Duke studentsFirst Year

Your first year at Duke should be a time of exploration and discovery, not a time to rush through as many requirements as possible. Students usually complete curriculum requirements through a combination of courses in their prospective majors and courses that genuinely appeal to the breadth of their interests. In your first semester, we encourage you to pick at least one class as if you had no requirements to fulfill—this choice often takes students down paths that they'd not previously considered but which lead to exciting connections to faculty, research opportunities and careers.

Got questions? Before you arrive, you can contact the Academic Advising Center at (919) 684-6217 or advising.duke.edu. Once you're at Duke, your college advisor and the rest of your advising network are here to help.

Frequently asked questions

Incoming students have asked the questions below in previous summers. Remember that if you have other questions or need more explanation, we encourage you to contact the Academic Advising Center by phone (919-684-6217; Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or email (advising@duke.edu) for help.

  1. What do AP, IPC and PMC credits count for?
  • As explained on our course placement page, Duke will give you credit for some college-level course work that you take before coming to Duke. Bookmark Trinity College’s pages explaining the details of AP, IPC and PMC placement and charting AP course equivalents and placement by department.
  • The abbreviation IPC refers to credit for scores on specific international standardized examinations such as the International Baccalaureate. 
  • PMC course work is that taken at another university and meeting certain criteria.
  • ALL of your AP, IPC and/or PMC credits will be listed on your Duke transcript. If you have eight AP credits, all eight will be listed. 
  • AP, IPC and PMC credits will sometimes fulfill major requirements or prerequisites, depending upon the major.  
  • Any two of your AP, IPC and/or PMC credits will count toward the 34 credits you need to graduate.
  • AP, IPC and PMC credits will not count toward curriculum requirements (Areas of Knowledge, Modes of Inquiry).


  1. I heard that I can only use two AP (IPC, PMC) credits toward the 34 credits for graduation. Do I need to choose which ones?
  • No. Just have all of your scores sent to Duke. The Registrar's office will automatically change the number of credits you need to graduate from 34 to 32.


  1. I took Calculus BC and do not have my AP scores back yet. Will I be able to see them before I have to register for classes?
  • Probably yes. AP scores are usually sent by the testing service to the Duke Registrar’s office during the first week of July, and the credits will be posted in on the Academics page of your DukeHub in a section called Test Credits. You hopefully will see your scores and any Duke credit you receive before registration.
  • If you don’t see your scores, then enroll as you think you should. If you need to, you can correct your enrollment later, during the first or second drop/add period.


  1. How will I know that my AP scores have been received?


  1. Other students have their AP scores, but mine are not showing up. 
  • Check with the testing service to see if they have been sent.
  • If only some of your AP scores are showing, check with the testing service. They may not have sent them all.
  • If the testing service tells you they have sent your scores, then check with the Office of the University Registrar (registrar@duke.edu, (919) 684-2813) to see if they have been received, but wait until after the first week of July or so to give the Registrar's office time to process them.


  1.  I had my AP scores listed on my Duke application, so the Duke Admissions office should have them. Is this sufficient?
  • No. All AP scores must be sent from the Educational Testing Service directly to the Registrar’s office. See the Registrar’s AP information page for information.


  1.  I am just now having AP scores sent, and registration is tomorrow. Based on my scores, I should place into MATH 212 and ECON 201D. Can I enroll in MATH 212 and ECON 201D, or do I have to wait for my AP scores to be received and posted? 
  • You will need to wait to enroll. Here’s why:
    • MATH 212 and ECON 201D both have enforced prerequisites.  This means you cannot enroll until your AP credits for MATH, ECON 21 and ECON 22 appear on your Academic History. Postpone enrolling in these until later .


  1. I have AP credit for MATH 21 and 22. Is that two courses/credits?
  • Yes. A score of 5 on the Calculus BC exam gives you credit for two courses (MATH 21 and 22). 


  1. I will have AP credit for Math 21 and 22. Does this fulfill my QS (Quantitative Studies) requirement?
  • No. AP credits cannot be used to fulfill curriculum requirements. You will need to take two courses coded QS at Duke.


  1. I took Calculus AB my junior year and will have credit for MATH 21. Do I have to take more calculus at Duke?
  • Only if you choose a major that requires higher-level calculus courses. Majors that require additional math are biophysics, computer science, chemistry , economics, math, neuroscience, physics, psychology (BS degree) and statistics. Biology majors usually take an additional semester of calculus or statistics. 
  • No, if you do not major in an area that requires more calculus. To fulfill the QS curriculum requirement, you could enroll in statistics and computer science, but you don’t have to do that in your first semester. One of your QS courses must be in math, statistics or computer science. 
  • Read about all of Trinity College’s majors and minors.


  1. I have AP credit for MATH 21 and MATH 22, but I was thinking of enrolling in one of these again as a refresher. Will DukeHub let me do that?
  • Yes. If you have AP credit for MATH 21, you can enroll in MATH 111L. If you have AP credit for MATH 21 and 22, you can enroll in MATH 122L. However, if you do so, you will lose the AP credit.
  • See the department’s frequently asked math placement questions.
  • Math faculty members offer placement advice and answer questions on a special Facebook page.


