Duke University fosters a vibrant, evolving culture of interdisciplinarity that remains in step with the most compelling societal problems.

Over the last 50 years, interdisciplinarity has become a Duke hallmark. As the number and reach of interdisciplinary faculty and programs have expanded, boundary-crossing research, teaching and engagement has animated activity across campus.

Hundreds of faculty members conduct interdisciplinary research and incorporate interdisciplinary frameworks into their teaching. Undergraduate and graduate students have many opportunities to pursue interdisciplinary pathways and experiences. Duke now has more interdisciplinary capacity for research and teaching within its departments and schools than ever before.

Cross-school mechanisms of support and coordination are overseen by the provost. These include a portfolio of university institutes, initiatives and centers.

Office of Interdisciplinary Studies (OIS)

Led by Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies Edward Balleisen, the office provides central facilitation and oversight for interdisciplinary units throughout Duke.

The office helps to develop and implement policies and procedures that advance the often unique administrative, research, educational and practice needs of interdisciplinary groups. It provides leadership and central organization for the Bass Connections program, coordinates faculty hiring for the university institutes, initiatives and centers, and facilitates collaboration and experimentation among faculty, deans and directors.

OIS also provides administrative and fiscal oversight for interdisciplinary units’ space, budget and personnel, coordinated through the Office of the Provost.

Bass Connections

Bass Connections is a university-wide program that supports interdisciplinary, applied research teams involving more than 1,200 individuals each year. It has established Duke as a global leader in experiential learning and supercharged community-engaged research across campus. Duke faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate and professional students, undergraduates and external partners work together to tackle complex societal challenges in year-long project teams, semester-long courses and summer programs. See opportunities for faculty and learn how students of all levels can get involved.


Provost’s Interdisciplinary Strategy Council

The Interdisciplinary Strategy Council is a university-wide body charged with advising the provost and vice provost for interdisciplinary studies on ways to sustain and strengthen Duke’s efforts to foster vibrant interdisciplinary scholarship, education and external engagement.

Learn about Provost’s committees