House Courses: How to Apply

You must submit your entire completed application by the deadlines below in order to successfully apply to teach a House Course.

EARLY APPLICATIONS are welcomed! Applications may be submitted via email (courserequests@duke.edu) or by being dropped off in the 011 suite in the Allen Building, Monday - Friday from 8 AM - 5 PM. 

FOR FASTEST APPLICATION APPROVAL AND PROCESSING: 1) PLEASE COMBINE COMPLETED APPLICATION COMPONENTS, EXCEPT THE COURSE SYLLABUS, AND SCAN THEM INTO ONE PDF DOCUMENT. 2) SAVE COURSE SYLLABUS AS SEPARATE FILE IN WORD DOCUMENT FORMAT. 3) SUBMIT COMBINED PDF OF APPLICATION COMPONENTS & WORD DOCUMENT FILE OF COURSE SYLLABUS TO COURSEREQUESTS@DUKE.EDU.

Late applications will not be accepted. Applications missing signatures or other components are incomplete and cannot be accepted. All required signatures must be on the same sheet.

Application Deadlines:

March 8th, 2019, by 5 pm, for Fall 2019

October 5th, 2018, by 5 pm, for Spring 2019

Application Materials:

Application Components:

 The information below is also available as a downloadable checklist above (Application Checklist). 

  1. Completed House Course Application FormUse the Application Form. The application form for the House Course must include: the House Course title; names of instructor(s); name of sponsoring residence hall; name of faculty sponsor (for Duke undergraduate instructors). (Once submitted, these details may not be changed without prior approval of the Courses Committee.)
  2. Signature of faculty sponsor.
  3. Signature of faculty sponsor’s departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  4. Signature of faculty sponsor’s departmental Chair acknowledging his/her House Course obligations.
  5. Room Reservation Form: Submit your form online

Applicants should fill out and submit the online form before the deadline. Any room technology needs (a computer for presentations, a projector, and so forth) should be included in your online reservation request form, in the text box provided. Housing will assign a room for your House Course via your submitted form.

  1. Customized Field Trip Waiver of Liability form and field trip information (if applicable): See Waiver Form

Waiver of Liability Forms must be completed for Durham field trips for which group transportation is provided for students and for any field trips to locations beyond DurhamPlease customize the template according to the needs of the course. Field trips should be optional.

To ensure that University policy is followed, instructors must contact Corporate Risk Management at corprisk@duke.edu and submit the waiver of liability form to them well in advance of field trips. 

For any field trips outside Durham, instuctors must submit documentation of secured funding sources.

  1. Course Syllabus: See Syllabus Template

A syllabus checklist is included with the application checklist provided above for instructors to reference. Instructors should work with their faculty sponsors to create House Course syllabi. The subject must be treated in a critical, evaluative, historical, or analytical way; it must not be confined to teaching skills. Once the House Course is approved, the syllabus may not be changed without permission of the Courses Committee. If the Courses Committee required syllabus revisions, the final syllabus must be emailed (in Word document format) to courserequests@duke.edu. Syllabi must include:

  • Student instructor(s) and faculty sponsor names and contact information.
  • Brief description of course.
  • Schedule of course meetings (include dates).
  • Description of each class session (e.g., topics to be covered).  
  • Page references for all required readings listed for each class meeting, including books.
  • Total number of pages of reading required each week (50 pp. per week, or equivalent)
  • Prompts for required written assignments.
  • Identification of dates of classes the faculty sponsor will attend throughout semester (three classes minimum), the first of which must occur during the first three weeks of the semester. 
  • Outside speaker names and credentials.
  • Basis for grading.

*Special information required for Duke undergraduate student instructors:

  1. Current resume for each instructor. 
  2. Two letters of recommendation from a Trinity College professor (preferably who teach a field related to the subject of the course) for each instructor. One of these recommendation letters for each instructor must be from the House Course's faculty sponsor. Combined recommendation letters (in which professors or sponsors recommend both instructors within the same letter) are acceptable. Letters  of recommendation can be mailed to the Courses Committee in 011 in the Allen Building, campus box 90050, dropped off in person at this same location Monday to Friday 8 AM - 5 PM, or emailed to courserequests@duke.edu

Please direct questions regarding House Course applications to courserequests@duke.edu.