Academic Affairs

Curriculum & Course Development

The Associate Deans of Curriculum and Course Development are responsible for monitoring and promoting the ongoing process of curriculum development in Arts and Sciences with regard to general education, education in the major, and interdisciplinary studies. The office guides the processes for requesting and approving new courses, revisions to existing courses, and curricular changes, including proposals for new majors, minors, and interdisciplinary certificate programs. The Associate Dean works closely with Directors of Undergraduate Studies on all matters pertaining to courses and curricula, and advises and serves ex officio on the two faculty standing committees of the Arts & Sciences Council responsible for reviewing and approving curricular and course proposals: the Committee on Curriculum and the Committee on Courses.

In addition, the Associate Deans work closely with the Office of Assessment to ensure that the goals of the curriculum are being met, and to suggest revisions and improvements as necessary. The office also guides the process by which undergraduate programs are periodically reviewed. Other office functions include the coordination of House Courses, and the approval process for students requesting modes of inquiry on transfer courses.

The Trinity College Curriculum

Instituted in 2000 and revised in 2004, the current curriculum was developed in response to the challenges we face in a time of extraordinary and extraordinarily rapid change. The transformations brought about by technological advances, the globalization of nations and markets, advances in science and genetics, and the emergence of entirely new fields of scholarly investigation challenge our students to think in new ways and to bring multiple perspectives to bear on complex issues. The curriculum is thus designed to better prepare our students for leadership roles in the increasingly knowledge-based economy and pluralistic, globally-interconnected world.

Read: Overview of the Trinity College Curriculum, including general education requirements and competencies.

Course Requests

The basic element of the curriculum is, naturally, the course; however, Duke's curriculum recognizes explicitly that courses can and do teach more than a specific substantive topic. They often also teach ways of knowing, specific skills and/or the relationship of a specific topic to a broader, often interdisciplinary theme. Faculty and departments, in requesting approval for new courses and changes to existing courses, are also able to link each course to certain specific general education requirements.


  • Course Requests Process - New course requests or revisions to existing courses. Includes criteria, guidelines, forms, and templates
  • Curricular Programs - Definitions and requirements for curricular programs, such as major, minor, certificate, interdepartmental major, Bass Connections, and Duke Immerse.

Curricular Proposals and Reviews

Because the intellectual inquiries and methodologies of disciplines and fields change continuously, processes and procedures exist for periodic review and, at times, restructuring of both curricular and pedagogical approaches within the major, as well as within the minor and within interdisciplinary certificate programs. Departments and programs may propose new majors, minors, and certificate programs, or request approval for changes in existing ones.


  • Curricular Proposals - Includes guidelines, criteria, forms, and templates for faculty use when making requests for adding or revising majors, minors, and certificate programs.
  • Curricular Reviews - Guidelines for self-study for use by programs as part of the regular review process can also be found here.