Online Courses

Experience Duke University from anywhere by taking an online course this summer! Join other academically advanced 10th and 11th grade students (2022-2023 school year) and undergraduates from Duke and from around the world. Discover courses from across the arts & sciences and earn college credit.

Term 2 courses meet online from July 3 - August 13, 2023. Final exams are scheduled for August 12 - 13, 2023.

All course meeting times are according to Eastern Time (ET), so please carefully consider whether the meeting time will be feasible for your schedule.    

The course list below is from 2022. Course options for 2023 will be posted early next year.

A range of disciplinary perspectives on key topics in contemporary African Studies: nationalism and pan-Africanism, imperialism and colonialism, genocide and famine, development and democratization, art and music, age and gender.

Meeting Information

  • Days & Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday –12:30 p.m. -2:35 p.m.
  • Online course

Since its invention, photography has occupied an ambiguous position in relation to art. It has been seen as both a rival and supplement to media such as painting, printmaking, and sculpture. But photography also enjoys what one writer has called “a complex social life,” playing an important role in scientific documentation, commercial illustration, journalism, and (most recently) social media.

This course will trace a multiple history of photography: its multiple beginnings, its multiple strands and arcs, and its multiple ways of telling and seeing the world. We will cover the major periods in the history of the medium, while addressing the ways photography participated in 19th-and 20th-century art movements as well as took part in key moments of social, political, and technological change.

This course will lend equal emphasis to theories of photography as well as its practice. It will attempt to ease or even erase the distinction between theory and practice by focusing on photographers who were also deep thinkers about the medium and thinkers who were also practitioners. Practically, students will be given a chance to work on assignments through a combination of writing and image-making (as well as curating), thus enacting the multiplicity of creative and critical forms of thoughts that encompass the photographic medium.

Meeting Information

  • Days & Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday –12:30 p.m. -2:35 p.m.
  • Online course

Prerequisite: Advanced Placement Biology

Focus on human organ-system physiology; cellular physiology; basic concepts and principles underlying the physiologic function of each organ system and their integration to maintain homeostasis; application of physiologic principles to interpret clinical aspects of failure of these systems; organ systems include: nervous, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary, endocrine, and reproductive.

The course is taught by faculty from Duke’s medical school and is targeted to students interested in entering health professions, although students with basic biology background are welcome. Previous students have found this course helpful in preparation for the MCAT. We use the application of physiologic principles to clinical scenarios to reinforce the content.

Meeting Information

  • Days & Times: Weekly meeting to be determined by students and instructor at the beginning of the course.
  • Online course

Welcome! This online synchronous course is open to absolute beginners in programming. If you have never written code before and would like to learn how, then this course is for you. 
This course does have a high workload; it will feel like a coding boot camp. However, put in the work, and you will come out of this class a programmer!
For more information, check out the Summer 2021 website (Summer 2022 will be similar): 

Introduction practices and principles of computer science and programming and their impact on and potential to change the world. Algorithmic, problem-solving, and programming techniques in domains such as art, data visualization, mathematics, natural and social sciences. Programming using high-level languages and design techniques emphasizing abstraction, encapsulation, and problem decomposition. Design, implementation, testing, and analysis of algorithms and programs. No previous programming experience required. Not open to students who have taken Computer Science 102, 116, Engineering 103 or Computer Science 201.

Meeting Information

  • Days & Times:
    • LECTURE: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, Friday –12:30 p.m. -1:45 p.m.
    • LAB: Tuesday, Thursday –2:00 p.m. -3:15 p.m.
  • Online course

DOCST 101 has reached full enrollment. We advise applicants to select a different first choice course and/or email summer@duke.edu for more information.

Welcome! In this course we seek to raise and address central questions of the field(s) of documentary studies, with a major focus on identifying and analyzing the issues related to representing and exhibiting the lives and stories of others, and/or ourselves. We will plumb the depths and range of documentary expression with assigned materials that include thought pieces (reflections written by practitioners on process, context, dilemmas, and/or mistakes), reviews/critiques, as well actual documentaries. All assigned materials—readings and links to podcasts and videos—will be made available on Sakai. 
We will begin our exploration by considering why documentary stories are important, what makes a compelling story, and how various media forms are employed by documentary artists. 

Subsequently, our discussions will address questions fundamental to any documentary form concerning issues such as point of view, representation, reciprocity, truth, editing, and ethics. Hands-on activities, interspersed throughout the semester, will allow students to engage with documentary forms and questions. This course is intended to inform and strengthen your fieldwork in future courses at the Center for Documentary Studies or in any field where documentary methodologies are employed. 
The following are major pedagogical goals for the course: 

  • Identify and address the complexities involved in representing others. 
  • Contextualize documentary work historically and comparatively. 
  • Understand the present-day call from BIPOC documentarians for accountability and culture shift in the documentary field 
  • Learn about documentary studies at Duke University. 
  • Engage with a variety of genres of documentary work. 
  • Identify biases within—as well as voices and themes traditionally missing from—the documentary field. 
  • Synthesize knowledge from readings, screenings, and speakers. 
  • Reflect on how documentary practices inform and inspire social change. 
  • Imagine new uses and forms of documentary work based on an understanding of the evolution of documentary forms. 
  • Understand major ethical dilemmas involved in doing and exhibiting documentary work. 

Meeting Information

  • Days & Times: Tuesday – 3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Online course

Understand the complex, practical, theoretical, and ethical issues in education stemming from COVID-19 using the method of oral history. Assignments include readings on method of oral history, educational oral histories, and current information on COVID-19. Complete an oral history project including archival documentation. Interviews to be conducted with educator, or person involved in education. Online discussions of interviews and archival research. Written responses and final paper. Students will work in writing groups throughout the course. All work will be done through Zoom. The class will meet synchronously once a week. The other class time for the week will be spent in writing groups where the students will determine the time.

