Housing Options for East Campus

phone: 919-684-5320 | email: housing@duke.edu | https://studentaffairs.duke.edu/hdrl/housing-information/first-year-housing

The FOCUS Program

Duke’s Focus Program for first-year students provides clusters of courses designed around an interdisciplinary theme with a residential component. Students participate in a shared housing experience with other FOCUS students that facilitates discussion and scholarly exploration while taking part in Duke’s rich East Campus living environment. Please note that as we make assignments, participation in the Focus Program supersedes most other housing preferences. For more information, go to focus.duke.edu

Substance-Free Community

The Substance-Free Community was created to support students interested in living in a substance-free environment. Additionally, students in Substance-Free housing have the opportunity to participate in experiences to develop habits that support lifelong health and well-being. The community also features extended quiet hours to promote academic study.

While alcohol and other drugs are not permitted on East Campus, the Substance-Free community differs from other first-year communities because residents sign a contract pledging to refrain from:

  • the use of alcohol
  • being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco
  • the abuse of prescription medications

Students who do not honor the contract will be relocated to a different community.

Arts Community

Interested in music, drama or art? The Arts Community brings together students with a common interest in the arts. You do not need to major in the arts or even have any special talents to live in this community. All students are welcome to live in this community. Arts Community residents have the opportunity to participate in events geared toward the arts such as receiving free or discounted tickets to performances, being an audience for peer performances or watching concerts right in the common room. Participation in these events is always optional. Past guest performers have included the Ciompi Quartet, Branford Marsalis, Nnenna Freelon and Dmitry Sitkovetsky.

Gender Inclusive Housing

Gender Inclusive Housing refers to individual rooms or suites where the gender of the roommates is not taken into consideration when the room is assigned through the assignment process. Gender Inclusive Housing is located across East Campus, on floors with a designated gender-inclusive bathroom and gender-designated bathrooms. While this is intended to support students who identify as LGBTQIA, this is available to all students who feel they would be more comfortable in a gender-inclusive room/suite or feel they could provide a safe and inclusive space for another student regardless of gender identity/expression, sexual/romantic orientation, or any other factor.


House Councils

There are many ways to get involved with your community on East Campus. House Council elections occur during the first weeks of class. You can also help plan weekend events through the Late Night Programming Committee or you can participate in annual events such as Midnight Breakfast and Spring Carnival through East Campus Council. House Councils are the programming body for the house and also provide the student voice. House Council representatives will participate in two retreats as well as ongoing leadership development.

Duke Coffeehouse

Located behind Wilson on East Campus, the Duke Coffeehouse is generally considered one of the “chillest spots” at Duke and serves as a link between the University and the Durham community. Students come to study and socialize amid the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. When the Coffeehouse holds events, it is transformed into a live venue for performances, athletic watch parties and open mic nights.

Tobacco-Free Policy

Duke University and Duke University Health System is a tobacco-free campus. This policy applies to all property and grounds owned or leased by Duke, including construction project sites owned or leased by Duke. This policy prohibits the use of all tobacco-based products, including cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, hookahs, chewing tobacco, snuff, and electronic vaping devices such as e-cigarettes, vaping products, IQOS, as well as any other forms of tobacco. The use of FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches, gum, lozenges or inhaler will be allowed.


Students who need special housing accommodations should follow the procedures outlined at studentaffairs.duke.edu/hdrl/apply-housing/applicationinstructions. Deadline for requests is May 31, 2021.