Advance Excellence in Teaching

We seek to provide a world class education for all our students that is distinctively Duke – that is, an education that engages students and faculty in intellectual partnerships, focuses on important questions, and takes advantage of the university’s rich resources both inside and outside the classroom. We strongly believe that the greatest advantage of a research university is the ability to connect undergraduate education to faculty and to the processes of inquiry and discovery. We seek to build innovative gateway courses and experiences that capture students’ imaginations and recruit them into disciplines, to provide hands-on research opportunities that build relationships between students and faculty as they investigate questions about which they are mutually passionate. And we seek to help students design for themselves a coherent pathway of study that leads to a piece of “signature work,” whether that be a journal article, a service learning policy paper, or an original musical composition.

Our Goals 

  • Provide a distinctive, world-class undergraduate liberal arts education
  • Align teaching with our research mission
  • Reimagine gateway courses, particularly in the sciences
  • Target excellence in the majors
  • Expand pedagogies of engagement and active, student-centered learning
  • Enhance classrooms and instructional technologies
  • Continue to develop master’s programs

Curriculum Development Committee

This 20-member faculty committee led by Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience Scott Huettel, was charged in March 2022 with reviewing the structure and content of the curriculum that governs much of undergraduate education at Duke. Its membership embodies the diversity of disciplines found in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, and also includes representatives from the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Pratt School of Engineering and the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Through the charge, Dean Valerie Ashby and Provost Sally Kornbluth asked the committee to think big and be creative while always bearing in mind our mission, as well as the unique abilities, aspirations and identities of our faculty and Duke students today.

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Teaching Support at Duke Learning Innovation

Trinity College faculty have long partnered with the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) fellows program to produce Coursera MOOCs, to "flip the classroom" to enhance gateway courses, and to explore new instructional technology under the consultation of learning experts. Now through the renamed Duke Learning Innovation program, our faculty can get personalized consultation on their teaching methods, participate in Faculty Fellowships and conversations about teaching, apply for grants to exploring new technologies and teaching strategies, and get expert help in evaluating the effectiveness of innovative teaching efforts. The program also reaches out to new faculty members, like those above, to introduce them to the full breadth of teaching resources available at Duke.

Duke Learning Innovation

Changing the Face of Computing Tech


DTech is a comprehensive effort to empower the next generation of diverse leaders who will bring increased innovation to the tech industry. The program centers around the idea that relationships, mentorship and hands-on experience make the difference in recruiting and retaining such individuals in technology fields.

DTech is a partnership between Duke's Office of Information TechnologyTrinity College of Arts & Sciences and Pratt School of Engineering. The year-round DTech Program supports Duke students from groups underrepresented in tech. DTech provides undergraduates with opportunities to build community, learn about career options, develop interviewing skills, connect with hiring companies, gain advice from upperclassmen, and grow as leaders.

Once students are DTech members they are eligible to apply to the DTech Scholars Program which is a comprehensive summer experience including paid internships, subsidized summer housing, mentorship from industry leaders, networking events, visits to leading tech companies, and professional development workshops.

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10 teaching award winners

Award Winning Teachers

Faculty teaching awards are given annually by the dean’s office in recognition of exceptionally strong teachers working across the college. Outstanding educators are honored for their leadership, teaching, advising, and commitment to diversity.

See current and past recipients

Humanities Laboratories

We are continuing a signature Duke humanities research and learning method we call the Humanities Laboratory. Organized around a central theme, each Humanities Lab brings together faculty, undergraduate and graduate students from the humanities and other disciplines in interdisciplinary, vertically integrated research projects. Lab participants work in physical spaces at the Franklin Humanities Institute that are designed to foster both formal collaboration and informal exchange. Shared technological resources enable the Labs to experiment with new research methods, new lines of inquiry, and new ways of engaging with public audiences at Duke and beyond.

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Bass Connections - Students Tackling Complex Issues

Companies, governments and organizations are looking for graduates with training and experience tackling complex issues. Through Bass Connections, Duke is channeling its unique culture of collaboration, ambitious entrepreneurial spirit and established record of applying classroom learning to pressing global problems, to create a distinctive new model for education. Bass Connections provides both graduate and undergraduate students with greater exposure to inquiry across the disciplines, partnership with unlikely fellow thinkers, sustained mentorship in teams and the chance to experience the intersections of the academy and the broader world.

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