Policies & Procedures
Most policies and procedures are the same for all Duke undergraduate students, with just a few differences specific to the Pratt School of Engineering. Below you’ll find policy information useful for Duke Engineering undergraduate students.
Policies & Procedures for Undergraduate Students
Duke University is prepared to make reasonable academic adjustments and accommodations to allow students with documented disabilities full participation in the same programs and activities available to students without disabilities. Documentation is established through the Disability Management System/Student Disability Access Office. The director is responsible for determining eligibility for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, informing a student’s academic dean and instructors of the need for accommodation, and providing guidelines for working with a student with a recognized disability. The Program Coordinator works with instructors and students to meet the documented need for accommodation.
If you believe you may have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one of more of your major life activities, you should consult the Student Disability Access Office website, specifically the undergraduate (or prospective) student information. The documentation process to establish disability may be complicated and take time, so you would do well to begin the process early, perhaps even before you matriculate to Duke.
Note: Some students who are not eligible for services under the American with Disabilities Act may be eligible for services offered through the Academic Resource Center (ARC). The ARC also offers academic support services (including tutoring and academic skills instruction) and AD/HD counseling for any student with a documented learning disabiity and/or attention deficit disorder.
Last updated: January 3, 2019
Office: 305 Teer Engineering Building
Academic Deans for Undergraduates
Ben Cooke, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carmen Rawls, email@example.com
Lupita Temiquel-McMillian, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Duke student can be involuntarily withdrawn for academic reasons, financial reasons, and for violation of academic regulations. The information in this section pertains to involuntary withdrawal for academic reasons.
You will be withdrawn involuntarily from Duke for academic reasons if:
- at the end of a semester you fail to pass at least three courses (3.0 credits) that semester, except that in the first semester of enrollment at Duke, you must pass at least two courses (2.0 credits);
- you fail more than one full (1.0 credit) course in a summer session at Duke;
- you are on probation and at the end of your probationary semester, you have failed to earn grades of C- or better in each of the four courses completed that semester or a C average for that semester; or
- before the beginning of any fall term, you have not met annual continuation requirements.
A second academic dismissal will result in a minimum separation of two years (including summers).
For information about returning from an Academic Dismissal, you should consult the Time Away website.
Last updated: February 4, 2021
If you earn a single grade of F or a second D grade, you will be sent a Letter of Academic Warning. If you receive such a letter, you are not required to take any formal steps as you would if you were placed on probation. However, you should seriously consider the events that led to that D or F grade and evaluate what steps you might take to resolve your problems. You should feel free to discuss the warning with your Academic Deans.
Last updated: November 19, 2003
By Pratt School of Engineering policy, you are expected to and should attend classes regularly and complete all assignments on time. Class attendance is critical for many reasons and is often a factor in determining the course grade. This is particularly true of lab courses. Most instructors state their attendance policy in the course syllabus or in the first class session. Be sure you understand what each of your instructors expects of you. If you must miss a class, it’s a good idea to let your instructor know in advance or as soon thereafter as possible. If you don’t explain your absence, your instructor may assume you don’t care about the class or your grade.
The information below details policies and procedures dealing with missed work related to class absence. It is important to note that these policies and procedures do not apply during the reading and final exam period.
Missed work associated with absence from class is accommodated in three circumstances (see below). The nature of the accommodation (e.g. arrangements made to submit work early, alternative assignment, etc) is to be determined by the faculty member.
1. Illness or other extraordinary personal circumstance:
- Short-term illness: Students notify their instructors and their Academic Deans by means of the Short-Term Illness Notification Form that they are temporarily incapacitated and hence are unable to attend class or complete an assignment on time. They submit the STINF on their honor, and instructors are expected to accept students’ pledges that they are incapacitated. Students are expected to submit the form as soon as possible to the instructor, but depending upon the circumstances, may not always be able to do so prior to the date of a missed class or assignment.
- Extraordinary long-term medical or personal circumstances: In cases of long-term or chronic illness/injury or extraordinary personal reasons known to and approved by the dean, the student’s academic dean will send an e-mail notice to the student’s instructors authorizing the student’s absence and requesting accommodation.
2. Religious observance:
- Students absent from class due to observance of a religious holiday are expected to submit a Religious Observance Notification Form to the instructor no later than one week prior to the date of the holiday. Because religious holidays are scheduled in advance, instructors have the right to insist that course work to be missed should be completed prior to an anticipated absence in accordance with the course attendance policy.
3. Varsity athletic participation:
- Varsity athletes, whose athletic travel schedules are governed by strict NCAA rules that apply across all varsity sports and all divisional schools, are recognized as officially representing the University in intercollegiate competitions away from campus. Accordingly, varsity athletes are expected to notify instructors at the beginning of the semester of their status and submit a Notification of Varsity Athletic Participation Form no later than one week prior to their participation in each varsity athletic competition out of town. Because varsity athletic events out of town are scheduled in advance, instructors have the right to insist that course work to be missed should be completed prior to an anticipated absence in accordance with the course attendance policy.
Missed work associated with any other absence is not covered by this policy. Students, however, are encouraged to discuss any absence planned or unexpected with their instructor to determine whether accommodation is possible. Instructors are not obligated to accommodate such absences but are expected to make clear in their attendance policy the implications of any such absence.
Last updated: February 2, 2009
It is the obligation of your instructors to evaluate your course work and to submit a grade for you at the end of the academic semester. You, in turn, have a right to know at the beginning of the semester the basis on which you will be evaluated in a course and to expect to be graded fairly, i.e., in the same way that all other students in a course are graded.
If you have concerns or complaints about a course in which you are enrolled, you should try to resolve the matter with the instructor. If your concern is not resolved to your satisfaction in this way, you can bring it to the attention of the Director of Undergraduate Studies and if necessary to the Department Chair, in accordance with the Undergraduate Grade Review Procedure. You may also find it helpful to speak with Academic Deans about your rights and responsibilities.
Note: A fuller statement called “Procedures for Resolution of Student’s Academic Concerns” is found in the Duke Community Standard in Practice: A Guide for Undergraduates.
Last updated: August 24, 2007
You must achieve a satisfactory record of academic performance each term and make satisfactory progress toward graduation each year to continue in Pratt. Continuation requirements are discussed in detail in the Bulletin of Undergraduate Instruction.
Satisfactory Performance Each Term (Semester Continuation Requirements):
- In the first semester of enrollment at Duke, you must pass at least two semester courses.
- After the first semester at Duke, you must pass at least three semester courses each semester.
- If you are taking an underload (which must be authorized by your dean), you must earn all passing grades.
- You may not fail more than one full course taken during the summer, except that you must pass any and all courses taken in the summer if you received a grade of F in the preceding spring semester.
If you fail to meet semester continuation requirements, you will be academically dismissed for two semesters. Students dismissed twice for academic reasons are generally not readmitted to Duke.
Satisfactory Progress Toward Graduation (Annual Continuation Requirements):
Prior to the beginning of fall term classes, you must have made satisfactory progress toward graduation to be eligible to continue at Duke. The number of credits you must pass to continue into the next academic year is listed in the table that follows. If at the end of the spring semester, you do not meet the requirements for entering the fall semester, you will be required to attend one or both summer sessions at Duke to make up the required credits. If you do not do so, you will be dismissed for two semesters. Note that courses in which F grades are earned do not count towards annual continuation and only two courses in which D grades are earned will count toward annual continuation.
To begin enrollment in the Fall semester as your: A student must have passed: 2nd semester at Duke 2 semester course credits at Duke 3rd semester at Duke 6 semester course credits at Duke 4th semester at Duke 10 semester course credits at Duke 5th semester at Duke 13 semester course credits at Duke 6th semester at Duke 17 semester course credits at Duke 7th semester at Duke 22 semester course credits at Duke * 8th semester at Duke 26 semester course credits at Duke *
Note: this table takes into account the fact that some students will have interrupted their study at Duke. For example, in such cases, a student may be entering in the fall his/her 4th or 6th semester at Duke.
The Pratt School of Engineering counts the following when confirming annual continuation:
1 cc of PE
1 cc of activity courses (no house courses)
2 cc of Military Science (jr/sr year only)
6 cc of Professional and Graduate Courses
0 cc of Internship
*The Pratt School of Engineering will count up to 4 post-matriculation transfer credits (in addition to study abroad) for students entering the 7th or 8th semester to meet Annual Continuation Requirements.
Note: AP credits are not counted when determining annual continuation, however they are counted toward graduation requirements.
Last updated: August 4, 2020
It is your responsibility to be certain that your course load conforms with academic requirements. The minimum course load in the fall or spring term is four semester courses. Seniors may request permission from their Academic Deans to take an underload of three courses for their last semester.
A “normal course load” is defined as four (4.0) course credits-specifically four 1.0 credits– and, as noted above, you are expected to enroll in at least this many course credits each semester.
You may register for 4.5 credits during your normal registration window, and can then increase your course load to as many as 5.5 credits in Trinity College and 5.0 in Pratt during the drop/add period; however, Freshmen may not exceed 4.5 academic credits in their first semester.
