Duke University : Global Education for Undergraduates


Don't I have to be a language major, or speak another language to study abroad?

No. The opportunities for year, semester or summer study are diverse enough to meet the needs of virtually any undergraduate's course of study. Study abroad is not limited to language majors or those with knowledge of foreign languages; Duke sponsors and has identified programs providing language training as well as programs taught in English in many countries. Programs are available offering courses in humanities, social sciences, and sometimes science and engineering.

Can students participate in a study abroad program in a foreign speaking country, but have the courses taught in English?

Yes. But if they participate in such a program during the semester, they are required to take one course in the host country language.

Is there a minimum GPA for study abroad? 
Duke requires that students who wish to study abroad for a semester or academic year have a minimum GPA of 2.7; for summer study abroad, you must meet the academic requirements for continuation at Duke. Many programs, however, require that students have a 3.0 minimum, and can have quite competitive applicant pools. Semester students with GPA's below 2.7 will be asked to obtain a GPA waiver from their academic dean.

Are there students who really should go abroad and are there some who shouldn't?

While some might argue that every student should study abroad, we realize that is not really the case. Some find it impossible due to their schedules (athletes or students with multiple majors) and others who have fragile physical or mental situations. Also, students on disciplinary and/or academic probation are not allowed to study abroad.
Are there any special requirements/suggestions for students with chronic medical or psychological problems?

Students should consult with their physicians, psychologists and counselors extensively regarding study abroad plans. They should also self disclose to the program administrators about their circumstances. This will allow the program administrators to appropriately assist the students. Students should also continue their prescribed medications while abroad, which may mean bringing a supply sufficient for the duration of their sojourn.

Do most students get accepted into the program they want?

This depends on their academic record and whether they meet the admission requirements. Some programs are more selective and competitive than others, but generally Duke students fare very well in the admissions process.

What about engineering students who want to go abroad?

We have various programs for engineers, most of them for transfer credit. Engineers are able to study abroad! Among the Duke-administered programs, Duke In Berlin offers a special program for the winter/spring semester. For more information, contact our office.

Are pre-med students able to study abroad? 

They may study abroad, but they should take their core classes at Duke. FAQs regarding studying abroad in pre-health are found on the Health Professions Advising Center website.

Can I fulfill my sciences and study abroad?

Yes. There are programs and locations with science classes, as well as science themes. Students may take science classes abroad. They should discuss their interests and options with a study abroad advisor.

Are there eligibility requirements? How do students receive credit for their coursework abroad? Is it one course to one course in all programs?

Each program has its own eligibility requirements that must be met, in addition to our minimum GPA. If the course students want credit for is in the GEO Database of Approved Courses they don't need to apply for additional approval. If the course is not in the database, they will need to contact Cathy Penny in GEO to request assistance obtaining DUS course approval. This should be done before going abroad. Several departments require approval directly from the department. There is not always a 1-for-1-course equivalency. We expect a student to take a "full load" abroad. This often means taking five courses, which, if all are successfully completed, can count towards major, minor and curriculum requirements, but only four courses will count towards graduation.

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