Dual Degree Information

Upon successful completion of the Duke Kunshan University 4-year undergraduate program, graduates receive two degrees: one from Duke University (accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission of Colleges), and one from Duke Kunshan University (approved by the Ministry of Education of China), and become alumni of both institutions. All students must fulfill the requirements for both the Duke University and the Duke Kunshan University degrees.

Introduction to the Duke-Duke Kunshan University Dual Degree Program

 

Duke Kunshan University

Duke Kunshan University (Duke Kunshan) is a US-China partnership of Duke University (Duke), Wuhan University, and the Municipality of Kunshan in Jiangsu province to create a world-class liberal arts and research university offering a range of academic programs for students from China and throughout the world. A nonprofit, joint-venture institution, Duke Kunshan University was granted accreditation approval by China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) in September, 2013. Duke Kunshan welcomed its inaugural class of graduate students in August 2014 and launched the dual degree undergraduate program in August 2018.

Duke Kunshan University Mission Statement

Duke Kunshan is a highly selective research-oriented, liberal arts and sciences university located in China, whose primary mission is to enable students from around the world to lead purposeful and productive lives. By delivering the highest quality undergraduate and graduate education that is truly interdisciplinary, Duke Kunshan prepares students for professional, intellectual and societal leadership roles across the globe. The core of the educational offering is a four-year undergraduate dual degree program featuring an integrated and multi-disciplinary curriculum, with an effective blend of Chinese, American, and global techniques and values and a culture of academic excellence and freedom. World-class faculty pursue knowledge in service to society, involving students in innovative scholarship and research programs. As a premier US-China joint-venture university, Duke Kunshan embraces the integration of global, national and local traditions of thought and experience and promotes cross-cultural understanding and cross-border collaborations.

Duke Kunshan Animating Principles

Duke Kunshan aspires to provide a twenty-first century liberal arts education that helps students develop a sense of social responsibility and global citizenship, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

The overarching goals are embedded in the seven animating principles that are expressed throughout the curriculum:

  • Rooted Globalism: To cultivate informed and engaged citizens who are knowledgeable about each other’s histories, traditions of thought, and affiliations; and skilled in navigating among local, national, and global identities and commitments.

  • Collaborative Problem-Solving: To instill the habits of collaboration and the ability to synthesize disparate insights in solving complex challenges.

  • Research and Practice: To enhance the ability to forge links between theory and practice in the many-sided and rapidly changing world of human need.

  • Lucid Communication: To develop the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, and to listen attentively to different viewpoints in coming to mature judgments.

  • Independence and Creativity: To nurture free inquiry, deep reflection and a drive to ask interesting questions and find compelling answers.

  • Wise Leadership: To shape thinkers and doers who possess the moral compass to guide communities and institutions toward a common good and who have the wisdom and technical competence to deal effectively with complexity.

  • A Purposeful Life: To form reflective scholars who test their core beliefs, who connect their course of study to big questions of meaning, and who build the capacity for lifelong learning and exploration.

Duke Kunshan is accredited by the MOE. Duke is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in the United States to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctorate degrees. Duke Kunshan is not accredited by SACSCOC and the accreditation of Duke does not extend to or include Duke Kunshan or its students.

Kunshan City

Kunshan located in the southeastern part of Jiangsu province, is a satellite city in the greater Suzhou region and adjacent to Shanghai municipality, two of the largest and most developed metropolitan areas in China. Kunshan is regarded as one of the most economically successful county-level administrations in China. It was ranked first in the ”25 Best County-level Cities in China” study by Forbes China for the sixth year running in 2014. With an immigrant population larger than the number of its permanent residents, Kunshan is the winner of the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honor Award 2010 along with Singapore and Vienna, the most prestigious award given by the United Nations in recognition of work carried out in the field of human settlements development, for its innovative approach to granting migrants the right to essential services in the city. It also carries titles and awards such as a National Hygiene City, the Excellent Tourism City of China, and the National Garden City, as well as the National Model City of Environment Protection and the National Model Zone of Ecology.

Kunshan is culturally significant as the origin of Kunshan diao, the melody which ultimately evolved into Kunqu Opera, one of China's eldest extant theater arts, which has been listed as one of the World Intangible Culture Heritages by UNESCO. In history, famous figures include Zu Chongzhi, Gong Xian, Gu Yanwu, Gui Youguang, and Zhu Bailu.

Duke’s Office of Duke Kunshan Programs

The Duke Office of Duke Kunshan Programs, located on Duke’s campus in Durham, North Carolina, coordinates the academic and programmatic elements of Duke Kunshan programs from the perspective of Duke’s faculty and administration.

