Why Study Away Is Not a Semester Off

How Duke Ensures Quality in Study Away Programming

Duke administers a strong portfolio of its own study away programs: 30+ summer programs and 15+ semester-long programs. These programs directly involve Duke faculty and award Duke grades and Duke credit in most cases (transfer credit in some). Enrollment in Duke-In programs is not limited to Duke students–students from peer universities often find Duke's offerings to be worth the investment, both for the academic quality and the uniqueness of program curriculum.

How are Duke-In programs developed? Typically, program proposals are initiated by Duke faculty. The faculty member and GEO staff will work in consultation with the academic department head of the sponsoring unit, the faculty-led Duke Global Education Committee, and other appropriate Duke departments and administrators. Successful program proposals highlight the expertise of Duke faculty and address a curricular need or area of emphasis in the sponsoring department.

How is quality monitored? All study abroad/study away programs are evaluated by students and monitored by GEO staff. Individual courses are vetted and approved by academic departments at Duke. In addition, Duke-In program courses are assessed by the GEO and the Duke Assessment Office through the use of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences course evaluations for each term the program runs. Semester and summer Duke-In programs are periodically reviewed on-site by internal and external teams of faculty and administrators; and, for all programs, GEO conducts routine comprehensive reviews in which programs are vetted in these areas:

  1. Academic rigor, in partnership with the Global Education Committee
  2. Quality of cultural interaction
  3. Assessment of health, safety, and security practices