Deans & Advisors

Academic Deans

Academic deans play many roles in undergraduate education. Primarily, they

  1. monitor academic progress of all students,

  2. interpret academic policies,

  3. guide and advise students for success, and

  4. support students of concern.

Students have the same academic dean for the duration of their academic career at Duke. Students consult with their academic dean whenever needed: for discussion of long-term goals, issues concerning graduation requirements, special course enrollments or withdrawals, personal or medical problems that affect academic work, and general oversight of progress to the degree.

Academic deans also celebrate success by recognizing students who make the Dean’s list and connecting them with other opportunities like the Undergraduate Research Support Office, Grand Challenge Scholars Program, and the Dean’s Summer Research Fellowship program. They also help students navigate graduate and professional school opportunities.


At Duke, students are supported by a network of advisors who help them find the academic path that is right for them. Central to this network is their college advisor. The college advisor's role goes beyond helping a student choose classes and understand requirements to include helping the student think about their overall educational and personal goals, as well as possible majors and careers and interesting co-curricular opportunities. Students are required to meet with their college advisor each semester before registration but are encouraged to meet more regularly to discuss academic goals, plans for achieving them, and any other issues related to their academic experience.

In addition to their college advisor, students can consult with their academic dean, specialized advisors called directors of academic engagement, pre-professional advisors, faculty, and peer success leaders. Good advising can also be informal and often occurs in conversation with members of the faculty. Students have a responsibility to understand and meet the requirements for the curriculum under which they are studying and should seek advice as appropriate. Students will benefit from using the wide range of advising resources that are available to them.