  1. I scored a 5 on the AP Chemistry exam, but that was sophomore year and I’ve forgotten a lot. Can I enroll in CHEM 101DL? 
  • The chemistry department requires that students with a score of 5 on the AP Chemistry exam enroll in either CHEM 110DL or CHEM 201DL, and most students find that any chemistry they may have forgotten from high school comes back quickly. If a student finds they are doing poorly after the first midterm exam, they may then petition to drop back to a lower level chemistry course, but in order to do so, they must have an open spot in their schedule that will accommodate the change. 


  1. I scored a 5 on the AP Chemistry exam, so I can go into CHEM 201DL (organic chemistry). How hard is organic chemistry?
  • It requires excellent study habits and good memorization skills. Enroll according to your placement and re-evaluate when you come to Duke by checking the textbook and syllabus and talking with the instructor. You can postpone chemistry to the spring if you wish.
  • Note that there is a special lecture section of organic chemistry (CHEM 201DL-002) that is just for incoming first-year students in the fall.


  1. I have a 3 on the AP Chemistry exam, but I’d like to enroll in CHEM 110DL. I have lots of research experience in chemistry. I think I just had a bad day on the AP exam. Is this OK?
  • Maybe. Read the chemistry website for placement information.
  • Check with a director of undergraduate studies in chemistry (dus@chem.duke.edu) if you have questions.
  • And/or enroll as you think you should and then evaluate more fully when you arrive on campus in August.
  • If you are a prehealth student, you may need to take CHEM 101DL and 210DL instead of 110DL. See the prehealth website for more information.


  1. I scored a 5 on the AP Biology exam. Does it place me out of courses at Duke? 
  • No. If you are considering a biology or neuroscience major, or if you are a prehealth student, you still need to take the introductory courses BIOLOGY 201L and 202L. AP credit doesn’t place you out of these.
  • However, the introductory course in neuroscience (NEUROSCI 101, cross-listed as PSY 106) recommends that students have a background in biology. So your AP score is a good indicator of sufficient background.


  1. I scored a 5 on the AP Psychology exam, but only a 3 on the AP Biology exam. It says for NEUROSCI 101/PSY 106 that Duke strongly recommends a biology background. Can I take the course so I can begin to explore neuroscience? 
  • If you feel very confident in biology, enroll in NEUROSCI 101/PSY 106 and re-evaluate when you arrive in August. Look at the textbook and class syllabus, and if you have doubts, talk with the instructor.
  • If you feel your background in biology is weak, then put off NEUROSCI 101/PSY 106 off until you've completed BIOLOGY 201L.


  1. I love biology and hope to take BIOL 201 my first semester.  However, DukeHub will not allow me to enroll.  What should I do?
  • BIOL 201 has an enforced prerequisite of CHEM 101 (or its AP equivalent, CHEM 20) to enroll.  Without that credit on your DukeHub, you will not be able to validate.  However, you have several options to continue your study of biology first semester:
    • Though open seats are rare, since upperclassmen have already enrolled, take BIOL 202 if available, as it has no such prerequisite
    • If you haven’t had AP Biology and your SAT Math score is <630, consider taking BIOL 199, Introduction to Biological Thinking, which provides a framework for understanding biology and a foundation for future Biology classes at Duke. 
    • Take an 89S Biology seminar, or postpone Biology until the spring.  You will still be making progress in this subject area if you are taking Chemistry and/or Math, as described below.
    • See the department’s Guide for First-Year Students for detailed recommendations.


  1. What is a dual-enrollment course? I’d like to get credit for college-level courses I took in high school.
  • Dual-enrollment classes are college courses that also fulfill high school graduation requirements. They are not eligible for prematriculation credit.

  1. I did an International Baccalaureate program, so I might have international placement credits. How do I get credit for them?
  • Check the table of equivalents (also available in the Blue Book) to determine whether your scores make you eligible for IPCs.
  • Have the scores sent directly to the Duke Registrar’s office this summer (contact info above, under Question 5), or if you have the certificates yourself, bring them with you in August and take them to the Registrar’s office for evaluation. The Registrar’s office is in the Bevan (Coca-Cola) Building.


  1. What are the first-year requirements?
  • All Trinity students must take a WRITING 101 class and a 1.0-credit seminar. The seminar could be an 89S seminar for first-year students, an 80S seminar for first- and second-year students (offered in religious studies, literature and cultural anthropology), a 100-level seminar or even a seminar at the 200-399 level if you have experience in that area.


  1. How do I know if I will be able to enroll in WRITING 101 this fall?


  1. I'm trying to register and DukHub won’t allow me to enroll in WRITING 101.
  • It might be because you were not among the students selected to enroll in WRITING 101. Check your Student Center page on DukeHub to see if “WRITING 101” appears under Announcements. If that is missing, you do not need to take WRITING 101 in the fall. If you’d like, you can enroll starting July 15 if there are seats open.