Duke’s office of Duke Kunshan Programs works in conjunction with Duke Kunshan leadership and senior Duke administrators to plan and develop academic, research, and training programs at Duke Kunshan, and to oversee the study at Duke experience of Duke Kunshan students in the following ways:

-- developing collaborative opportunities for Duke faculty and students at Duke Kunshan,
-- ensuring the quality of academic programs at Duke Kunshan and ensuring that Duke Kunshan programs meet relevant U.S. accreditation requirements pursuant to the awarding of Duke degrees,
-- coordinating review of courses and faculty appointments at Duke Kunshan on behalf of the Duke faculty,
-- working across campus to plan and implement study at Duke for Duke Kunshan students who elect to study abroad at Duke,
-- working with Duke faculty to develop new academic programs at Duke Kunshan,
-- publicizing Duke Kunshan activities and collaborations to members of the Duke community, and
-- coordinating the Duke components of the four-year undergraduate program at Duke Kunshan.
 

The office helps cultivate and facilitate Duke faculty involvement in Duke Kunshan and in China by providing support and funding for course development, research, workshops and other events that promote collaboration across the institutions. In addition, the office works with Duke and Duke Kunshan administrators to support Duke Kunshan students while they study at Duke and to help Duke students who attend Duke Kunshan integrate the experience into their curriculum planning.

Duke’s Office of Duke Kunshan Programs is located on the second floor of the Flowers Building on Duke's West Campus. Students can reach the office by using the information below or by contacting a member of our team directly.

Mailing Address
Office of Duke Kunshan University Programs
Box 90036
Durham, NC 27708

Physical Address
Office of Duke Kunshan University Programs
404 Chapel Drive
Flowers Building, Suite 214
Durham, NC 27708

 

Phone: (919) 684-1958

Fax: (919) 668-7860

Email: dkuprograms@duke.edu

Admissions

Admissions

Per Duke’s Collaboration Agreement with Duke Kunshan University (Duke Kunshan) for the dual degree framework, Duke collaborated with Duke Kunshan to establish and approve standards for admissions that are consistent with those at Duke now and in the future, while also meeting China’s Ministry of Education requirements.

Duke Kunshan strives to attract a high caliber, diverse and talented group of students from around the world. The admission criteria are similar to those at Duke University. While academic excellence and accomplishments, broadly defined, are important factors for admissions consideration, Duke Kunshan highly values a student’s 'adventurous' spirit, global orientation, ability to overcome obstacles, and potential to positively impact the campus and community life.

Early Decision: the application deadline is October 31, 2019. International applications will be reviewed by an Admissions Committee and select applicants will be invited for video interviews in late November 2019. Admission offers will be released on December 18, 2019.

Regular Decision: the application deadline is January 2, 2020. International applications will be reviewed by an Admissions Committee. Select applicants will be invited for video interviews between January and March 2020. Admission offers will be released by the end of March 2020.

CSS Profile deadlines: Students who want to be considered for financial aid should complete a CSS Profile application with their admissions application. Final deadlines are November 15 for Early Decision applicants and February 1 for Regular Decision applicants.

All admitted international students will be invited to the DKU campus on April 23-26 for the International Admitted Student Experience. Financial support will be available to help with the cost of airfare. Lodging, transportation to and from Kunshan and meals will also be provided.

Candidates from China participate in a one-day campus interview in March and applicants from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan are invited to interview via tele-conference. All interviews are conducted in English. Shortlisted applicants will typically be notified of their status in April and final offers will made be once Gaokao scores are announced in June and July.

How to Apply

International students applying to Duke Kunshan University must complete the Common Application. No application fee is charged. On the Common Application, international students select a decision plan (Early Decision or Regular Decision), which determines when their applications for admission are due as well as when they will be notified of an admission decision. Students can select only one of the decision plans when submitting application, and those who have selected Early Decision will not be considered during the Regular Decision cycle if an admissions decision is made during the Early Decision round.   

Applicants with Chinese citizenship apply through Slate and are required to take the Gaokao test, regardless of where their high school is located. Students from outside of China are required to submit either their SAT or ACT test scores. The Duke Kunshan University CEEB code is 16406.

For information on tuition, financial support, as well as more in-depth information about Duke Kunshan University, please visit https://dukekunshan.edu.cn/en/admissions.

Students who apply to Duke and not to DKU are not eligible for the dual degree program.

 

 

Standards and Policies

In general, students participating in the dual degree program are subject to academic procedures, standards, and policies of the institution the student is enrolled in at the time. While enrolled in courses on the Duke campus, Duke instruction courses or participating in a Duke-In study abroad program, students are subject to the majority of Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences academic policies and procedures. However, the following policies and procedures directly related to transfer, registration restrictions, and application of academic credits were modified to better suit the unique nature of the dual-degree academic program.

 

1. Academic Concerns of Students

Teaching and learning is based on collaboration between instructors and students. Occasionally, however, the student-faculty dynamic in a course can inhibit successful teaching and learning. When this occurs, students often need assistance in resolving the issue, and should not hesitate to seek assistance from faculty and administrative officers in resolving problems.

