Duke in New York-Summer

New York Past and New York Present

Hands-on digital arts and media exploration in New York City

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New York past and New York present. This program assesses and engages New York City from both a long and short view. The Internship and Practicum course addresses the city as a cutting-edge media, design and influence capital.  

Students will be embedded into firms that create and distribute media (digital, narrative, social and physical) internationally. Through these activities, they will learn firsthand the complex set of interrelated processes driving global design culture. Additionally, they’ll visit key neighborhoods in all five boroughs of the city for group research on the changes over time that occur in contemporary cosmopolitan centers. While the timeline of the built environment is on the longer term of capital spending plans, there exists in New York an alternative timeline of shifting demographics, immigration and wholesale cultural relocation.  

Through this program, students will have the opportunity to utilize municipal cultural archives/resources and learn contemporary visual and digital research and presentation methods. 


Location: New York City, NY, USA

Term: Summer l

Dates: May 17 - June 26, 2023

Application Deadline: Extended to February 15th

Academic Theme(s): African & African American Studies, Art History, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Computer Science, Cultural Anthropology, Environmental Sciences, History, Psychology, Visual Arts

Credit TypeDuke Credit

Eligibility: Open to students from all majors. Non-Duke students are not eligible for this program. 3.0 GPA with exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Duke Affiliation: Duke Art, Art History and Visual Studies, Duke Computational Media Arts & Cultures

Housing: Student Apartments

Primary Contact: Augustus Wendell

Practicum and Research

Through the practicum students will learn critical soft skills through workplace participation. Students will benefit from the unique critical lens available from within media organizations, a viewpoint uncommon in the campus centered seminar style courses on media and culture available at Duke. Depending on the alignment of student interests and the internship placement students may benefit from direct exposure to the tools and methods of media and culture production. These could include Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Brand Development, Social Media Marketing, Digital Advertising and Cinematic Post Production methods.  

The Decoding New York course will teach Spatial Humanities research methods combining archival analysis with on-site spatial-ethno-graphic acquisition provide critical tools for analysis into the built environment. Several of these tools will include digital components such as GeoGraphic Information Systems (GIS) and web-based multimodal presentation tools (Storymaps). The research methods and reporting/publishing outcomes of this course will focus on the use of visual and computational methods to quantify change over time in visually sophisticated terms. The final project of the course will be public facing and will challenge the students to expand their rhetorical methods beyond the seminar class style papers common at Duke. As part of this course students will create media (print, web, physical) that articulate their research findings. 

Events and Tours of the City

The Decoding New York course will provide one field trip per week. Examples include: Flushing, Queens, Park Slope, Brooklyn, Coney Island, Brooklyn, The Grand Concourse, The Bronx, Greenwich Village, Manhattan Snug Harbor, Staten Island. The six field trips will bring students to critical historical neighborhoods in each of the five boroughs of New York City. Each field trip addresses a specific time period and ethnography in the city's history. Each site provides visible evidence of city history through immigration, development, social, cultural, political and economic change. Combined with archival resources and class lectures the field trips will provide laboratory sites for spatial-ethno-graphic research.  

Beyond the course specific field trips the program will include additional trips to augment the course content by exposing students to a number of specific historic narratives and cultural productions. Examples include: the Tenement Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, The Circle Line City Boat Tour, The Hudson Yards development and viewing platform, a performance at Lincoln Center and on Broadway.  

Program Location

The program will be based in the borough of Manhattan in New York. This location provides central access to the entire city through the subway lines. In addition, the island of Manhattan is in itself a remarkable cultural milieu packed with museums, performance venues and innumerable historic sites. 

The Staff

Enthusiastic, caring Duke professors look out for your safety and curate New York for you during the summer. We also have an energetic New York-based assistant who will help ease your way.  


All students enroll in the two signature program courses for two Duke credits. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted.




Culture and Media Production (Practicum)
(ALP) 1.0 Credit

New York City is an international hub of culture and media production. From fashion to broadcast design, visual effects to branding, identity and graphic design New York is home to a vast ecology of creative studios. This course supports and intersects with your internship within a creative culture or media production studio.  

Professional practice course activities will teach best practices in networking, self definition, marketing and portfolio development. Guest speakers from a variety of local creative studios will demystify the disparate paths and courses of study that bring professionals to these fields.  

A series of projects in the Practicum component of the course will reflect upon the embedded studio experience and challenge each student to synthesize their practical experience with mock culture and media productions. Through these projects each student will develop a creative media or culture project that brings their individual critical knowledge to bear on the world of cultural production.  

Decoding New York (Research)
(CZ) 1.0 Credit

The city of New York is a model of historical urban change. This course will investigate the forces that shape a city over centuries of development. Immigration, the built environment, transportation, politics and commerce will be critically studied on site and through historical archives. Through site visits to neighborhoods far and wide over the New York geography and to museums and collections that gather the evidence and artifacts relating to specific histories we will research the city directly.  

Projects during the course will combine field research with visually forward methods of analysis and presentation. Principles of design and visual rhetoric will be studied and employed to both present findings and persuade the public. Through these means the outcomes of course projects will situate themselves in the realm of public consumption. 


Students will live in double shared rooms with two twin beds, a closet, and two desks and chairs. The apartment includes a kitchen and an ensuite bathroom. https://www.foundstudy.com/midtowneast

Most meals will be at the student's own expense. Some group meals are included in the cost of the program.


Summer 2023

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

  Duke Students
Tuition $5,410.00
Program Fee $5,200.00
Transcript Fee N/A
Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $13,135.00

Costs FAQs

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.


Duke Undergraduate Research – Creative Arts Grants

The Duke Undergraduate Research Support Office lists several opportunities for awards related to the arts. 

Alex Cohen Awards

The Alex Cohen Awards, funded by the Alex Cohen Endowment and the Department of Theater Studies, support students' individual or group projects that have both educational value and artistic merit.

Deans' Summer Research Fellowship

The Deans' Summer Fellowship Program supports undergraduate research and inquiry in the arts and sciences. Trinity students may receive up to $3,000 for a proposed summer research project.

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships for current sophomores and juniors include stipends and allowances up to $5,250 for summer research support.

Forlines Family Theater Studies Grant

The Forlines Family Theater Studies fund supports internships for undergraduates in professional theater settings and other co-curricular experiences for theater students. The combination of academic coursework and hands-on learning is a hallmark of Duke’s approach to theater studies. Submit (1) an application form, (2) a project description and statement of goals, and (3) a letter of recommendation from theater faculty.


Summer 2023

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 17, 2023
  • Departure: June 26, 2023


You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above.

Housing Before/After

You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.


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

Augustus Wendell

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Mattie Stevens, J.D.

GEO Assistant Director

Whitney Alam

Resident Coordinator


Deadline: Extended to February 15th

This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the program fills; after that, qualified students are added to a waitlist and notified of openings. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. Application opens November 1.

Minimum GPA: 3.0 GPA with exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Non-Duke studentsNon-Duke students are not eligible for this program. 

Physical Requirements

Before applying to this program, please take into consideration the light physical demands required by some of this program’s activities. Activities include walking moderate distances on sometimes hilly, uneven, and/or cobbled terrain, climbing up stairs, using public transportation, and standing during tours and site visits. If you have questions or are concerned about any of these activities, please contact the faculty program director.

Duke in New York Program

The Duke in New York program is a year-round academic experience offered exclusively to Duke students. The program consists of three separate tracks, each of which has a distinct theme and requires a separate application. Duke students can elect to enroll in just one track, or multiple. Currently, Duke in New York includes the following tracks:

Information specific to each track, such as housing, coursework, and cost, is on the track-specific website.


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. Unofficial Duke transcript. 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 on this program.