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Duke University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :01 Jan 
International :01 Jan 

BS Program II (self-designed degree, BA or BS)

 Course Level
Bachelors / UG
Full Time

4 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

49498 USD
49498 USD

Application fee

International 85 USD
National 85 USD
Program II
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
SAT (avg)1540
ACT (avg)34

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About this course

One thing that Program II students share in common is that their educational goals cannot be satisfactorily fulfilled within Program I. In selecting Program II, you accept the challenge of designing your own individualized program of study and the responsibility for fulfilling its requirements. In return, you enjoy the benefits of focusing your undergraduate studies on what most excites you intellectually.

If you are curious about Program II or want to find out if it is suitable for you, please plan to attend one of the four information sessions we offer each year. You will also want to familiarize yourself with the curricular requirements and opportunities of Program II (including Graduation with Distinction) and visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Considerable space is devoted in our Web site to describing the Program II application procedures. The three sample applications that we’ve posted to this Web site will give you a sense of how other students have prepared successful applications. You may find them useful as you prepare yours. If you’d like to look at more applications, you can do so by visiting the Program II office. Our list of Program II titles shows the range of topics that Program II students have explored in the past. Finally, we make it easy for you to contact current Program II students (if you want to pick their brains!) and the Program II office.

By the way, if you are interested in Program II, you may also wish to consider the somewhat-related Interdepartmental Major, particularly if your intellectual interests center on two academic disciplines in Trinity College.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants who do not use English as their primary language must demonstrate the ability to undertake a rigorous, fast-paced academic program in English. As Duke students must have the ability to read quickly and to express themselves clearly both orally and in writing, applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English at the time the application is submitted.

We recommend but do not require the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) for non-native English speakers who feel their TOEFL or IELTS scores might represent their English ability better than their SAT or ACT scores do.

A minimum score of 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)—or 600 on the paper-based TOEFL (PBT)—or an overall band score of 7 on the IELTS is expected for all applicants to Duke. The English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) cannot replace the TOEFL. We will use all the test information that you send to us with your writing samples in the application to evaluate your proficiency in English. If you take tests more than once, we will use your highest scores.

Our school code for the TOEFL is 5156.

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

Curriculum depth—is achieved by completing a set of core courses proposed by the applicant and approved by the Program II committee as fundamental to the topic of the proposed program. Within the defined area of study, core courses are meant to provide a structured learning experience. The core curriculum will generally include 14-16 but no more than 18 courses, at least 8 of which must be at the advanced level (200 level or above).

Contributing also to curriculum depth is the requirement that each Program II student complete a two-semester Senior Capstone Project. The SCP provides an opportunity for you to draw the strands of your interdisciplinary program together in pursuit of a sustained, mentored research or other project that will enable you to demonstrate what you have learned over the course of your undergraduate studies as a Program II student. Please consider whether in fulfillment of the SCP requirement you might want to pursue an honors thesis leading to your Graduation with Distinction in Program II.

Curriculum breadth—is achieved over four years through course work that may or may not be related to the topic of the proposal but that strengthens the student's overall liberal arts education. Your core courses in Program II may contribute to the breadth requirement. Unless otherwise specifically requested and approved as part of the application, you must complete the same curriculum requirements in Program II as in Program I (i.e., areas of knowledge and modes of inquiry). A modification may be approved only if the Program II committee deems it appropriate to your academic and intellectual goals and is satisfied that you will still acquire academic exposure to each curriculum component found in Program I. Such a modification must be requested and approved as part of the application process; requests will not be considered after your Program II application has been approved.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

Once you have identified an advisor and a list of core courses, you should be ready to prepare a formal application to Program II.  The application is organized in modules that can be worked on and completed in any order. You can save your work at any stage in the preparation of the application and return to your work at a later date.

The online application includes the following 6 modules

  • a cover page with abstract.
  • A list of your 15-18 Core Courses.
  • A Program II Long-Range Plan. 
  • A Personal Statement (4-6 pages long)
  • Your thought about a two-semester Senior Capstone Project (SCP)
  • A justification of the title of your Program II.

Beyond completion of these 6 modules, it is your responsibility to insure that your faculty advisor completes the Advisor Statement of Support, using the form provided and addressing your qualifications to conduct your program of study, its feasibility and intellectual importance, and his or her willingness to serve as a mentor to you. In addition the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) of the sponsoring department is expected to complet the Departmental Statement of Support, addressing the degree to which your program courses meet or fail to meet the requirements of the major in that discipline as well as the availability of the courses you propose to take in the department.

Check further details on University website

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