  1. I’ve tried validating my schedule with WRITING 101, and DukeHub keeps asking me for a permission number (or it says that I don’t meet the prerequisite). What’s the problem?
  • You are not in the group of students selected to enroll in WRITING 101. See above.


  1. I am not in the group of students allowed to enroll in WRITING 101 this fall, but today (July 12 or 14), there is still a WRITING 101 section open that is appealing. Can I enroll?
  • No. The restricted enrollment for WRITING 101 continues until everyone has registered.  Beginning July 15, anyone can register for whatever sections remain with open seats.


  1. I am selected to register for WRITING 101 on July 12 or 14, but is it acceptable if I do not enroll in WRITING 101 this fall?
  • No, you are expected enroll in WRITING 101 this fall.


  1. Where can I find descriptions of WRITING 101 courses?
  • Our course selection page links to general information about WRITING 101 and course descriptions for the upcoming semester.


  1. I am enrolling in a WRITING 101 section. Can I also enroll in a seminar?
  • Yes, DukeHub will allow you to do that. But you should do so only if you are genuinely interested in the seminar topic, not because you want to complete requirements as fast as possible. Combining WRITING 101 and a first-year seminar can be writing-intensive.


  1. Can I enroll in two seminars?
  • Yes.


     11. What do I do if all the first-year seminars (89S series) are full?

  • Look for other seminars. Seminars numbered 80S or less than 199 should be fine. You might also find a seminar at the 200-399 level if you have experience in the area.  Be sure the course number has an “S” after it (for example, English 184S), to be sure it is designated as a seminar.
  • Try using the Advanced Schedule Search tool in Duke Hub to look for open seminars. See Section 4.4 in the Registration section of the Blue Book.

  1. Does Duke have a foreign language requirement?


  1. Can I use my AP (IPC, PMC) credits to satisfy the FL requirement?
  • No, but you can use them as a guide to place into an appropriate level of foreign language.


  1. How do I know if a course counts toward the foreign language requirement?
  • You will see an FL as a curriculum code on the class detail page on DukeHub. Some language programs occasionally offer courses in English, and these do not count.


  1. Should I start Italian this fall? I want to go abroad later and will be an art history major.
  • Starting a foreign language is a good idea if you are enthusiastic and/or plan to go abroad.
  • Check out the Global Education website to view potential study abroad programs and their requirements.
  • Or, you can postpone Italian to the spring, because Italian 101 is taught every semester.


  1. How do I figure out my placement in a foreign language?
  • Go to the Trinity languages page, and click on the department of the foreign language in which you are interested. There is usually placement information on the department website.
  • Choose a course as best you can, and then when you arrive on campus and go to the first class, talk with the instructor and make sure the course is a good fit for you.
  • Remember that foreign languages usually require you to speak, listen, read and write, and you may be more developed in one area than another. This can make a difference in placement, so going to the first class and conferring with the instructor is important.
  • Foreign-language faculty members are not always at Duke in the summer. However, if you wish to try to contact a department to discuss placement, look for contact information on the department website of your language of interest.


  1. I have had five years of Russian and can speak it fluently. Can I enroll in RUSSIAN 301S?
  • Yes, go ahead and enroll; then talk with the instructor at the first class to be sure.


  1. I read that taking SPANISH 203 and 204 would fulfill my FL requirement—is this true? Can you explain the sequence in Spanish classes?
  • We have two semesters of beginning Spanish (SPANISH 101 and 102) followed by two semesters of intermediate Spanish (SPANISH 203 and 204). After that, there are several 300-level advanced Spanish classes.
  • Completing only 203 and 204 would not fulfill the FL requirement. You need three semesters of a foreign language or one 300-level course, whichever comes first. So you would follow one of these possible sequences:
                SPANISH 101, 102, 201
                SPANISH 102, 203, 204
                SPANISH 203, 204, 300-level
                SPANISH 204, 300-level
                SPANISH 300-level
  • Please see the SPAN language chart for differences between the levels.
  • All language programs work this way. Note that some foreign language departments occasionally offer intensive and accelerated courses. Check each department for more information.


  1. I place into SPANISH 204, but I’d like to take a 300-level Spanish course so I will be finished with the FL requirement in one semester. Can I do this if I do some extra studying as the course begins?
  • No. Sometimes Duke classes begin fairly easily and going into a higher-level course seems like it would be possible. But by mid-semester the courses become more rigorous. Students who enroll above their placement nearly always need to withdraw from the course and go back to the proper course in the next semester. So enroll according to placement guidelines.
  • However, if you feel you are very advanced or have an exceptional background, talk with someone in the foreign language program for advice, or with your instructor on the first day of class.


  1. I want to learn Chinese and I have no experience. Can I put Chinese off until the spring semester?
  • No. Asian and Middle Eastern studies languages (Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese and Korean) as well as Greek and Latin are unusual in that the first semester of the language is always taught in the fall and the second semester is always taught in the spring. So you need to begin the language this fall, or put it off to the fall of your sophomore year.