Permission from your academic dean is required for an overload of 5.5 or 6.0 course credits. A course load of 6.0 academic courses is considerably more demanding than one of 5.0 course credits. In determining whether to approve an overload to 6.0 course credits, your academic dean will carefully consider your academic history, including your grades and your course load in previous semesters. Under no circumstances will students be allowed to register for more than 6.0 course credits.
You are permitted to be in an underload, defined as a course load of between 3.0 and 3.75 course credits, only if authorized to do so by your academic dean. The number of semesters you may be in an underload cannot exceed two semesters during your time at Duke,though this limit excludes withdrawals for documented medical conditions or other extraordinary reasons known to the academic dean. A student in an underload is still considered a full-time degree candidate at Duke.
Note: if you are a scholarship student contemplating withdrawal from a course to an underload, you should check the conditions of your award to ascertain whether you are bound by scholarship regulations governing your course load each semester.
Changes to Underload Policy for Spring 2021:
An underload (3 to 3.75 courses) approved by a student’s dean and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Spring 2021 will not count towards the student’s academic career limit of underloads.
Students experiencing unusual stress or circumstances due to the pandemic may be allowed by their dean to take a withdrawal to underload in Spring 2021 that will not count towards the student’s academic career limit.
Two categories of underloads may be authorized:
Withdrawal to an Underload
During the semester, your academic dean may permit you “for compelling reasons” to withdraw from a normal course load to an underload. Such a withdrawal to an underload is possible only prior to the final four weeks of classes in a semester. After this deadline, withdrawals to an underload are only permitted for documented medical reasons. If granted permission to withdraw from a course to an underload for a reason other than a documented medical condition, you should not expect to receive permission to withdraw to an underload in a subsequent semester.
Under certain specific circumstances, students with a strong academic record may start a semester enrolled in an underload of between 3.0 and 3.75 course credits. This is permitted as many as two times in a student’s Duke career. To be eligible for this, you must meet the following conditions:
- have declared a major;
- have a GPA of at least 3.0 and not be on academic probation;
- be enrolled at Duke-enrolling in an underload is not permitted when you are studying abroad or otherwise away from Duke;
- have passed at least 16 courses before a first underload semester;
- before a second underload semester, have passed at least 20 courses prior to the 6th semester or 24 prior to the 7th semester (excluding AP credits but including transfer credits) or 31 prior to the 8th semester (including AP, IPC, and PMC credits).
If you meet these requirements and wish to start a semester enrolled in an underload you must receive certification from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the major that the underload will not inhibit completion of major requirements and permission from your academic dean. An Underload Enrollment Authorization Form [PDF, 368 kb] is available for this purpose.
The number of semesters any student is permitted to be in an underload cannot exceed two, though medical withdrawals are not counted in this number. Thus, if you withdraw from a course to an underload, which (as noted above) is permitted only once in your Duke career, you will be permitted to enroll once in an underload, provided you have met the conditions described above. If you do not withdraw from a course to an underload in your undergraduate career, you may enroll in an underload no more than two times, provided you meet the conditions described above. In short, there are only two possible enrollment patterns involving underloads:
- One (1) withdrawal to an underload + one enrollment in an underload, or
- Two (2) enrollments in an underload
Seniors needing only three (3) courses to graduate may enroll in an underload only in accordance with one or the other of these two patterns. Seniors who anticipate that they will need fewer than three (3) courses to graduate must apply no later than the last business day before the first day of classes in that final semester for part-time degree status, which is not affected by or a part of the underload enrollment policy described here.
Cautions Regarding Enrolling in an Underload
When considering whether to enroll in an underload, please note that you:
- will be ineligible for Dean’s List and Dean’s List with Distinction that semester;
- may not use half- or quarter-credit courses to enroll in an underload of 3.0 course credits;
- may not withdraw from a course during the underload semester; and
- must pass at least 3.0 course credits in order to meet semester continuation requirements and avoid dismissal for academic reasons.
Please also consider whether a semester of enrollment in an underload might affect:
- your scholarship or financial aid-check the conditions of your award;
- your subsequent application to graduate or professional school-consult your graduate or pre-professional school adviser.
Last updated: January 30, 2017
“Withdrawing” from a course differs from “dropping” a course. When you drop a course, you can do so yourself through DukeHub during the Drop/Add period, and the course does not appear on your official Duke transcript. However, to withdraw from a course after the Drop/Add deadline, you must follow a set of procedures that begins at your Academic Dean’s office, and (if the withdrawal is approved) ends when a grade of W is recorded on your official transcript.
If you are considering a course withdrawal, read carefully the information under Course Load to fully understand the ramifications of a withdrawal to an underload.
NOTE: Withdrawal from a course will not be approved by the Academic Dean if disciplinary action is pending, or if a sanction has been imposed by the Undergraduate Conduct Board related to the course in question.
Students at Duke withdraw from courses for a host of good reasons, and consequently the receipt of a W grade in a course is not a blemish on your record.
The deadline for requesting to withdraw from a course is four (4) weeks before the last day of classes. The specific deadline date is published in the official Academic Calendar set by the Registrar. The Withdrawal deadline is a generous one and consequently strictly adhered to. It is your responsibility to decide whether to withdraw from a course and to initiate the withdrawal process by meeting with your academic dean to obtain a form no later than 11:59 p.m. on the deadline date. To be valid, the completed form must be returned to your dean’s office by the return date indicated on the withdrawal form. If you miss the deadline, you should expect to remain in and complete the course in question.
Students enrolled in an overload are permitted to withdraw from a course to a normal load (4cc) so long as they do so by the withdrawal deadline, but withdrawal from a course to an underload is permitted only once in a student’s Duke career.
Students on academic probation are expected to remain in a full course load during their semester of probation and will be permitted to withdraw to an underload by their academic dean only in compelling circumstances.
When should you withdraw from a course and when should you persist?
Each situation is unique and you are welcome to discuss the range of your options with Academic Deans at any time. If you are having great difficulty in a course such as math, chemistry, or a foreign language where your background is weak or your study habits are not well enough developed to permit you to pass the course, then withdrawing from it is a sensible option. Having a W a transcript is preferable to an F. If you are struggling in a course but think you can finish the course with a passing grade, then persisting might be appropriate. This is paricularly true if you are using available resources (tutors/help room/study groups, Academic Resource Center, etc.), conferring with the instructor, and believe you are making progress as the semester continues, then persisting might be preferable. Have a frank discussion with your instructor about how you are doing in the course, and make sure that you understand how the grading is done in the class. Know what grades you have to date and what the best/worst case scenario will be at the end of the semester. Also ask yourself if you are putting too much time into one course that you must neglect your other courses, thereby, perhaps pulling down all your grades.
If you must withdraw from a course, consider it a learning experience. Try too identify the problems that you encountered and determine how to avoid the same problems in the future, whether or not you repeat the course from which you withdrew. Consider that if you have problems in reading, memorization, problem solving, time management or some other basic skill, the same problems may affect some of your other courses. For example, students who have difficulty in math often also have difficulty in chemistry, biology, and courses that involve problem solving. These same students may excel in courses that involve reading and writing. Not all courses require the same study habits and skills. You can consult with a Learning Consultant in the Academic Reource Center to better understand your learning styles.
Procedure for Course Withdrawal
To withdraw from a course, you will need to make an appointment with your academic dean to obtain a link to the electronic course withdrawal form. You will need to submit the form, and obtain an electronic acknowledgement from your instructor by the date indicated on the form.
When withdrawing from a course to an underload–since this is generally only permitted once–you must meet with your dean to discuss the matter. Contact your academic dean’s office for information about how to proceed.
Medical withdrawal from a course.
The deadline for all course withdrawals, including ones for medical reasons, is 5 pm, on the last day of class (LDOC). This includes all the required, supporting documentation must also be received by 5 pm on LDOC.
If you experience serious medical problems that interfere with your ability to successfully complete a course in which you are enrolled, you should schedule an appointment with your academic dean without delay to discuss your options, including the possibility of withdrawing from the course. Depending upon how debilitating your medical situation is, and when in the semester your health concerns emerge, it may be the case that other types of relief, such as an incomplete or even a medical leave of absence, are more appropriate.
Note: If you seek a second or subsequent medical withdrawal to an underload for a chronic condition, this can be indicative of a condition that may make you eligible for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Accordingly, you must consult with a representative of the Student Disability Access Office (if you are not already registered with that office) to discuss your eligibility for accommodations through that office, including the possibility of an additional medical course withdrawal.
Last updated: Nov 17, 2022
Dean’s excuses are not issued for short-term illness. In accordance with faculty policy, students who miss graded assignments for the following reasons may receive a Dean’s Excuse:
- Long-term illness
- Personal or family emergency (known to and approved by your dean)
If you must miss a graded assignment due to one of the three circumstances listed above, you should contact your Academic Dean. A Dean’s Excuse does not exempt you from completing the assignment. Rather it makes you eligible for accommodation according to the policy set by the instructor in the course.
No Dean’s excuses are issued for missing classes, only graded assignments. However, in the case of long-term illness or a personal or family emergency, it may be appropriate for your academic dean to notify your instructors that you will be away from class for a period of time.
Last updated: June 21, 2012
When determining a student’s eligibility, Duke will consider only grades earned in Duke courses, including those earned in Duke Study Abroad programs and in courses covered by the Interinstitutional Agreement.
To qualify for Dean’s List, a Pratt undergraduate must fulfill the following criteria:
- Carry a normal academic load including four credits other than dance performances/technique, physical education activity, music activity, and house courses;
- Earn grades other than a “S” in at least three semester courses;
- Receive no incomplete or failing grades;
- Earn a semester grade point average that is placed in the highest one third of undergraduates in Pratt.
For Dean’s List and Dean’s List with Distinction GPA requirements, click here.
For information about Graduation With Departmental Distinction, click here.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR SPRING 2020 – Changes in academic policy due to COVID-19 have caused the suspension of identifying Dean’s List and Dean’s List with Distinction for Spring 2020.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR FALL 2020 & SPRING 2021 – Continued pandemic conditions have caused the suspension of identifying Dean’s List and Dean’s List with Distinction for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.
Last updated: May 19, 2021
Engineering students will declare their major over the summer, after their first year. You may change your major after the initial declaration, however, you should consult your academic dean to discuss any implications to your course schedule and/or intended graduation date.
Use this form to declare your major online, and also use this same form if you are making any changes to your current academic plan(s) after the initial declaration, such as adding or deleting a 2nd major, minor, or certificate.
NOTE: If you are a senior in your final two (2) semesters before graduating, any request(s) to change your academic plan, you must send an email to email@example.com with the information you would like to change.
Last updated: January 30, 2023
The BSE degree is awarded to students each May, September and December. Students who graduate in September or December receive their diplomas by mail, but they are welcome to take part in commencement exercises the following May. In the fall, the Dean’s Office asks each senior to complete the “Apply for Graduation” function in Duke Hub during fall registration. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the “Apply for Graduation” when the email information is released with explicit instructions on how to do so in order to be included on the graduation list. A copy of each student’s final grade report is sent for review to the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the major department immediately before final graduation lists are prepared. Certification for graduation is made by the Assistant Deans and the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the department of the student’s first major. In order to graduate a student must have passed 34 semester courses (within a period of 10 academic semesters of enrollment), and must have obtained grades of P, C-, or better in 32 semester courses. In addition, all the curriculum requirements of the Engineering School and the major department, as set forth in the University Bulletin, must be met.
In Fall 2021, the required engineering math sequence formally changed to the following: Math 111L, 112L or 122L, 218D-2, 219, and 353. Students approved to skip one of those math courses (for example, if you had the equivalent of Math 219 in high school, but were not able to transfer the credit to Duke as college credit, and were also assessed and approved by the Math dept) then you will be required to take an additional upper level math course. Any approved Math, Statistics, or Data Analysis course may be used in place of a skipped math course. Consult each departmental handbook for a list of acceptable math classes, as they may differ by major. This math sequence was changed for students to take Matrices & Vectors (Linear Algebra), 218D-2, prior to Multivariable Calculus (Math 219).
An alternative set of Math courses for engineering students who are double majoring in math (or who started down that path): Math 111L, 112L, 221, 222, and 356 (or 353 may be taken instead of 356).
FOR STUDENTS MATRICULATING IN FALL 2021: The new math sequence is Math 111L, Math 112L or 122L, 218D-2, 219, and 353.
Natural Science (4)
This requirement is met by completing Chemistry 101DL, Physics 151L and 152L, and an elective course in one of the natural science departments which presents fundamental knowledge about nature and its phenomena, preferably including quantitative expression.
To satisify the Physics Requirement, students must take PHYSICS 151L & 152L, and at least one physics course must be taken post-matriculation.
If you have AP credit for PHY 25 and 26, you should take PHY 153L. If you are not comfortable taking PHY 153L, you have the option of taking PHY 152L, PHY 163, 264, 320, 361, 362, or 567 as your Physics course post-matriculation.
You do not have the option of taking PHY 151 and then using AP for PHY 26–unless the only Physics AP credit you have is for PHY 26.
NOTE: If a student enrolls in a course that uses PHY AP as a prereq, the student therefore is unable to take the AP equivalent course as his/her one Physics post-matriculation. For example, if a student enrolls in a course that uses PHY 26 AP as a prereq, the student can no longer take PHY 152 as their one physics post-matriculation after that particular semester.
Each department maintains a list of allowed courses that will satisfy the Natural Science requirement. Consult those department websites and/or departmental offices.
Students in the Pratt School of Engineering are required to have a minimum of 5 full-credit (1.0) courses in the social sciences and humanities (including foreign languages). More specifically:
- At most, 2 of these 5 course credits can be met by any combination of 2 from the following options*:
- Advanced Placement (AP) Credit
- International Placement Credit (IPC)
- Duke-offered courses that are only offered on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading basis.
2. All 5 courses must have at least one code of SS, ALP, CZ, or FL.
3. At least one course must have an SS Area of Knowledge code.
4. Two courses must be in two of the other Areas of Knowledge of ALP, CZ, or FL.
5. Courses must be taken for a grade, and not on a selective S/U graded option.
6. A student must show depth in one subject area by taking two courses with the same department subject code–and one course must be at the 200-level, or above. For departments grouped together such as AMES, Art, Art History, and Visual Media Studies, or Classical Studies (just to name a few), the depth requirement is satisfied by taking two courses in the same department, i.e., two Chinese courses or two Korean courses, but not by taking a Chinese course and a Korean course.
*Note for Spring 2021: Normally, courses taken to satisfy this requirement are not allowed to be taken on an elective Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading option. In Spring 2021, Social Science and Humanities courses taken to fulfill this requirement are allowed to be taken on an elective Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading option. This will NOT count against the two minimum combination allowed in Spring 2021.
Non-social science and non-humanities departments (including engineering courses and other depts) assign SS, CZ, or ALP codes for some of their courses. Effective Fall 2013, the Pratt school requires that SS/H courses must be taken from or cross-listed* with one of the following departments or programs:
- African & African American Studies
- Art, Art History, and Visual Media Studies (includes ARTHIST, HCVIS, ARTVIS, VMS)
- Arts of the Moving Image
- Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Turkish, Urdu)
- Canadian Studies
- Classical Studies (Greek, Latin)
- Cultural Anthropology
- Dance (only 1.0 credit courses, with a code)
- Documentary Studies
- East Asian Studies
- Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies
- Germanic Languages and Literature
- Global Cultural Studies in Literature
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- International Comparative Studies
- Islamic Studies
- Jewish Studies
- Latin American Studies
- Markets and Management Studies
- Medieval and Renaissance Studies
- Political Science
- Public Policy Studies
- Religious Studies
- Romance Studies (Creole, French, K’iche’ Maya, Italian, Portuguese, Quechua, Spanish)
- Science and Society
- Slavic and Eurasian Studies (Balto-Finnic, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian & Croation, Ukrainian, Uzbek)
- Theater Studies
- Visual & Media Studies
- Women’s Studies
*EGR 305 and ECON 212 are EXCLUDED from satisfying the SS/H requirement even though the course is cross-listed. In addition, Writing courses that carry course codes do not satisfy the SS/H requirement.
AP credits do not carry course codes, however, in the Pratt School of Engineering we attribute the following Areas of Knowledge to these AP exams**:
- History (CZ)
- Psychology (SS)
- Political Science (SS)
- Language Courses (FL)
- English (ALP)
- Economics (SS)
**AP exams which have the Duke equivalent as a 200-level course will NOT count as the Pratt depth requirement.
Consult an academic dean for any question on how AP credits count toward the SS/H requirement.
Engineering and Sciences (4)
This requirement is met by completion of one course from each of four of the following seven areas: digital systems, electrical science, information and computer science, mechanics (solid and fluid), materials science, systems analysis, and thermal science and transfer processes. Students are expected to have acquired digital-computer programming capability before their sophomore year. The programming capability is satisfied by Engineering 103L (53L) or CompSci 201.
Departmental Requirements (15)
The department administering the major field of study will specify this requirement. In general, it will consist of both required courses and electives to be planned in consultation with the departmental adviser. Including the 4 credits in engineering and applied sciences listed under general requirements, a total of 13.0 credits in engineering work are required.
Total Minimum Requirements: 34
Last updated: AUG 2, 2023
Students are expected to take final examinations at the scheduled times unless an extraordinary circumstance interferes. Given the time limitations inherent in making up a missed final exam, absence from a final exam is handled differently than a short-term or long-term illness. The Incapacitation Form is turned off during the final exam period, therefore, if you are unable to take a final exam as scheduled, you must contact your academic dean as soon as possible. This should preferably be done before the scheduled final exam, but no more than within 48 hours of missing the final exam. If this time period covers a weekend, you should call and leave a voice mail message for your dean or send an e-mail explaining that you missed a final exam and providing an explanation, ASAP. You should then personally call the dean’s office on the next workday (919-660-5996) to be sure your message was received and to arrange for an appointment if appropriate. Be prepared to provide documentation of illness, death or other emergency.
