Course Catalog

Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering, and The Graduate School

Requests for all Trinity undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as courses offered through the Pratt School of Engineering, are submitted to the Office of Curriculum and Course Development and reviewed by the Faculty Committee on Courses, a standing committee of the Arts & Sciences Council.

Departments must use the Course Request System to add, drop, or revise regular courses and to request coding for Special Topics courses. After logging on to the site, users select a school according to the following categories:

For help submitting a request, see the Guide to the Duke University Course Request System. For a list of reserved catalog numbers and general guidelines for course numbering, see Course Numbering Guidelines below.

To request a list of all courses owned by and/or crosslisted with your department (active, inactive, or both), email This request may only be made once; after receipt, departments will be responsible for maintaining this list. For additional assistance, see the help guides Catalog - Checking Course Numbers and Catalog - Tips for Common Questions.

To request access as a department affiliate, contact the Office of the University Registrar (

Approval Process

Once a request has been reviewed by the committee, the status will read either Submitted to Registrar (Approved) or Courses Committee – Declined. Users should look at the bottom of the request in the Courses Committee Review section to see if there are any committee comments. Approved curriculum codes will appear at the bottom of any request; if codes are denied, the decision will be explained in the committee’s comments.

Status and Meaning

Course information is in the process of being added to the form.
Department - In Progress
Request has been sent to the DUS/DGS for departmental review information. The DUS/DGS will review and sign the form with their netID at this point. All crosslisted offerings must also receive director approval by the respective department.
Department - Revisions Needed
Request has been returned to department. Instructions will be provided when request is returned.
Submitted to Courses Committee
Request has completed the departmental review process, has obtained all crosslisted departmental authorizations (if applicable), and has been submitted for approval. The Registrar’s Office may contact the department for revisions while the Courses Committee reviews the request.
Courses Committee - In Progress
Request is being reviewed by the Courses Committee.
Courses Committee - Declined
Committee has denied the request.
Submitted to Graduate School

Request has been approved by the Courses Committee and has been submitted for Graduate School approval.

Graduate School - In Progress
Request is being reviewed by The Graduate School.
Graduate School - Declined
The Graduate School has denied the request.
Submitted to Registrar
All applicable committee(s) have approved the request.
Registrar - In Progress
Registrar is working on the request.
Registrar - Processed

Registrar has processed the request and updated the catalog/schedule, as applicable.

Changes processed after schedules have been submitted for effective term may not immediately appear on scheduled offering(s). Please allow time for additional processing. To avoid this issue, make sure to submit requests on time.

Effective Fall 2012, the Duke University course numbering guidelines reserve certain catalog numbers for specific types of courses. Consult the charts below before selecting a number for a new course or crosslist. This scheme is applicable to the following Duke schools: Trinity School of Arts & Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering, Nicholas School of the Environment, Sanford School of Public Policy, and The Graduate School.

Catalog numbers are unique to each course and cannot be reused within four years of inactivation. Catalog numbers that include a suffix cannot be used for a different course. In other words, SUBJECT 101 (lecture-only course) must be the same course as SUBJECT 101S (seminar version of course), 101A (study away version), 101L (lecture and lab version), etc.

Duke University Numbering Scheme

General Guidelines
Catalog Number Course Type
  • Advanced Placement credit
  • House courses
  • First-year seminars
  • First-year writing courses
  • Registrar/department special purpose
  • Introductory-level undergraduate courses
  • Basic skills/activity courses
  • Foundation courses
  • Focus Program courses
200-399 Undergraduate courses above introductory level
400-499 Advanced undergraduate courses (senior seminars, capstone courses, honors thesis courses)
500-699 Graduate courses open to advanced undergraduates
700-999 Graduate-only courses (not open to undergraduates)
Reserved and Assigned Course Numbers
  Course Number Course Type Special Notes
General 0-19   Reserved for Registrar
20-29 Advanced Placement credit  
59 House courses  



  • First-year writing courses
  • Other first-year non-major courses
  • First-year seminars
  • Formerly Writing 20’s courses
  • Formerly 20-series courses
  • Formerly 49S
91-99 Department special use  
90, 100, 200, 300, 400 Transfer course credit For transfer courses with no Duke course equivalent.
(101 for introductory course in unit)
  • Introductory courses
  • Basic skills or activity courses
  • Foundation courses
  • Focus Program courses
Gateway courses to the major or to certificate programs may be at 100 or 200 level; Focus Program courses may be at 200-level in certain circumstances.
Special Topics 190, 290, 390, 490 Undergraduate These numbers reserved for special topics courses, which have variable topics each semester.
(May use dash and digit (ex. 190-1) to indicate subcategories.)
590, 690 Graduate/advanced undergraduate
790, 890, 990 Graduate/professional only
Independent Study/
Honors Thesis
291-292, 391-392, 491-492 Undergraduate (non-research) Independent Studies spanning two or more semesters use numbers in sequence.
591-592, 691-692 Graduate/advanced undergraduate (non-research)
791-792 Graduate/professional only
293-294, 393-394, 493-494 Undergraduate (research—R code must be requested when course is created) Research Independent Studies spanning two or more semesters use numbers in sequence.
593-594, 693-694 Graduate/advanced undergraduate (research—R code must be requested when course is created)
793-794 Graduate/professional only (research)
495-496 Honors Thesis courses  
Foreign Language Courses 101-102 Beginning level
  • Language departments do not use 201, 202.
  • All courses above the intermediate level taught in the FL must be at the 300-level or above
111 Intensive beginning
203-204 Intermediate level
212 Intensive intermediate
300+ Advanced level
501-502 Reading knowledge only courses Graduate courses for academic research may not carry FL code.

Courses offered under the special topics course numbers (n90) are courses that are offered on a one-time basis; they are not part of a department’s regularly taught curriculum (permanent courses). Special topics are used by faculty who wish to teach a very specialized subject on a one-time basis, or to try out a new course that may eventually become a permanent course. Special topics may also be used for specialized courses taught by visiting faculty.

Because the particular topic will be different each time the course is taught, departments must apply for the appropriate curricular codes using the Special Topics form on the Course Request System each time the course is offered. Please note that even if a particular topic has been offered in a previous semester, the curriculum codes will not carry over on DukeHub unless the Special Topic Request form has been submitted for the current semester. The topic title and any cross-listed offerings in the request must match the primary department’s submission in the DSV; requests that do not match exactly will not be reviewed until any issues are rectified.

Only approved special topics courses and curriculum codes may be advertised by a department. Departments should confirm that their special topic titles and codes have been approved and applied to the schedule of classes before promoting them on a departmental website or social media account.

For additional information regarding special topics courses, see Trinity’s guidelines for Course Requests.

To find previous course requests, search either the Archived Course Requests (contains requests from June 2004 through December 2011) or the Old System (contains requests from January 2012 through May 2015). A link to both pages can also be found at the top of the website in the Course Request System. Both the Archived and Old System sites are read-only sites and are made available for departments to use for informational purposes only. Access to these archived systems is limited; additional access will not be granted.

Professional Schools

All Duke professional schools, except the School of Medicine, should use the Course Request Form to add, revise, or drop courses from the course catalog. One action may be requested per form. This form should not to be used to request changes to the class schedule for any particular term.

Users will receive an email summary of the request upon submission and another when the request has been processed. Please direct all inquiries regarding the form to