  1. I placed into CHINESE 131 but the class is full and I can’t postpone the course to the spring. What do I do?
  • For questions about 100-level Chinese courses, contact the coordinator of first-year Chinese, Dr. Tianshu He, at (919) 660-7059 or htianshu@duke.edu.
  • For questions about courses above the 100 level, contact the director of the Chinese program, Professor Carolyn Lee, at kslee@duke.edu.
  • Also see the Chinese placement guidelines.


  1. I took Latin I and II in high school. Should I go into the intermediate section?
  • Follow the guidelines on the department website.
  • For questions, contact the program director now or talk with your Latin instructor when classes begin.


  1. I took five years of Latin and didn’t have time to take the AP exam in my senior year, but I’m sure I would have scored a 4 or 5. What course should I choose?
  • A 300-level class sounds appropriate. Check with the Latin program director now or enroll as you think you should, and then check with the instructor in the first class.


  1. I’m fluent in Finnish and Swedish and I’ve also had three years of Hebrew and five years of French. Can I bypass the FL requirement?
  • No. While that is a wonderful language background, it doesn’t place you out of the FL requirement at Duke.
  • One choice would be to continue French at Duke. If you place into a 300-level French class, you could take one course and be finished. Or you might consider participating in study abroad in France, where you could finish your FL requirement.
  • A second choice would be to continue your study of Hebrew.
  • Duke does not offer courses in Finnish or Swedish. If you would like to continue your study of these languages while enrolled at Duke, please read our policies and practices regarding less commonly taught languages not offered at Duke.


  1. Would a 300-level seminar in a foreign language course satisfy both my FL requirement and a seminar in my first year?
  • Yes, if the course is listed as a seminar in the course description and has an FL code, it will satisfy both.
  1. Where do I find curriculum codes like ALP and CCI for courses?
  • They are listed on the course detail page on DukeHub. See Section 4.6 of Registration section of the Blue Book. To learn more about what the codes mean, read about Areas of Knowledge and Modes of Inquiry on the Trinity website.


  1. Is there a website with information about all the majors, minors and certificates at Duke?
  • Yes, our page on choosing a major links to these lists and outlines other sources of assistance in the process of major selection.


  1. Is Duke on the semester-hour system?
  • No, Duke uses a credit system. Most courses are 1.0 credit, and the normal course load is four courses (credits) each semester. A 1.0-credit course at Duke is similar to a three- or four-hour course at another university.


  1. How many credits should I enroll in? 
  • You should enroll in four 1.0-credit courses every semester. This is the minimum course load.


  1. Is there a maximum course load?
  • This fall you are limited to four 1.0-credit courses and an optional 0.5-credit course, for a maximum of 4.5 credits. This is because you will need extra time to transition to Duke, adjust to classes, meet other students and faculty and get involved in campus life. 
  • However, if you would like to add additional 0.5-credit courses (physical education, music, band, house course) this fall, you can email your academic dean when you arrive in August, and your dean can approve extra partial credits.
  • In the spring and all semesters thereafter, the credit limit will be 5.5 credits per semester.


  1. Can one class count for more than one requirement?
  • Yes. Courses can carry both Area of Knowledge and Mode of Inquiry codes. If a course has two Area of Knowledge codes (CZ, SS, NS, QS, ALP), only one will count. You don’t need to choose—DukeHub will use the code you need as your progress through Duke. But for Modes of Inquiry (CCI, EI, STS, R, W, FL), up to three codes can count. A course might also serve as a first-year seminar, and it could count toward a major.
  • As an example, ENGLISH 278S fulfills the first-year seminar requirement and carries one Area of Knowledge code (ALP) and three Mode of Inquiry codes (CCI, R, W). Plus, it could count toward an English major or minor.


  1. Is every course offered every semester? 
  • No. Be sure to set the term to Fall 2016 when using the class search or advanced search in DukeHub
  • An easy way to see what courses might be offered in the spring is to change the semester on the search page to Spring 2016. That will tell you what was taught last spring. 


  1. What is the difference between a course marked LEC with a capacity of 70 people and a DIS class with a capacity of 15? 
  • LEC refers to a lecture, which can be very small or very large. DIS denotes discussion sections associated with a course, and they are usually small.
  • Some courses include one large lecture class along with smaller discussion sections. You enroll in a discussion section, and that also enrolls you in the associated lecture. An example is ECON 201D. Enroll in ECON 201D-06D Disc and DukeHub automatically enrolls you in ECON 201D-001 Lecture.
  • Some classes are taught with an optional discussion group. An example is EVANTH 101, where you can enroll in EVANTH 101 or 101D.
  • Some science and math courses may include a lecture AND a discussion section AND a lab. Courses with multiple components allow you greater flexibility in scheduling your classes.
  • More information is available on p. 6 of the Registration section of the Blue Book.


  1. What’s the difference between EVANTH 101 and EVANTH 101D?
  • EVANTH 101D has an additional discussion group. This is often useful and relevant for students who are considering a major in evolutionary anthropology; it is not required for the major.


  1. If a class has both a lecture and discussion, must I attend both?
  • Yes.
  • Note that you often enroll in a discussion group and DukeHub then automatically enrolls you in the corresponding lecture. 