If for any reason you fail to take the final exam in a course, the instructor will record a grade of “X,” which means “absence from a final exam.” Within 48 hours of the recording of an “X” grade, you must present an explanation and documentation of your illness or injury that caused your absence to your academic dean. If you do not, or if the Dean does not approve your absence, the “X” grade will automatically convert to an “F”. If your dean excuses your absence, your instructor will be notified and you must make arrangements with the instructor to make up the exam. You will generally have until the end of the fifth week of the next semester (at the latest) to clear the “X” by completing the final exam. There are circumstances when an X grade must be completed prior to the next semester, and your academic dean will confirm the applicable date for your situation.
An “X” grade will be excused if there is an extraordinary reason for the absence, generally a reason beyond your control. This might include a sudden illness requiring a visit to an emergency room or physician, or a death in the family. End-of-semester travel plans or weddings are not acceptable grounds for missing a final exam. An “X” will also not be excused if you have a history of excessive absences or a failure to complete course work in a timely fashion. If you were already failing a course before missing the final exam, the instructor will submit an “F” grade rather than an “X” grade.
NOTE: a shorter period applies when Semester Continuation Requirements are involved (see discussion under “incomplete course work”), or if required by the instructor. Failure to complete the final exam in a course by the deadline will result in the assignment of a final course grade of “F.”
Last updated: April 25, 2022
Undergraduate students having three final examinations that begin and end within a 24-hour time period (any contiguous combination of the 9AM, 2PM, and 7PM exam times) or two final examinations during the same exam period may petition to have one exam changed to another date/time. If one of the exams under consideration is a block exam, the block exam may not be the exam that is changed.
- Print and complete the Petition to Change Final Examination Schedule
- Deliver the form to the Office of the University Registrar
The Office of the University Registrar will determine if you are eligible to have an exam changed and confirm that exams are being given in each of the courses that you have listed. Instructors will be contacted in the priority order that you have established to request the rescheduling of the exam. The Office of the University Registrar will contact you via email when an instructor has responded positively to the request. After receiving that email from the Office of the University Registrar, you will be responsible for contacting the instructor to finalize the arrangements for rescheduling the exam.
NOTE: There is no requirement for any instructor to reschedule an exam. Submission of a “Petition to Change a Final Exam Schedule” does not guarantee that an exam will be changed.
Any student wishing to petition for relief from unauthorized changes in his/her examination schedule should contact the Registrar’s Office, 1121 W. Main Street, Suite 1200, Bevan Building, (919) 684-2813.
Note: The official schedule of final semester examinations for Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, the Pratt School of Engineering, and the Graduate School is prepared and distributed by the University Schedule Committee. No changes may be made to the examination schedule without the committee’s approval. Generally, final examinations are scheduled according to the day and hour at which the course meets during the semester.
Undergraduate students are permitted to count no more than 6 graduate and professional school courses among the 34 courses needed to graduate. These courses include all courses offered by the Schools of Business, Law, Divinity, Medicine, and Nursing, and all 700-level and above graduate courses. These courses are generally not open to undergraduate students and special permission is required for enrollment by undergraduates.
500- and 600-Level Courses
500- and 600-level courses are graduate courses open to advanced undergraduates, normally seniors but well-qualified juniors may also enroll in them. If you are a sophomore or freshman interested in taking a 500- or 600-level course, please consider that you will likely have ample time later in your studies to take such a course. In any case, you need to be aware of the following restrictions on first- and second-year students taking 500- or 600-level courses:
- If you are a sophomore, you can enroll in a 500- or 600-level course if you have declared a major. If you haven’t declared a major but have a strong background in the subject area, meet all prerequisites of the course, and obtain written permission from the instructor and your academic dean, you can enroll in a course at the 500- or 600-level;
- If you are a first-year student, you are not allowed to take 500- or 600-level courses. Exceptions are extremely rare and are granted only when it can be demonstrated that you have a truly exceptional background in a subject and are already familiar with available 200- or 300-level course work. If the instructor of a 500- or 600-level course supports your enrollment, the instructor will need to provide you with a letter to your academic dean, justifying it and addressing your special qualifications for it. You will then schedule an appointment with your dean to review the letter and to discuss whether your enrollment is appropriate. Your instructor’s endorsement does not necessarily mean that you will receive approval.
- For sophomores (and exceptional first-year students) seeking to enroll in a 500- or 600-level independent study course, you must also have written permission from the director of undergraduate studies in the discipline or, if the independent study is in a certificate program, from the director of the certificate program.
700+-Level Courses (Graduate School)
Course numbered 700 or higher are not generally open to undergraduate students. This prohibition extends to all first-year students and sophomores. On rare occasions, a junior or senior may request permission to enroll in one of these courses.
This requires written permission from:
- The course instructor
- The Director of Graduate Studies in the department or program offering the course, and
- The Dean of the Graduate School
Then, the student should present the letter to their academic dean, who will make the final decision. The dean may wish to consult the DUS
Professional School Courses (Divinity, Business, Law, Medicine, Nursing)
First-year students and undeclared sophomores may not enroll in professional school courses that are not listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
More advanced students seeking to enroll in a professional school course must have written permission from:
- The course instructor and
- The dean of the professional school
Students then present these to their academic dean, who will make the final decision. The dean may wish to consult with a DUS. If approved, enrollment must be done through the office of the academic dean.
For a professional course to count toward a major, the student must obtain the permission of the DUS.
To apply for permission to take a graduate (700-level or above) or professional school course, you must complete the following request form and secure the required signatures before taking the form to your academic dean for final approval. The form must be submitted to your academic dean’s office by 5 p.m. ET on the Last Day of Drop/Add.
Last updated: January 23, 2013
Each department within the Pratt School of Engineering offers students the opportunity to Graduate with Departmental Distinction.
This is essentially a senior thesis project, requiring research conducted through an independent study project, and a written and oral presentation, although specific departmental requirements for the written and oral presentation will vary.
This program is an opportunity for students to conduct independent research under the guidance of supportive faculty members who are leaders in their field. Confirmation of Graduation with Departmental Distinction is awarded by vote of the appropriate engineering department.
To be considered for Graduation with Departmental Distinction, an engineering student must:
- Have a minimum 3.5 GPA, and
- Successfully complete a significant Independent Study project in his or her senior year
Departmental requirements for an oral presentation and written report vary. However, the results of the research project must be summarized in a formal written report and defended in an oral presentation before a committee of faculty members.
- More about independent study and research fellowship opportunities »
- For more information, contact your academic department’s director of undergraduate study »
Duke undergraduates are expected to complete their degrees in eight semesters. However, some students wish to shorten or extend their studies at Duke.
If you are contemplating this, you should discuss your intended plans with your dean to be sure that you fully understand and can complete all graduation requirements, and to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of such a decision. Although you may have a keen desire now to finish early for personal or economic reasons, you may feel differently after another semester or two. Also consider that your time at Duke is a special opportunity where you can engage freely and intensely in courses, study away, participate in research, and enroll in graduate-level courses as an undergraduate. If you intend to go on to a professional school, note that such schools generally prefer more mature and experienced applicants.
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. 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: June 10, 2016
If you find that you are unable to complete your work for a course because of illness, emergency, or reasonable cause, you should discuss this with your instructor and your academic dean. It is sometimes possible for your instructor to issue you an Incomplete, or “I.” This will allow you to complete the course work after the semester has finished. There are several issues that you and your instructor should be aware of if you are thinking about requesting an Incomplete. The last day to request an Incomplete is the last day of class in the semester for which the Incomplete is requested.
- An Incomplete is appropriate for limited amounts of work due late in the semester, and is at the discretion of your instructor and academic dean. Approval is not guaranteed. An Incomplete is not appropriate and would not be approved if there are excessive absences, significant work remaining, and/or if you are already failing the course. If you have abandoned or discontinued participation in a course without authorization by your academic dean, university policy stipulates that your instructor is to submit a grade of F.
- If an Incomplete is approved by your dean and instructor, the notation of “I” will appear on your transcript in place of a grade. When a final grade is given, it replaces the “I”, but the notation, “NOTE: I GRADE” will be added to indicate that an Incomplete was originally given.
- If you receive an “I” in a course, you forfeit eligibility for Dean’s List honors in that semester.
- If your work is incomplete and you are also absent from the final examination, the instructor is expected to assign an “X” for the course (see also Absence from a Final Exam).
- There are specific deadlines for completing incomplete work (see below) and the deadlines for undergraduates differ from those that apply to graduate students.
