Online Courses

Experience Duke University from anywhere by taking an online course this summer! Join other academically advanced 10th and 11th grade students (2023-2024 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 1 - August 8, 2024. Final exams are scheduled for August 9 - 11, 2024.

All course meeting times are according to Eastern Time (ET). Please carefully consider whether the meeting time will be feasible for your schedule. Class times are for synchronous (face-to-face) online meetings. Asynchronous classes (those with limited or no face-to-face meetings) are indicated in the course descriptions below.    

Course information is occasionally updated. Please continue to monitor the website for any changes.


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.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 12:30PM – 2:35PM (ET)

Course full-Waitlist only

Prerequisite: AP Biology

CELLBIO 451 is taught by a faculty member from Duke's medical school and is targeted to students interested in entering health professions, although all students with a basic biology background are welcome. Previous students have found this course useful in preparation for the MCAT. Learn basic concepts and principles underlying the physiologic function of each organ system and their integration to maintain homeostasis.  We use the application of physiologic principles to clinical scenarios to reinforce the content.

This is an online course. Instead of lectures, students watch videos from the Coursera course Introductory Human Physiology on their own time. Powerpoint slides, lecture notes, and practice problems are also provided via Coursera.

Students work on weekly cases with team members. Every week, there is a Q&A session via Zoom to discuss the cases and answer any student questions. The timing of the Q&A session during the week is based on student availability.

There are 3 multiple-choice exams and no comprehensive final. The three exams and class participation from the Zoom sessions determine the grade for this course.

Asynchronous Online

Prerequisite: AP Literature

The whole story is the meaning. A poem is a two-way mirror. Narrative “truth” can emerge more creatively than we first think. In this class we will investigate how the choices we make as writers do more than propel a narrative forward. We will write short stories, personal narratives and poems and workshop original work as a class. This course will explore the craft of the three forms but will also pay close attention to dynamic work that lies between or beyond these structures. Students will read and respond in class to a range of literary and creative texts. Students will also submit a final portfolio of creative work. Grades will be based on class participation, discussion, weekly writing prompts, workshop submissions, and a revised final portfolio.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 12:30PM – 2:35PM (ET)

Prerequisite: AP Biology or college coursework in cellular or molecular biology.

Examines the functional organization and neurophysiology of the human central nervous system, with a neurobiological framework for understanding human behavior. Students learn the anatomy and function of neural systems in the brain and spinal cord that mediate sensation, motivate bodily action, and integrate sensorimotor signals with memory, emotion, and related cognitive faculties. Provides the foundation for neurological sciences, including understanding the impairments of sensation, action, and cognition that accompany injury, disease, or dysfunction in the human central nervous system.

Meeting Time - TBA

High school seats are limited. Apply early.

Examination of problems in philosophy; emphasis on metaphysics and theory of knowledge.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 12:30PM – 2:35PM (ET)

Prerequisite: AP humanities course (recommended)

Investigation of the virtues and their significance in morality. Readings drawn from both historical and contemporary sources. Some consideration of select individual virtues, such as courage, kindness, and honesty.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 12:30PM – 2:35PM (ET)


Prerequisite: AP Biology

An introduction to conceptual and methodological issues raised in contemporary biology, including reductionism, the meaning of chance, laws in biology, the units of natural selection, teleology, and the structure of evolutionary theory.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 3:30PM – 5:35PM (ET)



Course full- Waitlist Only

Prerequisite: Human biology

Examines the neural and psychological correlates of exercise that influence mental and cognitive health. Explores exercise guidelines and theories of exercise behaviors. Topics include exercise and depression, anxiety, stress, self-esteem, body image, circadian rhythms, learning, dementia, and mental states and performance.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 10:00AM – 12:05PM (ET)

The course is full and is now waitlist only

Contemplative practices have played a vital role in shaping meaningful lives for much of human history. These practices are found in religious and formal practices as chanting, prayer, ritual performance, and meditation, as well as in a wide variety of non-religious practices such as music, dance, drama, writing poetry or prose, painting, sculpting, and even the intent observation of the natural world. This course will unite a disparate collection of figures such as Plato, William James, the Dalai Lama, Henry David Thoreau, and St. Augustine, who are all united in their pursuit and study of contemplative experiences.

 A new and burgeoning field that is concerned with the study of contemplation has emerged – Contemplative Studies (COST); an interdisciplinary field that includes the sciences (e.g. psychology, biology, cognitive neuroscience), philosophy, religious studies, and the arts to investigate the underlying philosophy, psychology, and phenomenology of contemplation. We will study what contemplative practices entail, how to critically appraise them, how to experience them ourselves, and how they influence the development of compassion, health, and well-being. We will also be careful to study the cultural and historical contexts from which different contemplative traditions emerge.

By the end of the course, students will:

  • Identify and discuss the history and context of contemplative practices and experiences globally, from East Asia to our backyard in the Southeastern United States.
  • Apply religious studies, philosophical, phenomenological, and scientific modes of analysis for various contemplative practices
  • Apply insights from personal and research-oriented experiences with contemplation to living a healthy, meaningful, and ethical life


  • Attendance (5%) and participation in lectures, meditation labs, and discussions (25)%
  • Fair participation in Learning Pods, both in intra-pod discussions (5%) and inter-pod presentations (20%)
  • Completion of weekly reflection prompts (5%)
  • Completion of a six-page research paper that discusses the historical context, one’s personal experience, and philosophical/religious studies/scientific context of the given practice (30%), as well as a presentation of one’s findings (10%)

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 10:00AM – 12:05PM (ET)

Course full – Waitlist Only

This course provides the opportunity to tackle life’s toughest questions – How do I develop a meaningful life in an uncertain world? How am I going to make a place for myself? How can I add value? Where am I going? Why does everyone else have it figured out (spoiler – they don’t)? Develop Your Life leverages small group learning, self-reflection, exploration, and discussion to address these questions in a supportive and encouraging environment. This seminar is unique in that not knowing the answers is the point, and is encouraged. In an engaging environment, we step off the assembly line to intentionally think about our lives, where we want to go and how we get there.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 10:00AM – 12:05PM (ET)