  1. Why does it say “departmental staff” as an instructor for a course?
  • Because the department is not yet sure who will be teaching.


  1. Why do courses already have seats taken?
  • Because sophomores, juniors and seniors registered for classes in April.


  1. Does a math or science course with lab count as one course (1.0 credit)? 
  • Yes. Usually labs are connected with courses and do not carry separate credit. The only exceptions are PHYSICS 161 and 162[HS1] .


  1. I see an interesting philosophy course and it is listed in three departments (philosophy, linguistics, visual studies). Is this the same course? 
  • Yes, it is one course, with seats allotted to three departments. You can register for any of the three listings.
  • If you later wish to change how the course is listed on your record, the Registrar's office has a form that you can complete, and they will change the listing for you. They will only do this after drop/add ends for the semester.


  1. Can I take a course pass/fail?
  • At Duke, we call this “satisfactory/unsatisfactory.” More information is available on the Trinity website. Remember that you may need that course for major or curriculum requirements later, and courses taken on the S/U basis cannot be used to satisfy these requirements.


  1. I am interested in taking statistics this fall. Do I need to take a placement exam? 
  • Statistics classes no longer require a placement exam.

More information on statistics placement is available on our placement page

  1. What is bookbagging?
  • Your bookbag in DukeHub is a tool to help you plan your registration before your registration window opens. The bookbag is similar to the “shopping cart” feature found on many websites. While doing a class search or when using Schedule Builder, you can place courses of interest in your bookbag.
  • You can add a selection of different courses or multiple sections of a single course in your bookbag as you start to put together a fall schedule. When your registration window opens in DukeHub  you’ll choose four courses from your bookbag and enroll.


  1. When do bookbags disappear?
  • When drop/add ends, after the first two weeks of the semester (Sept. 9 for Fall 2016).
  • If you find courses that you’d like to remember for future semesters, save them in the My Planner page in DukeHub. Your planner always remains open.


  1. What is drop/add?
  • This is the time that follows the registration windows, when all students can add and drop classes as they wish. 
  • For this summer, you will have two drop/add periods. The first will last from July 15 to July 22. Then DukeHub registration closes for a few weeks so departments can look at enrollment numbers and placements. Then drop/add opens again (August 24- September 9) when you arrive for orientation. You’ll be able to adjust your schedule after meeting individually with your college advisor.


  1. What does "validate a schedule" mean?
  • It means that DukeHub will check your proposed schedule for missing prerequisites (for courses with enforced prerequisites) and time conflicts.
  • If validation is successful, it means that you are eligible to enroll in those courses if they are open.
  • Note that it does not necessarily mean you will be able to get into all your preferred courses. It is possible that a course will fill before or during your registration window, because many students enroll on each registration day.


  1. I’m validating my schedule but can’t seem to enroll. What’s wrong? 
  • You can validate your schedule on any day, but you can’t actually enroll until your registration window opens on July 12 or 14. Check your Student Center page to see what day you register.


  1. I tried to validate my schedule, but DukeHub wouldn’t allow ECON 201D in my schedule. Why not?
  • ECON 201D is an example of a course where there are enforced prerequisites. If a course has an enrollment requirement on the class detail page, then this course has an enforced prerequisite. This means that you can bookbag the course, but DukeHub will not allow you to enroll until the prerequisite course is listed on your Academic History on DukeHub.
  • DukeHub will not allow you to enroll until it sees AP credit for MATH 21 and ECON 21 and 22. Wait until your AP scores have arrived, and then enroll in ECON 201D. This class almost always has available seats, so don't worry if you need to enroll in the class in August.
  • For more on enforced and unenforced prerequisites, see p. 11 in the Registration section of the Blue Book.


  1. What should I do if many of the courses I have in my bookbag are full when my registration window opens?
  • Search for more classes. This is a good time to use the advanced class search on DukeHub. Check “Show Open Classes Only,” and DukeHub will only return classes that are still open.
  • It is helpful to check your bookbag the night before your registration window opens.
  • Use Schedule Builder to create a schedule that looks manageable for you and avoids conflict.


  1. The preregistration steps were supposed to be completed in June, but I was traveling and didn’t complete them. Is it too late? 
  • No. Complete these as soon as you can.


  1. When do I really register for classes? I see dates in June and July on my.duke.edu.
  • The day that you can actually enroll in classes is July 12 or 14. You will see one of these dates on your Student Center page on DukeHub. The earlier deadlines are for preregistration information. 


  1. How do registration windows work?
  • The normal registration process works like this:  Seniors register first, followed by juniors, sophomores, and then first-year students.
  • You will be assigned to one of two registration days for your class. Assignment is based on the last two digits of your Student ID number and is displayed on your Student Center page in DukeHub.
  • Your registration window will change each semester. If you are in the second window for fall registration, you will move to the first window for Spring 2017 classes.
  • The Registrar’s website provides more information.


