Reviewed: Duke’s five unofficial graduation requirements

Sex in the gardens anyone?

Anyone would agree that students at Duke University know how to have fun. The school’s longstanding tradition of unofficial graduation requirements make this point valid.

Though these requirements are technically “unofficial,” fellow Duke students tend to take them very seriously. The reason they remain unauthorized, however, may be that they aren’t exactly…legal.

So here are the pros and cons of these wacky requirements that can’t be left undone:


Climbing Baldwin Auditorium on East Campus. You have to literally climb the building.

Pro: Once you get to the top, the entire main quad of East Campus will be beyond your eyes. This will be one of the moments when you realize how beautiful our campus is and how grateful you are to be here.

Con: If you fall off while trying to climb, you will probably injure yourself a lot.



There are underground tunnels under East Campus that contain mostly piping and other infrastructure. Entrances to the tunnels are difficult to find, but once you do, you get to explore the insides of your very own campus.

Pro: It’s easy to get tired of traveling the same routes on campus. Going tunneling would be a great way to break away from your daily routine and see the what goes down below – experience that Indiana Jones moment, if you will.

Con: Some people choose to go down there drunk, and don’t manage to climb back out within the night. We’re not sure how safe this would be for your respiratory system.


Drive around the circle backwards three times

The circle is the road connecting Chapel Drive, Campus drive, etc. near the entrance of West Campus. Many people say this is the most boring task of the five, but it is still exciting to do something you can’t do in broad daylight with cars going around.

Pro: There is nothing like the thrill of speeding backward round and round in the circle you pass by every day on the way to the chapel.

Con: If you’re a bad driver and bump into something, people will witness your traces every day on the way to the chapel.

Have sex in the stacks of Perkins Library

Perkins, to our convenience, is open 24/7. That means it is open for use all night to both the studious bookworms and those other wild souls.

Pro: A secret rendezvous in the library is probably on the college bucket list for many students across the nation. It’s easy to avoid getting caught – all you have to do is pretend to be looking for books when you hear footsteps!

Con: People – students, security guards, cleaners – are constantly walking around even throughout the night. That means somebody will probably hear or even see you in the process of your intimate time. If you’re fine with that, there’s no problem!


Have sex in Sarah P. Duke Gardens

The Gardens are considered one of the must-go-to places not only within Duke but Durham in general. Having sexual intercourse at this location will definitely be a special experience.

Pro: It will likely be a night to remember, considering how romantic an atmosphere the garden can make for you and your special someone.

Con: It could get pretty chilly at night, so having no clothing on might result in a cold/fever the day after. Also, you should consider all those bugs and plants around; it will not be the most sanitary experience. It also takes two to tango, so you’ll have to find someone who is as much of a daredevil as you.

We do not endorse trying these, although if you do please let us know.

Duke University