DA at a Glance


Durham Academy is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school. The purpose of Durham Academy is to provide each student an education that will enable him or her to live a moral, happy and productive life. Learn more about our values.


DA was founded in Durham, North Carolina, in 1933 as the Calvert Method School, with seven students and one teacher in the Forest Hills Clubhouse. The Academy Road campus was built in the 1950s. In 1959, the school changed its name to Durham Academy, moved to Academy Road in 1966, and also added seventh and eighth grades.

In 1971, Durham Academy purchased 42 acres on Ridge Road, opening the Upper School campus in 1973, and graduating its first high school class in 1975. In 2002, Durham Academy opened a new Preschool and Lower School on the Ridge Road campus. The Academy Road campus now houses the Middle School. 


  • Pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
  • 1,228 students for 2018–2019. 
  • Four divisions (Preschool, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School) on three campuses
  • Overall student/faculty ratio: 1:7
  • 37 percent are students of color.
  • Ranked in top third for diversity nationwide among peer independent schools. 
  • Geographic diversity: 
    • Durham - 59%
    • Chapel Hill - 29%
    • Wake County - 7%
    • Triangle area - 5%
  • 73 percent of full-time faculty members have advanced degrees. 
  • Faculty average 20 years of teaching experience. 
  • 16 percent are faculty of color.

Learn more about DA Faculty


Student Performance

2017–2018 Middle 50% SAT Scores
  • Critical Reading: 650–750
  • Math: 650–750
  • Writing: 33–38
  • Total: 1320–1500 (out of 1600)
2017–2018 Middle 50% ACT Scores
  • English: 29–35
  • Math: 27–33
  • Reading: 31–35
  • Science Reasoning: 26–34
  • Composite: 28–34 (out of 36)
National-Level Honors
  • 48 National Merit Scholarship finalists over the past 4 years. 
  • 9 Presidential Scholar candidates over the past 4 years.

Class of 2018 at a Glance

Colleges & Universities


  • Three campuses on 84 acres.
  • State-of-the-art Preschool and Lower School.
  • LEED Standard Upper School Learning Commons.
  • Upper School Kirby Gym renovated and expanded in 2013.
  • Desktops, laptops, iPads and computer labs for student use.
  • 15 science labs equipped with state-of-the-art microscopes, thermal cyclers, spectrophotometers, computer software, electrophoresis equipment, microtechnology and engineering power tools.
  • Three performing arts centers, each with 350-plus seats.
  • Eight athletic fields for baseball, softball, cross-country, track, lacrosse and soccer. 
  • Six tennis courts, three gymnasiums.
  • Three libraries with 47,000+ collections and 24/7 online access to research databases.
  • EPA AHERA compliant.


  • 43 athletic teams in 20 different sports.
  • Approximately 80 percent of students in grades 7–8 participate in athletics, and about 65 percent of students in grades 9–12 participate.
  • 4 NCISAA state championships and 12 NCISAA championship runner-up finishes since 2010.
  • Approximately 18 athletes from classes of 2015–2018 currently on college rosters.  
2017–2018 Athletics Highlights
  • 50 TISAC All-Conference athletes
  • 18 NCISAA All-State athletes 
  • 7 TISAC Players of the Year
  • 6 TISAC Conference Championships
  • 6 teams in final News & Observers area rankings
  • 2 individual state champions (track)
  • 1 team state champion (girls tennis)

Visit DA's Athletic Hall of Fame

Arts & Activities

  • Vibrant, dynamic arts program for students pre-k through grade 12 featuring performing arts, fine arts and digital arts. 
  • Offerings include art, choral music, dance, drama, fine arts, instrumental music, movement, music, photography, filmmaking and visual art. 
Student Activities


  • Community service pre-K through grade 12.
  • Dedicated service days in each division.
  • Long-standing, impactful relationships with Triangle area community partners
  • Members of the Class of 2017 contributed more than 3,200 hours of community service during their senior year.  

Tuition & Financial Aid

Financial Aid
  • More than $2 million in financial aid awarded in 2018–2019. 
  • Awards based on family need, ranging from $1,000 to nearly a full year's tuition. 
  • Average award was $15,384 in 2018–2019. 
  • About 11 percent of DA students received some form of aid in 2018–2019. 
Tuition Range

$14,965–$25,925 for 2018–2019


DA's 5,000-plus alumni living around the globe comprise a network that has proven to be invaluable for DA graduates.

Learn about alumni award recipients

DA Contacts

Michael Ulku-Steiner 
Head of School

919-489-6569 (x6102) 


Victoria Muradi
Director of Admissions & Financial Aid
919-489-3400 (x2111)

Lori Reade 
Associate Director of Admissions
919-489-9118 (x4103) 

Kemi Nonez 
Director of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs and Admissions Counselor
919-489-6569 (x6111) 

An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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