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.

After arrival

The schedule you choose over the summer before coming to Duke isn’t final. In August, you will be matched with a college advisor, and you will meet with her/him twice during Orientation Welcome Week. On Wednesday, of Orientation Week at 2 PM, you will attend a group meeting with your advisor and his/her other first-year advisees. The location of this meeting will be emailed to you in August. At this meeting, you will review policies and expectations, and you will set up a time to meet individually with your advisor. At the second, individual meeting, you and your advisor will discuss your fall course schedule and your other interests and questions. The group and individual meetings with your advisor are required, as is an individual preregistration meeting every semester.

You should reach out to your college advisor often and are welcome to schedule additional meetings with her or him. Your advising network, however, extends far beyond that primary resource. A few other suggestions for early in your student tenure:

  • Reference your Blue Book for information on academics and registration as you finalize your course schedule.
  • Keep up with the latest academic news, opportunities and deadlines by checking your inbox for the weekly AAC Student News .
  • Meet with a director of academic engagement, so you can start right away incorporating into your Duke experience specialty advising in a specific area of interest. Our DAEs can guide you in the consideration opportunities for involvement or plan how to forge a path that explore your interests on and off campus.
  • Enjoy some of the events sponsored by your peer advisors and get to know these fellow students who have a special interest in helping you navigate your way through Duke. They have put together a list of important things to know during your first year.
  • If you are a prehealth student, you should review the Office of Health Professions Advising website during summer registration. Once the fall semester is underway, use it again to plan for the spring and beyond. Attend an individual or group meeting with a prehealth advisor for further guidance.
  • Schedule an appointment to meet your academic dean. It will be good to put a face with a name and establish a relationship in case you have questions later on.
  • Make sure you’re aware of our advising partners across campus, available to help you navigate all areas of student life, inside and outside the classroom.