Academic Affairs

Trinity College Degree Requirements

In Trinity College students may complete a degree through Program I or Program II. The degree requirements for each are set forth in detail in the Bulletin of Undergraduate Instruction. Questions about them may be addressed to the academic deans.

1. Program I

Almost all students complete their degree in Program I. In general it encompasses an expository writing requirement (including WRITING 101); fulfillment of the General Studies component consisting of courses in five areas of knowledge (Arts, Literatures and Performance; Civilizations; Natural Sciences; Social Sciences; Quantitative Studies) and six modes of inquiry (Cross-cultural Inquiry; Ethical Inquiry; Foreign Languages; Science, Technology and Society; Research; Writing); a major; the First-Year Seminar; two Junior-Senior small group learning experiences; and thirty-four course credits, including limits on certain types of courses that may count toward graduation. In general, at least twenty-four of the courses required for graduation must be Duke-originated courses, defined as courses taught by Duke or Duke-affiliated faculty, offered through Duke University, and subject to the approval processes of Duke’s schools. Duke-originated courses include Duke Kunshan University courses and the Duke-originated courses offered in Duke-In study away programs. For details see the Undergraduate Bulletin.

2. Program II

Program II provides an alternative self-designed degree program for undergraduates in Trinity College. Interested students may obtain information in the Program II Office in 011 Allen Building and in the Pre-major Advising Center.

Upon request by student applicants to Program II, DUSs review and approve proposals for those Program II curricula that are supervised by members of their departmental faculty. A statement from the DUS is a required part of each Program II proposal, which then goes to the Program II Committee of the Arts and Sciences Council for its consideration and approval. The academic dean responsible for Program II  coordinates the work of the committee.

Students who seek out Program II are, typically, those who find that their intellectual interests cross departmental boundaries or who perceive areas of learning in clusters other than those of the current departmental and program units of Trinity College. Other than the requirement for thirty-four semester courses for graduation, the residence requirements, and the limitations on military science courses, the requirements of Program I do not apply to Program II. Programs may be proposed for either the A.B. or B.S. degrees. Additional information is available in the Undergraduate Bulletin, from the academic dean responsible for Program II, or at

3. Residence Requirement

The basic residence requirement is seventeen semester courses, including the final two semesters. See Undergraduate Bulletin for exceptions (i.e., regulations concerning approval for two to four courses to be taken elsewhere during the senior year).