  1. Does being in the second registration window mean I won’t get an 89S seminar or WRITING 101 class?
  • If there is one specific 89S seminar or one WRITING 101 section that you want, then it may be full. These are small classes, and they tend to fill up quickly. However, be flexible and look for other sections or classes. There are many WRITING 101 sections, and all teach the same basic information. And there are always many seminars at the 89S and <199 levels that could be interesting and fun. 
  • Remember that this is the beginning of enrollment and not the end of enrollment. When drop/add begins again in August, other courses may be available. Once you are on campus, you'll be able to speak with students, advisors and instructors about course choices. You should be able to find four interesting and useful courses for the fall, no matter what your registration window.

12. How do I know I’ve enrolled in courses? I’m not sure I really registered.

  • Check DukeHub. Your fall courses will be listed on your Student Center page and on your Academic History.


      13. When I put a course in my bookbag and the class is full, I see a waitlist number. Does this mean I’m on the waitlist?

  • No. DukeHub is just listing what the next available waitlist number is for the course if someone asks to enroll.
  • DukeHub will not allow you to be on a waitlist this summer. If a course is full, choose another class.


      14. When I try to bookbag CHEM 101DL, I get a notice that I need to enroll in another class. Is this two classes?

  • It is one course, but you enroll in the lecture and laboratory separately, e.g. CHEM 101DL (lecture/recitation) and CHEM 101L9 (lab).
  • You must enroll in both parts. You cannot just take the lecture/recitation.


      15.  The courses I wanted to take are full. Help! 

  • Don't worry. There are still many good courses from which to choose. Be flexible.
  • If you wish, you can contact the instructor of the full course to see if s/he would give you a permission number and allow you to join. However ...
  • There are two restrictions to watch out for. WRITING 101 classes cannot enroll more than 12 students, and seminars cannot enroll more than 18 students. Instructors will not give permission to enroll these courses beyond the limits.


      16. I can’t get into a chemistry or math course; the lectures, recitations and labs are all full. 

  • For chemistry, put the course in your bookbag and wait for instructions from the chemistry department. Or email dus@chem.duke.edu and explain the problem. The chemistry department may raise the cap on courses or add sections once they see what the demand is for a course.
  • For math, see the department's instructions and enrollment policies.


      17. I want to major in biology, and both BIOLOGY 201L and 202L are full. What should I do?

  • Postpone your first biology course to the spring. This is typical for prospective majors. 
  • The biology department usually recommends that you begin chemistry and math before going into biology at Duke.


      18. I can’t get access to DukeHub (dukehub.duke.edu).

  • The server could be down. Check the OIT alert page for down times and technical issues, or call the OIT help desk at (919) 684-2200. You can also email help@oit.duke.edu.


      19. What should I do if the language course I place into is full when I register?

  • Postpone the course. Most languages classes will be offered again in the spring.
  • Watch course enrollments during the first week of classes; a seat may open up at that time.
  • However, Asian and Middle Eastern studies languages (Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean) and Greek and Latin are different. The first half of a language level (e.g., JPN 101) is offered only in the fall semester, and the second half of a language level (e.g., JPN 102) is offered only in the spring semester. If you cannot register for one of these language courses in the fall, contact the appropriate language program coordinator to find out whether you can enroll. 


      20.  A class I want to enroll in requires a permission number. Should I contact the instructor now? Can I register for the course before I get the permission number?

  • You can try to contact the instructor (go to Duke.edu and enter the instructor's name into the search box to find her/his email address). 
  • If you still can't find contact information, go to Trinity’s page on majors and minors to find a link to the departmental website. Then look for information on contacts (undergraduate studies office or a staff assistant). You can call or email and ask if they can tell you how to get in touch with the instructor.
  • Note: Many instructors are not at Duke during the summer and may not have access to permission numbers. If you email an instructor and don't receive an answer, choose another course. Try again when you get to Duke in August.


      21.  I want to enroll in a music course that requires an audition. Can I enroll now? 

  • No. Auditions will be held after you arrive on campus, so postpone enrollment until then.


       22.  I see a place on DukeHub where a permission number can be entered. Does this mean I need a permission number for every course? 

  • No. Most courses do not require a permission number. If a class requires one, the “Permission Required?” column in your bookbag will read “Yes.”
  • However, all classes have a spot in DukeHub where a permission number could be entered. This is because instructors may give you a permission number so you can enroll in a course that is full. A permission number is a guaranteed seat in the class and it overrides enrollment limits. And all course enrollments during the second week of the semester require permission of the instructor and a permission number.
  • Permission numbers won't work if you are already enrolled in the maximum number of credits (4.5 for this fall, 5.5 in future semesters).


      23.  I’m currently out of the country and I don’t have a Blue Book; I’ve apparently missed the housing deadline, and I can’t register. Can someone send me the information I need to have in the Blue Book?

      1.  I want to enroll in PHYSICS 161L, and it’s only offered at one time and it conflicts with one of my Focus courses. What should I do?

  • Contact the director of your Focus group/cluster to see if a course can be changed. 
  • Your interest in PHYSICS 161L indicates you intend to be a physics major. If you are not planning a physics major, then you can probably postpone physics to a later semester.


