School v. School: UNC Kenan-Flagler vs. Duke Fuqua School of Business

UNC vs Duke

The MBA application process is not for the faint of heart. Elite programs have increasingly required applicants to follow paths unique to their schools, which makes the process of narrowing down the options to find the right fit even more essential. Our School v. School series saves you the headache by offering a point-by-point comparison of two stand-out programs located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle: UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business and Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Read below to find out how the intense UNC vs Duke rivalry shakes down when it comes to business schools.

UNC Kenan-Flagler School of Business

Located in Chapel Hill, the Kenan-Flagler School of Business enrolls around 550 MBA students. The full-time MBA student body is just over 270, which features 28 percent female students, 14 percent U.S. minority students, and 22 percent international students.

Image result for unc kenan flagler campus

UNC Kenan-Flagler enrolls around 550 students in all of its MBA programs.

Kenan-Flagler MBA Programs

Ranking 19th overall in U.S. News & World Report, Kenan-Flagler boasts five international campuses and a wide spectrum of options in its business education:

  • Traditional full-time MBA
  • Online MBA
  • Evening and weekend MBAs
  • Global MBA
  • Executive MBA
  • Masters in Accounting
  • Ph.D. program
  • Several business certificate and non-degree executive education programs

Why UNC Kenan-Flagler?

  • Live simulation, business partnerships and real-world business programs are “woven in to the fabric of the UNC Kenan-Flagler culture and curriculum.”
  • OneMBA—Kenan-Flagler’s Global MBA—offers the opportunity to attend universities around the world, with the majority of the program’s participants based abroad.
  • MBA Case Competitions, where students “compete to solve ‘real world’ business problems,” are described by the school as “the varsity sport of MBA programs.”
  • With a 94 percent job offer rate, a 92 percent job acceptance rate, and a $120,000 median starting salary, Kenan-Flagler’s ROI is fairly obvious.
  • The MBA@UNC program is the highest-ranked Online MBA in the U.S., according to U.S. News. Duke Fuqua does not offer any online MBA program.

What’s Missing?

  • The diversity of Kenan-Flagler student body is far outmatched by that of Duke Fuqua.
  • Students looking for an MBA located in a major city may be disappointed.

UNC Kenan-Flagler vs. Duke Fuqua: Rankings

PublicationUNC Kenan-FlaglerDuke Fuqua
U.S. News & World Report 1911
The Economist (Global)3015
Financial Times (Global)5219
Bloomberg Businessweek2616

Duke Fuqua School of Business

Headquartered in Durham, Duke Fuqua School of Business has a total student body of just over 880 with a full-time MBA class size of 440. The class of 2020 features 42 percent female students, 30 percent U.S. minority students, and 38 percent internationals.

Image result for duke fuqua campus

The MBA student body at Duke Fuqua is slightly smaller than UNC, enrolling around 440 students.

Duke Fuqua MBA Programs

Duke Fuqua ranks well above Kenan-Flagler at 11th overall in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Business Schools” ranking, and lands in the top 25 best MBA programs for all five of the major rankings. Fuqua offers a wide array of MBA programs. These include a traditional full-time MBA, two Executive MBAs, several certificate programs and several joint degree paths through Duke Kunshan University.

Why Duke Fuqua?

  • Duke Fuqua’s Daytime MBA offers a high degree of customization, a diverse student body, over 60 student-led clubs, and real-world learning opportunities.
  • The Career Management Center welcomes over 200 companies to campus each year, and recent MBA graduates consistently rank among the highest base salary recipients.
  • ‘Team Fuqua,’ the name of the school’s active alumni network, helps students engage the “firehose” of opportunities outside the classroom.

What’s Missing?

  • Despite the high average base salary of $122,98, with an 87 percent employment rate at the time of graduation, the short-term ROI of Duke Fuqua’s full-time MBA looks slightly less than Kenan-Flagler’s.
  • While Fuqua prioritizes global focus in its curriculum and offerings, it doesn’t quite have the international academic presence of Kenan-Flagler.
  • No Online MBA option.

UNC Kenan-Flagler vs. Duke Fuqua: The Cost

Full-Time MBA CostsKenan-Flagler School of BusinessDuke Fuqua School of Business
Annual Tuition$58,138$66,665
Estimated Total Cost$110,313$158,000

Both schools offer a variety of paths to an elite business education. When it comes to rankings and base salary, Duke Fuqua stands taller than UNC Kenan-Flagler. However, the immediate ROI, cost, and global access of Kenan-Flagler set it apart from Duke Fuqua. To dig deeper into the UNC vs Duke MBA battle, be sure to check out course offerings at both Kenan-Flagler and Duke Fuqua.

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About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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