Your first year at Duke should be a time of academic exploration and discovery, and you should not feel pressured to complete graduation or major requirements. The only requirements for the first year are WRITING 101 and any one credit seminar class. Any class you take this year is likely to satisfy multiple curricular requirements. You should take courses in departments that you find interesting, and you don’t need to worry about getting started on your major.
Open the sections below to find more information about choosing your fall courses. You can also review the course catalog and schedule of classes to see what courses are offered during the current semester.
All students must take WRITING 101 their first year. It is randomly assigned to students for either fall or spring semester. Each WRITING 101 section has a unique theme, but they all offer a foundation in university-level writing.
If you are assigned to take WRITING 101 in the fall, you will see a message in DukeHub, under the Message Center section, telling you this. You are required to register for WRITING 101 in the fall if you are assigned to take it then. Those who are not assigned to WRITING 101 for fall will not see a message and will receive this notification when registering for the spring semester. Find tips for choosing a WR101 course along with detailed information about the fall courses here.
All students must take a one credit seminar in their first year. Seminars are small-group learning experiences that allow you the opportunity to engage closely with a faculty member and other students. Students usually take their seminar the semester they are not taking WRITING 101, but you could take both in the same semester.
There are special seminars designed just for first-year students, but you can also take any one credit class that has an 'S' at the end of the course number, though it's usually best to stick with courses lower than the 300 level, depending on your background in the subject.
Because the departmental and course offerings at Duke are so much broader than in high school, there's a lot to discover. Browsing the different majors, minors and certificate programs, is a great way to stumble upon classes you didn't know existed, and to learn about what courses different academic disciplines offer and require. There are over 50 majors! Be sure to look at introductory courses, or 100 or 200 level elective courses as these are a good way to explore departments and subjects. Use Advanced Search to look at classes by general academic area, like the natural sciences, arts and humanities, and social sciences. You might find some unexpected courses!
For an overview of the course registration process, and information on how to register, refer to the Registrar's Registration Guides or the Registration section of the Blue Book, which will be available in mid-May.