Credit: Limitations and Restrictions


There are specific requirements concerning course credits in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and how these course credits apply to graduation requirements. 

Thirty-four course credits are required for graduation. 

For students entering Duke prior to August 2015:

  • 17 of the 34 credits must be Duke-originated courses, defined as courses offered through Duke University, taught by Duke or Duke-affiliated faculty, and subject to the approval processes of Duke's schools.  Duke-originated courses include those taught at Duke University, the Duke University Marine Laboratory, Duke Kunshan University, and Duke-originated courses that are offered in Duke-In study away programs. 
  • 17 of the 34 credits may be non-Duke originated course credits and can include any combination of the following:
    • Two prematriculation credits, i.e., AP, International Placement Credit (IPC), and Prematriculation Course Credit (PMC).  If you have more than two AP/IPC/PMC credits, Duke will record all of them on your Duke transcript and you may use all for placement into higher-level coursework and to satisfy departmental major or minor requirements to the extent allowed by the individual department, but only two will count toward the 34 credits needed for graduation.  If you intend to graduate early, you may apply additional AP/IPC/PMC credits toward the 34 credits required for graduation, but you are still subject to the required number of Duke-originated courses taken post-matriculation.
    • Two institutional transfer credits that you arrange for on your own at another accredited, four-year university or college in the U.S. or abroad. 
    • Ten study-abroad transfer credits that you take through a Duke-approved study abroad program.  However, the maximum number of credits when combining institutional and study abroad transfer credits cannot exceed ten.
    • Four inter-institutional credits.  You may enroll in more than four inter-institutional courses and can use them, if appropriate, for major, minor, certificate or general education requirements, but a maximum of four will count toward the 34 credits required for graduation.  

For students entering Duke in August 2015 and after:

  • 24 of the 34 credits must be Duke-originated credits, as defined above.
  • 10 of the 34 credits may be non-Duke-originated credits. as defined above.

For all students, there are other limitations.  The 34 credits may include no more than:

  • 2.0 credits with a grade of D, D- or D+
  • 1.0 credit of physical education activity (i.e., two 0.5 credit physedu courses, including military science physical activity courses)
  • 4.0 credits of dance/American Dance Festival technique/performance (i.e., eight 0.5 credit courses)
  • 2.0 credits of house courses (i.e., four 0.5 credit courses)
  • 4.0 credits in military science (i.e., courses listed as Military Science, Aerospace Studies, or Naval Science)
  • 1.0 credit from academic internships
  • 4.0 credits completed on an elective Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis; this does not apply to courses that are offered only on an S/U basis
  • 6.0 credits from Duke graduate and professional school courses that are not listed in the Duke University Bulletin of Undergraduate Instruction. These courses include all courses offered by the schools of business, law, divinity, nursing, and all graduate courses numbered 700 and above. These courses are generally not open to undergraduates and require special permission to enroll. Independent Study may not be taken in a professional school, unless listed as a course in the Duke University Bulletin of Undergraduate Instruction or offered through a Trinity College of Arts & Sciences department or program.

Students may have courses in excess of the limits above and the courses will count toward major, minor, certificate and general education requirements as appropriate, but the extra courses will not count toward the 34 credits required for graduation.

Note:  For Duke Robertson Scholars who enroll in courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, the UNC courses are considered Duke-originated courses.  For Duke students participating in the Howard and Spelman Exchange Programs, courses taken during the semester at Howard or Spelman are considered Duke-originated courses.  Transfer students who have transferred to Duke from another university as a sophomore or junior must complete 17 Duke-originated courses, regardless of their year of matriculation. 

See also: