Duke in Greece



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This integrated course of study combines close reading and discussion of key ancient philosophical texts with in-depth tours of the important sites and museums in various regions of Greece. Rotating through program stops in the Aegan Islands, the Peloponnese, Athens, and Thessaloniki, the program wraps up on the quiet waters of the Western Aegan aboard a spacious chartered yacht, giving you time to reflect on program themes and work on your final project.

This program offers a deep and broad understanding of the classical Greeks' emphasis on the rational aspect of human nature, the intellectual foundations for subsequent western civilization.


Location: Greece (Aegan Islands, Peloponnese, Athens, Thessaloniki)

Term: Summer I

Dates: May 18 to June 18, 2022

Application Deadline: February 1st

Academic Theme(s): Philosophy

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: There are no prerequisites. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Duke Department of Philosophy

Housing: Hotels, Yacht

Physical Requirements: There will be a substantial amount of walking and some hiking, including an optional moderately strenuous trek up the slopes of Mt. Olympus.

GEO Advising: Request an appointment 

  • Duke in Greece students work on their final project aboard a chartered yacht on the quiet waters of the Western Aegan.

  • Duke in Greece students

  • Santorini

  • Delphi

  • Ancient Corinth

  • Duke in Greece

  • Duke in Greece students

  • Restaurant in Greece

  • Merihas, the port of Kythnos

  • Duke in Greece students

  • View from inside the yacht


All students will enroll in the signature course for one Duke credit. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted.




PHIL 236A / CLST 272A

(CCI, CZ, EI) 1.0 Credit. Instructor: Prof. Michael Ferejohn.

Prerequisites: None

The principal course objective is to give the student a thorough understanding of (and a critical perspective upon) the classical Greeks' pronounced emphasis on the rational aspect of human nature that enabled them not only to produce the artistic and architectural splendors we shall be seeing at first-hand, but also to lay the intellectual foundations for subsequent western civilization.

This is an integrated course of study combining in-depth tours of the important sites and museums in various regions of this spectacular country with close reading and discussion of key ancient philosophical texts.

Tours, lectures, and readings focusing on topics in ancient Greek ethics, metaphysics and epistemology. Two exams, one short term project, and two textbooks. Active group participation on all site visits and tours, in addition to attendance at lectures, is a key requirement of this program.


All texts to be worked with at length are by ancient philosophical authors, and are collected in a single paperback, S. M. Cohen, et al, Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy (paper). Occasionally, these will be supplemented by short excerpts from other authors (such as Homer, Thucydides, and Euripides), to be distributed in class. A. R. Burn, A History of Greece (paper) will be used as a general reference work.


The program begins with twelve days in the Aegean Islands, (including a visit to Crete, the largest of the Greek isles) where students will consider how the ancient rationalistic movement first came to life with the mechanistic science of the Milesians, and the theoretical mathematics and metaphysics of the Pythagoreans.

The course location then shifts to the Greek mainland, first to the Peloponnese and then on to Athens, where the dramatic rise and fall of the Athenian Empire serves as a backdrop to Socrates’ revolutionary denunciation of the “Unexamined Life”, and the great philosophical system of Plato’s Republic.

The program then travels northward to Thessaloniki, making stops at Delphi and the tomb of Philip of Macedonia in Vergina along the way, until finally arriving on the very slopes of Mt. Olympus. During this segment, the class will study the great ancient ethical systems of Aristotle, Epicurus, and the Stoic philosophers.

In the final week of the program, the group will board a spacious chartered yacht to sail the quiet waters of the Western Aegean while students complete individual course projects designed to put the themes and issues encountered during the entire course in broad perspective.



  • Visits to sites and museums will be in the morning hours.
  • Lunch and early afternoons will be free time.
  • Lectures and discussion will take place in the middle to late afternoon, after which there will usually be additional free time before dinner.
  • On days designated as “Free", when no touring or travel is scheduled, students will be able to use the morning hours for study and recreation, and class will be held as usual in the middle to late afternoon.
  • Due to unscheduled closings, it will not always be possible to adhere to the schedule as published. The instructor will always endeavor to ensure that the students either visit the sites listed, or ones of equal value and interest.


  • The group will stay in clean and comfortable B-Class hotels.
  • Students will be assigned two (but occasionally three) per room, with private baths. 
  • Rooms will be assigned by the program staff.
  • New assignments will be made after each change of location.

Program fee includes covers breakfast and one other meal (with rare exceptions, dinner) each day. All other meals are the responsibility of the student.


Estimates are based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.

Summer 2022

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition TBD TBD
Program Fee TBD TBD
Transcript Fee N/A $120
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) TBD TBD


Financial Aid

Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.

Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.


This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:


Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.

  • Arrival: May 18, 2022
  • Departure: June 18, 2022


You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above, which usually means departing the U.S. one day prior. Once you have a flight itinerary, log in to MyExperientialEd to update your travel registry.



No visa is required of U.S. citizens to participate in this program. Non-U.S. citizens should pay special attention to the visa requirements for their specific citizenship by contacting the country embassy to find out if any visa restrictions are in effect.


All participants must have a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond the program end date to avoid unintended disruptions. For instructions on obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit passports.state.gov.

International Student Identity Card

An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is required for this program. ISIC is the only internationally recognized form of student ID, endorsed by UNESCO. If purchased in the U.S., the card also carries with it a supplemental insurance policy, which can prove to be very helpful in the event of serious injury. 

You may purchase this card through www.myisic.com. Processing of the card takes between 4-15 days. Please order your card well in advance of your departure.

Program Faculty & Staff

The program faculty director can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the Global Education Office.

Michael Ferejohn

Professor of Philosophy

Alayne Wood

GEO Program Coordinator / Advisor


Deadline: February 1st

This program does NOT have rolling admission. Admissions decisions will be made after the published deadline, and on a space-available basis after that. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. Application opens November 1.

Maximum Enrollment: 24 students

Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.

Non-Duke students: Non-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.


Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

Submit the following items using MyExperientialEd

  1. Online application
  2. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript.
  3. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate
  4. Academic letter of recommendation (one)


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