Introduction to Duke Kunshan University (DKU)

Duke Kunshan University (DKU) is a Sino-American partnership of Duke University and Wuhan University aiming to create a world-class liberal arts and research university which will offer a range of academic programs for students from China and throughout the world. A non-profit, joint-venture institution, Duke Kunshan University was granted accreditation approval by China’s Ministry of Education in September 2013 and welcomed its inaugural class of students in August 2014.

About Duke Kunshan University

With the goal of spearheading the future of higher education, Duke Kunshan University is influenced and informed by both Chinese and American traditions of higher education. The shared vision of Duke University and Wuhan University is that Duke Kunshan will help address the changing needs of global higher education. Their rich heritage inspires Duke Kunshan University to pursue academic excellence and integrity and to apply classroom knowledge in service to society. Duke Kunshan University delivers academic programs designed to address society’s future needs through a curriculum based in the liberal arts tradition and a commitment to problem-based learning that challenges students to apply their knowledge during the learning process.

As an international, intellectual community that encourages diversity, openness and creative learning, Duke Kunshan University welcomes outstanding students and faculty from around the world who contribute diverse perspectives and experiences to this global learning environment. The university’s innovative academic programs inspire students to master academically rigorous coursework, generate new ideas and develop creative solutions to the world’s challenges, preparing them not just for careers in specific fields, but to become globally sophisticated leaders and citizens.

Duke Kunshan University is governed by an independent Board of Trustees and operates under a set of guiding principles that are consistent with those of world-leading universities. Duke Kunshan University is a place for learning, living and growing, in a setting that encourages the pursuit of knowledge within and beyond the classroom.

About Kunshan

The city of Kunshan lies in the heart of the Yangtze River Delta Region, one of the most developed areas in China. Bordering Shanghai, a large international metropolis, to its east and Suzhou, one of the country’s most renowned cultural and historical cities, to its west, Kunshan is an emerging industrial and commercial city with a history dating back more than 2000 years. As an important county-level city in the southeastern part of Jiangsu province, Kunshan occupies an area of 931 square kilometers (359 square miles), one-quarter of which is covered by lakes and rivers. Its superior natural and urban living environment have attracted people from all over the world to live and work in Kunshan.

Widely considered as a successful model for China’s social and economic development, Kunshan has won many titles, including the top of Chinese Mainland’s Best County-level Cities by Forbes China for seven consecutive years and the 2010 UN-Habitat Scroll of Honor Award. Three state-level development zones, two provincial-level development zones, and its eight townships have attracted a number of Fortune 500 companies and other leading enterprises to Kunshan.

Kunshan’s rapid social and economic development has spurred the development of recreational, dining and lifestyle offerings attractive to longtime residents and newcomers alike. Local residents have equal access to the best urban infrastructure and amenities, including large shopping malls, state-of-the-art cultural and sports facilities, open cultural and natural parks, and public transportation.

Rapid advancement in rail traffic has brought Kunshan people much closer to its surrounding areas: the high-speed train reaches Shanghai and Suzhou within 20 minutes; Shanghai’s No.11 subway has already extended to Kunshan’s Huaqiao area, and a future Kunshan subway will connect with Suzhou as well. In addition, the city’s convenient bike rental system provides quick and easy access to high-quality bicycles located throughout the city. With just a swipe of your card, you’ll be on your way to exploring all that this beautiful city has to offer.


The 200-acre campus site is within the Kunshan Yangcheng Lake Science Park and features state-of-the-art classroom and meeting facilities, library resources, student and faculty housing and dining space, and recreational facilities. Multi-purpose meeting spaces, breakout rooms, and study areas allow students to work individually or in groups to review course material, complete assignments, and participate in the vibrant, intellectual life of the campus.

With a residential culture modeled after the world’s greatest universities, the Duke Kunshan University campus environment encourages the exchange of ideas and continuous learning and growth in the classroom and beyond.

The campus blends traditional Chinese elements with advanced educational technology in a spacious, modern setting.  Extensive aquatic elements, including an aquatic quadrangle at the center of campus, symbolize the region’s famous water towns and are integrated throughout the campus while leading information technology and Telepresence systems provide instant connections to colleagues and classmates around the world.

Located within the Kunshan Yangcheng Lake Science Park, the first phase of the DKU campus includes classroom and research spaces, student and faculty residences, dining facilities, an executive conference center, and recreation and leisure spaces.