Students who have questions about the content of a course taken on the Duke campus or as a part of a Duke-in study abroad academic program, about an instructor’s methods of presentation of material, the level of discourse, criteria for evaluation of students, or administrative procedures in the course, should contact the course instructor. Even if a student doubts that a productive discussion with the instructor is possible, he/she is best positioned to address student concerns and is often the best first point of contact before a matter is referred to the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) or, in his or her absence, to the chair of the department. Students should be able to resolve most course-related academic concerns thorough direct consultation with the instructor.

However, in exceptional cases in which a problem remains unresolved after informal discussions have taken place, students can appeal the matter to the senior associate dean of Trinity College or the senior associate dean for education in the Pratt School of Engineering. The senior associate dean will request information about the nature of the issue and about the earlier efforts students have made to resolve them. If the problem concerns a specific course, it should be directed to the senior associate dean of the college or school in which the course is taught.

-- If a student concern involves a departmental policy rather than an individual course, students should confer with the DUS in the department; a list of the DUSes can be found here.  When necessary, the DUS can refer you to the department chair. You can also contact your academic dean if you are in doubt about how to proceed with a matter of concern to you.

-- If a student concern involves a Duke instruction course or academic policy on the Duke Kunshan campus, students should refer to the relevant Duke Kunshan academic policies.

Finally, if a student academic concern arises from a poor course grade submitted by an instructor at the end of the semester for a course taken at Duke or as part of a Duke-in study abroad academic program, there is a separate procedure established for handling grade complaints.

 

2. Courses: Course Load at Duke

Students are admitted to full-time study and responsible to make certain that their course load conforms to academic requirements, including the requirement to enroll in at least 4.0 course credits during a semester at Duke, except when expressly authorized to enroll in an underload by their academic dean (see below). This policy is strictly enforced.

Normal Load: A normal course load is defined as four (4.0) course credits and, as noted above, students are expected to enroll in at least this many course credits each semester.

Overload: Dual degree students are free to enroll in a course overload of 4.5 course credits.

Underload: Dual degree students are not eligible for an underload.

 

3. Credit: Limitations and Restrictions

There are specific requirements concerning course credits in the dual degree program and how these course credits apply to graduation requirements.

(a) 34 course credits are required for graduation.

(b) At least 25% of the 34 credits must be Duke-originated courses, defined as courses offered through Duke University, taught by Duke or Duke-affiliated faculty, and subject to the approval processes of Duke's schools.  Duke-originated courses include those taught at Duke University, the Duke University Marine Laboratory, Duke Kunshan University, and Duke-originated courses that are offered in Duke-In study away programs.

(c) Up to 75% of the 34 credits may be non-Duke originated course credits and can include any combination of the following:

-- Two pre-matriculation credits, i.e., AP, International Placement Credit (IPC), and pre-matriculation Course Credit (PMC).  If a student has more than two AP/IPC/PMC credits, Duke will record all of them on the Duke transcript and the student may use all for placement into higher-level coursework and to satisfy departmental major or minor requirements to the extent allowed by the individual department, but only two credits will count toward the 34 credits needed for graduation. If a student intends to graduate early, she or he may apply additional AP/IPC/PMC credits toward the 34 credits required for graduation, but is still subject to the required number of Duke-originated courses taken post-matriculation.

-- Two institutional transfer credits arranged by the student on their own at another accredited, four-year university or college in the U.S. or abroad. 

-- Transfer credits the student takes through Duke Kunshan.

 

4. Transfer Credit

After matriculation, dual-degree undergraduates may receive a limited amount of transfer credit for courses taken at other approved degree-granting institutions. Credit may be earned in two ways: 

(1)  Through direct non-Duke instruction courses at Duke Kunshan.

(2) Through institutional enrollment, where students are not engaged in a Duke-approved study abroad program and instead enroll on their own at another four-year college or university in or outside of the United States. This type of transfer credit is subject to approval from the relevant academic dean at Duke.

 

5. Graduation: Requirements

Duke/Duke Kunshan dual-degree undergraduates may earn one of two Duke degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) or
  • Bachelor of Science.

The Duke Kunshan University curriculum is designed to meet the requirements outlined for both the Duke and Duke Kunshan undergraduate degrees. A total of 136 Duke Kunshan credits is required for graduation with a Duke Kunshan bachelor’s degree and 34 course credits (1 Duke course credit is equivalent to 4 Duke Kunshan credits) is required for graduation with a Duke bachelor’s degree. At least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the undergraduate degree must be completed through Duke University courses. 

To meet the 136-credit requirement, students need to take elective courses. The curriculum is designed to enable a wide range of flexibility for students. Some may elect to use their full range of electives to go wide and broad while others may elect to dive deep into their areas of disciplinary study.

There are additional credit-bearing requirements for the Duke Kunshan degree for students from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan per Chinese Ministry of Education requirements. The details of these requirements are listed in Part 3: The Curriculum of the Duke Kunshan Undergraduate Bulletin.

