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 meet at least 12 times for a minimum of 18 hours.

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. Undergraduate student instructors of House Courses do not receive course credit for teaching and may not enroll in their own courses. 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, in general, free-standing courses of 18 or fewer students. The course may not require for a grade any other curricular or extra-curricular activity or enterprise, nor participation in activities beyond those of the course itself. House Courses are not skills courses or required training for subsequent courses or activities. House Courses do not have prerequisites, corequisites, or required permission. Enrollment in House Courses is open and cannot be limited by anything but the size of the course. Nevertheless, enrollment priority may sometimes be given for those living in the House where the House Course is taught.

Application Deadlines:

  • March 5th, 2021, by 5 pm, for Fall 2021 (extended from February 19th)

  • October 1st, 2021, by 5 pm, for Spring 2022

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 if necessary, 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.
Academic Dean and Director of Course Development

011 Allen Bldg


Staff Assistant, Office of Curriculum and Course Development

011 Allen Building