Deadlines for Completing an Incomplete Course
If you are in a full course load (or overload) and have only one “I” and no other problem grades (X, U, F), the deadline for completing the “I” is the following:
Unless otherwise limited, you will have until the last class day of the 5th week of the subsequent semester to complete the work for the course. If you receive an “I” in the fall, you must complete it no later than the 5th week of the spring semester; if you receive an “I” in the spring or summer, you must complete it no later than the 5th week of the fall semester. However, instructors may set earlier deadlines if they wish, in which case they must make their intentions known and documented on the Incomplete form. Instructors have until the end of the 6th week of classes to submit a grade to the University Registrar. If a passing grade is not submitted by this time, the “I” will be converted to an F. An exception to this deadline applies if you are not enrolled for the semester following the assignment of the Incomplete. In that case, the “I” remains on your record until the next semester you are enrolled and converts to an F if a grade has not been reported by the end of the sixth week of that semester.
If you receive multiple “I” grades or an “I” in combination with another problem grade or grades or while on an approved underload, consider the following:
In order to continue from one semester to the next, students must pass at least 3 courses (2 courses in the 1st semester of enrollment). This requirement is termed “semester continuation” (see Continuation Requirements). Courses in which an “I” is given are not considered passed until a passing grade has been submitted by the instructor to the University Registrar and recorded. Therefore, if you have multiple “I” and/or “X” grades such that you have not received passing grades in at least 3.0 courses, you may be at risk of not being able to continue into the next semester at Duke unless you complete one or more “Is” by an earlier deadline. Students who do not meet semester continuation requirements before the start of the next semester are subject to academic dismissal for two semesters.
If you receive more than one “I,” if you receive an “I” in combination with another problem grade (X, U, F), or if you are in a course underload and receive an “I” and are thereby failing to meet semester continuation requirements, you will be notified by your academic dean. In this case, you will be given the opportunity to complete the necessary work before the beginning of the next semester. If you do not complete the work by the date of determining continuation, then you will be determined as NOT meeting semester continuation requirements and thereby dismissed for two semesters.
When your continuation at Duke is in question the following policies apply:
- If you fail to meet semester continuation at the end of the fall semester, you will need to have passing grades recorded in at least 3.0 courses by the day before classes begin in the spring semester.
- If you fail to meet semester continuation at the end of the spring semester, you will need to have passing grades recorded in at least 3.0 courses by one week prior to the first day of classes for Summer Term II.
- If you fail to meet semester continuation at the end of the spring semester, you will not be eligible to enroll in Summer Session I, including summer study away, Duke Engage, or other program requiring you to an active student in good standing, an Incomplete must be completed and a grade submitted by the first day of summer term 1. If you do not meet semester continuation at this time, your enrollment in Summer 1 or participation in a summer program will be canceled.
- If by completing incomplete work you meet semester continuation requirements by the beginning of Summer Session II, you may enroll in Summer Session II. However, if you do not meet semester continuation requirements by the beginning of the second summer term, you will be dismissed for academic reasons. The Incomplete will remain on your record and you may complete the work due later, up to the end of the 5th week of the subsequent enrolled fall or spring semester.
If you have questions about these policies, please see your academic dean.
If you are having difficulty completing a course, discuss your situation with your instructor and academic dean to find out if an Incomplete might be appropriate and if there are alternatives. If your instructor agrees to an Incomplete, you and your instructor should:
- Complete the form obtained from your academic dean.
- Identify specifically what work must be done.
- Set an appopriate date by which you can submit your work and the instructor will be available to receive it and submit a final grade.
- You and your instructor should sign the form and then give the signed form to your academic dean to keep on file.
- Your dean will confirm the appropriate deadline and give the final approval, and provide you and your instructor with a copy.
- Your instructor will then issue an Incomplete at the time grades are turned in.
Instructors: To submit a final grade after an Incomplete has been issued, you will need to send a grade change letter to the Office of the University Registrar: registrar.duke.edu/faculty-staff-resources/grading.
Last updated: May 3, 2021
Through IDEAS: Interdisciplinary Engineering & Applied Science, undergraduates propose their own curricula, or use approved curricula, to create specialized Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degrees.
To participate, engineering students (in consultation with an independent-study advisor and appropriate faculty members) propose unique combinations of courses designed to meet their career objectives.
- IDEAS curricula are not specifically accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, but do satisfy the national general engineering accreditation criteria
- A student’s independent-study advisor need not also be the student’s academic advisor
- Duke rules for credit for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Placement apply
Submit a Proposal
Students must submit proposals to the Engineering Faculty Council, through the Office of the Engineering Dean, for approval.
A proposal may be submitted as early as the second semester of the first year, but must be submitted before the senior year
Previous IDEAS Topics
- Biochemical Engineering
- Energy Conversion
- Engineering Mechanics
- Materials Science
- Ocean Engineering
All first-year students will receive mid-term grades from their instructors for the fall and spring semesters. These grades can be viewed on DukeHub. Students with 2 or more D or F grades will be called in for a meeting with the Dean’s Office.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors receive mid-term grades only when instructors report D or F grades. These mid-term grades are also available to view on DukeHub.
Last updated: May 10, 2011
Students who encounter short-term medical issues or instances of personal distress/emergency can seek academic support if needed.
- For short-term incapacitation, you should use an Incapacitation Form
- For longer-term incapacitation, personal emergencies, or absence from a final exam, you should consult with your academic dean to discuss accommodations and support
You are expected to notify your instructors if you become incapacitated due to a short-term illness or injury that prevents you from completing an assignment, exam, quiz, presentation, lab, or any graded work; or from attending a class where attendance is required.
Definition of Incapacitation: An incapacitating illness or injury is one in which a student is hospitalized, under medical care for a short-term condition, or otherwise sufficiently debilitated as to be unable to perform basic academic tasks. Colds, headaches or other such mild complaints that result in your feeling less than 100% are not considered incapacitating, and you should NOT use the Incapacitation Form in such instances.
Appropriate uses of the Incapacitation Form might include such conditions as influenza, migraine, sinus infection, and strep throat.
For longer-term issues such as mono, a broken leg, or a chronic illness, consult your academic dean to discuss whether it is appropriate to use an Incapacitation Form (see also “Missing Class, Long-term or Chronic Illness).
Note: The Incapacitation Form is only a notification, indicating that you cannot complete an assignment on time due to an incapacitating illness or injury. When you submit an Incapacitation Form, it is your responsibility to meet (or otherwise communicate) with the instructor of the course in question within 48 hours to discuss your missed work and how it will be treated in accordance with the instructor’s policy. If you do not contact your instructor within 48 hours following the date the Incapacitation Form was submitted, the instructor is under no obligation to accommodate your illness and can treat your missed work as unexcused. (Exceptions to the 48-hour deadline may be granted by the student’s academic dean in extraordinary circumstances.)
The Incapacitation Form should only be used for reasons related to your health. An Incapacitation Form submitted for any other reason will not be accepted by the instructor. Incapacitation Forms are monitored by your academic dean, who will refer cases of abuse to the Office of Student Conduct.
The short-term illness notification procedure is based on these operating principles:
- You are in the best position to judge whether you are too incapacitated to complete an assignment or exam at the designated time.
- You will only use the Incapacitation Form for reasons related to your health and then only if your illness is truly incapacitating.
- You will act in accordance with the Duke Community Standard, in particular, that provision stating that you will not “provide false or misleading information in order to be excused from classes or assignments.”
This is what you should do:
- Consult the DukeHub website to view your class schedule to obtain the name and number of the course and the name of the course instructor.
- Complete the secure online form (to be found at the end of these instructions) and submit it. An email to your instructor will be generated, with a copy sent to you, and a copy will be available to your academic dean.
- Submit the Incapacitation Form to your instructor as soon as possible once you realize that your short-term illness has become incapacitating. Instructors expect you to submit the Incapacitation Form prior to the class in which the graded assignment is due or will occur, if at all possible.
- Within 48 hours of submission of an Incapacitation Form, you must meet with (or otherwise contact) the instructor to discuss how you can be accommodated under the circumstances in accordance with the course policy. Your instructor is under no obligation to accommodate your absence if you fail to meet the 48-hour deadline and can treat it as an unexcused absence or late work.
- Avoid obtaining any information about a graded exercise that would give you an unfair advantage over other students taking the course. Your instructor may want to use the same graded exercise that the rest of the class completed.
- Your electronic signature on the form affirms your compliance with the Duke Community Standard.
Notes to Instructors:
- Please require the use of the Incapacitation Form for all absences due to incapacitating illness when graded work is missed. The Incapacitation Form provides a means of documenting student absences. This record is used by the academic deans as a basis for evaluating problematic absences, and identifying students in need of support.
- The Incapacitation Form only allows a student to address the form to one instructor. If you have a team taught course or TA’s, give clear instructions to students as to whom they should send the Incapacitation Form.
- You have a right to expect students who submit an Incapacitation Form to meet (or otherwise communicate) with you within 48 hours to talk about how you might accommodate their missed work in accordance with your course policy and to discuss the implications of missing a class or deadline for submission of work. If a student fails to meet the 48-hour deadline, you are under no obligation to accommodate the student, and his/her missed work may be treated as late or unexcused.
- Do not accept an Incapacitation Form as valid if it has been used for any reason other than incapacitating illness.
