Housing & Residence Life

Living Learning Communities

Duke University offers numerous opportunities for interested students to partake in intentionally designed Living Learning communities (LLCs) that incorporate the residential component of the college experience along with other academic and social pursuits. While membership in these groups may be limited, activities offered are often open to the general student population. LLCs are sponsored, resourced, and facilitated by a university department or office, often in conjunction with faculty partners. Students apply to join these communities and are selected by the sponsoring office.

The Alice M. Baldwin Scholars Program inspires and supports undergraduate students to become engaged, confident and connected leaders in the Duke community and beyond. Each year, 18 female-identified first-year students are selected to join the four year program which includes living together, an internship, two academic seminars, community service, and a retreat among other opportunities. If you would like to discuss your potential fit with Baldwin Scholars, please contact Colleen Scott (Director) at 919.684.6579 or colleen.scott@duke.edu.

The Duke FOCUS Program is the premiere living-learn academic program for first year, first semester students at Duke University. Building on the living-learning community during the first semester of the first year, the Cognitive Neuroscience and Law LLC brings a deepening and augmentation to former Focus students during their sophomore year at Duke. Programming includes participation in the Mellon Sawyer series, interactions with new Focus students matriculating in 2021, involvement in educational enhancement opportunities, including research and labs in the cognitive neurosciences, neuroimaging and linguistics (sociolinguistics, law and language, cognitive neurolinguistics, etc.), off-campus activities, and connections to related teams in Bass Connections and Duke Engage. If space permits, we will accept applications from rising juniors as well.

Duke University Chapel and Department of Religious Studies have partnered to form Eruditio et Religio, a living-learning community committed to growing together in "knowledge and faith." Students who join this LLC will learn about diverse religious traditions through a multitude of frameworks, reading both scholarly texts and children's stories, talking with professors and spiritual leaders, visiting Duke religious groups and Durham spiritual communities. This LLC is for students who are seeking to expand their intercultural awareness as a community and deepen their intrapersonal spiritual reflection as individuals, all while preparing to work together for the common good. The Fall 2021 House Course will center around global religious literature across historical and geographical boundaries. The syllabus is available upon request. To learn more, check out the group's website.

Established in 1938, the Duke Marine Lab (DUML) has been a place where Duke Students could have the experience of diving into the world of conservation efforts. The purpose of the Fouling Community is to provide a space for students to begin and continue their DUML experience while in Durham. This LLC’s mission is to provide a space for Marine Lab scholars to bridge their experiences between DUML and Durham to engage with the Ocean and Marine life. This LLC is open to all students who have an interest in Marine life and Sciences. For more information, contact Dean Stephanie Klein at stephanie.klein@duke.edu.

The Ethics LLC provides a unique space on-campus, in which students ethically engage the world locally and globally. The LLC offers students the opportunity to explore the meaning of living as a global citizenship off-campus through funded house trips and on-campus through dinners, social events, and discussions with faculty and guests. The house discussions provide an exciting opportunity for students interested in a variety of ethical questions, related to human rights, global migration, public health, gender and sexuality, regulatory governance, human behavior and decision-making, or religion's role in public life. In the LLC’s first year, students traveled to Puerto Rico to engage with themes of resilience after Hurricane Maria. This year, the LLC ventured to New Orleans to look at how public spaces play a role in determining racial legacy and environmental justice. Stay up to date with events and information about the LLC on our website and Facebook page.

Marsha’s Home helps to facilitate an understanding of various gender identities as well as sexual and romantic orientations. As an LLC, Marsha’s Home connects members of the Duke LGBTQIA+ community and allies with each other to create a safe space for exploration, curiosity, and engagement. We aim to support queer leaders and cultivate their individual and collective strengths while also centering intersectional identities along with queer and trans joy. Marsha’s Home LLC seeks to improve the Duke community’s understanding of gender and sexuality and improve the living and learning experiences of LGTBQIA+ students. For more information, contact Angel Collie at angel.collie@duke.edu or Dean John Blackshear at john.blackshear@duke.edu.

A small group of Black student leaders organized and founded the Mitchell-White House, a Black Cultural Living and Learning Community at Duke University. It opened in the fall of 2020, in a modified form due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The House is named after Mary Mitchell-Harris and Nathaniel White, two of the first five Black students who integrated Duke University in 1963. Mary Mitchell-Harris and Nathaniel White are both Durham natives who graduated valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, from Hillside High School. Mary Mitchell-Harris and Nathaniel White are trailblazers at Duke and in Durham and epitomize our vision for Black student leaders in the Mitchell-White House. Before Mary Mitchell-Harris’s death in 2002, she maintained a steadfast relationship with her alma mater and hometown. Mr. Nathaniel White continues an intimate relationship with the University and Durham, as he routinely visits campus and upholds a prominent reputation in Durham.

As a Black Cultural Living and Learning Community, our mission is to learn about the people of the African diaspora and cultivate community amongst its members and allies. The Living and Learning Community seeks to facilitate an exchange of culture and history between its members. In addition to experiential learning, students will engage with texts, archival materials and off campus enrichment opportunities that address the topics of leadership, identity, and culture across the African diaspora at Duke and in Durham. The House will provide a unique space to connect with fellow students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and community leaders and cultivate Black change agents in our communities.

Be sure to check out the Mitchell-White House website.

The Smart Home residential program is a dynamic and vibrant living and learning community. Every year, 10 undergraduate students from Duke University are selected from our applicants to become Smart Home residents.

The vision of the program is to have a diverse and interdisciplinary group of students living in the Duke Smart Home. Students from both Pratt School of Engineering and Trinity College of Arts & Sciences are encouraged to apply.

This 6,000 square foot student living and research space is also:

Students also have to option to reside in the extension of the Smart Home.

The Smart Home is operated by the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering. For more information, email contact@dukesmarthome.com.

SPIRE is a deeply responsive mentoring and academic support program for high-achieving undergraduates from diverse backgrounds with interests in pursuing majors and/or careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Duke SPIRE—which stands for STEM Pathways for Inclusion, Readiness, and Excellence—seeks to create a sense of academic belonging among students who have historically been marginalized in scientific communities. The LLC is a group of sophomores, juniors and seniors who are dedicated to making Duke a more inclusive and friendly place for students who are pursuing their degrees in the sciences through study groups, wellness activities, academic enrichment funding, tutoring and mentoring.

The Visions of Freedom LLC is community of upperclassmen with a common passion for politics, philosophy, and economics, though its members major in a diverse range of disciplines. The group holds optional events like weekly group dinners focused around a controversial topic, a book club, the John Locke speakers program, and more. Its recent house courses have focused on topics like Progress and Preservation, Community and Individualism, and Unpacking 2020.  The LLC also takes an annual trip in line with its academic focus. It is sponsored by the Program in American Values and Institutions of the Department of Political Science. To learn more, check out the group's website.

The mission of the Wellness LLC is to create a dedicated space for those with wishing to live substance-free, allies supporting peers through substance-free living, and those who would like to have a healthy relationship with substances that does not impact their own wellbeing or the wellbeing of others. Grounded by the University’s commitment to health, wellness, and safety, the Wellness LLC creates an immersive environment where all students can learn to foster the six dimensions of wellness (i.e., environmental, physical, social, financial, intellectual, and spiritual) in community with others. For more information, contact Justin Sharpe at justin.sharpe@duke.edu.