• Nora Sun

Tags: Duke

Institution: Duke University

Study: Major in biomedical engineering

High School Experience

What set high school apart from all of my previous schooling before it was all of the options I had to choose my path in the school and the clear focus that came with prepping for college. My school had endless class choices that allowed me to explore avenues of interest such as Engineering and Anatomy and Physiology that I wouldn’t have had access to at a smaller school. I feel this really helped me when making a decision about my future career goals. High school is also when each choice became an impact on my future college career as well. Choosing clubs that I could make an impact in and classes that would set me up for success in college became a priority. It would most certainly be an incomplete description if I left performing arts out of my high school experience. Whether singing in chorus or performing in the school musicals, the performing arts program was the way that I made some of my closest connections, relieved stress, and represented my school

Course choices

My favorite subjects were Math, Science, and Spanish. I also took a chorus class each year to pursue my passion for singing. My course choices were mainly determined by my desire to take the hardest courses in the classes that interested me. I ended up taking the highest level of calculus in my school, 7 science classes, and AP Spanish.


I took AP Environmental Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP Calculus AB, AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based, AP US History, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Calculus BC, AP Spanish Language and Composition, AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based, AP Biology, and AP World History: Modern. I got 5’s on all my exams except for AP English Language and Composition, though we have yet to find out about the tests from this year.


4.5217 weighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1580

ACT: 36


Outside of school, I study voice, piano, and guitar with performances at community events. I also dance with Dance Davidson. In school, I have participated in show choir, chamber chorus, a cappella choir, musical theatre productions, National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Hispanic Honor Society, Key Club, Science Olympiad, Math Competition team. Highlights include: NAfME National Honors Chorus, NCMEA NC Honors Chorus, Mars Hill Chorus Festival, All-State Choir, Duke Intensive STEM Academy, Opera Carolina Academy, NCASA Best Female Vocalist, Top 6 Actress in the Blumey Awards, Presidential Scholar Nominee, National Merit Finalist, Thomas J. Watson Scholar, Science Olympiad Medalist, PTA Reflections Awards in Dance and Photography, NCASA Best Choreography, NCMEA Show Choir and A Cappella State Champs, AP Scholar with Distinction, Officer of Tri-M Honor Society, and LLS Student of the Year Nominee.


My calculus teacher, who taught me for two years and was my Mu Alpha Theta advisor for three years, my anatomy and physiology teacher, who took a special interest in me outside of her class, and my counselor throughout high school were my recommenders for Duke. I had a strong and different relationship with each of them and had discussed my future plans with them.


My common app essay was about the way service shaped my future career decisions.


I believe my ability to succeed in a number of different categories rather than being completely focused on one thing made me compatible with Duke, a school that truly succeeds in all categories.


I would say to focus on making an impact in the things that matter most to you and truly put some time into telling your story to admissions officers.




Duke University is where I feel I belong. Not only does it have a wonderful program for my major, but it also places an emphasis on each of my passions like language and music that I can continue to pursue on the university level. I want to make a difference in my new community, and I feel I can make that happen at Duke.


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