Departments in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

African and African American Studies

Researchers in the African & African American Studies department encompass anthropologists, economists, performance artists, literary critics, political scientists, philosophers, sociologists, historians, and art historians. Scholarly teams explore music, cultural studies, film, performance, popular culture, gender, sexuality, race, public policy and law to reveal the experiences and perspectives of those of African descent and to theorize and historicize racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and other markers of difference. Some scholars concentrate on Africa and the African diaspora in the Atlantic World examining the dynamics of race and African culture outside of the U.S. At the undergraduate level, we offer a major and a minor, with either an Americas or an African focus. At the graduate level, we offer a Certificate in African and African American Studies that is open to Duke graduate students admitted in either master's or doctoral programs.

See also the North Carolina Central University-Duke Program in African, African American & Diaspora Studies, which fosters collaboration between NCCU and Duke students, sponsors jointly taught courses, a lecture series and more.

Air Force ROTC

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a commissioning program for the U.S. Air Force that emphasizes aerospace defense studies, leadership and management, communications skills and professional knowledge. The academic program focuses on air and space power through a historical perspective, Air Force mission organization and customs, military management fundamentals, and national security process and advanced leadership ethics.

Army ROTC

The Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a commissioning program for the U.S. Army that emphasizes academic scholarship, athletic ability and leadership. The academic program emphasizes military science; team building and leadership development; and advanced military tactics, logistics and decision-making.

Art, Art History and Visual Studies

The Art, Art History & Visual Studies department is a nationlly and internationally celebrated program that emphasizes scholarship around the historical and theoretical study of art and architecture; the practice and performance of the arts; and exploring visual arts, technology and digital media as an interface for humanities, law, social science and the natural sciences. Faculty expertise spans European and North American art, African and African Diaspora art, and East Asian and Latin American art. Scholarship examines crosscutting societal themes such as folklore, photography and filmmaking, the visual culture of disaster, religious visual culture, the expression of nationalism, and caricature and popular culture. At the undergraduate level, we offer majors in art history; art history & architecture; art history & museum theory and practice; art history & visual arts; visual arts; and visual & media studies. We offer minors in art history; photography; visual arts; and visual & media studies. At the graduate level, we offer a Ph.D. in the History of Art; a master of arts in digital art history; a master of arts in computational media; and a master of fine arts (MFA) in experimental & documentary arts. We also jointly offer a Juris doctor/Master of Arts in the History of Arts degree.

Arts of the Moving Image

The Arts of the Moving Image Certificate Program fosters a critical understanding of the history, theory and technologies of motion picture and new media arts, while giving students the opportunities, tools and resources they would need to develop a career within the media industries, pursue graduate study in the field or become a media artist. The AMI program offers lecture courses, seminars, and hands-on production courses as well as opportunities to do individual projects or internships for course credit with permission of an faculty member.

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

The Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department explores Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, and Korean culture through the lens of language and literature; social movements, nationalism and diaspora; popular culture and the media; gender, visuality and feminism; film theory, cinema and aesthetics; and the implications of religion on identity and globalization. The faculty offers language programs in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian and Sanskrit. At the undergraduate level, we offer a major and a minor, with concentrations in East Asia or the Middle East. At the graduate level, we sponsor a M.A. in Critical Asian Humanities, and a joint graduate certificate in Middle East Studies.

Biology

In Duke's Department of Biology, we conduct research in a broad range of areas: ecology (including behavioral ecology, population biology, community ecology, physiological ecology, ecosystem analysis, and biogeochemistry), functional biology at the cell and molecular level (including cellular physiology, molecular genetics, developmental biology, developmental genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics, in both plant and animal systems), functional biology at the organismal level (including comparative physiology, functional morphology, biomechanics, and animal behavior), and evolutionary biology (including population genetics, evolutionary ecology, evolutionary morphology, macroevolution, biogeography, and systematics). Many faculty research programs span multiple research areas and levels of biological organization, creating a dynamic training environment for doctoral students interested in cross-disciplinary training. We offer a B.A. and B.S. in biology, with concentrations in anatomy, physiology & biomechanics; animal behavior; biochemistry; cell & molecular biology; ecology; evolutionary biology; genetics; genomics; marine biology; neurobiology; pharmacology; and plant biology. We also offer an undergraduate minor.

