• Nora Sun

Tags: Duke

Institution: Duke University

Study: Major in neuroscience and music

High School Experience

My high school was a fairly large school with over 500 students in my graduating class. I enjoyed the opportunity this provided to participate in a variety of clubs because students were allowed to form their own clubs based on their interests. I particularly found a home in the performing arts programs with choir and the school musicals.

Course choices

Throughout High School, I was interested in science and the arts and this lead me to take 5 science classes and 6 classes in the performing arts.


I took AP Earth Science (Got a 5 on AP exam), AP English Language and Composition (4), AP English Literature and Composition (don't know yet), AP Calculus AB (5), AP Calc BC (don't know yet), AP US History (4), AP Physics 1 (5), AP Psychology (don't know yet), AP Music Theory (don't know yet), AP Computer Science Principles (don't know), and AP Biology (don't know).


4.5217 weighted, 4.0 unweighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1550

ACT: 35

SAT Physics: 720

SAT Math 2: 750


I participated in the school musicals (4yrs). I also participated in key club (4yrs), National Honor Society (2yrs), Hispanic Honor Society (1yr), National Science Honor Society (1yr), and Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society (3yrs). I was the historian and service chair for Tri-M Music Honor Society. I also took dance, guitar, and voice lessons outside of school. I participated in choir as a class and a club


My math teacher and Mu Alpha Theta club sponsor wrote one of my recommendations. My English teacher wrote a recommendation. My counselor wrote me a recommendation, but I connected with her more once she started to help me with finding scholarships. My choir teach wrote me a supplemental recommendation about my leadership skills.


My common app essay was about an obstacle I faced and how I overcame it. I included my love for music in the essay, and I focused on optimism. I focused on leadership, passion, service, and optimism in most of my essays.


I think my demonstration of leadership through raising $20,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society made me a strong application as well as my clear dedication to my passion for music. I also think colleges were intrigued by my future path of study, neuroscience and music.


I would tell others to think about what they truly care about and invest their time in that area. Don't try to be someone you're not. College admissions want to see who you truly are, and if you invest your time in something you truly care about, you will make lasting memories and impact that you will be able to talk about.




I chose Duke University because of its encouragement in enabling its students to pursue multiple fields. The university was very supportive of double majors. I also felt like I belonged on campus and was comfortable with the proximity to my hometown. I also loved all of the opportunities for research and academic experiences, such as service learning, collaborative arts projects, and studying at the Duke Hospital and Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.


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