Residence Life

Residence Life Overview


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 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 College students will be given food points, which they will use to dine at campus eateries of their choice.  Unused food points will neither be refunded to students nor the program.  With the recent addition of Duke’s new state-of-the-art dining facilities, students will have no issue finding a wide variety of palatable and healthful dining options.

Should students wish to venture off campus and explore Durham, they will discover what Southern Living deemed “The South’s Tastiest Town”.  While students will not be able to use their food points off-campus, Durham has an extraordinary array of restaurants they are sure to enjoy.

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.  Activities of most clubs take place on campus, but the club leader may arrange for the club to engage in an off-campus excursion.  In this case, the participants will be accompanied by a staff member.

We also place all of our students into “RA Groups”.  These tight-knit communities are each led by one Resident Assistant (RA) and participate in a wide variety of daily activities.  While many of these activities will take place on Duke’s West Campus, others will involve exploring other parts of campus and Durham.  You must remain on Duke campus at all times, unless accompanied by a Summer Session staff member.  You are allowed to go to the basketball court on Central Campus.  You are allowed to use the Duke shuttle bus as a means of transportation.  You are not allowed to use public transportation such as public buses, Uber, taxi, or Lyft unless accompanied by a staff member.  You are not allowed to be transported in a car of anyone but a staff member without prior permission from your parent or guardian. The RA activities will include on- and off-campus excursions and may include without limitation going to the Nasher Museum of Art or the Duke Forest, Southpoint Mall, Durham’s Ninth Street, the University of North Carolina, downtown Durham, and the Museum of Life and Science.  These activities are designed not only to be engaging and enriching, but to cultivate a sense of community and belonging.   

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, 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 also lots of 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. – 9:45 a.m. Breakfast - optional
10:00 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. Duke Course or Academic Advising – required
You will only be enrolled in one morning or afternoon class
12:05 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch – optional
2:00 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. Duke Course or Academic Advising – required
You will only be enrolled in one morning or afternoon class
4:05 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Clubs, Residential Activities, and Studying - 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 Studying - 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.