Your First Year

This is Going to be Great

Your first year as a Duke engineering student is more than a course schedule, it’s a carefully curated experience that sets you up for long-term success.

Students play a stacking game outdoors at Duke University

A Signature Experience

We’ve designed a set of courses that immerse you in real-world, hands-on design and programming.

Not only will you impact the community from your first day, but the hands-on design challenges you’ll face will build critical skills—including, critical thinking, computational fluency, effective communication, grit and resilience.

And you won’t have to do it alone. Our approach to advising surrounds you with a team of mentors, from faculty to experienced students, to help steer you through any bumps in the road.

Student uses a power tool at Duke University

Yes, We Have the Technology

The Design Pod is a 5,000-square-foot maker space specially built for Duke’s First-Year Design Experience. FYD teams also meet in The Foundry, another awesomely equipped design lab at Duke.

Year 1 Course Schedule

When you begin building, you start with the foundation. That makes sense, right? Your first courses set up a sturdy base of knowledge and skills you’ll use throughout your time at Duke—and for the rest of your life.

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
First-Year DesignYour First Engineering Course
First-Year ComputingAcademic Writing
ChemistryMathematics
MathematicsPhysics
  • The table above assumes no Advanced Placement (AP) or International Placement (IPC) credits in math, chemistry or computer science. Talk to your academic dean for guidance.
  • You may be assigned an academic writing course in the fall. If that happens, you’ll take First-Year Computing in the spring.

Suggested First Engineering Courses

Prospective MajorCourse
UndecidedBiology 201L: Gateway to Biology, or any one course below
Biomedical EngineeringBiology 201L: Gateway to Biology
Civil EngineeringCEE 132L: Engineering the Planet
Electrical & Computer EngineeringECE 110L: Fundamentals of Elec. & Comp. Eng.
Environmental EngineeringCEE 132L: Engineering the Planet
Mechanical EngineeringEGR 121L: Engineering Innovation

Your Academic Dean

Working with your advising team, you and your academic dean will craft your roadmap—an academic plan. You’ll consult with the same dean throughout your time at Duke, creating a strong professional relationship.

Ben Cooke, Ph.D. Profile Photo
Ben Cooke, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Ben Cooke, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean for Advising

Carmen Rawls, Ph.D. Profile Photo
Carmen Rawls, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Carmen Rawls, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean for Advising & Outreach

Lupita Temiquel-McMillian Profile Photo
Lupita Temiquel-McMillian Profile Photo

Lupita Temiquel-McMillian

Assistant Dean for Advising & Student Affairs

More First-Year Resources