Chemistry

Researcher in the Chemistry department are engaged in creating new knowledge and placing it in the service to society. Our undergraduate program offers both a B.A. and B.S. in chemistry, with concentrations in biochemistry, pharmacology, chemical biology and environmental chemistry. Our chemistry Ph.D. program emphasizes research and most of our students' time is spent directly pursuing their own original research. Our research programs take advantage of Duke's unique strenghts and differential opportunities:  theoretical/computational chemistry, molecular and biomolecular imaging, chemical biology, nanomaterials, and energy science.  Many members of the Department participate in interdisciplinary centers and training programs covering Photonics and Biophotonics; Develpmental, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biophysics; Materials Science; Genetics; Pharmacology; and Toxicology.

Classical Studies

The Department of Classical Studies explores the languages (ancient Greek and Latin) and literatures, archaeology, art history, and histories of Greco-Roman antiquity, from 3000 BCE to 900 CE, from the Nile to the North Sea, from Britain to Bactria. Our students have the opportunity to work with renowned scholars, discussing big ideas in small classes. Research is broadly grouped in the areas of Archaeology and Visual Studies; History and Historiography; and Language and Literature. Our many resources include papyri and manuscripts in the Rubenstein Library, as well as the rich antiquities collection of the Nasher Museum. The Department enjoys close ties with AAHVS, History, Medieval/Renaissance Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies, as well as with UNC Chapel Hill, especially through the Consortium for Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology.

Computer Science

Duke's Department of Computer Science is a top tier research department with an emphasisi on geometric computing; internet systems, networking & security; memory systems & massive data management; biological computing & nanotechnologies; and learning & modeling. Faculty research is highly interconnected with the disciplines of mathematics, statistics, engineering, nanotechnology, biology, biochemistry, medicine, economics, sociology, and the environmental sciences. We offer a Ph.D. and master of science in computer science, and a master of science in economics and computation. At the undergraduate level, we offer both a B.S. and a B.A. in computer science, and minors in computer science or computaitonal biology and bioinformatics.

Cultural Anthropology

The Department of Cultural Anthropology ranks among the top programs in the country. Undergraduates can either major or minor in Cultural Anthropology; in both cases, we strongly support study abroad, summer ethnographic research, and the senior thesis capstone experience. Our doctoral program prepares students to meld grounded field research with theoretical sophistication in doing anthropology sensitive to the challenges and complexities of making sense of human experience. Our department is on the cutting edge of new debates about globalization and diaspora, popular culture and mass media, nationalism and identity, race and sexuality, and the politics of tradition and modernity. We explore these issues through a range of theoretical orientations that include postcolonial and Marxist theory, feminist and critical race theory, psychoanalysis and psychology, political ecology and science and technology.

Dance

Faculty in the Duke Dance Program are internationally-recognized choreographers, scholars, teachers and performers committed to offering the highest caliber dance training and scholarship in an atmosphere that fosters conscious embodied practice, critical thinking, and creative risk-taking. Far-ranging exploration and expertise encompasses historical and contemporary African American and Afro-Carribean dance, music and religious practices; classical and contemporary Indian dance and dance theater; ballet and modern, post-modern and contemporary dance choreography and performance. Research also examines topics such as age and dance artistry, the role of gender in performance, performance and social change, and embodied forms of spirituality.

Duke provides high-quality dance training with a first-class liberal arts education. We are one of the top ten research universities in the nation, and also a college of choice for the dedicated dance student. Our courses are part of the regular curriculum and fulfill undergraduate degree requirements. Dance courses are also open to all students, and auditions are only required for repertory courses. The Duke Dance Program curriculum is designed to encourage the exploration of dance from interdisciplinary perspectives: historical, cultural, aesthetic, literary, technological, musical, scientific and creative. Students are able to customize their undergraduate dance curriculum by choosing one of the three study concentrations.

