interior of Gross Hall

The Decision Sciences Certificate fills a niche in undergraduate education given the enthusiasm of Duke students for topics in decision making. Students are attracted to the program for several reasons:

  • Decision-making research pervades frontier topics in the social and biological sciences, with particular growth in behavioral and experimental economics, consumer behavior and marketing research, medical decision making, neuroeconomics, and political psychology.
  • Duke has a very strong (and interdisciplinary) research presence in these areas, especially with recent additions of high-profile faculty.
  • Our certificate program draws interest from students with diverse career goals. Likely trajectories include law school, business careers (especially quantitatively oriented), policy careers, and graduate research in related areas.
  • The certificate is a highly complementary credential; i.e., it would go well with popular majors in the social sciences (Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy) and the natural sciences (Biology, Neuroscience). There is not anticipate considerable intellectual overlap with other certificate programs.

The certificate advances a number of the goals of undergraduate education at Duke. Core features of the liberal arts education for Trinity College students are (a) providing opportunities to participate in independent research, (b) facilitating students’ intellectual growth as they consider new areas of inquiry, (c) developing citizens who are committed to high ethical standards and who fully participate as leaders in their communities, and (d) promoting a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential. This certificate provides a novel and interdisciplinary means for students to reach these goals. It not only introduces students to, but immerse them in, exploring and evaluating research on the cutting edge of the social, computational, and biological sciences.

Our courses consider the processes that shape our abilities to evaluate choices, to make ethical decisions, and to understand and influence those around us. It creates distinctive interdisciplinary opportunities for Trinity students to approach real-world problems from different fields of inquiry.