Duke University and Duke Kunshan University each confer separate degrees on candidates recommended by the faculty of the interdisciplinary majors and approved by the trustees (or other top-level governing body) at each respective academic institution.​

Curriculum Overview

The Duke Kunshan curriculum begins from liberal arts principles and is imbued with the hallmarks of a Duke education blended with Chinese tradition: interdisciplinary approaches, engagement with research questions, problem-based and team-based learning, and opportunities for students to craft individual pathways and deepen their intellectual engagement over time. It is a kind of education that builds critical and problem-solving skills, simultaneously conferring a broad base of knowledge and fostering the ability to interrogate that knowledge and apply it flexibly. It is also deeply cross-cultural in its orientation: Duke Kunshan gives all participants the continual experience of learning to see from multiple points of view and to work together across cultural boundaries—a crucial skill for the future.

A Liberal Arts College Experience

The small-scale residential setting at Duke Kunshan offers significant opportunities for innovative and integrated forms of learning, an especially close connection between faculty and students, and the intermixing of students with different interests. In addition, Duke Kunshan offers creative alignment between its undergraduate curriculum and selected areas of research strength at Duke Kunshan and at Duke University.

The Kunshan Campus

The Duke Kunshan Campus is located in the newly developed west side of Kunshan. It is approximately a twenty-minute drive to the city center of Kunshan.

All students are required to live in on-campus housing for the first year and designated off campus housing for the rest of their study. Graduate students may live off campus after approval from Residence Life.

The Duke Kunshan campus features six buildings: the Academic Center, the Student Residence, the Faculty Residence, Services Building, the Conference Center and the Innovation Building. The buildings surround a tranquil lake with walkways over water that join at a central pagoda.  A second phase of campus construction will include the main library, additional classrooms, research building, student and faculty housing and athletic facilities.

Academic Building

With offices and classrooms over three floors, the building houses teaching programs and administrative staff, as well as an auditorium, library, ballroom, cafeteria, dining room, and cafe. An open central atrium serves as a campus “living room,” emblematic of Duke Kunshan’s emphasis on collaboration and community. The atrium and roof terraces provide views of the campus and a lake to the west.

Innovation Building

Over three stories, the building houses laboratories set up with cutting-edge equipment, classrooms and conference rooms.

Library Resources

The Duke Kunshan Library is currently located on the first and second floors of the Academic Building. It operates in collaboration with Duke University Libraries (DUL) on the Durham campus and supports the research, instruction, and learning needs of Duke Kunshan faculty, staff, and students.

The Duke Kunshan Library website (https://dukekunshan.edu.cn/en/academics/library) provides access to the library’s resources and services provided by the Duke Kunshan Library.

Additional Resources

The Duke Kunshan campus offers a vast number of academic support services, amenities, housing, and other campus-based resources. A complete list of campus-based resources can be found in the Duke Kunshan University Student Handbook, which can be found online at: https://dukekunshan.edu.cn/sites/default/files/u102196/duke_kunshan_university_student_handbook_2018-2019.pdf.

 

Curriculum Overview

In line with the definition of dual degree agreements as defined by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges, students who complete Duke Kunshan University’s 4-year undergraduate curriculum will receive two degrees, one from Duke University (accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission of Colleges), and one from Duke Kunshan University (approved by the Ministry of Education of China), and will be alumni of both institutions. All students must fulfill the requirements for both the Duke University and the Duke Kunshan University degrees.

The undergraduate academic program at Duke Kunshan is organized by three divisions, rather than by traditional academic departments:

Natural Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Social Sciences

Students take foundational courses in their division as well as broad, integrated interdisciplinary courses and disciplinary courses to gain specific expertise for their major. Depending on division and language proficiency, eight to thirteen of students’ courses are electives. These courses enable them to deepen their interests or explore more broadly.

Students can choose their majors based on their interests by combining different forms of specialized training with their overall integrated plan of study. This structure allows students to follow a unique academic path that suits their intellectual drive.

For a complete list of majors offered at Duke Kunshan University, visit http://undergrad.dukekunshan.edu.cn/majors/.  

To meet Duke Kunshan's rigorous academic requirements for graduation, all students must complete the Common Core and language course requirement as well as demonstrate proficiency in communication skills.

Curriculum Components

1. Common Core (3 courses). These courses create a common platform for cross-cultural engagement, ensuring that all students share the same experience. They focus on the big questions, critical challenges, and issues with which all students must be prepared to engage. Students take one course each year for the first three years.

  • China in the World focuses on historical and contemporary commercial, intellectual, and scientific exchanges between China and other nations.
  • Global Challenges in Science, Technology, and Health which addresses key developments in fields such a biotechnology, nanotechnology, and information technology, highlights the global environmental challenges of our time, and teaches strategies for critically evaluating scientific claims.
  • Ethics, Citizenship, and the Examined Life examines traditional Asian and Western ideals and contemporary analyses of morality, pluralism, and democracy.

