DKU Undergraduates at Duke: Frequently Asked Questions

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As of fall 2019, DKU’s undergraduate student body includes approximately 585 first and second year students. Around seventy percent of the students are from 18 provinces across the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The remainder are international students from approximately 40 countries.

Following are some frequently asked questions regarding DKU undergraduates at Duke. Current DKU students considering study at Duke should contact the DKU Study Abroad office for more information. Additional questions can be sent to us at



All DKU undergraduates in good standing may study abroad at Duke for a semester (fall or spring) during their junior year, plus one summer session prior to or following that semester. Students may also enroll only in summer session, as well as study at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC.

Some students in DKU’s inaugural undergraduate class of 2022 will begin taking courses at Duke in the summer of 2020.

The DKU undergraduate curriculum blends a liberal arts and sciences education with modern interdisciplinary learning and is grounded in seven key principles. Hands-on research, problem-based and team-based learning, and the freedom to craft individual pathways are the foundation of the Duke Kunshan curriculum.

The DKU undergraduate curriculum includes common core, language, and major courses, plus electives and signature work consisting of coursework, experiential education and a signature project. Most DKU courses are seminars of 20 students or fewer.

DKU currently offers 15 majors, some of which have multiple tracks. Each major consists of a set of foundational courses drawn from specific divisions (Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, or Natural and Applied Sciences), interdisciplinary courses that integrate different forms of knowledge, disciplinary courses that provide expertise in specific areas, and electives. Students declare a major during their second year. Additional DKU majors are currently under development.

The DKU academic calendar has fall and spring semesters that run from late August through mid-December, and from early January through early May. Each semester includes two seven-week sessions, during which students typically take two courses at a time. Classes meet Monday-Thursday; Fridays are reserved for field trips, practicum, community projects, or exploring individual interests.

Students who successfully complete the Duke Kunshan undergraduate program receive two bachelor degrees, one from Duke University and one from Duke Kunshan University. The type of degree (e.g. BA, BS, etc.) depends on the specific major. Graduating students become alumni of both institutions.

DKU students must complete general education and major-specific requirements for their DKU and Duke degrees. Details can be found in the DKU Undergraduate Bulletin.

While at Duke, DKU students may take any undergraduate courses numbered 500 and below for which they meet prerequisite requirements. Some courses may require faculty permission to enroll.

Students must register for a minimum of four (4.0) and may take no more than 4.5 Duke course credits during the fall or spring semesters, and two courses during a six-week summer session.

Once they are approved for study abroad at Duke, DKU students meet with their faculty advisors to discuss their academic plan. Similar to registration at Duke, an advising meeting is required before students are eligible to enroll for courses. DKU students complete registration during the same windows as rising or current Duke juniors. Please refer to the Duke Academic Calendar for specific dates.

Prior to their arrival at Duke, DKU students work with their DKU faculty advisors and Duke’s Academic Dean for DKU Students to plan their academic experience and complete course registration. Students also work with Duke’s Director of DKU Student Engagement to identify a plan to meet personal goals and objectives. 

While at Duke, DKU students continue to be supported by their Duke Academic Dean, Director of DKU Student Engagement, and Associate Vice Provost for DKU and Duke Programming and Strategy, who connect students to other Duke resources and services and address any student or faculty issues or concerns.

While at Duke, DKU students can participate in a wide range of co-curricular and extra-curricular programs, activities, student groups, etc. Programs and organizations that require a longer commitment or presence on campus, such as Greek organizations and selective living groups (SLGs) are not available to DKU students.

While studying at Duke, DKU undergraduates are required to live on the Duke campus and enroll in a meal plan. Students are assigned to residence halls on West Campus, alongside Duke sophomores, juniors, and seniors. When possible, Duke will accommodate requests for DKU or Duke roommates. 

You can meet DKU students on the Duke campus starting in summer 2020. Staff in the Office of DKU Programs and members of the student group KSAC can also help you connect with DKU students.

Please contact the Office of DKU Programs at (919) 684-1958 or if you have questions or believe a student needs support. For urgent support after hours, contact the Dean on Call at (919) 970-4169.