The Duke Kunshan curriculum emphasizes shared knowledge and experience, integrated and deep learning, and flexible pathways. The key components are straightforward:
- Divisional areas of knowledge organize the faculty and the curriculum – Natural Sciences; Social Sciences; and Arts and Humanities – rather than traditional majors or departments.
- Intensive 7-week terms enable students to take two in-depth courses with the flexibility to take some courses in 14-week blocks.
- Fridays and inter-session mini-terms are designed for practica, field trips, internships, civic engagement and credit/no credit short courses.
- Seminars of fewer than 20 students are the primary mechanism for instruction and the means by which excellence in writing, speaking and listening are nurtured.
- Common Core courses required of all students focus on big questions and critical challenges and students take one per year for three years.
- Language courses required in English or Chinese.
- Majors that have interdisciplinary and disciplinary components, with the former serving as the entry point and primary definition of a students’ academic community and the latter providing specialized training, as well as divisional foundation courses that prepare students for advanced study and signature work that focuses on a question, problem or issue and includes independent research, a senior thesis or creative production.
- Electives that broaden students’ educational experience via simple distributional requirements and enable them either to develop greater specialized knowledge or to further increase the breadth of their study.
- Experiential opportunities that align the formal curriculum with practica, internships and other hands-on offerings are required and available as electives.
These components are reflected in specific requirements
|General Education:||3 common core courses (12 credits), 2-4 language courses (8-16 credits) depending on proficiency, 3 electives (12 credits) as distributional requirements, and one Quantitative Reasoning course (4 credits)|
|Major:||16-19 courses (64 to 76 credits) (foundation, interdisciplinary, disciplinary, and signature product)|
|Electives:||8-13 courses (32 to 52 credits) depending on division and language proficiency, which include the three electives as distributional requirements and one Quantitative Reasoning course in General Education|
|Other requirements:||2 non-credit mini-term courses and 1 practice oriented educational experience (internships, civic engagement, etc.)|
Course Credits and Distribution
|Course Credits Distribution||Language Courses|
Chinese Language or English for Academic Purposes
|Signature Work and Experiential Education|
*Distribution: includes two electives outside student’s primary area of divisional study.
Common Core + Language
|Major: (Foundation, Interdisciplinary, Disciplinary, Signature)||72-76（53%-56%）||64（47%)|
Required Non-Credit Experiences
2 Credit/No Credit Mini-Terms
1 Signature Educational Experience: Internship. Community-Based Field Work, Civic Engagement