- If you suspect that a student is abusing the Incapacitation Form policy, you should bring this to the attention of a student’s academic dean. Or, refer the matter directly to the Office of Student Conduct for investigation.
- For a student who has excessive absences and missed work such that he/she is no longer able to meet the learning objectives of your course, you should bring this to the attention of the student’s academic dean. In such cases, the use of the Incapacitation Form would be inappropriate and unacceptable. A student may be asked to withdraw from your class, or be given a failing grade.
A note about the final exam period: See Final Exams, Absence From
Last updated: Jan 8, 2020
Graduating seniors who need 1cc-2.5 cc at Duke to graduate may request permission to study on a part-time basis in their last semester of enrollment. To do so, present your request to your academic dean as soon as you know that you want to be enrolled part-time but no later than the last day of classes (LDOC) in the term that immediately precedes your final term of your enrollment at Duke.
As a part-time student, you may enroll in no less than one (1.0), and no more than two-and-a-half (2.5) course credits. Also, concurrent enrollment at another university is not permitted. If you are taking 2.5 units or less at Duke, you will not be able to use additional units taken at another institution toward your degree completion.
Note: as a part-time student you may be denied University housing. Discuss your eligibility for housing with Residence Life. To discuss your eligibility for part-time status, confer with your academic dean.
If you are considering Part-Time, and you are:
- on financial aid
- a varsity athlete
- on an F-1 Visa
then please read the notes below carefully.
Part-time students are eligible for federal and/or institutional aid. Book allowance will be reduced by half, while housing, meals, and other budget items will remain the same as for full-time status. Students taking fewer than 2 credits are ineligible for financial aid, either federal or institutional, with exceptions for some Pell-eligible students who may receive a small Pell grant only. The part-time semester will count as one of a student’s 8 semesters of total aid eligibility. Any financial aid implications should be discussed with our Financial Aid Advisor found on Duke Hub.
Student-athletes interested in pursuing part-time status must receive permission from Heather Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Todd Mesibov (email@example.com) to ensure they continue to meet NCAA requirements for athletic participation.
International students on F-1 visas
F-1 regulations require that international students be enrolled full-time each semester except the final semester before graduation. Due to changing policies, you should contact your Duke Visa Services Advisor for further input and advice.
To apply for part-time status in your last semester at Duke, contact your academic dean and submit the form no later than the last day of classes in the term that immediately precedes your final term of enrollment at Duke.
Last updated: April 19, 2021
You will be placed on “Probation” for a semester if you accumulate a certain number of D and F grades. See the section on grades for a detailed listing of grades and outcomes. A semester of probation is designed to serve as a “wake-up” call. It is a sign that you are in imminent danger of being withdrawn from Duke for academic reasons.
Students with poor grades in the fall will be placed on probation in the spring. Students with poor grades in the spring will be placed on probation in the fall. If, due to exceptional circumstances, you petition for and are permitted to withdraw from a course to an underload during your semester of probation, your probationary status will be automatically extended to the next semester. Parent(s)/guardian(s) are notified of probationary status. Probationary information is not placed on your official transcript.
If your semester academic record warrants probation you will receive notification from one of your Academic Deans:
- You must meet with a Dean
- You must acknowledge your probation in writing by signing an acknowledgment form. Failure to sign the acknowledgment form by the end of the first week of class will result in dismissal
- You must enroll in four and only four full credit (1.0 credit) courses for the semester of probation
- Your courses must be approved by a Dean
- At the end of the probationary semester, if you maintain a C (2.0) average or you have no grade lower than a C- for the semester, you will clear probation. If you fail to clear probation, you will be academically withdrawn from Duke for two semesters. Regardless of probation, you must still meet all continuation requirements
If you are placed on probation, you should take the time to address your strengths and weaknesses in study skills and habits and also identify problems that have disrupted your academic program. You should institute changes wherever appropriate. We urge you to confer with your Academic Deans, Advisor, Instructor, a counselor at CAPS, or with a member of the staff of the Academic Resource Center, as appropriate, early in the semester of probation.
Last updated: August 24, 2007
Students are permitted by university policy to be absent from class to observe a religious holiday. This policy reflects the University’s commitment to being responsive to our increasing diversity and to enabling students’ spiritual development. Accordingly, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering have established procedures to be followed by students for notifying their instructors of an absence due to the observance of a religious holiday.
Students who miss class to observe a specified religious holiday are expected to make prior arrangements with their instructor to make up any work missed, as follows:
- At the beginning of each semester, you should notify each of your instructors of any religious holiday(s) that will necessitate your absence from class(es) that semester. Instructor policies regarding class attendance vary widely; you are responsible for being aware of individual faculty policies and for communicating any intended absences for religious observance.
- As a religious observance approaches, you should send an official notification to your instructor that you will miss class in order to observe a religious holiday by completing and submitting the RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE NOTIFICATION ONLINE FORM no later than one week prior to the date of the holiday.
- When you submit this form, your instructor will be notified by email and a copy will be sent to you. A copy will also be placed in a file which your academic dean may access.
- Because religious holidays are scheduled in advance, instructors have the right to insist, where feasible, that you complete the course work prior to the anticipated absence in accordance with the course attendance policy.
- Since absence from class due to observance of a religious holiday is excused according to University policy, no dean’s excuse is required. If an instructor is unwilling or unable to excuse your absence from class, you should consult your academic dean. It is the responsibility of each instructor to communicate the University policy to his or her students and to accommodate reasonable requests.
- Your electronic signature on the form affirms your compliance with the Duke Community Standard.
This procedure cannot be used during the final exam period, given the time limitations inherent in completing end-of-semester assignments, or making up a missed final exam. You are expected to take final examinations at the scheduled times and to complete end-of-semester work by the deadlines set by the instructor. In the event that a religious holiday should fall during exam week, contact your academic dean well before the scheduled assignment or exam.
The University recognizes that various religious traditions observed by our diverse student body include more holidays than can be easily included on a list. Moreover, we recognize that in some faiths observances vary by tradition and country, and in accordance with the lunar calendar. However, as a guide to faculty and students in the planning of their courses and assignments, members of the campus ministry have identified the dates of major religious holidays that occur when classes are being held during the academic year. This list is not a designation of religious holidays recognized by the University; nor is it mean to be all-inclusive. The list found here is merely an aid for planning purposes.
Last updated: August 11, 2016
You cannot repeat a course in which you earned a grade of C- or better. An engineering student who has earned a grade of D-, D, or D+ in a required mathematics, science or a required engineering course, may with permission of his or her adviser, director of undergraduate studies, and academic dean, repeat the course. To do this, you’ll need to fill out a course repeat request form (PDF). The form needs to be approved and signed by your Academic Dean.
If you repeat the course, both grades will appear on your transcript and both will be calculated into your grade point average. Only one will count toward the 34 courses/credits required for graduation and for the fulfillment of continuation requirements.
Repeating a course may be warranted when it is part of a sequence of courses in a discipline of importance to your academic future. Repeating the course may be particularly important if much of the course material was beyond your comprehension and there are serious gaps in your knowledge, Experience suggests that progressing uninterrupted to the next level when your background in a subject is weak will often lead to a repetition of the original difficulties, compounded by the weak foundation from the first semester. You would probably do better to repeat the course with the help of a tutor or other support from the Academic Resource Center before going on to the next level in the subject.
If you have no compelling need to repeat a course, there may be no advantage to doing so. It may be better to take other course work in which you are more interested and experienced and are more likely to meet with success.
Last updated: August 24, 2007
With the consent of the instructor and your academic dean, you can register for grading on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis in one course per semester or summer session. This may be either a full or partial credit course, but you must be enrolled in 4.0 course credits at the beginning of the semster in order to take one course S/U. More specifically for Pratt students, S/U is not allowed for any class required for the major, with the exception of unrestricted electives. Restrictions include:
- Prerequisites of required courses
- Social Science and Humanities required courses (any of the 5 required ss/h)
Only four (4) courses taken on an S/U basis may be counted toward the 34 courses required for graduation. The limit of four does not apply to courses that are only offered on the S/U basis. A grade of S will be awarded if you earn the equivalent of a letter grade of C- or better, while a U will be awarded for the equivalent of a D+ or worse grade. Neither an S nor a U will be factored into the grade point average. If you receive a U, you will receive no credit for the course and will be ineligible for dean’s list in that semester. An engineering student may choose to be graded on a S/U basis in up to four unrestricted electives. Taking a course on the S/U basis may make you ineligible for the dean’s list. You should consult your academic dean if you have questions about your dean’s list eligibility. You cannot study abroad or on a domestic study away program and receive credit at Duke for a course taken on an S/U or pass/fail basis.
Note: Students permitted to enroll in an underload of 3.0 course credits in a semester via accommodation by the Student Disability Access Office (SDAO) may take a maximum of 1 course on the S/U basis per semester.