2. Language (2-4 courses depending on proficiency). One of Duke Kunshan University’s goals is for students to graduate with strong skills in multiple languages, especially English and Chinese. To this end, all students are required to take 2-4 foreign language courses appropriate to their needs.

3. Communication (Writing, Speaking, and Listening). In the twenty-first century, success in both career and civic life requires the ability to communicate effectively. To ensure that Duke Kunshan students develop these abilities, guided practice in writing, speaking, and listening will be a component in the majority of courses.

4. The Semester Term. The semester is divided into two intensive 7-week sessions. Students typically take two courses in each session. Classes are held Monday-Thursday. Fridays and mini-sessions falling between the 7-week sessions are intended for experiential learning including field trips, internships, and civic engagement.

5. Mini-Session Courses. All students are required to take one ungraded mini-session course. These are intensive courses that typically last a week and provide a focused exposure to a single topic about which a student might have curiosity but no experience.

6. Signature Work. During their sophomore year, students work with their faculty mentors to begin identifying the major questions, problems, or issues on which they would like to focus. Students create a project e-portfolio to demonstrate their progress and the new products they create for scholarly, private sector, and public audiences.

These products will be drawn from a number of experiences inside and outside of the classroom including mentored research, creative expression, internships, community-based fieldwork, and other civic projects.

7. Research. All undergraduate students have opportunities to participate directly in advanced academic research. Advisors and faculty mentors help match students to research projects that are complementary to their areas of study.

 

Courses

Course credit at Duke Kunshan University follows the same standard as Duke University in terms of instruction hours and off class study hours. Of the 34 course credits required for graduation, a maximum of two course credits passed with a D grade (D, D+, D-) can be used toward the 34 course credit requirement. The 34 course credits may include (1) no more than 0.5 course credits in physical education activity courses (i.e., two activity PE courses); (2) no more than four elective courses taken on a Pass/Fail grading basis (not including courses offered only on that basis); (3) no more than 10 course credits combining any allowable transfer credits including AP/IPC/PMC, transfer credits for study abroad, etc.; and (4) no more than 6.0 course credits in the graduate and professional school. These courses include those offered by Duke Kunshan University’s MMS, MP, and iMEP programs; Duke University schools of business, law, divinity, and nursing; and all Duke University graduate courses numbered 500 and above. These courses are generally not open to undergraduates and require special permission to enroll.

Duke Instruction Courses at DKU

DKU students have the opportunity to take classes from Duke faculty on the Kunshan campus. The Duke Instruction coursework appears on both the DKU transcript and the Duke transcript. The Duke transcript will reflect the Duke course and the corresponding grade for the particular term completed. The list below represents the current Duke instruction courses at DKU.

K_ARHU 102 The Art of Interpretation: Images and Sound. This class will train students to develop skill and sophistication in viewing and analysis of images, including art objects, film, and new media; and in sound studies, including sonic culture, film music, and traditional musical arts. The goal is audiovisual literacy – the creation and interpretation of sound and image that has become central to the ways we experience and understand the world. This core course combines practical training (how to see, how to hear) with a variety of modes of analysis.

K_CHEM 120 Core Concepts in Chemistry: An Environmental Perspective. Current challenges and opportunities in environmental science require a foundational knowledge of core concepts in chemistry.  In this course,  students will learn core chemical concepts including properties of gases and solutions, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry and nuclear chemistry as they apply to the understanding of ozone depletion, photochemical smog, climate change, acid deposition, dissolved oxygen, pH, alkalinity and alternative energy sources.

K_CMPSCI 101 Introduction to Computer Science. As an introductory course for computer science, this course will bring you not only the fundamental knowledge on a variety of CS topics, but also the essential computational problem-solving skills with hands on programming experience.  Successfully completing this course will serve a solid foundation for other courses in the computer science or data science major. It can also bring new concepts and tools to other domains in social science, arts humanities and natural science. This course is an elective course open to everyone, and no specific prerequisite required.

K_ECON 101 Economics Principles. A survey of basic tools in economics. Examination of how commodity demand is determined, what affects supply of the commodity, how price is determined, when optimal market allocation of resources and failure occur, and basic topics concerning the aggregate economy. Students will apply these principles to contemporary social science issues.

K_ECON 201 Intermediate Microeconomics I. Introduction of the concepts of preferences and technologies. Intermediate development of the theory of demand, supply and competitive equilibrium from individual preferences and technologies. Income and substitution effects, uncompensated demand and marginal willingness to pay. Conditions under which competitive markets result in efficient outcomes. Conditions under which government policy has the potential to increase efficiency. Tension between economic efficiency and different notions of equity.

