Summer College Online (Closed)

July 2 – August 12, 2018

Get ahead this summer and earn college credit online while you are still in high school. If you are a current 10th, 11th or 12th grade student, you are eligible to apply. This credit-bearing program offered by Duke University attracts students who represent the next generation of leaders from around the world.  Carefully designed by our eminent faculty, Duke Summer College Online is tailored not only to enrich and inspire, but to lay the foundation for one’s success in college and beyond.  

Why choose Duke Summer College Online?

  • Take a college course online for academic credit at one of the world’s premier universities
  • Improve your college application with evidence you can succeed at the college level
  • Take a course not available at your high school 
  • Earn Duke credit without the cost and hassle of traveling
  • Learn from prestigious Duke faculty


NEUROSCI 202 – Medical Neuroscience: Foundations for the Neurological Sciences

Medical Neuroscience explores the functional organization and neurophysiology of the human central nervous system, while providing a neurobiological framework for understanding human behavior. In this course, learners discover the organization of the neural systems in the brain and spinal cord that mediate sensation, motivate bodily action, and integrate sensorimotor signals with memory, emotion and related faculties of cognition. The course builds upon general knowledge acquired through prior studies of cell and molecular biology, systems physiology, and mammalian anatomy, with a primary focus on the human central nervous system.

This online course is designed to include all of the core concepts in neurophysiology and clinical neuroanatomy that would be presented in most first-year neuroscience courses in schools of medicine and in the core curriculum of a baccalaureate academic program in neuroscience. Thus, the course aims to faithfully present in scope and rigor a medical school caliber/neuroscience major course experience.

This course comprises six units of content organized into 12 ‘weekly’ folders, with an additional folder for a comprehensive final exam; however, the course is self-paced and can be completed within the time frame of a 6-week Duke Summer Session term.

  • Unit 1 Neuroanatomy covers the surface anatomy of the human brain, its internal structure, and the overall organization of sensory and motor systems in the brainstem and spinal cord.
  • Unit 2 Neural Signaling addresses the fundamental mechanisms of neuronal excitability, signal generation and propagation, synaptic transmission, postsynaptic mechanisms of signal integration, and neural plasticity. 
  • Unit 3 Sensory Systems covers the overall organization and function of the sensory systems that contribute to our sense of self relative to the world around us: somatic sensory systems, proprioception, vision, audition, the balance senses, and the chemical senses. 
  • Unit 4 Motor Systems examines the organization and function of the brain and spinal mechanisms that govern bodily movement. 
  • Unit 5 Brain Development explores the neurobiological mechanisms for building the nervous system in embryonic development and in early postnatal life, and how the brain changes across the lifespan. 
  • Unit 6 Cognition concludes with a survey of the association systems of the cerebral hemispheres, with an emphasis on cortical networks that integrate perception, memory and emotion in organizing behavior and planning for the future; it also covers brain systems for maintaining homeostasis and regulating brain state.

The overall goal of this course is to provide the foundation for understanding the neurological sciences and the impairments of sensation, action, and cognition that accompany injury, disease, or dysfunction in the human central nervous system.

All course materials are contained on the online course site. Recommended readings are from Neuroscience, 6th Ed. (Oxford University Press, 2018). Recommended prerequisites: knowledge of biology and chemistry typically acquired through two years or more of study. (Term dates: July 2 through August 12)

For more information, please contact