Duke - The Fuqua School of Business

Exemption Frequently Asked Questions

  • How am I registered for courses?

    You will be pre-registered for the core curriculum. You do not need to do anything about registration before your arrival in August except to apply for administrative exemptions. During orientation, you will be instructed on how to obtain a copy of your class schedule from ACES WEB, the university registration system.

  • How can I exempt a core course?

    There are two types of core course exemptions available: administrative and by examination. You may receive an administrative exemption based on prior coursework or professional experience, or you may wish to demonstrate your knowledge by taking an exemption exam upon arrival at Fuqua.

  • How will I know if I have been granted an exemption?

    Exemption results will be sent to you via email along with information about how your schedule will be adjusted to accommodate the exempted core course(s).

  • Why should I exempt a course?

    Students who choose to remain in a core course, for which they could have exempted, sometimes find themselves bored and inattentive. This can make for an unpleasant classroom setting for you the student, the professor, and the other class members! By exempting a course, gives you the opportunity to select another elective course. Taking a course outside your particular area of interest is a means of enhancing your career goals and broadens you educational experience. This in turn helps shape your career transition and job search possibly attracting potential employers.

  • What if I am unsure of whether or not to take an exemption exam?

    If you feel you could exempt a core course, you should take the exemption exam. Should you be granted an exemption, you still have the option of staying in the core course. You might surprise yourself!

    You should not put off taking an exemption exam. Once the semester begins you will be busier than you can imagine. You should also consider the number of hands through which your exam will pass. You may not get the results for several weeks. This will put you at a disadvantage as electives fill up quickly. The sooner you are granted an exemption, the sooner you’ll be able to select an elective. Courses fill up quickly! There is absolutely no penalty for taking an exam and not passing.

  • If I exempt a course, may I take anything I want to in its place? What should I take in its place? How would I make that choice and how would I register for it?

    If your exemption allows you to select an elective, you will be contacted via email by the Fuqua Registrar with your choices. Once a suitable replacement is found, the registrar will add the course to your schedule. Electives fill up quickly so you should apply for administrative exemptions, or take the exemption exam as early as possible.

  • Who will counsel me? With whom should I speak if I am unsure whether or not to exempt a course?

    When trying to decide whether or not to exempt, you should first read the guidelines for each course. If you are still unsure, you should follow the guidelines for obtaining an administrative exemption. The faculty will then be able to provide you with feedback that will indicate whether or not you should exempt. If you are still uncertain when you arrive on campus, you might make an appointment to speak with the appropriate faculty member to discuss your background.

  • What happens if I exempt a course and realize this was a mistake?

    You are not likely to receive an exemption where it is not appropriate. In the case of a conditional exemption, you would be required to take the next level of a course (for example, a conditional exemption in DECISION 610: Probability and Statistics would require that you take DECISION 614: Statistical Forecasting). If, after the first week of classes in the higher level course, you feel you're in over your head, you may elect to drop back to the core level.

  • What are the most common courses exempted?

    Because many of our students have backgrounds in economics or business/accounting, the highest number of exemptions is usually given for MGRECON 780: Managerial Economics; ACCOUNTG 590: Financial Accounting; and MARKETNG 795: Marketing Management.

  • How many students typically exempt?

    Almost a third of the students exempt core courses.

  • Will I miss out on anything if I exempt a course?

    You will only miss out on the boredom of sitting through material that is repetitious for you. You'll also move more quickly through electives which can only better prepare you for getting that new job.

  • If I have prior course work in a subject from several years ago, should I exempt or stay in the core course?

    If prior course work is something that you use in your job or something you feel you've retained, then you should still try to exempt. If it's been more than a few years and you don't feel you've retained the subject matter, you may want to take the course. When in doubt--take the exam. If you pass it, then you know enough to exempt the course. If you don't pass it, then you know you need a refresher!

  • Isn't it better for my GPA if I choose to remain in a core course?

    First, the tuition costs don't justify wasting your time on material you already know. Second, you will create ill will among your classmates who will resent your being in the class--you are throwing off the curve, after all!