Academic Policies

The following policies guide and govern registration at Duke Divinity School for all students. For further information, consult the Divinity Bulletin. As you consider your class selection please keep the following policies in mind:

  • Duke Divinity counts classes in "units," not "credits." This means that each class is worth 1 (one) unit. 1 unit translates to 3 credits at other universities. To complete the M.Div., a student must complete 24 units; the M.T.S., 16 units; Th.M., 8 units; etc. 
  • Students in MDV, MTS, and THM are expected to enroll in 4 classes as a full-time load. Th.D., DMin, MA, and C-THC students enroll in 3 classes per term as a full-time load.
  • A student cannot take 4 courses that carry .25 units and have those "count" for one course.
  • Students in residential programs may take 2 (two) classes outside of Divinity during their enrollment without permission. We do not consider classes in the Religious Studies Department to be outside of Divinity.
  • All classes outside of Divinity must be at the 500 level or higher. If you are considering a class at Fuqua, Law School, Sanford, or through the Inter-institutional enrollment policy, you will need to consult the specific school for course offerings and enrollment expectations.
  • A first-semester student cannot request to take more than 4.75 classes.
  • Grading System: The Divinity School employs the grading scale with the letters A, B, C, D, F that have been defined as follows: A, excellent; B, good; C, satisfactory; D, passing; F, failure; W, withdrew, discretion of the dean; I, incomplete; U, unsatisfactory; P, passed; NC, noncredit; Z, year course. The denotations are defined as follows according to quality points: A+, 4.0; A, 4.0; A- 3.7; B+, 3.3; B, 3.0; B-, 2.7; C+, 2.3; C, 2.0;
    C-,1.7; D+, 1.3; D, 1.0; D-, 1.0; F, 0.0; and U, 0.0.
    In the core courses for the M.Div., M.A. in Christian Practice, and M.T.S. degrees, the grading is as follows: A, B, C, and F. The grade of D does not exist in core courses. Core courses may not be taken on the Pass/Fail grading basis. Students are required to obtain the grade of C- or better in order to pass a core course. Students earning a grade lower than a C- in a core course shall be obliged to retake the course for credit and pass the course with a grade of C- or better.
    • Pass/Fail: For the M.Div. and M.T.S. degrees, individuals or classes may in certain instances and at the discretion of the instructor, be graded simply as pass or fail. Such P/F grades shall be limited to no more than 25 percent of a student’s total curriculum at Duke and is not included in the computation of the grade point average. The Pass/Fail grading basis must be elected before the end of Drop/Add for any enrollment period; students cannot make changes to grading basis after Drop/Add. Students in the Th.M., D.Min. (outside of the Thesis Seminar course), and Th.D. degree programs are not eligible to take courses on the Pass/Fail grading basis. Some limited electives can be graded on Pass/Fail basis with instructor approval. Pass/Fail is not a grading option for Black Church Studies limited electives.
  • Advanced Placement: Students in the M.T.S. or M.Div. programs with prior graduate or undergraduate work in the specific discipline covered by a core class (Oldtest 752, Churhist 750, Oldtest 753, Newtest 754, and etc) may request to replace a core class with an upper level class (800 level or higher) in the same discipline. See the Forms and Paradigms section of the website for information on Advanced Placement and the specific forms necessary.
  • Transfer Credit: Duke Divinity School will accept classes taken at other ATS-accredited seminaries or through an APCE-accredited CPE program as elective credit for students enrolled in the M.Div. and M.T.S. programs. The course(s) must have been completed within five years of the intended enrollment date, not be counted as credit toward another degree program, conducted in person (not fully or partially online), and a grade of B or higher must have been earned. M.T.S. students can transfer up to 2 classes and M.Div. students can transfer up to 4 classes into Duke Divinity. Please complete the Transfer Credit worksheet on the Forms and Paradigms section of the website and make an appointment with the Academic Programs Office to discuss the possibility of transferring credits to Duke Divinity School. Transfer credit will not be considered until after the beginning of the Fall semester.
  • Study Leave: Students desiring enrollment at an accredited theological instituation within their denominational tradition may be eligible to transfer some or all of those classes back to Duke Divinity School. Please make an appointment with the academic programs office for further information.

Academic Advisors

Faculty and Staff at Duke Divinity School serve as academic advisors to students enrolled in all degree programs. Students can identify their assigned academic advisor by looking in DukeHub under the "Registration" tab. Each semester students must meet with their advisor in order to be made eligible to enroll. Once a student is marked "eligible to enroll," the student's appointed registration window will open, and the student can enroll in classes for the upcoming semester.