If you are enrolled in a full (4 cc) course load and wish to take a course on the S/U basis, you must obtain permission from the instructor and your academic dean. You have until the last day to withdraw from a course to secure permission to do so. Summer term students must do so by 5 pm on the last day to withdraw from a course. Once you submit the request to take a course S/U, you are not allowed to change back, so it is prudent to submit the paperwork only when you are 100% certain about S/U.
To enroll in a course on the S/U basis, you should add the course normally through DukeHub and then complete the S/U electronic form. You also need to provide email documenation from your instructor approving your grading request of S/U. Bear in mind that you may not be enrolled in a course on the S/U basis when enrolled in an underload of 3 full courses.
Once you enroll in a course on the S/U basis you may not subsequently change to a letter grade. You also may not change from a letter grade to the S/U option after the deadline of the last day to withdraw. An S grade earned in a course may also not subsequently be converted to a letter grade, and the course may not be retaken.
Note: The S/U deadline is strictly enforced.
Last updated: January 16, 2022
NOTE FOR SPRING 2021 The policy adopted by the Arts & Sciences Council for Fall 2020 allowing individual departments to declare 0–199 level courses mandatory S/U – in which courses carry all curriculum codes and count toward major-minor-certificate requirements and associated prerequisites – will continue for the Spring 2021 semester. Here is the list of courses that have adopted the S/U mandatory grading for the Spring 2021 semester. There may be other courses that have S/U grading but are not listed because they are always offered as S/U during any academic semester.
- The change for these courses is to a mandatory S/U grading basis, so no student in these S/U courses will be able to opt into receiving a letter grade.
- As a special provision of this decision, courses converted to S/U under this policy will satisfy the requirements of any major, minor or certificate program, as well as other requirements for graduation.
- Any S/U courses you take this fall will not count against the allowable number of S/Us allowable per year, or upon graduation.
- S/U grades are not factored into your GPA, and will not count toward Latin Honors.
Please note these decisions apply only to courses that orginate in Trinity. It does not apply to courses that originate in Pratt or Nicholas or Sanford. However, as noted above, the S/U grading basis will apply to courses that originate in Trinity and are cross-listed in other departments or schools. Pratt students are not approved to take required engineering courses on an elective S/U grading option outside of the courses listed here, or social science/humanities courses taken in Spring 2021. See note on social science/humanities.
With careful planning, Pratt School of Engineering students can make study away part of their Duke Experience
Pratt students should be aware that:
- In addition to Duke policies and procedures, Pratt students must also follow Pratt School of Engineering’s Study Away Policies, and sign the Pratt School of Engineering Study Away Contract
- An important difference is that Pratt requires students to have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
- There are important steps to be taken before, during, and upon return
- Advising and planning resources are available at Duke and Pratt to help students interested in studying away
Pratt Study Away Policies
1. Minimum 3.0 Cumulative GPA
The Pratt School of Engineering requires a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA to be cleared academically for any study away program during the Fall or Spring semester.
It is important for Pratt students to know that this is a difference from the Duke Global Education Office (GEO), which requires a minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA. Also, individual study away programs may also require a higher cumulative GPA.
2. Meet With Pratt Academic Dean
Pratt students must develop an academic plan that includes study away, in addition to a plan for the remaining semesters upon return.
An initial meeting with your Pratt academic dean should take place 2-3 semesters prior to the planned semester away. The meeting is required for all students prior to study away in order to discuss viable course options to continue progress toward graduation.
When a final decision on location is determined and courses identified, students must discuss and sign the Pratt School of Engineering Study Away Contract.
The study away agreement is due to your Pratt academic dean prior to completion of the GEO Participation Agreement.
Your academic dean must submit a final electronic copy of this agreement to the GEO.
3. Only Two Engineering Technical Courses Are Allowed
While on study away, a maximum of two engineering courses are allowed. With special permission from the departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies, a third departmental elective course may be allowed.
Other required engineering courses can also be taken. You can discuss this with your Academic Dean to determine the appropriate courses.
Students who wish to take courses to satisfy a second major, minor, or certificate, must confirm with the Directors of Undergraduate Studies of both departments to confirm courses will count for one or both majors.
Students are at risk of not being able to count study away courses toward degree requirements if those courses are not confirmed in accordance with the Pratt School of Engineering Study Away Contract.
4. Only One Course That Requires a Lab to be Completed Upon Return to Duke is Allowed
Only one instance of a study away course that does not offer an approved lab, and therefore requires the lab to be completed at Duke, will be allowed. Furthermore, students will have a maximum of two semesters to complete the lab at Duke.
To prepare for study away, it is important to begin planning—even if you are just exploring possibilities—as early as the spring semester of your First Year.
The required meeting with your Pratt academic dean should take place 2-3 semesters prior to the planned semester away.
Types of Study Away Programs
Visit the Global Education Office website for information about types of study away programs »
Global Education Office
The Duke GEO staff:
- Can discuss GEO policies and procedures, program-specific fees, deadlines, and any rules/regulations
- Maintain a database of pre-approved courses around the world
The GEO database is an excellent place to begin. However, don’t limit your search to just this database. Be sure to look beyond the database, especially if there is a course or a country you have identified that does not appear on GEO’s list.
Importantly, GEO staff cannot advise you on which courses satisfy engineering degree requirements.
Your Academic Dean
- Discuss your academic goals
- Assist in developing an academic plan that includes appropriate course work for study away
Meeting with your academic dean is a required step, as outlined in the Pratt School of Engineering Study Away Policies.
Credit Earned Prior to Matriculation
College credit earned at another institution of higher education while enrolled as a high school student may qualify as credit that can be transferred to Duke. Duke policy requires that a student provide documentation in support of a request to transfer college-level work completed prior to high school graduation. The Prematriculation process, policy and appropriate forms can be found here.
Last updated: May 3, 2019
Courses Taken Elsewhere by CURRENT Students
With prior approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the appropriate department and the Academic Dean, an engineering student may receive transfer credit for up to four semester courses taken at other institutions either during the summer term, or while on an approved leave of absence from Duke. Transfer credit may not be awarded for courses taken while a student is ineligible to continue at Duke University (such as Academic Dismissal or Suspension).
Click on the Transfer Credit Approval Form.
Institutional Transfer Credit Information
- Departments are responsible for approving courses that count toward a major, minor, or certificate and they may have limitations on the number of non-Duke courses that will apply. If you are uncertain whether a course will apply to major, minor or certificate requirements, you should check the information on the departmental/program website or confer with the DUS or program director.
- If the institution attended or to be attended is outside the United States, the Global Education Office must approve the accreditation of the international institution before transfer credit will be approved. There is a place for this approval on the form.
- You will not receive transfer credit for a course taken online. This includes courses traditionally taught online, e.g., University of Phoenix courses. Nor does it include courses taken from a 3rd party, EdX, Coursera, etc, eligible for transfer credit. Courses must be taken and transcripted by an accredited 4-year university. Courses may also not be taken from different insitutions within the same summer session.
- You will not receive transfer credit for a course taken at a junior or community college, or for an independent study course work completed elsewhere.
- You will not receive transfer credit for a course if you took the course earlier at Duke, and received a grade of D-, D, or D+, unless prior approval is received by the academic dean and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for your major. You can repeat a course for credit only at Duke and then only if authorized by your academic dean (see information on Repeating a Course).
- A 3 or 4 semester-hour course taken elsewhere is equivalent to a 1.0 course credit at Duke. A course taken at a university on the quarter system–such institutions are especially numerous in California–must be 5 or 6 quarter-hours of credit to transfer as a 1.0 credit coures. Courses that are less than 3 or 4 semester hours or 5 or 6 quarter hours may on occasion be transferred as partial credit (0.5 credit) courses.
- You should have prospective transfer courses pre-approved so that you know if they will transfer before you invest time and expense. However, if needed, you may have courses approved after completion, but be aware that approval is not guaranteed.
- A course taken in the summer must meet for a period of at least four full weeks (at least 17 class meetings, excluding holidays, reading periods and final exams). See important update below regarding the London School of Economics. The limitaiton to one course enrollment in an intensive summer term also applies to course work taken at another institution, i.e., you can receive no more than one course credit for enrollment in an intensive term (under 6 weeks in length) at another institution.
- Courses that transfer to Duke as a specified Duke course will carry the Area of Knowledge code(s) that a Duke course carries. Transfer courses that are approved as generic courses (e.g. 100 for lower level, 300 for upper-level) for which there is no exact Duke equivalent course can be given an Area of Knowledge code by the Director of Undergraduate Studies who approves the content of the course for transfer. Final approval of Area of Knowledge is given by the Academic Dean.
- No more than 4.0 institutional transfer credits are allowed, whether in the summer while you are an active Duke student or while you are on personal or medical leave of absence. This does not include transfer credits earned while on a study away program as an active Duke student. Once the limit of transfer credit has been reached, no additional transferred work will be added to your academic record or used as a substitute for a previously transferred course.
- No more than two technical courses are allowed to be taken at another institution.
- If two courses are taken concurrently, and the lab portion must be taken upon return to Duke, only one such course is allowed to be taken in the same term. Upon return, students have a maximum of two semesters to successfully complete the lab portion of the course back at Duke.
