House Courses seek to provide an intellectual experience not available in regular departmental course offerings. They are intended to respond to undergraduate students’ expressed interests and concerns. In their origins they were meant to provide a bridge between the academic and residential life of students (hence the name House Courses) and to enhance intellectual life on campus through academic programs in the residence halls. Thus they must take place in the residence halls.

In order to give current undergraduates an opportunity to develop their own ideas and skills, the House Courses may be taught by current Duke undergraduates, who must be supervised by a member of the Trinity College faculty teaching on campus in the semester during which the course is offered. House Courses may also be taught by faculty in a recognized school, department, or academic program at Duke. All courses must be approved and sponsored by a Trinity College Arts and Sciences department and approved by the Committee on Courses. House Courses are open to all undergraduates. They are free-standing courses, each of which is sufficiently different to stand alone. Multiple sections of any one House Course are not permitted. They do not have prerequisites, corequisites, or required permission. Neither can they require any other curricular or extra-curricular activity or enterprise, nor participation in activities beyond those of the course itself; they are not meant to be required training for subsequent courses or activities.

House Courses carry 0.5 semester course credit and are offered only on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis; four may count toward graduation. They must meet at least 12 times for a minimum of 18 hours. Undergraduate student instructors of House Courses do not receive course credit for teaching and may not register for their own class.