      2.  Will Focus count for my first-year seminar? 

  • Yes.


      3.  Is it too much to take another seminar in addition to my two Focus courses (seminars)?

  • Taking three seminars at a time can be reading- and writing-intensive. Be careful and realistic when balancing your workload. You’ll be able to better judge the workload once you’ve gone to the first class and received the syllabus.


      4.  I’ll have 4.5 credits because I’m in Focus. Can I add a half-credit dance course? That would be 5.0 credits total.

  • Yes, but not until you arrive on campus in August. When you do, email your academic dean and explain what you would like to do. Your dean can approve an additional partial-credit course and raise your credit limit on DukeHub. You should also discuss your courses and plans with your college advisor during orientation week.


      5.  One of the Focus seminars looks fascinating, but I’m not in Focus. Can I take the course anyway?

  • Unfortunately, no. Focus classes are only for Focus students.


      6.  I am in a Focus program that seems unrelated to my prehealth goals. Should I stay in Focus or enroll in classes that would be more applicable to my long-term goal of attending medical school?

  • Staying in Focus is an excellent idea. Medical schools prefer broadly educated students with an appreciation for issues outside of science. Focus is a great way to begin. Focus also helps you develop sound communication and research skills, and you can establish strong connections with your instructors.
  • Most prehealth students take the full four years at Duke to prepare for medical school or another health-profession school, so there is no rush. Take your time and enjoy Focus. It can be a pivotal experience for you.


       7.  I’m premed and in Focus, what should I take as electives?

  • Chemistry, psychology and sociology are possible choices. You could also begin a course that will help you choose a major. Calculus may also be an option.
  • See the prehealth website for details about premed/prehealth course information and planning.


      8.  Would Focus interfere with my ability to major in neuroscience?

  • No. You can start in math and chemistry this year. Your first neuroscience course will be NEUROSCI 101/PSY 106, which can be taken in the fall or spring.


       9.  Is doing Focus and CHEM 201DL too much?

  • It’s probably fine. If you place into CHEM 201DL, you must have AP credits in chemistry, and so your science skills are well-developed. Remember that the chemistry department also allows first-year students to drop back to CHEM 110DL if CHEM 201DL is too much. Students rarely have to do this, but you can consider it a fallback option.


   10.  I want to change one of my Focus classes, but DukeHub won’t let me. What do I do?

  • Contact the director of your Focus program/cluster.
  • Note that it's really hard to judge a course by a short course description or synopsis. Sometimes a course that doesn’t seem appealing will turn out to have a fascinating instructor who will end up being a mentor and advisor for you for years. Or the topic will be much more interesting than you expect and the other students in the class will be a dynamic group. Try the class and then evaluate. 


    11.  Only 1.5 Focus credits are showing on my fall schedule. Aren’t there supposed to be 2.5 credits?

  • Yes. Focus is a 2.5-credit program. It might be that a class is being added late or that there is a computer glitch. Contact the administrative coordinator in the Focus office.


     12.  Can I change my mind and withdraw from Focus?

  • Contact the administrative coordinator in the Focus office.
  • Look at the total Focus experience, as working with a close group of students and faculty in the fall is usually a terrific experience.


      13. Do you recommend Focus? I’ve been accepted but to my second choice of topic.

  • The Focus Program at Duke is a nationally recognized program because of the close interactions with faculty and other students, the ability to look at a subject from different angles and the opportunity to develop critical thinking and communication. While the subject matter may not your first choice, it can still be terrific. The program and learning goes way beyond the subject matter. 
  • Talk with the director of your Focus group/cluster for more information.

      1.  When will I be assigned a college advisor?

  • In early August. 


      2.  How do I find out who my college advisor is, and when will I meet her/him?

  • Sometime in August you will receive an email from the director of the Academic Advising Center giving you the name of your advisor. You will also be able to see your advisor’s name and contact information on your Student Center page on DukeHub. 
  • You will meet with your advisor twice during orientation week. The first will be a group meeting on Wednesday, Aug 24 at 2 p.m. You'll schedule a second, individual meeting with your advisor at that time. 


       3.  Do I have to attend the two meetings with my college advisor? 

  • Yes. It is required that you meet with your advisor, review your fall schedule and create a plan for working together during the fall semester. Your advisor will need to reopen registration for you in order for you to make changes to your fall schedule.


       4.  Is there someone I can be in touch with this summer to discuss my course selection before registration?

  • Yes. We have college advisors on call during the summer, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. EDT. Call (919) 684-6217 or email advising@duke.edu.


       5.  I have a very advanced background in math (or physics, biology, music, journalism etc.). Will I be given a college advisor in this area? 

  • Perhaps. Your college advisor will help you with registration, curriculum requirements and developing a long-range plan that suits your strengths and interests.  Additionally, s/he will serve as a connector, introducing you to specialists across campus. 
  • For advising in your special field of interest, you can consult with faculty and the director of undergraduate studies in that department at any time. You might also talk with a DAE, peer advisor, program director or others. One of the goals of your first year is to become comfortable in asking questions and seeking answers from many members of the Duke community. 


