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DU Freshman Class Is Among Best Academically Prepared, Most Diverse

As classes start today at Duquesne University, the campus welcomes one of its best academically prepared and most ethnically diverse freshman classes.

“Our entering freshman class is one of the best academically prepared in our 132-year history,” said Paul-James Cukanna, associate vice president for enrollment management and director of admissions. “And I believe it to be the most ethnically diverse ever.”

In 2008, in preparation for the new strategic plan, Cukanna said that President Charles J. Dougherty challenged the admissions team to increase diversity within the freshman class. “Since that point in time, we have increased minority freshman enrollment by more than 30 percent,” he said.

The incoming class of more than 1,430 freshmen is among the five largest to enter Duquesne. More than 97 percent of this class reported the University as their first or second choice for higher education.

“That’s a powerful statistic, given the competition regionally and nationally for academically talented and motivated students,” explained Cukanna. “Our freshmen reported that their primary reasons for choosing Duquesne were the programs of study, its urban location, academic reputation and size.”

While the majority of this class hails from Pennsylvania and contiguous states, students in the group represent more than 30 states and approximately 15 countries. In addition, approximately 25 percent of this year’s freshmen are Duquesne legacies, whose relatives have attended the University.

The schools that are experiencing the greatest increase in freshman enrollment this fall include:

  • music, with a more than 40 percent increase
  • nursing, with a 40 percent increase
  • pharmacy with a nearly 14 percent increase
  • health sciences, with a more than 12 percent increase
  • education, with a nearly nine percent increase.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.