Have a great idea for a study abroad or U.S.-based study away program? 

Have a great idea for a study abroad or U.S.-based study away program? The field of global education is rapidly expanding. The increasing complexity, growing need to manage risk and the expanding number of new programs require effective communication and cooperation among faculty and administrators. The Global Education Office (GEO) can support you in developing a program proposal and guide you through the Duke approval process for a new study away program.

GEO’s goals for new program development:

  • To develop global, short-term study opportunities in a broad range of disciplines and geographical areas
  • To complement, enhance, and integrate into students’ on-campus programs/curriculum to the fullest extent possible
  • To offer courses that are closely and inherently related to the site at which they are taught offering education opportunities that students could not get on Duke’s campus
  • To foster opportunities for inter-cultural learning
  • To encourage students, through experiences and study, to value others’ perspectives and see themselves as part of a larger, global world

Program Alert

Note on semester program development:  

It is recommended that faculty interested in leading study-away programs start by developing a summer program. This permits both faculty and GEO to gauge student interest before developing a semester program. If interested in developing a semester program, please email


GEO wishes to consider new program models, program lengths, and course offerings that can meet departmental needs and major requirements. We are rethinking the student learning experience and looking for new ideas to incorporate experiential components into our summer programs. We are currently developing summer programs for 2025 and beyond.

Below are the steps to develop a new study away program proposal. New program proposals should be prepared for step 4 by Wednesday, January 3, 2024, for consideration for summer 2025.

STEP 1 – Research & Reach out (at least 18-24 months before the intended launch of a program) 

  • Discuss program ideas with your department chair. Assess your teaching load and other departmental considerations. Identify other faculty who can teach. You’ll need a letter of endorsement from your chair to develop a program. 
  • Review the Faculty & GEO program responsibilities.
  • Review program modalities and schedules, and programming logistics (states lists). Review experiential learning parameters.
  • Reach out to to arrange a meeting to discuss your program concept and ask questions.
  • Consult resources for study-away educators.  

STEP 2 – Honing your concept  

  • Meet with a GEO director to review study away program policies. 
  • Review the program development timelines and checklists.
  • Determine your program term and credit load:   
Term Summer 1 Summer 2
Planning time 18 months 18 months
Program length 4 weeks or 6 weeks  4 weeks or 6 weeks
Credits 1 or 2 1 or 2

STEP 3 – Preliminary Program Planning 

  • Develop a program proposal narrative. The narrative should include the following: 
    • Department Approval Letter – Proposing faculty need a letter of support from their department chair ;
    • Program overview- learning objectives, structural elements, and a sample itinerary; 
    • Course description/s- include sample syllabus/i, if available; 
    • Site-Specific Connections- detail the specific curricular needs that this program will fulfill and why it needs to be taught off campus; 
    • Feasibility Analysis – describe the target student population, target program enrollment, and proposed recruitment techniques; 
    • Faculty – include the CV of all faculty involved with the proposal, as well as a list of other faculties who would be interested in directing the program; 
    • Review and refine the narrative with a GEO director.  

STEP 4 – Global Education Committee (GEC) Review (at least 18 months prior to the intended launch of the program)

  • The proposal will be presented to the GEC for approval. There are three possible outcomes to the GEC’s review: 
    • Approval to develop 
    • Suggestions for amendments to academic proposals 
    • Rejection of proposal 
  • If the GEC recommends amendments, work with GEO and other University staff to address committee concerns and resubmit your proposal.   

STEP 5 – Develop Program Plans 

  • Work with GEO, OGHS, and Hub staff to develop: 
    • Risk assessments and plans; 
    • Legal audit; 
    • Budget development & analysis   

STEP 6 – Final Program Review 

  • Deliver the developed program plan to your department chair, GEO staff, and GEC for a final review. 
  • Once final approvals are received from all groups, you can begin the recruitment phase.  



  • Step 1: Research & Reach out (at least 18-24 months before the intended launch of a program)

  • Step 2: Hone your concept

  • Step 3: Preliminary Program Planning

  • Step 4: Global Education Committee Review (at least 18 months prior to the intended launch of the program)

  • Step 5: Develop Program Plans

  • Step 6: Final Program Review

Once reviewed, a recommendation will be made to the faculty Global Education Committee. Approved programs are jointly administered by the GEO and any departmental or organizational sponsors.

Deadline: For the active RPF for 2025 summer programs, the deadline to present to the GEC (step 4) is Wednesday, January 3, 2024.