The FOCUS Application will open February 1, 2024. 

FOCUS word design

The Focus Program (FOCUS) is an exciting opportunity for students to be exposed to ideas from the vantage point of different disciplines across the humanities, sciences and social sciences during their first semester at Duke. The Focus Program offers these extraordinary opportunities to first-year, first-semester students:

  • Interdisciplinary seminar clusters that nurture the FOCUS student's intellectual curiosity and sense of academic adventure. Students apply to FOCUS—the program—not to a specific course. Each cluster offers a range of interrelated seminars and features a community element while fulfilling Duke curriculum requirements.
  • Small group seminars of no more than 18 students interacting with some of Duke's most distinguished professors. This intimate learning experience encourages personal intellectual responsibility while establishing student-professor rapport. Faculty and students engage in a comfortable interaction which continues throughout their academic life and later careers.
  • Shared housing with other FOCUS students that facilitates discussion and scholarly exploration while taking part in Duke's rich East Campus living environment.
  • Integrated learning experiences across academic disciplines and opportunities to venture beyond Duke's campus into the community. Field trips, travel, community service, and research are incorporated into the interdisciplinary FOCUS learning experience.


Supplementing the Focus Program, we also have:

  • The FOCUS Mentoring Program. This is a group of former FOCUS students who are eager to share their experiences and impressions with new students interested in the program and who serve as mentors for future FOCUS students. Anyone who would like to be connected to a FOCUS Mentor should contact us at focus@duke.edu.
  • ReFOCUS. This program hosts lectures and field trips in the spring semester for former FOCUS students.