Documentary Studies

The Center for Documentary Studies was the first institution in the U.S. dedicated solely to the rich legacy and continuing practice of the documentary tradition in the American experience. The CDS aims to bridge university and off-campus communities and experiences through the pursuit of the documentary arts, with an emphasis on the role of individual artistic expression in advancing broader societal goals. The Center offers a range of undergraduate and continuing education course offerings alongside numerous wide-ranging public arts endeavors. At the undergraduate level, we offer a Certificate in Documentary Studies.

Economics

The Economics department is rapidly approaching the top ten programs nationally.  It is broadly focused on econometrics, micro- and macro-economic theory, and applied economics, with distinctive collaborations across these boundaries. Faculty research encompasses the broad fields of finance, international trade, development, public sector studies, law, business and monetary economics, with specialized scholarship focused on environmental and ecological economics, cultural, agricultural and natural resource economics, education, racial inequality, and labor and economic demography. At the undergraduate level, we offer a B.S. or a B.A. in economics, minors in economics and finance, and a finance concentration. At the master's level, we offer a master of arts in economics, a master of arts in analytical political economy, a master of science in economics and computation, and a master of science in statistical and economic modeling. We also offer a Ph.D. program in economics. 

Education

Duke's Program in Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Our small class size creates a highly personalized learning environment for our students. We offer several options for teacher certification. For Undergraduates: We offer a Minor in Education, and two teacher preparation programs (Elementary and Secondary Education) that lead to licensure in North Carolina and beyond. Service learning and field experiences are a foundation of all our programs. For Graduate Students: We offer a year-long Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree that explores the most exciting and challenging questions in education research and practice. For In-Service Teachers: We offer a non-degree Academically/Intellectually Gifted add-on licensure program.

English

Ranked among the top ten English departments in the country, we work in different historical periods and national political contexts. Our faculty shows how various literatures in English make or fail to make a coherent world out of the conflicts and contradictions that characterize a genre, an author, or a moment in literary history. Our Medievalists pursue such concepts as forgiveness, reform, protest, and gender difference across the line traditionally separating the Middle Ages from the Early Modern periods. Faculty interested in the eighteenth century might consider how Jane Austen redefines notions of sympathy and happiness for a purely secular world. Refusing to let the Romantic poets live in a self-created world of imagination, other scholars examine how these writers adapted the scientific theories of that moment to rethink man’s place in the natural world. So, too, in reading Dickens or George Eliot, faculty examine how new theories of evolution and breakthroughs in physics altered the landscape in which characters live out far from exemplary lives.  Perhaps one of the strongest groups of its kind in the country, our specialists in African American literature and culture work at the intersection of the arts, law, literature, and sexuality studies. American literature at Duke is known for interdisciplinary scholarship that brings such fields as medicine, science, ethnic studies and theories of diaspora into conversation with literature. In using poetry and fiction to imagine worlds, formulate a voice, and position a virtual self within that world, our creative writers contribute a vital element to this collective endeavor. In recent years, faculty from several of these areas have joined our modernists and post-colonialists in searching the literary and cultural past for answers to a new set of questions: When did globalization begin? Which elements of contemporary culture become international, which remain local? What does it mean to be a citizen of such a world?

At the undergraduate level, students can major or minor in English, and we offer a minor in creative writing. At the graduate level, we offer a Ph.D. in English, and a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in English degree.

Evolutionary Anthropology

Duke's Evolutionary Anthropology department focuses on understanding non-human primate and human biology in an evolutionary context. Areas of research include evolutionary medicine; functional morphology; paleontology; primate behavior & ecology; primate cognition/human cognitive evolution; and systematics & comparative methods. At the undergraduate level, we offer a major and minor in evolutionary anthropology. At the graduate level, we offer a Ph.D. in evolutionary anthropology.

Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

The Duke Program in Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies is dedicated to exploring gender identities, relations, practices, theories and institutions. We offer an undergraduate major and minor, and a graduate certificate in Feminist Studies. Faculty scholarship encompasses historical, political, literary, philosophical, economic, representational, technological, sociological and scientific analyses. Research themes include the social impacts of the intersectionality of gender, race and class; sexuality and reproductive ethics; food politics and alternative approaches to economics; women’s writing and feminism in contemporary art; ecofeminism, ethics and human rights; religion and psychoanalysis; identity and subjectivity in the Arab world; Anglo and Francophone literature; and feminist theory.

Germanic Languages and Literature

Research in the German Languages & LIterature department spans German ethics, intellectual history, theory and philosophy; literary history and criticism, including an analysis of memoir, medieval and 18th through 20th century literature, Holocaust literature and German poetics; broad cultural studies of German realism, modernism, gender, and religion and secularization; and expression through modern German drama. Duke is also known for its innovative and highly ranked joint PhD in German Studies with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. We offer a major and minor in German, extensive language courses in German, and administer the Duke in Berlin global education program.

Health, Wellness and Physical Education

The Department of Health, Wellness and Physical Education (HWPE) provides academic opportunities to students through a wide variety and diverse collection of course offerings in both activity and lecture based theory classes.

History

The History department is among the top programs nationally. Faculty research encompasses intellectual, legal, medical and military history; politics, public life and governance; labor and working class history; gender, race and ethnicity studies; global transnational history and comparative colonial studies; religion and social movements; and an emphasis in medieval and early modern history. Regional specializations include early North America, Antebellum U.S., Modern America, Afro-America, American South, Latin America, Africa, Europe, British Empire, South Asia, Japan, China, Russia, and the French Caribbean and the Atlantic World. At the undergraduate level, we offer a major in history with both thematic or geographic concentrations, and a minor in history. At the graduate level, we offer a Ph.D. in history.

International Comparative Studies

The International Comparative Studies Program helps students create coherent bachelor degree programs that emphasize the study of critical transnationalism. Students engage in interdisciplinary coursework focused on regions, engage in global education programs, and integrate the fields of culture, history, politics and language.

Linguistics

The Linguistics Program is a unique inter-disciplinary program offering undergraduate classes, majors and minors, and honors thesis supervision. The program draws on faculty expertise from across the university to provide an education which is both deep and broad. Particular research and teaching strengths include language and the brain (neurolinguistics), language change (historical linguistics), language and society (sociolinguistics) and language and politics. Linguistics majors are able to analyze and use language effectively, but they also develop excellent problem-solving, pattern-recognition and critical thinking skills that are highly valued in the job and graduate school markets. Many students go on to law or medical school, or other post-graduate training; others successfully pursue careers in a variety of fields including the media, advertising and marketing, finance, and education.

Literature

The Literature department is unique in its makeup and a national leader in the theory, philosophy and politics of literature and media conceptualized within a global and postcolonial framework. Our research spans philosophy, literature & aesthetics; film & new media; critical race theory; feminisms, gender & sexuality; globalization & post coloniality; literature & cultural studies; Marxism & critical theory; modernism & modernity; psychoanalysis; science studies, the Americas and the U.S. Our undergraduate degree is called Global Cultural Studies. At the graduate level, we offer a Ph.D. in Literature. 

Mathematics

Research in the Department of Mathematics spans theoretical to applied mathematics. Faculty interests encompass algebra and combinatorics; analysis; biological modeling; computational mathematics; differential & algebraic geometry; mathematical physics; number theory; PDE & dynamical systems; physical modeling; probability; signals, images and data; and topology. U.S. News and World Report ranks our department in the top 20 for pure mathematics, and in the top 15 for applied mathematics. We offer both a B.A. and B.S. in mathematics, and a minor in math. At the graduate level, we offer a Ph.D. in math.

MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts

The MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts at Duke University brings together documentary approach and experimental production in analog, digital, and computational media to foster collaborations across disciplines and media as it trains sophisticated, creative art practitioners. Successful completion of the program requires the development of a complex understanding of documentary practices and traditions as well as creative skills in experimental media and new technologies.