K_INTGSCI 101 Integrated Science 1. This course focuses on the concept of energy and its relevance for explaining the behavior of natural systems.  The conservation of energy and the transformations of energy from one form to another are crucial to the function of all systems, including familiar mechanical devices, molecular structures and reactions, and living organisms and ecosystems.  By integrating perspectives from physics, chemistry, and biology, this course helps students see both the elegant simplicity of universal laws governing all physical systems and the intricate mechanisms at play in the biosphere. Topics include kinetic energy, potential energy, quantization of energy, energy conservation, cosmological and ecological processes.

K_INTGSC 102 Integrated Science 2. This course focuses on the collective behavior of systems composed of many interacting components.  The phenomena of interest range from the simple relaxation of a gas into an equilibrium state of well-defined pressure and temperature to the emergence of ever-increasing complexity in living organisms and the biosphere.  The course provides an overview of some fundamental differences between traditional disciplines as well as indications of how they complement each other some important contexts. Topics include thermodynamic (statistical mechanical) equilibrium, fundamental concepts of temperature, entropy, free energy, and chemical equilibrium, driven systems, fundamentals of biological and ecological systems.

K_MATH 101 Mathematical Foundations 1. The fundamental concepts and tools of calculus, probability, and linear algebra are essential to modern sciences, from the theories of physics and chemistry that have long been tightly coupled to mathematical ideas, to the collection and analysis of data on complex biological systems.  Given the emerging technologies for collecting and sharing large data sets, some familiarity with computational and statistical methods is now also essential for modeling biological and physical systems and interpreting experimental results. MF1 is an introduction to differential and integral calculus that focuses on the concepts necessary for understanding the meaning of differential equations and their solutions.  It includes an introduction to a software package for numerical solution of ordinary differential equations.

K_MATH 205 Mathematical Foundations 3. The fundamental concepts and tools of calculus, probability, and linear algebra are essential to modern sciences, from the theories of physics and chemistry that have long been tightly coupled to mathematical ideas, to the collection and analysis of data on complex biological systems.  Given the emerging technologies for collecting and sharing large data sets, some familiarity with computational and statistical methods is now also essential for modeling biological and physical systems and interpreting experimental results. MF3 is an introduction to probability and statistics with an emphasis on concepts relevant for the analysis of complex data sets.  It includes an introduction to the fundamental concepts of matrices, eigenvectors, and eigenvalues.

K_MEDART 103 Introduction to Moving Image Practice. Like any craft, making movies is something that takes time, study, and, more importantly, practice. Each film is a unique challenge. What works for one film may not work for another. This is what asks learning about filmmaking an ongoing process. This course includes reading, discussing, and studying of the fundamental elements of video production. Strongest emphasis is in the several short exercises to guide students towards a solid understanding of the building blocks of different types of video production. Student will learn to use digital video cameras and audio equipment, learn basic video editing with Final Cut Pro X (or another comparable software), and create original work.

K_MEDART 212 Editing for Film and Video. Two questions a film editor must always ask are: What shot comes next? And, why this shot and not that? In this course, students explore answers for these questions by studying and editing different genres, styles, and forms of film and video. The goal is achieved through expanding students’ understanding of editing as both a viewer and as a working editor. To that end, in addition to classroom discussion, readings, and screenings of feature films and excerpts, students will complete several editing projects on digital video. These projects are designed to provide both real-world challenges to solve as well as opportunities to experiment. Knowledge of a video editing program is not necessary at the beginning of the class; by the end you should be extremely comfortable with Final Cut Pro X.

K_PHIL 106 Global Philosophy. The Global Philosophy course offers a gateway for students to critically engage with the diverse philosophical traditions that inform the making of the increasingly pluralistic modern world. The aim of the course is to cultivate deep appreciation of diversity and to help students develop a culturally sensible map of the world’s philosophical traditions that will help them deal with the compelling challenges in this multicultural age.

K_POLSCI 103 American Ideas and the Idea of America. What is the story of the United States? What fundamental ideas of America have been formed as a nation and as an empire? Are there connections we can draw between the US today and its past? What relevance does the US have in China historically and in the present day? What place does the US have in the Chinese imagination? In this course, we address these questions by examining a variety of texts, ranging from important founding documents, political speeches, autobiographies, and travelogues to excerpts of American novels. Through class discussions, team projects, and role plays, we will discuss fundamental concepts of America, its past and present, and explore themes such as politics and religion, race and slavery, immigration and identity, women and economics, and education and citizenship. We will also consider how America is being perceived in the world specifically within the Chinese context.

K_PUBPOL 101 Introduction to Policy Analysis. Basic concepts of analytical thinking including quantitative methods for assessing the probabilities of outcomes and appraising policy alternatives. Illustrated by problems faced by busy decision makers in government, business, law, medicine.

K_STATS 102 Introduction to Data Science. As an introductory course in data science, this course will show students not only the big picture of data science but also the detailed essential skills of loading, cleaning, manipulating, visualizing, analyzing and interpreting data with hands on programming experience.

