philosophy during her first two years at university.


Runya Liu in the laboratory

“I wouldn’t have gotten these two offers without the interdisciplinary education offered at DKU, which encouraged me to constantly push myself out of my comfort zone,” Liu said. “Though I specialized in humanities at high school, I started taking math courses at DKU, and I began to enjoy the challenging yet rewarding learning experience. I eventually switched my major to math in my junior year.”

Data science major Zi’ang Zhou also received an offer to join Pratt’s ECE program. He said, “I believe this happy news will make other DKU students feel more confident about applying to their dream master’s or doctoral programs.”


Ziang Zhou on Duke campus

Xin Li, dean of graduate studies at Duke Kunshan and a professor in Duke’s ECE Department, said, “DKU’s graduate programs work closely with the undergraduate program to develop deep linkages across student career development, academic programs, research, and faculty recruitment, creating opportunities for undergraduates to learn both advanced research practices and essential workplace skills. It has been great to see these 12 DKU students benefit from this approach and gain admission to the Pratt School of Engineering.”

Luke Li, dean of China enrollment management and acting director of the Office of Career Services at Duke Kunshan, said, “A key feature of DKU’s undergraduate education is that students are encouraged to explore new interests. Our international faculty, intimate and interactive classes, and varied research opportunities provide students with the tools to master professional skills and enhance their problem-solving abilities. We are pleased to see that Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering has recognized the results of our student development, and we are confident in the future of our inaugural class.”