In your very first year at Duke, you receive instruction in real-world design—through our first-year design course, EGR 101L

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The First Year

Welcome to your first year as a Duke Engineer!

This will be an exciting year—

In the classroom and lab, you will be immersed in real-world, hands-on design. And, you'll begin your training in computing and data science, chemistry, mathematics and physics. You will grow critical-thinking skills and develop important communication skills.


The First-Year Experience Competition

Learn more »

Just as important, we'll start a sustained conversation about your sense of purpose.

Plus, we've designed experiences and provided support that will help build your motivation to become an engineer who makes a difference in the world.

Components of the First Year

The First-Year Curriculum

Fall Semester

  • First-Year Design EGR 101  Note 3
  • Mathematics 111L
  • Chemistry 101DL Note 2
  • Digital Computation (some may be assigned to Writing 101) Note 4

Spring Semester

  • Mathematics 112L
  • Physics 151L
  • Technical Course Note 5
  • Writing 101 (Digital Computation for those assigned to Writing 101 in the Fall) Note 4

This table assumes no AP or IPC credit Note 1

Important Notes

1. If You Have AP or IPC Credit

Students with credit for:

Students without AP Computer science credit should take EGR 103L Computational Methods.

Email for assistance interpreting such credit as it pertains to course selection.

2. Chemistry Placement

  • Students without AP Chemistry credit should enroll in CHEM 101DL
  • Students who plan to major in Civil Engineering (CE), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Environmental Engineering (EnvE) or Mechanical Engineering (ME) have satisfied the chemistry requirement with a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam
  • Students who plan to major in Biomedical Engineering (BME), and received an AP Chemistry exam:
    • Score of 5—Should enroll in CHEM 201DL
    • Score of 4—Should enroll in CHEM 101DL or CHEM 110DL

See chemistry placement guidelines »

Contact for guidance on appropriate chemistry placement.

3. All First-Year students take Design and Digital Computation Courses

All first-year Duke Engineering students take:

4. Writing 101

  • Students assigned to Writing 101 in the Fall should enroll in a writing section
  • Students not assigned to Writing 101 in the Fall should enroll in a Digital Computation course

5. Suggested First Technical Courses

The technical course in your first spring semester should be selected according to your intended major, if known:

  • Undecided—Biology 201L or one of the classes listed below
  • Biomedical Engineering—Biology 201L
  • Civil Engineering—CEE 132L
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering—ECE 110L
  • Environmental Engineering—CEE 132L
  • Mechanical Engineering—EGR 121L

Academic Deans

For the Class of 2026, deans are assigned alphabetically by student's last name




Dean Ben Cooke

Dean Carmen Rawls

Dean Lupita

Ben Cooke Carmen Rawls Lupita Temiquel-McMillian