Designed by the internationally renowned architect, Gensler, the campus seeks to be a model of sustainable development, reflective of the natural and cultural context of the Jiangnan region.

  • Native Wetlands: The 201-acre site has a high water table, so designers elected to preserve 40 acres as community gardens—much in the way that Duke’s original campus in Durham is carefully nested into a forest. As the Durham campus is noted for its Sarah P. Duke Gardens, the Kunshan campus highlights its regional geography by featuring landscaped gardens, wetlands and waterways.
  • Energy Efficiency: The campus design’s use of daylight, solar shading, passive cooling, and natural flood control is informed by centuries of experience dealing with the opportunities and challenges of Kunshan’s climate and terrain.
  • A Walkable Campus: Roadways are on the perimeter to create a pedestrian-friendly central campus with walking paths and bridges connecting the buildings to one another.
  • Regional Connections: Kunshan’s location between Shanghai and Suzhou allows easy access to these major metropolitan centers by highways and high-speed railway.

Duke Kunshan Campus Map

DKU Scholarships

Duke Kunshan University is committed to enrolling a highly talented, diverse and international student body. Scholarship support is available to help achieve these goals and we are dedicated to providing full or partial scholarships to students who need financial support.

C.A.N. Achievement Scholarship

Duke Kunshan offers full-tuition scholarships, half-tuition scholarships and quarter-tuition scholarships for excellent undergraduate students from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau, including Chinese citizens and internationals who are seeking a Chinese undergraduate degree in China.


  • The full-tuition scholarship is 24,400 RMB
  • The half-tuition scholarship is 12,200 RMB
  • The quarter tuition scholarship is 6,100 RMB

Kunshan Innovation Scholarship

In an effort to seek out bright, creative and resourceful young innovators and change agents, Duke Kunshan University is pleased to offer 10 full-tuition scholarships for Duke University undergraduates and qualified students from other accredited undergraduate institutions in the United States to participate in the Global Learning Semester program at Duke Kunshan University during the Spring 2018 or the Fall 2018 semesters.

Blair Sheppard Leadership Scholarship

The scholarship aims to cultivate the next generation of global business leaders. All Master of Management Studies (MMS) program applicants are considered for the Blair Sheppard Leadership scholarship, with preference given to female students from developing countries.

China Construction Bank Scholarship

Aiming at cultivating the next generation of global health leaders, the scholarship is available for students who are admitted to Global Health program and who demonstrate outstanding academic and leadership potentials. All Global Health program applicants are automatically considered for scholarships.

Gao Xiqing & Wang Jian Medical Physics Scholarship

The scholarship is available for outstanding international students who are admitted to or currently enrolled in the Medical Physics program.

Wang Jian & Gao Xiqing Global Health Scholarship

The scholarship is available for outstanding students who are admitted to and currently enrolled in the Global Health program.

Guo Tingting Scholarship

All Graduate program applicants from developing countries demonstrating financial difficulties will be considered for the scholarship, with preferences given to students from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Chancellors’ Scholarship

In honor of Liu Jingnan and Mary Bullock, Duke Kunshan University’s inaugural Chancellor and inaugural Executive Vice Chancellor, the scholarship is named “Chancellors’ Scholarship” and is the highest honor for incoming Duke Kunshan University students.

The Chancellors’ Scholarship is awarded in recognition of demonstrated academic achievement, leadership and overall potential. The scholarship will be awarded to one top incoming student in each degree program and can be awarded in conjunction with other types of merit-based and need-based scholarships.

Bayeco Environment Fellowship

The scholarship aims at cultivating the next generation of global environmental leaders. The scholarship is available for students who are admitted to the international Master of Environmental Policy (iMEP) program, both from China and internationally.

Jasmine Jiangsu Government Scholarship

The Jiangsu Provincial Government has set up the “Jasmine Jiangsu Government Scholarship” for international students. At Duke Kunshan University, this scholarship will be provided to those excellent international graduate students.

Campus Life

A variety of clubs are available to serve the diverse needs of Duke Kunshan’s student body. Students are even encouraged to create their own clubs. All clubs receive guidance and support from the Student Affairs Office.

Building on the tradition of athletic excellence at Duke University, Duke Kunshan offers students access to brand new sports and fitness facilities, as well as a chance to participate on competitive varsity teams.

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