Focus Quick Facts

  • Focus is one of the top three reasons students come to Duke
  • ONLY first semester, first year
  • Rolling Admissions (Feb 1st-May 25th). Focus has 500+ students each fall.
  • Students have the choice of 16 clusters from a variety of topics. All clusters are multidisciplinary and have a weekly half credit dinner seminar where all the students and faculty gather for group discussions, talks from faculty and guests, presentations from former students, or even trips around the local area.
  • The Focus Program enrolls incoming first-year students in 2 of their 4 Fall courses in the spring semester prior to starting at Duke. This makes entry into Duke much less stressful and they already have access to faculty, their own cohort, and former Focus students from their cluster.
  • Focus is an example of transformational education, where the boundaries of the classroom are fundamentally redefined.


For the graduating class of 2023:

31% of Focus students Graduated with Distinction by Honors thesis compared with 21% of all Trinity and Pratt graduates
14% of Focus students received post-graduation Merit Scholarship compared with 6% of all Trinity and Pratt Graduates

Focus students have received many fellowships and scholarships. Since 2015, they have been awarded:

  • 5 Rhodes Scholarships
  • 3 Marshall Scholarships
  • 6 Harry S. Truman Scholarships
  • 9 Schwarzman Scholarships
  • 2 Gates-Cambridge Scholarships
  • 1 Beinecke Scholarship
  • 7 Goldwater Scholarships
  • 6 Morris K. and Stewart Udall Scholarships
  • 1 Boren Scholarship
  • 4 Critical Language Scholarships
  • 1 Gilman Scholarship
  • 4 Humanity in Action Fellowships
  • 71 Baldwin Scholars
  • 47 Huang Fellows
  • 8 Nakayama Public Service Scholarship

Focus faculty have also received many awards. Since 2010 our faculty have received:

  • 1 Dean’s Diversity Award
  • 1 Dean’s Leadership Award
  • 1 University Scholar/Teacher Award
  • 2 David and Janet Vaughan Brooks Awards
  • 3 Robert B. Cox Awards
  • 3 Howard D. Johnson Awards
  • 6 Richard K. Lublin Awards
  • 3 Awards for Excellence in Advising
  • 2 Dean’s Distinguished Service Award
  • 1 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award
  • 1 Lois and John L. Imhoff Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 22 Distinguished and Bass Professors
  • 1 MacArthur Fellowship