House Courses

What is a House Course?

House Courses provide an intellectual experience that is not available in regular course offerings. Such courses are developed in response to student interests and concerns and serve as a bridge between the academic and residential life of students. They enhance intellectual life in the residence halls where they are taught--hence the name, "House Course." These courses are open to all undergraduates.

House Courses carry 0.5 semester course credit and are offered only on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading basis; four House Courses may count toward graduation. These courses must meet at least 12 times for a minimum of 18 hours. Undergraduate student instructors of House Courses do not receive course credit for teaching and may not enroll in their own courses.

Who Teaches House Courses?

In order to give current undergraduates an opportunity to develop their own ideas and skills, House Courses may be taught by current Duke undergraduates, who must be supervised by a member of the Trinity College faculty teaching on campus in the semester during which the course is offered. House Courses may also be taught by faculty in a recognized school, department, or academic program at Duke.

All courses must be approved and sponsored by a Trinity College Arts and Sciences department AND approved by the Committee on Courses. House Courses are free-standing courses -- meaning each course is sufficiently different to stand alone. Multiple sections of any one House Course are not permitted. House Courses do not have prerequisites, corequisites, or required permission. Enrollment in House Courses cannot be limited to certain groups of students - they must have open enrollment. In addition, the course may not require any other curricular or extra-curricular activity or enterprise, nor participation in activities beyond those of the course itself. House Courses are not meant to be required training for subsequent courses or activities.

HOUSE COURSE INSTRUCTORS AND FACULTY SPONSORS, PLEASE NOTE: Effective for FALL 2018, and going forward, House Course enrollment for all courses is limited to 18 or fewer students, without exception. Please contact Dean Jesse Summers, Associate Dean of Courses, with any questions ( 


Application Deadlines:

  • March 9th, 2018, by 5 pm, for Fall 2018

  • October 5th, 2018, by 5 pm, for Spring 2018

Late applications cannot be accepted.

If you are interested in organizing and teaching a House Course, please visit our How to Apply section. You'll find our application form, instructions for filling it out, a waiver of liability template form for any fieldtrips you may want to offer as part of the course, a syllabus template, instructions for reserving a residence hall room for your course, and more.
If you have any questions about applying to teach a House Course or need other assistance, please contact us:

Jesse Summers, Ph.D.
Assistant Academic Dean, Office of Curriculum and Course Development

011 Allen Bldg

Kate Walko

Staff Assistant, Office of Curriculum and Course Development

011 Allen Building