      6.  Who is my academic dean, and what does s/he do?

  • Your academic dean oversees your academic progress and can help you with problems. For example, you might need to contact your dean for issues of withdrawing from a course, death in the family, probation, prolonged illness, special needs, change in graduation date, problems with a course or any matter that deals with your ability to meet academic requirements. 
  • A dean is assigned to each first-year residence hall and will serve as the dean for the students who live in that residence hall for the duration of their time at Duke  You will see her/his name on your Student Center page on DukeHub.
  • There's a complete list of all the people you may interact with, and what they do, here.


     7.  I’m interested in medicine and am not sure of the courses or major I should choose. Where can I get advice? 

  • Visit the Office of Health Professions Advising website.
  • Contact the Academic Advising Center and speak (or email) with an advisor on call. 
  • During orientation, go to the prehealth info session held on Friday, Aug. 26.
  • This fall, you will have an assigned prehealth advisor whom you can consult.


      8.  I’m prelaw (or prebusiness). Will I have a specialized advisor this fall?

  • No. There are no specific course requirements as there are for students going into a health professions school, so a pre-professional advisor is not necessary. Instead, take courses that interest you. Go to the prelaw or prebusiness info sessions during Orientation Welcome Week. And check the prelaw and prebusiness websites for general advice and information.


      9.  Will my first advisor be my advisor for four years until I graduate?

  • No. When you declare your major as a sophomore, you will be assigned a major advisor in the department of your major.  However, you will have the option to retain your college advisor as an informal advisor for the duration of your time at Duke.

       1.  Can I transfer to the Pratt School of Engineering (or to Trinity College of Arts & Sciences) this summer?

  • No. You must finish your first semester in the school in which you were admitted. 
  • However, you can have advising from both schools this fall. If you are in Trinity, you will meet with your college advisor in Trinity for preregistration meetings, but you can also schedule a meeting with Dean Lupita Temiquel-McMillian in Pratt to work out a prospective Pratt schedule. Note that transfer to Pratt is not always approved.
  • More information is available on the pages for transferring from Trinity to Pratt and from Pratt to Trinity.


       2.  I’ve just been admitted to Trinity, but I am hoping to transfer to Pratt. Should I take Trinity courses or Pratt courses this fall?

  • You should probably follow a Pratt schedule, which means enrolling in math and chemistry according to your placement.
  • See the recommended first-year Pratt plans.
  • Read the Pratt Blue Book.
  • You can enroll in EGR 103L in the spring. You can enroll in it this fall if seats are open. Note, however, that Pratt students have priority.
  • For summer questions about Pratt courses and requirements, call the Pratt School of Engineering advising group at (919) 660-5386 or email pratt-advising@duke.edu[dk1] .


      3.  If I am in Trinity and transferring to Pratt, must I complete a first-year seminar?

  • Yes, while you are in Trinity, you are required to meet all Trinity requirements. This expectation is not negotiable.


       4.  I’m in Pratt and definitely transferring to Trinity. Do I need to take Pratt courses in the fall? Do I have to take a seminar this year?

  • If you are sure you will change to Trinity, then you should take Trinity courses this fall. 
  • You will still need to meet with your Pratt advisor for preregistration meetings in the fall, so s/he can clear you for registration.
  • However, you can consult with a Trinity dean whenever you wish during your first year for advice on Trinity courses and requirements. Your Trinity dean is the one who advises Trinity students in your dorm. Call (919) 684-6217, and a staff assistant can tell you who this dean is and schedule a meeting for you. 
  • You are not required to take a seminar if you will finish your first year as a Pratt student. You are welcome to take a seminar if you'd like, but it's not required.


       1.  I'd like to do some research in my first year. How do I get started?

  • Check the Undergraduate Research Support (URS) page about getting started in research.
  • The URS office will also have information sessions in the fall.
  • Volunteer or find a work-study job as a research assistant to a professor or a research position in a laboratory (the humanities labs or a science lab, for example) for more experience. Work-study positions are sometimes posted on DukeList.
  • Enroll in a course coded R (Research).
  • To discuss opportunities for humanities research, request a meeting with the DAE for the arts and humanities. For science, request to meet with the DAE for natural and quantitative sciences.


      2.  Can I get course credit for research?

  • For first-year students, our recommendation is to volunteer, do work study or take part in existing programs for beginning students.
  • Later, you can receive credit by enrolling in a 1.0-credit research independent study or by participating in Bass Connections. Most students will do this during their sophomore, junior or senior year. Any of the DAEs for global and civic opportunities can talk to you about Bass Connections research.
  • For a research independent study, you will typically work as part of a research team, under the mentorship of a professor. You should have experience and background before beginning, in order to take full intellectual ownership and successfully complete a truly independent project.


       3.  I'd like to explore some out-of-the-classroom opportunities. How do I start?

  • Enroll in a service-learning class; use the advanced search function to look for these and/or visit the website.
  • Schedule an appointment with a DAE after you are settled in classes.