K_WOC 201 Writing Across Cultures. This is a theme-based writing seminar course that has an emphasis on cross-cultural inquiry. It provides guided practice in intellectual reading and writing of the sort expected in courses across the academy and in civic and professional life beyond the university. The specific theme of the course will vary according to instructor.

 

Major and Degree Requirements

Duke/Duke Kunshan University dual-degree undergraduate majors foster learning communities of students and faculty whose intellectual interactions revolve around two groups:

  • Interdisciplinary study, which laterally spans a variety of disciplines. The big questions at the core of each interdisciplinary community will probe a variety of disciplines, voices, viewpoints and expertise.
  • Disciplinary study, which is akin to, or even entirely aligned with, a traditional vertical discipline. This community provides discipline-specific training in methods, knowledge, and skills.

The dual structure is also flexible to accommodate a variety of student goals and outcomes. Some students might choose to pursue a less deep path in the disciplinary study while focusing more on developing broad expertise in the questions underlying the interdisciplinary study—and in that case the outcome can be a powerful integrative education for students whose goal is not graduate school or specialized study. This approach allows for a highly integrative, team-based approach to problem-solving and knowledge acquisition. For students oriented toward graduate study, the integrative and outward-looking approach in the interdisciplinary study broadens and enriches their deeper specialist expertise. Our expectation is that a student with deep expertise who also has interacted in a significant, deep way with an interdisciplinary group focused on big questions will be more, not less, appealing to graduate schools or other specialty pursuits. For certain disciplines, students oriented towards graduate school may also need to use some electives, guided independent studies, online courses, and study abroad courses to deepen expertise beyond the seven courses required for the disciplinary study.

Curricular and Credit Requirements

The Duke Kunshan University curriculum is designed to meet the requirements outlined for both the Duke and Duke Kunshan undergraduate degrees. A total of 136 Duke Kunshan credits is required for graduation with a Duke Kunshan bachelor’s degree and 34 course credits (1 Duke course credit is equivalent to 4 Duke Kunshan credits) is required for graduation with a Duke bachelor’s degree. At least 25 percent of the credit hours required for an undergraduate degree must be completed through Duke University courses.

To meet the 136-credit requirement, students need to take elective courses. The curriculum is designed to enable a wide range of flexibility for students. Some may elect to use their full range of electives to go wide and broad while others may elect to dive deep into their areas of disciplinary study.

There are additional credit-bearing requirements for the Duke Kunshan degree or students from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan per Chinese Ministry of Education requirements. The details of these requirements are listed in Part 3: The Curriculum of the Duke Kunshan Undergraduate Bulletin.

Duke University and Duke Kunshan University each confer separate degrees on candidates recommended by the faculty of the interdisciplinary majors and approved by the trustees (or other top-level governing body) at each respective academic institution.

These components are reflected in specific requirements:

General Education

 3 common core courses 

 2-4 language courses depending on proficiency

 3 electives as distributional requirements 

 1 Quantitative Reasoning course

Major 

 

16-19 courses (foundation, interdisciplinary, disciplinary, and signature work)

  • Interdisciplinary BA:   All subplan requirements that map to the BA degree
  • Interdisciplinary BS:    All subplan requirements that map to the BS degree 

 

Electives

 

8-13 courses depending on division and language proficiency, which include the three electives as distributional requirements and a Quantitative Reasoning course in General Education

 

Courses required for each major include Divisional Foundation courses, Interdisciplinary Studies courses, Disciplinary Studies courses, Signature Work, and Experiential Education. The detailed course requirement for each major is listed in Part 9: Majors of the Duke Kunshan Undergraduate Bulletin. Students are responsible for meeting the requirements of a major as stated in the bulletin for the year in which they matriculated; however, they have the option of meeting requirements in the major changed subsequent to the students’ matriculation.

Divisional Foundation Courses

Divisional Foundation courses provide opportunities to develop knowledge and skills essential to advanced work in each division. Each set of Divisional Foundation courses also provide instruction and guided practice in specialized communication skills.

Interdisciplinary Studies Courses

Interdisciplinary courses are characterized by distinct curricular pathways spanning several traditional disciplines. These are broad but defined areas of study that encourage integrative and multidisciplinary habits of inquiry and knowledge acquisition. The interdisciplinary component of a major serves as a primary definition of the student’s academic community. It requires 4 to 7 courses and might be problem-focused, comparative and cross-cultural, or innovatively fused within or across divisions. In the social sciences and the arts and humanities communities, students in their third and/or fourth years will undertake advanced seminars that enable them to integrate their studies from more specialized areas.

Disciplinary Studies Courses

Students will also develop a disciplinary study, which will often map to the tools and methods of a traditional discipline and further enable students to be competitive for graduate school or other advanced work. 

Signature Work and Experiential Education

Duke Kunshan University graduates will have experience addressing complex problems outside the classroom as well as within, developing these skills through Signature Work. Signature Work encourages students to seek creative alignments between curricular pathways and to engage in experiential learning that leads to the creation of knowledge and products for scholarly, private sector and public audiences.

