Residence Life


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

In addition, you will have the full-time support of a robust residential and administrative staff. You will be assigned to a residential group of approximately 15 classmates and under the mentorship of a Resident Assistant (RA). Your RA 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.  You will be given meal swipes, which you will use to dine at a wide selection of campus eateries.  Unused meal swipes will not be refunded.  With the recent addition of Duke’s new state-of-the-art dining facilities, you will have no issue finding a wide variety of palatable and healthful dining options.

If you decide to venture off campus and explore Durham with your RA group, 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 wish to explore Durham’s extraordinary array of restaurants with your RA group.

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. Whether you are interested in anything from photography to team sports, hiking to drama, or group fitness to gaming, we have a club for you.

We also place all of our students into “RA Groups”.  These tight-knit communities are each led by one RA whose job it is to mentor students, help them negotiate the various components of college life, and understand our program’s policies.  RA Groups participate in a wide variety of weekend activities.  While some of these activities may take place on Duke’s West Campus, most will involve exploring other parts of campus and Durham, such as the Nasher Museum of Art, Southpoint Mall, Durham’s Ninth Street, and the University of North Carolina.  These activities are designed not only to be engaging and enriching, but to cultivate a sense of community and belonging.

Our programming does not stop here.  We will be hosting nightly events for our students.  The nature of these activities is wide-ranging.  Some, such as our curated film series, provide students with yet another source of intellectual stimulation, while others, including our karaoke and carnival nights, give our students a well-deserved respite from their academic endeavors.

Finally, each weekend we offer an assortment of on- and off-campus excursions led and accompanied by RAs. Whether you are interested in hiking in one of North Carolina’s premier state parks, or going shopping with friends, our residential staff will ensure that your summer is not only academically enriching, but undeniably fun.

Please note that, while none of our participants will be allowed to explore campus or go off campus without staff supervision, our robust residential program ensures that everyone has a wide array of enriching and engaging activities from which to choose on a daily basis.

Weeknight Academics

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 or ACT is a crucial part of the college admissions process for many high school students. Attend this Weeknight Expo to learn more about the format, scoring, and content of these two exams. 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 Weeknight 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.  This involves sharing strategies for writing an effective college application essay, creating a resume, and constructing an activities list that will reflect your interests and potential contributions to a college community. Finally, we explore the potential opportunities and challenges you may face during 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 Weeknight 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.

Typical Daily Schedule

8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Breakfast and Studying
10:00 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. Duke Course or Academic Advising
You will only be enrolled in one morning or afternoon class
12:05 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch and Studying
2:00 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. Duke Course or Academic Advising 
You will only be enrolled in one morning or afternoon class
4:05 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Clubs
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Residential Activities
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Evening Activities and Studying
9:30 p.m. Residence Hall Meeting
11:00 p.m. Quiet Time