The philosophy of the program is guided by a belief in the intersection of personal artistic work with interpretive knowledge and of the relevance of the individual documentary/experimental artist within the cultural history and life of communities. A key component to the program is the notion of creative engagement through the arts and the role of the artist in society. Graduates are expected to generate work that has impact both within and outside the academy.

Music

The Music department is a unique mixture of musicologists, composers, performers and ethnomusicologists, with scholarship encompassing music theory, history, ethnomusicology, composition, directing and performance. Research emphasizes the exploration of song, dance, theater and melodrama, oral tradition, music in film, and musical performance. Such work expands our understanding of specific cultures and historical periods, the role of arts in human rights expression, the politics of music production, and creativity and the music learning process. Faculty specializations include diverse genre such as Bebop and Hard Bop, Jazz music, Iberian keyboard, German opera and baroque sacred music, chamber ensemble and French musical culture, British music from liturgical to Pop culture, and post-19th century composition. We offer an undergraduate major and minor, and performance and lessons opportunities for all students. At the graduate level, we offer Ph.D. programs in composition, ethnomusicology and musicology.

Navy ROTC

The Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a commissioning program for the U.S. Navy emphasizing naval science, physical competence, and leadership. The academic program encompasses naval orientation, seapower and maritime affairs, naval leadership and management, naval ship systems, navigation and naval operations, naval tactical systems, and leadership and management.
 

Philosophy

Duke's Department of Philosophy has a strong faculty that is committed to excellence in both research and teaching. In a recent ranking of philosophy programs in the United States, the department was recognized for particular strength in the areas of philosophy of biology (rated as one of the two top programs in this area), philosophy of mind, political philosophy, applied ethics, philosophy of social science, 17th- and 18th-Century philosophy and Chinese philosophy. Expertise in the Department also extends to other areas of the history of philosophy such as ancient philosophy, Kant, 20th-Century analytic philosophy, and history and philosophy of science, cognitive science, moral psychology, normative ethics, philosophy of law, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and philosophical logic. We offer an undergraduate major and minor, a Ph.D. in philosophy, and a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Arts degree.
 

Physics

Research in the Physics Department ranges from astrophysics to condensed matter physics and nanoscale materials exploration, to non-linear and complex systems and biological physics with applications for medicine, energy and environmental science. Faculty conducts highly collaborative international research in high-energy physics; accelerator-based experimental nuclear physics; theoretical nuclear and particle physics; explorations of geometric and theoretical physics; and experimental quantum optical physics. U.S. News and World Report ranks our department in the top 6 for nuclear physics, and in the top 30 for physics. We offer undergraduate degrees in physics and biophysics, and doctoral program in physics.

Political Science

The Political Science department has been among the top ten programs nationally for many years. Its faculty contributes to the general fields of political economy, philosophy, institutions including law, and public policy. Our research encompasses the broad fields of normative political theory & philogophy; political behavior & identities; political economy; political institutions; political methodology; and security, peace & conflict. At the undergraduate level, we offer a bachelor of science in political science and a minor. We are also affiliated with the Certificate in Phillosophy, Politics & Economics, and the Certificate in Decision Sciences. At the graduate level, we offer a master of arts or Ph.D. in political science, a master of arts in analytical political economy, and a joint master of arts/Juris doctor program.

Psychology and Neuroscience

The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is internationally known for leadership in cognitive science and clinical psychology. Research in the fields of developmental psychology, social and personality psychology, cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, and systems and integrative neuroscience deploy techniques such as experimental research with humans and animals, surveys, longitudinal field studies, brain imaging, genetic mapping and computational models. Scholarly exploration addresses topics in decision-making, self-concept and self-regulation, post traumatic stress disorder, health and behavior, achievement and motivation, emotional memory, language acquisition and visual perception, to name just a few.

Trinity College of Arts & Sciences faculty are broadly engaged in neuroscience research and education, with particularly strong affiliation with the interdisciplinary Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. Our undergraduate program in neuroscience offers an interdisciplinary major/minor that draws faculty and courses from many individual departments, chiefly the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and the Department of Biology. Administrative support for this curriculum is provided by TCA&S and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. Graduate programs encompass the graduate admitting program in Cognitive Neuroscience, and doctoral programs in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience and Systems and Integrative Neuroscience.     

