Educational Pathways

Michelle KhalidDuke draws many students who seek knowledge and training beyond the bounds of a single discipline. Through Bass Connections, students are equipped to be future leaders in addressing complex societal challenges in the academy, government, business and numerous other settings.

Undergraduates focus on contemporary societal challenges, while obtaining depth in a major. Graduate and professional students learn connections between traditional disciplines and the professions, receiving an interdisciplinary education involving collaborative work on concrete problems and projects.

Academic advisors guide students in developing their own pathways of problem-focused interdisciplinary experiences at Duke. Students can choose from a collection of educational pathways within the Bass Connections themes through project teams, courses, summer programs and co-curricular offerings.

Project Teams

Interdisciplinary project teams are made up of faculty, graduate and professional students, undergraduates and post-docs. Most teams run for a full academic year; some have a summer component. Course credit and summer funding are available.


Many interdisciplinary, project-based courses at Duke include content related to the Bass Connections themes.

Summer Programs

Data+ is a ten-week research experience for undergraduates and master’s students interested in exploring new data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges.

Story+ is a new six-week research experience for undergraduate and graduate students interested in bringing academic research to life through dynamic storytelling.

See the Bass Connections theme pages for additional summer opportunities.



Faced with a wealth of opportunities to choose from, undergraduates can benefit from the guidance of Duke’s Directors of Academic Engagement. These specialized advisors help students to clarify goals and connect to opportunities for academic exploration within and beyond the classroom. Graduate students can access a number of resources to guide their pathways, and the professional schools offer tailored services to professional students.

Stories from Students

Undergraduate and graduate students share their own educational pathways and the role Bass Connections played. Filter by area of study, school, student level (undergraduate, master, PhD, MD) or Bass Connections theme.