FOCUS Program

The FOCUS Program is a voluntary, interdisciplinary academic curriculum for freshmen that was first established at Duke University. FOCUS is an acronym that stands for "First-year Opportunity for Comprehensive, Unified Study".

Duke Focus Program
Founded1992; 29 years ago (1992)
FounderDuke University
Area served
Durham, NC
Key people
Michael Allen Gillespie[1]
Tuan Vo-Dinh

Program at Duke UniversityEdit

Duke students who register for FOCUS will be registered in two seminars chosen from a set of four classes offered for their "cluster", along with a half-credit discussion course that takes place over a meal with their professors and guest speakers. FOCUS allows students to take part in small classes and those in the same cluster for the fall semester also live in the same dormitory on East Campus.

Duke FOCUS Program Clusters:

  • Cognitive Neuroscience and Law
  • Ethics, Leadership, and Global Citizenship
  • Exploring the Mind
  • Genomes in Our Lives: The Meanings of DNA
  • Global Health: Determinants and Solutions
  • Humanitarian Challenges: Global Innovations and Initiatives
  • Knowledge in the Service of Society
  • Memory and Invention: Medieval and Renaissance Worlds
  • Modeling in Economic and Social Sciences
  • Power of Language
  • The American Experience
  • The Middle East in Global Contexts
  • Visions of Freedom
  • What If? Explaining the Past, Predicting the Future

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