Graduating Early

It is sometimes possible to graduate one semester or two semesters early, if all of your degree requirements are met. In these instances, you may use additional AP/IPC/PMC credits (called acceleration credits) toward the 34 credits required for graduation.

If you wish to graduate early, you should discuss your intended plans with your dean to be sure that you understand graduation requirements and the pros and cons of such a decision. Although you may have a keen desire now to finish at Duke and get on with your life, and perhaps save a year of tuition, you may feel differently after another semester or two. This is the only time in your life when you will be able to study freely and independently whatever you wish. Take advantage of the time. You might take a semester to travel or study abroad. This might let you take some time off but also graduate with your class. You could work on your communication and writing skills,  become involved in Duke or community projects-education occurs outside of the classroom as well.  If you will be seeking admission to a professional school, note that such schools may not necessarily be interested in someone applying a year early. Maturity and life experiences are considered along with courses, grades, and standardized test scores.
Once you are absolutely sure of an early graduation, you can obtain an "Undergraduate Graduation Date Change Form" from your dean. Fill it out, have it signed by your dean, and your dean will notify the registrar and have your anticipated graduation date changed. The deadline for accelerating your degree is the end of the fifth semester of enrollment. Be careful in changing your graduation date. If you later change your mind, your registration enrollment period will be moved back to the last enrollment window.

Last updated: November 19, 2003