Courses: Enrolling in Graduate and Professional School Courses

Graduate courses at the 500, 600 level are open to juniors, seniors and to sophomores who have declared their major.  Undeclared sophomores and very rarely freshmen require special permission.  Graduate courses at the 700 to 900 level are not open to undergraduates, although exceptions are made on rare occasions.  A listing of graduate programs can be found on the Duke Graduate School website.

Professional school courses, for example those in the Divinity School, Fuqua School of Business, School of Nursing, and School of Law, are also not open to undergraduates, although exceptions are made on rare occasions.   Courses in the School of Medicine are not available to undergraduates.

To determine if a course is a graduate or professional school course, look up the course on DukeHub and see what is listed under "Career" on the course detail page.  The career entry will indicate the origin of the course, e.g., "Undergraduate", "Graduate", "Divinity School", "Fuqua School of Business", etc.

The policies for enrollment are below.  Note that you may count no more than a total of 6.0 credits from 700-900 level graduate courses and professional school courses toward the 34 credits required to graduate. 

500 and 600 Level Graduate Courses

  • If you are a junior, senior or a sophomore who has declared a major, you may enroll directly in 500, 600 level courses with a career entry of "Graduate",  "Nicholas School of the Environment" and "School of Public Policy".  The latter two schools offer undergraduate degrees to Trinity students and thus are included in this policy.   
  • If you are a sophomore and haven't declared a major, you cannot enroll directly.  You will need permission of the instructor and your dean (using the form below). If approved, your dean will ask the Registrar's Office to enroll you.  Permission is not guaranteed; you should expect to have an advanced background in the subject and a sufficient reason for taking the course at that time.
  • If you are a first-year student, you are not allowed to take 500, 600 level graduate courses. Exceptions are extremely rare and are granted only when it can be demonstrated that you have a truly exceptional background in a subject and are already familiar with available 200, 300 level course work. If the instructor of a 500, 600 level course supports your enrollment, the instructor will need to communicate his/her permission to your academic dean, justifying your enrollment and addressing your special qualifications for it. You should then contact your dean to discuss whether your enrollment is appropriate. Your instructor's endorsement does not necessarily mean that you will receive approval.  If your dean does approve, your dean will ask the Registrar's Office to enroll you. 
  • For sophomores (and exceptional freshmen) seeking to enroll in a 500, 600 level independent study course, you must also have written permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the discipline or, if the independent study is in a certificate program, from the director of the certificate program.
  • Some graduate courses will carry curriculum codes; some may have additional requirements or prerequisites.
  • Graduate courses that are listed as 3.0 unit courses on DukeHub will convert to a 1.0 credit course when an undergraduate enrolls.

The form must be submitted to your academic dean's office by 5 p.m. on the last day of drop/add.

ONLINE FORM:  Enrollment in a 500, 600 Level Graduate Course

700 - 900 Level Graduate Courses 

You are not allowed to enroll in 700 - 900 level graduate courses (i.e., those courses with a career entry of "Graduate", "Nicholas School of the Environment" and "School of Public Policy").   However, under rare and exceptional circumstances, a junior or senior may request permission to enroll.  Permission is not guaranteed.  These courses will not carry curriculum codes.

To apply for permission, download the form below and then obtain written permission from

  • The course instructor.
  • The Director of Graduate Studies in the department or program offering the course.
  • The Dean of the Graduate School.  
  • Your academic dean, who will make the final decision.  Your dean may wish to consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies in your major.   If your dean approves, he/she will ask the registrar's office to enroll you.  

The form must be submitted to your academic dean's office by 5 p.m. on the last day of drop/add. 

ONLINE FORM:  Enrollment in a 700 - 900 Level Graduate Course

Professional School Courses (Business, Divinity, Law, Nursing etc.)

You are not allowed to enroll in professional school courses - those with a career listing of "Fuqua School of Business", "Divinity School", "School of Law", "School of Nursing" or other course with a professional designation.  For example, some engineering courses are considered "Graduate" and others as "Engineering Professional".    Under rare and exceptional circumstances, a junior or senior may request permission to enroll.  Permission is not guaranteed.  These courses do not carry curriculum codes.

To apply for permission, download the form below and then obtain written permission from

  • The course instructor.
  • The Dean of the professional school.  
  • The Director of Undergraduate Studies or program director, if you wish for the course to count toward a major, minor or certificate.
  • Your academic dean, who will make the final decision.  If your dean approves, he/she will ask the registrar's office to enroll you.

The form must be submitted to your academic dean's office by 5 p.m. on the last day of drop/add.

ONLINE FORM: Enrollment in a Professional School Course