Meeting Information

  • Days & Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday –2:00 p.m. -4:05 p.m.
  • Online course

Prerequisite: AP English Literature and Composition or a Creative Writing course

A multi-genre course designed for students who have little or no previous experience producing imaginative literary texts.

Meeting Information

  • Days & Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday –3:30 p.m. -5:35 p.m.
  • Online course

The online course section for HISTORY 140S has reached full enrollment. We advise applicants to select a different first choice course and/or email summer@duke.edu for more information.

Understanding the history and legacy of European imperialism is critical to making sense of the challenges of contemporary political life. To that end, this course introduces students to political theories of imperialism and provides a comparative historical analysis of several European empires. Through readings drawn from a diverse array of academic disciplines, it explores questions of nationalism, modernity race, religious pluralism, state formation, globalization, and international governance.

This course will be taught in a hybrid format. Students can either attend in-person or online.

Meeting Information

  • Days & Times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. 
  • Online course

Prerequisite: Advanced Placement Biology; some exposure to Neuroscience is beneficial

Medical Neuroscience is a self-paced, asynchronous online course that explores the functional organization and neurophysiology of the human central nervous system, while providing a neurobiological/neuroanatomical 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. The course features videos designed to recreate the vibe of one-on-one tutorials (in an office, lab, or even in the instructor’s backyard), in-video quizzes, module quizzes, video transcripts and subtitles in various languages, tutorial handouts, discussion prompts, and 24/7 discussion forums monitored by course instructors. For students at Duke University, this background is covered sufficiently in NEUROSCI 101 or 102 Biological Basis of Behavior. These courses are not “hard-wired” prerequisites; but their prior completion is highly recommended.

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. For students at Duke University, this course is equivalent to NEUROSCI 201 Fundamentals of Neuroscience and may be used to substitute for the curriculum requirement for NEUROSCI 201 in the neuroscience major (for neuroscience majors who matriculated <fall 2018).

Medical Neuroscience comprises six units of content organized on its course website into 12 ‘weekly’ folders, with an additional folder for a practice comprehensive exam. However, NEUROSCI 202 is self-paced and should be completed within the time frame of a 6-week Duke Summer Session term. See the table below for a suggested work schedule to ensure completion of the course within Summer Session 1, 2021. The content of the course is organized thematically into six units:

  • Unit 1 Neuroanatomy covers the surface anatomy of the human brain, its basic 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.

For a video overview of Medical Neuroscience, watch the brief introduction produced for the Coursera platform: Course Introduction Video

All course materials are contained on the online course site, except for the graded assessments (quizzes and exams), which are in Sakai. Thus, the content of the course (video lessons, tutorial notes, in-video questions), opportunity for 24/7 discussion, and practice quizzes are all served through the Coursera platform. You should enroll in Medical Neuroscience through the “Coursera for Duke” or (if a DKU student) the “Coursera for DKU” portal. These respective portals allow students at Duke and DKU to enroll in the same Coursera course without any additional registration fee (that is, no fee over and above the tuition you were assessed when you enrolled in NEUROSCI 202). Outside of the Coursera platform, there will be optional, weekly, live Zoom (teleconference) sessions for informal discussion, questions and answers with the instructor and live Zoom sessions for group study (if even just for weekly accountability and encouragement without much or any social engagement). There will be two virtual laboratory experiences for students featuring human brain specimens and live Q&A (pending access to teaching labs on Duke’s campus, which could be governed by COVID-mitigation restrictions). The scored assessments (quizzes and exams) that constitute your grade (see Grading section below) will all be completed in Sakai. To be clear, the course content is in Coursera but the graded work is in Sakai.

For students interested in supporting their learning with a textbook, there are recommended readings associated with each video lesson from Neuroscience, 6th Ed. (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Meeting Information

  • Days & Times: Tuesday –To Be Announced
  • Online course

The online course section for PHIL 103S has reached full enrollment. We advise applicants to select a different first choice course and/or email summer@duke.edu for more information.

Philosophy 101 conducted as an asynchronous online seminar. There are opportunities for discussion sessions and office hours based on student availability. Examination of problems in philosophy; emphasis on metaphysics and theory of knowledge.

Meeting Information

  • Days & Times: Asynchronous online with opportunities for discussion sessions and office hours based on student availability
  • Online course

Prerequisite: Advanced Placement Biology

This course will address philosophical problems around key concepts in evolutionary biology. We will ask, and attempt to answer, questions such as:

  • What is natural selection? What is the difference between natural selection and other causes of evolution, such as random genetic drift? Is natural selection a cause at all, or is it something else?
  • What is a gene? Do genomes provide the blueprints for development? Are genes necessary for evolution?
  • What is an organism? How do we distinguish one organism from another, especially in tightly integrated symbiotic relationships? Are our microbiomes distinct from us, or are individual humans really communities of different species?

Meeting Information 

  • Days & Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday –12:30 p.m. -2:35 p.m.
  • Online Course

PSY 330S has reached full enrollment. We advise applicants to select a different first choice course and/or email summer@duke.edu for more information.

This course combines developmental psychology, human development, and human-centered design with a focus on the developing student. Students examine their past development, understand themselves in the present, and consider a plan for future career and life, leveraging their past and present. Students learn others are both like themselves and very different. Varied life experiences, family background, cultural influences, education -- all make us unique. Beyond theoretical and substantive knowledge, this course helps students to understand influences and consequences of diversity, gain empathy and appreciation for others, and maximize their own journey.

Meeting Information 

  • Days & Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday – 2:00 p.m. - 4:05 p.m. 
  • Online course