- Students who have been suspended or dismissed may not transfer courses taken during the period of suspension or dismissal. EFFECTIVE JAN 2023: Students who are on academic dismissal beginning January 2023, or later, are able to take institutional credits in their permanent place of residence (i.e., within the U.S. or student’s home country), if they do not have any outstanding Incompletes.
- You are expected to present a transcript from the four year college or university at which the course work was completed. Duke does not award transfer credit for so-called “third-party” transfer situations, i.e. when the school attended is not the same as the accredited four-year degree-granting institution that issues the transcript.
- Inter-institutional courses taken at neighboring universities are not considered as work taken at another institution, and are exempt from these transfer credit policies.
Important update regarding summer school at the London School of Economics: Effective summer 2018, Deans in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering will no longer approve summer school courses at the London School of Economics for “Institutional Transfer Credit” for transfer back to Duke, as these courses do not meet our requirements for transfer. This change applies to courses taken in summer 2018 and thereafter. Courses taken up to or in the summer of 2017 will continue to be approved. If you still wish to study at the London School of Economics in summer 2018 or thereafter, please check the program’s status at the Duke Global Education Office (http://globaled.duke.edu/programs).
PROCEDURE FOR TRANSFER CREDIT APPROVAL
STEP 1: Submit an electronic Transfer Credit Form. Click here to access the form.
Complete the top portion of the form indicating which university or college you will attend, the beginning and ending dates of the class, and if the university is on a semester or quarter/trimester system.
STEP 2: Global Education Office Approval (if the university is outside the United States).
If you will be attending an institution in the United States, skip step 2. If you will be attending a university outside the United States, you must request the Global Educuation Office (GEO) approval. GEO must confirm the accreditation of the international institution you wish to attend.
STEP 3: Request departmental approval and identification of an equivalent course.
Submit the necessary information requested on the electronic form, this includes the course description or syllabus for the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) of the department that represents the discipline to be reviewed. If the DUS approves the content of the course and determines its equivalency to a specified Duke University course, the DUS will forward the form to your academic dean, with their approval–along with the Duke equivalent course (and Area of Knowledge, if appropriate).
STEP 4: Request your Academic Dean’s Approval
After you receive departmental approval, submit a screenshot or PDF of the printed schedule, showing the beginning and ending dates of when the class is taught, to your Academic Dean. In addition, a copy of the university’s academic calendar for the summer session in question. If the class is a 3-or 4-hour semester course or a 5-or 6-quarter hour course taught over a period of at least 4 full weeks, your dean will approve the coures as a 1.0 credit course and will give a pre-approval. He/She will hold the form until the final transcript is received upon successful completion of the course. If your dean does not approve, he/she will notify you.
STEP 5: Complete the course and have the official transcript sent.
Once you know the course has been fully approved, register for the course on a graded basis (do not enroll in pass/fail grading or for a course offered only on a pass/fail basis). Complete the course. Request an official transcript from that institution addressed to your Academic Dean and mailed directly to the Office of Undergraduate Education, Pratt School of Engineering, Box 90271, Durham, NC 27708. Official electronic transcripts are also accepted and can be sent diretly to your Academic Dean’s email address from the credit granting institution. Once received, the Undergraduate Education Office will request the Registrar to add the course to your Duke record. If a lab is required to be taken upon return, the transfer credit will not be posted until documentation of successful completion of the lab. You must earn a C- or better to receive Duke credit. Your grade will not be recorded and will not be included in your Duke GPA; instead the notation “TR” will be recorded on your Duke transcript in place of a grade.
Last updated: JAN 3, 2023
Enrolled Duke students can apply to transfer between the Pratt School of Engineering and the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
If you are a Duke student taking time away from Duke, you may apply for readmission and transfer to Trinity via the Time Away Office.
Applications to transfer are considered at the end of each semester once final grades are reported. Deadlines and processes for applying to transfer are described below.
- For spring transfer: Dec. 15
- For fall transfer: May 15
There are three required components of the transfer process and they are intended to be completed sequentially. Each school transfer process is described in detail below. Please note, that the completion of these steps may take at least a week—and possibly longer depending on how soon you will be able to secure appointments.
It is advised that you begin your transfer process outside of the pre-registration times due to the high volume of advising appointments that occur during that time. Late applications will not be considered until the subsequent semester deadline. Applications without documented completion of Steps 1 and 2 will not be considered.
Important Notice: Trinity students applying to Pratt must complete all Trinity academic requirements until they are accepted by Pratt. Trinity students who do not fulfill the First Year Seminar requirement because they plan to transfer to Pratt after their first year will be required to complete a seminar at Duke during the summer if they are not admitted to Pratt. Students who do not complete a seminar during the summer will not be eligible to return for the fall semester. Questions about this should be directed to your academic dean.
- Meet with your Pratt Academic Dean
- Meet with Ms. Jen Hoff, Senior Advising Associate, Academic Advising Center (if transferring as a current 2nd semester student, or later)
- Apply online
STEP ONE: MEET WITH YOUR ACADEMIC DEAN
ALL students must meet with their assigned academic dean first. Schedule an appointment by calling 919-660-5996, or use your dean’s online schedule link. Your dean will review the general education requirements for Trinity, highlight the differences between the two schools and review the transfer process and timeline during your meeting. Based on the information provided in your meeting, your dean will advise you on the next step to take for transfer to Trinity.
STEP TWO: MEET WITH THE ACADEMIC ADVISING CENTER
Transferring In the First Semester
Students are only allowed to transfer at the end of their first semester as an Undeclared major. If you are in your first semester, and not a Transfer student from another institution, you may proceed to Step Three after your meeting with your Academic Dean. (If you are a 1st-semester transfer student from another institution, you should follow the instructions for transferring as a 2nd- or 3rd-semester student.)
Once your transfer is processed at the end of the current semester, you will be assigned a college advisor who will work with you until you are ready to declare your major. Pratt students who transfer to Trinity after their first semester, are required to satisfy the Trinity 1st YR Seminar requirement in their second semester. Students who do not will be held to Trinity policy regarding the 1st YR Seminar requirement.
Transferring In 2nd or 3rd Semester
Schedule a meeting with the Senior Advising Associate, Ms. Jen Hoff, in the Academic Advising Center by using this link. If you can’t find a time that will work for you, you can email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you meet with Ms. Hoff, you should discuss your interests and goals to help identify courses that would be appropriate for you to explore. Having a major in mind is certainly not necessary, but it is helpful to come as prepared as possible to this meeting in order to have a productive discussion.
Transferring in 4th Semester or Later
Because you are transferring as a 4th semester (or more) student, you are required to complete a preliminary four-year plan (What If Report) at the time of transfer. This is necessary in order to declare your major. Completing the What If Report requires you to do some preparatory work—checking out major requirements on the department/program website, and if necessary, meeting with your prospective major’s Director of Undergraduate Studies to confirm whether you can complete your prospective major.
Once you’ve completed the What If Report, schedule a meeting with the Senior Advising Associate, Ms. Jen Hoff, in the Academic Advising Center by using this link, or emailing email@example.com. This meeting is to discuss any specific questions you have about Trinity requirements and to review your What If to confirm that you will meet your Trinity general education requirements. If you have any questions about completing the What If Report please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Hoff prior to your meeting for assistance.
STEP THREE: APPLY ONLINE
Once you’ve completed Step 1 and, if required, Step 2, then you will receive an email with a link to the application. All applications to transfer must be submitted online by the following deadlines:
- For spring transfer: Dec. 15
- For fall transfer: May 15
Important Notice: Transfer applications are not processed until after the application deadline. You will remain in the Pratt School of Engineering until applications are processed after the stated deadline. If you do not complete step two, you have not completed the transfer process and will therefore not be processed.
STEP ONE: MEET WITH A PRATT ACADEMIC DEAN
All students will transfer as undeclared and be able to declare their major after the first year. Schedule an appointment with your future academic dean by emailing them. Identify your future dean in the chart below, by the first letter of your last name:
Fall 2021 A-Hi Hj-O P-Z Fall 2022 A-Hep Hf-O P-Z Fall 2023 A-Heq Her-O P-Z
During your meeting, your dean will review the requirements for Pratt, highlight the differences between the two schools, inform you about the timeline and process, and discuss specific information about departmental curricula.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: A Trinity student who transfers to Pratt at the end of their first fall semester, and then transfers back to Trinity at the end of the first spring semester will be required to complete the First Year Seminar requirement.
STEP TWO: APPLY ONLINE
Once you’ve completed Step 1, you will receive an email with a link to the application. All applications to transfer must be submitted online by the following deadlines:
- For spring transfer: Dec. 15
- For fall transfer: May 15
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Transfer applications are not processed until after the application deadline. You will remain in Trinity College until applications are proccessed after the stated deadline. Finally, if you do not complete step three, you have not completed the transfer process and will therefore not be processed.
Updated August 31, 2023
- For spring transfer: Dec. 15