Signature Work calls for each student to identify one or more questions, problems, or issues that are of particular importance to him or herself and to society, and to investigate these through a combination of curricular and related co-curricular experiences. Students develop guided pathways, identify questions, and undertake projects early in their academic career. During the sophomore year students work with their advisors and faculty mentors to begin identifying the major questions, problems, or issues on which they would like to work, and to develop a pathway that includes three thematically linked courses drawn from students' interdisciplinary studies, disciplinary studies or electives, one or more co-curricular experiences, and two capstone courses in which a student creates a substantial scholarly or creative signature product. The co-curricular experiential learning component (e.g. internships, practica, community-based fieldwork or other civic projects) must comprise no fewer than 150 hours of work, and will be reflected on the transcript as non-credit, Practice-Oriented Education (POE). The signature product will vary across fields and disciplines, but will always include substantial writing, reflection on learning, and publicly visible results. A student's pathway will be developed by the end of the sophomore, or beginning of the junior year, at the latest. In the junior and senior years, a student will create an e-portfolio that captures both the signature product a student has produced and a narrative explaining the larger inquiry informing their pathway.

Dual Degree Major and Degree Comparisons

Undergraduate dual-degree majors at Duke Kunshan University map to single major (Interdisciplinary Studies), and either a bachelor of arts or science degree. While the interdisciplinary and disciplinary academic content areas are listed as “majors” as Duke Kunshan, they are listed as tracks and areas of focus at Duke. The following chart illustrates how Duke and Duke Kunshan University majors map between institutions.

Duke University

Duke Kunshan University

Interdisciplinary Studies – Bachelor of Arts

Cultures and Movements with track in Sociology – Bachelor of Law

Cultures and Movements with track in Cultural Anthropology – Bachelor of Law

Cultures and Movements with track in History – Bachelor of History

Environmental Science with track in Public Policy – Bachelor of Science

Ethics and Leadership with track in Religious Studies – Bachelor of Philosophy

Ethics and Leadership with track in Philosophy – Bachelor of Philosophy

Ethics and Leadership with track in Public Policy – Bachelor of Law

Global China Studies with track in History – Bachelor of History

Global China Studies with track in Political Science – Bachelor of Law

Global China Studies with track in Economics – Bachelor of Economics

Global China Studies with track in Philosophy – Bachelor of Philosophy

Global China Studies with track in Religious Studies – Bachelor of Philosophy

Global Cultural Studies with track in Literature – Bachelor of Literature

Global Cultural Studies with track in History – Bachelor of History

Global Health with track in Public Policy – Bachelor of Science

Institutions and Governance with track in Economics – Bachelor of Economics

Institutions and Governance with track in Political Science – Bachelor of Law

Institutions and Governance with track in Public Policy – Bachelor of Law

Media & Arts with track in History – Bachelor of Arts

Media & Arts with track in Creative Practice – Bachelor of Arts

Political Economy with track in Political Science – Bachelor of Law

Political Economy with track in Economics – Bachelor of Economics

Political Economy with track in Public Policy – Bachelor of Law

US Studies with track in Literature – Bachelor of Literature

US Studies with track in Political Science – Bachelor of Law

US Studies with track in Public Policy – Bachelor of Law

Interdisciplinary Studies – Bachelor of Science

Applied Mathematics and Computational Science with track in Math – Bachelor of Science

Data Science – Bachelor of Science

Environmental Science with track in Chemistry – Bachelor of Science

Global Health with track in Biology – Bachelor of Science

Material Sciences with track in Physics – Bachelor of Science

Material Sciences with track in Chemistry – Bachelor of Science

Molecular Bioscience with track in Biogeochemistry – Bachelor of Science

Molecular Bioscience with track in Genetics and Genomics – Bachelor of Science

Molecular Bioscience with track in Cell & Molecular Biology – Bachelor of Science

Molecular Bioscience with track in Biophysics – Bachelor of Science

 

Interdisciplinary Tracks and Areas of Focus

For detailed information regarding interdisciplinary tracks and areas of focus specific to each major, please follow the links below.

Applied Mathematics and Computational Science with area of focus in Math

Cultures and Movements with areas of focus in Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, and History

Data Science

Environmental Science with areas of focus in Chemistry, and Public Policy

Ethics and Leadership with areas of focus in Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Public Policy

Global China Studies with areas of focus in History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Economics, and Political Science

Global Cultural Studies with areas of focus in Literature and History

Global Health with areas of focus in Biology and Public Policy

Institutions and Governance with areas of focus in Economics, Political Science, and Public Policy

Material Sciences with areas of focus in Physics and Chemistry

Media and Arts with areas of focus in Creative Practice and History

Molecular Bioscience with areas of focus in Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Biogeochemistry, Biophysics

Political Economy with areas of focus in Economics, Political Science, and Public Policy

US Studies with areas of focus in History, Literature, Political Science, and Public Policy