Residence Life


All Duke Summer Academy participants are required to live on campus for the duration of the program. You will live in one of the residence halls on Duke University’s historic West Campus within easy walking distance of Duke Chapel, Perkins Library, Duke Gardens, dining facilities, and your classrooms.

Participants will also have the full-time support of a robust residential and administrative staff. You will be assigned to a residential group of approximately 20 classmates and under the mentorship of a Resident Assistant (RA). Your Resident Assistant will help ensure that you thrive academically and socially.


Duke was recently ranked first on The Daily Meal’s list of best college food in America.  Summer Academy participants will be given food points, which you will use to dine at campus eateries of your choice. Unused food points will not be refunded. With Duke’s state-of-the-art dining facilities, you will be able to select from a wide variety of enjoyable and healthful dining options.

If you decide to venture off campus and explore Durham, you will discover what Southern Living has deemed as “The South’s Tastiest Town”. Although you will not be able to use your food points off-campus, you may still wish to explore Durham’s extraordinary array of restaurants.

Residential Activities

At Duke Summer College, we believe the world-class academic experience we offer you should be complemented by a phenomenal residence life. For this reason we provide you with the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of clubs on a daily basis. No matter your interests, we have a club for you.

Each weekend we offer an assortment of off-campus excursions. Whether you are interested in hiking in one of North Carolina’s premier state parks, eating hot dogs at a Durham Bulls baseball game, or going shopping with friends, our residential staff will ensure that your summer is not only academically enriching, but downright fun. 

Weekend Academics

On the weekends, we are proud to offer a variety of academic enrichment opportunities. These extracurricular activities are designed to inspire and guide you towards a life of academic success.


Taking the SAT and/or the ACT is a crucial part of the college admissions process for many high school students. Attend this Weekend Expo to learn more about these two exams (format, scoring, and content). Not only will you learn key test-taking strategies, but you will also see how these strategies can help you in your high school classes. This course is hands-on, involves demonstrations from a test-taking professional, and helps you understand more about the role of the SAT and ACT in college admissions and scholarship decision-making.

College Preparation Expo

Applying to and succeeding in college can prove challenging without adequate preparation. Attend this Weekend Expo and get important tips on how to prepare a competitive application packet, what to expect in your first year of college, and how to tackle its challenges. We start by exploring the college search process and identifying factors that will lead you to find the college that will be the best fit for you. We then review the components of a college application packet and share with you strategies for writing an effective college application essay and for creating a resume and activities list that will reflect your interests and potential contributions to a college community. Finally, we explore the opportunities and challenges of your first year as a college student. We will discuss strategies for adapting to a new environment, managing your time, and staying healthy. In addition we will provide academic and residential resources to help you successfully navigate your exciting and challenging first year of college.

Academic Writing Expo

College-level writing requires practice, but primarily it involves the command of certain skills that will make your prose professional, persuasive, and sophisticated. Choose this Weekend Expo and learn the strategies and foundations that will contribute to your academic success. You will learn how to create a draft for a college-level paper, how to use citations properly, and how to differentiate between quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing. You will also have the opportunity to practice creating an effective argument in your paper. Finally, learn what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, and what are the typical academic and life consequences for plagiarism and academic dishonesty convictions.

Film Series

We are proud to offer several meticulously-curated series during the summer. You are certain to enjoy watching and discussing these entertaining and thought-provoking films alongside your friends.

Documentary Series

 “Planet Earth”
“An Inconvenient Truth”
“Life in a Day”

International Series

“Wadjda” (Saudi Arabia)
“Bicycle Thieves” (Italy)
“Ikiru” (Japan)

North American Series

“Citizen Kane”
“North by Northwest”
“American Graffiti”

Typical Daily Schedule

Monday - Friday:
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast - optional
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Academy Course - required
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch – optional
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Academy Course – required
Please note that you will only be enrolled in one class
4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Clubs and Residential Activities - optional
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Dinner and Residential Activities
8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Residential Program Activities and On-Campus Exploration - optional
9:30 p.m. Residence Hall Meeting  - required
11:00 p.m. Quiet Time

Please Note: You are required to be on campus after 9:00 p.m. and to be in the residence hall after 9:30 p.m. unless a structured residential activity has been organized and is supervised by staff.