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.

Summer advising

Your academic path at Duke begins the summer before you arrive on campus, with the selection of fall courses. While the Class of 2021 Blue Book (coming to your home this summer and available as an online PDF) and this website provide information to guide you through choosing and registering for classes, we encourage you to contact the AAC with your questions during summer advising in June and July. An experienced, professional advisor will assist you and can be reached the following ways:

  • Call us at (919) 684-6217 during office hours, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Eastern time, Monday-Friday.
  • Email us at advising@duke.edu.

The advisor will be able to look at any high school records and test scores you’ve sent to Duke, discuss your academic interests with you and guide you through the choice of four classes for your first semester.

There is online information at your disposal as well:

  • Our FAQ page answers more than 100 questions frequently asked by incoming first-year students.
  • The pages on course selection and course placement help you determine appropriate courses based on your interests, general and prehealth requirements, your previous academic experience and your scores on Advanced Placement or other exams.
  • Summer Transition Series 2017  provides frequent updates on registration, tips, and other information to guide you through fall enrollment. 
  • The Office of the University Registrar provides a comprehensive view of departments, programs and classes  and a registration overview for all undergraduate students on its website.