Religious Studies

The Religious Studies department is very distinguished nationally, and explores the social organization and impact of religion in ancient and modern cultures through critical theory, literary and visual studies, and religious expression and influence on the media. Areas of expertise include early foundational documents of Judaism and Christianity (Hebrew Bible and New Testament); the religious traditions of Late Antiquity; Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism both in their historical depth and in their contemporary manifestations. Along with exploring theoretical questions surrounding religion, the multiple religious traditions of the present-day American landscape are studied in culture, law and contemporary thought. At the undergraduate level, we offer a major in Religious Studies. We also offer a Master of Arts program in Religion, and we operate, together with the Divinity School, Duke’s Graduate Program in Religion, which has ranked among the top programs in the country for the past twenty years

Romance Studies

Duke Romance Studies is a national leader for having integrated the study of literature and language. Our curriculum, from language to culture courses, explores the rich traditions of Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian cultures, both in their countries of origin, and in the cultures of diaspora, including Latin America, the Caribbean, Quebec, and the Chicano border. Our research thus covers, both historically and geographically, an extensive area of the planet: from Europe to Africa and South America; from the Caribbean to the Philippines; from the Mediterranean to Indochina and the Mauritius Islands.  We offer majors in Brazilian & Global Portuguese; French & Francophone Studies; Italian Studies; Romance Studies; and Spanish, Latin American, and Latino/a Studies. We offer minors in Brazilian & Global Portuguese; French Studies; Italian Studies; and Spanish Studies. And we are affiliated with the Certificate in Latin American Studies; and the Certificate in Latino/a Studies in the Global South. We also offer a Ph.D. in Romance Studies with tracks in French & Francophone Studies, Italian Studies, Romance Studies or Spanish & Latin American Studies; and a joint Juris doctor/master of arts in Romance studies. 

Slavic and Eurasian Studies

The Slavic and Eurasian Studies department offers courses in five Slavic and Eurasian languages: Polish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish and Uzbek. We offer undergraduate majors in Russian or Slavic & Eurasian Studies. We offer four minors: Polish Culture & Language; Russian Culture & Language; Russian Literature & Translation; and Turkish Culture & Language.

Sociology

The Sociology department is ranked among the top 12 and rapidly approaching the top ten programs in the country. Faculty specializes in comparative and historical sociology; population studies across time focusing on fertility, migration, morbidity and mortality; medical and economic sociology; social stratification; and the sociology of morality and religion. Quantitative and qualitative approaches are deployed to understand the structure and dynamics of human societies, particularly in a global context; the formal organization and social implications of health care policy, infectious and chronic illness patterns and social epidemiology; society as structured by race, education, occupations, markets and economic organizations; social networks, personality and group processes; and how religion shapes and is shaped by organizations, subcultures and demographic composition. We offer a major and minor in sociology, and a Ph.D. in sociology.

Statistical Science

The Department of Statistical Science is the premier Bayesian statistics program in the world, among the very top programs nationally in research productivity, and a leader in interdisciplinary applications of computational and statistical research. Faculty scholarship encompasses computational biology and statistical genetics; computer simulation and analysis for natural and engineering science applications; forecast modeling and monitoring statistical analysis for environmental and ecological science applications; macro-economic and financial time series analysis for social and economic science applications. We offer a B.A. and B.S. in statistical science, and a minor. We offer two master's programs: a master of science in statistical science and a master of science in statistical and economic modeling; and a Ph.D. in statistical science.  

Theater Studies

Duke's Department of Theater Studies combines the study of the history and theory of theater, performance and dramatic literature in all its dimensions. In addition, the department is a laboratory for the development of new dramatic works and the exploration and integration of new media in theater. We offer a major and minor in theater studies, and directly sponsor several study abroad programs. Faculty research encompasses set and lighting design; directing, playwriting, TV writing, dramatic literature, acting and puppetry; performance and film studies; literary and cultural criticism, and theater history with specialization in areas such as Chinese theater, Russian theater, and British and American theater.