Medical and other health professions schools are looking not only for their next cohort of students but also for their future colleagues. They will look for professionalism throughout your time at Duke and at every stage of your application. This expectation also applies to businesses where you may apply for an internship, scholarship programs, shadowing opportunities, research programs, and individuals you may contact during your life at Duke and after. This is the time to develop good habits:

  • Be kind, courteous and respectful with everyone you interact with. 
  • Address instructors, administrators, advisors, staff and others by their formal title (Dr./Ms./Mr./Professor) and their last name unless told otherwise. If you are unsure, most Duke faculty and instructors can be addressed by Dr. or Professor. You can also enter a name in the search box at; that will bring up contact information which will include a job title and often higher degrees.
  • Never use slang, vulgarity, swearing, disrespectful or inappropriate language in communications.
  • Do include your full name and contact information (and sometimes graduation date and major) at the end of emails. 
  • Set your ringtone and voicemail so they are friendly and professional to anyone who calls, whether it is faculty, an internship coordinator or someone on an admissions committee.
  • Be careful what appears on social media. Health professions schools, businesses and others may check social media. Be sure that photos, posts, and comments are appropriate. 

Student Conduct

You have a responsibility to yourself and others in the Duke community in the way in which you live, work, and study. It is expected that you will adhere to the Duke Community Standard: Duke University is a community dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service and to the   principles of honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability. Citizens of this community commit to reflect upon and uphold these principles in all academic and nonacademic endeavors, and to protect and promote a culture of integrity. To uphold the Duke Community Standard:

  • I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors;
  • I will conduct myself honorably in all my endeavors; and
  • I will act if the Standard is compromised.

When you apply to a health professions school, they will require you to disclose if you have been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, dismissed for unacceptable academic performance, suspended or placed on probation for student conduct, or the subject of any institutional action for conduct violations.

Using a fake ID, drinking under age, drunk driving, plagiarism, conduct issues in dorms, marijuana and drug use can all make your admission more difficult. Medical schools expect good judgment, honesty and integrity in applicants, beginning with your first day at Duke. Be careful. Think about your behavior at Duke and away. Don't let a momentary lapse in judgment affect your life goals.

If you will have a conduct violation on your record, discuss your situation with Alyssa Perz, Mary-Charles Horn, Brittany Morhac, or Robert Jones in the Health Professions Advising Office and see what they advise. 

As you begin to prepare to apply please see more information in Conduct Violations.