Curriculum: First-Year Requirements

During their first year at Duke all students (including  transfer students) must meet two specific requirements:

What happens if I don't enroll in Writing 101 or if I withdraw or fail Writing 101?
  • If you fail to enroll in Writing 101 in the fall or spring, you will be required to enroll in Writing 101 during summer session.
  • If you are allowed to withdraw from OR if you fail Writing 101 during the fall, you must enroll again in the spring. If you withdraw or fail in the springyou will be required to enroll in Writing 101 during summer session. 

NOTE: Transfer students who have not transferred the equivalent of Writing 101 will be required to enroll in the course during their first semester at Duke.


Can this requirement only be fulfilled by enrolling in a specifically designated first-year seminar course?
  • No. You may fulfill this requirement in any one of the following ways: Through participation in the Focus Program OR by taking a first-year seminar (89S class) OR by taking a class from the 80S seminar series OR by taking any other seminar (‘S’ class) for which you are qualified.
  • If you fail to enroll in a first-year seminar in the fall or spring, or if you fail your seminar class, you will be required to enroll in a seminar during a summer session.


NOTE: Students who have transferred two or more semesters of course work from their previous institution will have the first-year seminar requirement waived.


Beyond Writing 101 and a seminar in your first year, you are free to take any courses that interest you. At least two of these courses should probably be in areas of potential interest to you as a major, so that you can get some exposure to them early on. You also have general education requirements to complete and should work steadily on fulfilling them. 
See also: