Graduation: Requirements


Undergraduates at Duke may earn one of two degrees:

  • the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or
  • the Bachelor of Science.

See Degrees & Credentials for a fuller explanation of the degrees you can earn at Duke.

In order to graduate with a bachelor's degree in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, you must complete the following Trinity College Curriculum requirements. All Trinity College students are subject to the requirements of the curriculum, including both incoming first-year and transfer students. Engineering students are not subject to the Trinity College Curriculum.

Required: 34 Course Credits

To graduate, you must successfully complete a total of at least 34 course credits. There are restrictions and limitations on the number of certain types of courses that count toward the degree. See Credit Limitations and Restrictions for more information. 

General Education Requirements

  • Areas of Knowledge. To graduate you must successfully complete 2.0 course credits in each of five Areas of Knowledge (ALP, CZ, NS, QS, SS).
  • Modes of Inquiry. To graduate you must successfully complete 2.0 course credits in 5 Modes of Inquiry (CCI, STS, EI, R, W) and one to three courses in a sixth Mode of Inquiry (Foreign Language).
  • First-year writing. You must successfully complete Writing 101 in your first year of enrollment.   
  • First-year seminar. You must successfully complete a 1.0 credit seminar in your first year of enrollment.  Most seminars have an "S" following the course number;  however, a few lack the S but are designed a seminar on the course details page on DukeHub.  There are a wide range of available seminars, including seminars in the Focus program (if you are a Focus participant), 89S seminars which are only open to first-year students, 80S seminars which are lower-level seminars, and then seminars open to all students at the 100, 200 and 300 level.  
  • Small Group Learning Experiences (SGLE). After your first year, you must complete two SGLEs. Seminars, tutorials, thesis courses, and independent study courses are considered SGLEs.

The two first-year requirements (Writing 101 and a seminar) must be completed in the first year. Students who fail to enroll may be withdrawn from Duke for two semesters. Students who fail Writing 101 will be required to enroll again in the fall of their sophomore year. Students who fail their seminar will be required to return to Duke and enroll in a seminar during summer school,

Requirements of the Major

Generally, 10 courses are needed for a major. However, some majors, especially those in math and science, may require additional coursework or prerequisites. Requirements for specific majors are listed on departmental websites; they are also defined in the departmental listings in the Bulletin of Undergraduate Instruction. You need only one major for graduation. If you have a strong secondary interest in another discipline, you might consider a minor or certificate or even a second major. No more than two majors are allowed, and the combined number of majors, minors, and certificates that appear on your transcript cannot exceed three.

A course, whether or not cross-listed, may satisfy requirements of two or more majors and/or minors. Note however that individual majors may set additional restrictions and requirements. Students electing to satisfy the requirements of a certificate program may use for that purpose no more than two courses that are also used to satisfy the requirements of a major, minor, or other certificate program.

You can view lists of all majors, minors, and certificate programs offered in Trinity College.

See also: