Living in Durham


Located in the center of North Carolina between beautiful mountains and sunny beaches, Durham offers the best of city, suburban, and rural living. Here, you can find a bustling downtown area, convenient suburban shopping, and the serenity of Duke Forest. The Raleigh-Durham area is home to more than 1.3 million people and is one of only seven Google Tech Hubs in North America, yet the city has kept its laid-back, small-town feel.

We’re not the only ones who think Durham is special — below are a few of Durham’s most recent accolades:

Formerly a tobacco and textiles town, Durham has transformed into a global economic player driven by knowledge-based enterprises—including everything from software and information technology to film and TV production. Durham is home to the Research Triangle Park, which houses more than 250 companies, from Fortune 100 multinational corporations to innovative start-ups. Having employers like Cisco, Dupont, Fidelity, and IBM close by enables us to bring influential local speakers to campus, connect student clubs with business representatives, and tap nearly 2,500 local Fuqua alumni as mentors for students.
Durham is an eclectic city, with a diverse mix of historical and cultural places, offbeat shopping, sports venues, arts festivals, music events, houses of worship, and great restaurants. Known for everything from laid-back Carolina BBQ joints to charming donut shops and trendy microbreweries, Durham was voted America’s foodiest small town by Bon Appetit.
The Durham-Raleigh International Airport is only 20 mins away from downtown Durham and the campus. Within just a few hours’ drive from campus are the Blue Ridge Mountains for hiking and mountain activities, the Atlantic coast for beaches and water sports, or the NC Sandhills area for championship golf. Washington D.C., is just 4 hours by car. As for planes, you can hop on a 1-hour flight to New York City or a direct flight to London.

Campus Life at Duke Durham

Life on this beautiful campus is unique. Brimming with a diverse culture that includes students, faculty, staff, and their families, there is a strong sense of camaraderie here.

The Duke campus rests within the serenity of the Duke Forest, a living ecological laboratory and refuge for a variety of plant and animal species.

There’s always plenty to do on campus — there are more than 400 university student groups, and you’re just a five-minute walk to the legendary Cameron Indoor Stadium — hallowed ground for Duke basketball fans.

Duke Durham Campus Basketball

Visit the Duke Chapel, an iconic symbol of the university with its Gothic architecture and stained glass windows, or explore Sarah P. Duke Gardens and its 5 miles of walkways. At the Nasher Museum of Art, see some of today’s best contemporary art, with a focus on work by artists of African descent. And at the Duke Lemur Center, visit the world’s largest colony of endangered primates.

Housing in Durham

It’s easy to make your home here. In fact, the Durham area is touted as one of the best places to live in the country, partly because of its affordable standard of living. While housing options are plentiful in Durham, there is limited graduate student housing on Duke’s campus, so graduate students typically find off-campus housing. Near campus, there are many student apartments that offer 6-month leases.

If you need help with finding housing, you can ask the program staff and alumni. They’re a great source of information. You can also connect with your classmates before your program starts. Finding a good roommate can be the first step to finding housing!