Duke in Oxford

6-week summer program

Experience the University of Oxford Tutorial Method

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This distinguished academic program offers the opportunity to study modern British culture at England's oldest and one of its most venerable universities. The course of study, organized and taught by members of the Oxford faculty, uses the tutorial method, the unique style of instruction that is the central feature of an Oxford education. The program is organized by Oxford's Department of Continuing Education in conjunction with Trinity College of Arts and Sciences of Duke University. 

To introduce students to the unique tutorial approach to learning, the Duke in Oxford summer program utilizes experienced Oxford faculty as tutors. Students attend seminar meetings and engage each week in small intimate meetings with their tutor as an integral feature of this academic program. Students have access to the Bodleian Library, a most distinguished library in which to compose the one paper required per week. Five guest lectures will be given by academic staff of the University of Oxford and by experts from outside the University. Participants may meet the speaker at the reception before the Guest Night Dinner; students will be invited to join the school staff, the guest lecturer, and other guests at High Table.


Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Term: Summer

Dates: June 27, 2020 - August 8, 2020

Application Deadline: February 1st

Academic Theme(s): Tutorial Method; English, Political Science, History, Philosophy, Public Policy, Religion

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0. There are no prerequisites. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Housing: Residence Hall (New College)

GEO Advisor: Carolyn Covalt

  • Duke in Oxford 2018 cohort

  • Duke in Oxford student, Henry Washington

  • Conrad Liu '20 at New College


Students enroll in one double-credit course and work under the direction of a tutor who is normally a faculty member at Oxford University. Course participants receive Duke credit and letter grades for the double-credit upper level courses. Neither auditing, nor the pass/fail option is permitted. 

In addition to enrolling in one of the five courses, students are required to attend seven (7) lectures given by noted British scholars in the Exeter College summer lecture series on topics in the Humanities, Social Science, and History.



Upon acceptance into the program, students will be asked to rank their top three choices among the five classes offered. We will do our best to put admitted students into their first or second choice class, but this is not guaranteed – students must remain flexible and open to any class taught on Duke in Oxford.

Topics in 19th Century British Victorian Literature 

(ALP) 2.0 credits

This course will identify some of the characteristic features of Victorian literature. Among the issues attended to will be the growing sense that conventional models of selfhood and gender were hostile to the demands of a satisfying and, indeed, moral life; the widespread sense of emotional, intellectual and spiritual homelessness; the felt pressure to recreate beliefs and values, and to keep up and renew aesthetic activity, in an increasingly post-Christian culture. The texts will be read in relation to both Victorian cultural conditions and contemporary literary theory. 

Political System of Modern Britain

(CCI, SS) 2.0 credits

This course will give students an introduction to contemporary British history. It will examine the problems of post-war renewal, economic decline and revival, party political competition, and political economy. Britain's relationship with the world changed as its Empire declined in the context of the Cold War, and as the referendums on British membership of the EEC/EC/EU in 1975 and 2016 showed, Empire has not been replaced with a settled European identity. Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and others have sought to give direction to Britain as long-standing questions of national identity, class relationships and military and diplomatic power have remained problematic.

Classical and Contemporary Political Philosophy

(SS, EI) 2.0 credits

A study of the moral basis of government authority from Hobbes and Locke through J.S. Mill, Rawls and Nozick, comparing alternative contractarian, natural law, utilitarian, Kantian and libertarian theories of the scope and limits of permissible government coercion. Two course credits

Science, Ethics, and Society 

(CZ, EI) 2.0 credits

Public debate about the intersection between science and ethics is controversial: given the technological advances of our age, citizens tend to disagree about the moral and legal limits that ought to be placed on the use of technology. In this course, we will examine the moral dilemmas that are involved in policy-making on such issues by focusing on six examples: the moral permissibility of abortion, whether parents should be allowed to choose their children’s genetic characteristics, the question of imposing mandatory moral enhancement as a form of punishment, the permissibility of a market for organs, the conflict between privacy and security, and the role of whistle-blowing and civil disobedience in an unjust society. The aim of this course is to equip students with the critical thinking skills necessary to develop and refine their own ethical arguments about contemporary political and social issues. Two course credits.

Political Economy of Immigration 

(CCI, SS) 2.0 credits

Within the broader frame of migration and diaspora, refugees, exile and asylum are distinctive phenomena of worldwide concern and action embodied in international conventions and a complex humanitarian regime. Today over 65 million people are forcibly displaced – including both refugees and internally displaced people - and their existence poses a challenging academic and policy agenda. 

Students are introduced to key theories, empirical research and debates about the determinants, effects and international responses to forced displacement in both developing and high-income countries. It examines Refugees and other forcibly displaced populations both as a 'subject' and as an 'object' of governments, hosts, international actors and humanitarian agencies. Offering a multidisciplinary, social science perspective on forced displacement, the course is centred on political, economic and sociological disciplines, with a strong international comparative dimension.


The challenging course of study introduces students first hand to the style of education that Oxford has made famous. The distinctiveness of the Oxford tutorial system lies in the small intimate meetings of students with their tutors and the opportunity to attend lectures by distinguished academics from other Oxford Colleges. While students attend seminar meetings, the central part of the student's work lies in meetings with the tutor. Each course requires one substantial paper per week. The tutors, all of them experienced Oxford faculty, understand how to introduce students to this unique approach to learning.


Guest lectures will be given by academic staff of the University of Oxford and by experts from outside the University. There will be an opportunity for participants to meet the speaker at the reception before the Guest Night Dinner; students will also be invited in turn to join the staff of the school, the guest lecturer and other guests at High Table.

Program participants are required to attend seven (7) guest lectures.


Examples of past program excursions include:

  • Tour of Stratford-upon-Avon and an evening production of the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Day trip to London with an evening at the National Theatre
  • Day trip to Bath
  • Punting on the River Cherwell

Excursions take place on weekdays. Because of the academic demands of the program, you should plan to spend most weekends in Oxford. Students who wish to travel should plan to do so either in June before the beginning of the program or following its completion in August.  


  • Participants have private (single) bed/sitting rooms on the quadrangles across from the college chapel.
  • The program provides full board; all meals are taken in the Great Hall. 

Residential Life at Oxford

One of the hallmarks of Oxford is the way that academic pursuits become part of an active and intimate community life centered on the college. The spacious single rooms in New College afford privacy and quiet – and yet a close community life evolves as students get to know each other, take meals in the Great Hall, and discuss readings informally on the quadrangle, in the garden, or the Junior Common Room.

Once a week, the program joins in the tradition of hosting distinguished guests at High Table, a formal and festive dinner in the Great Hall. Receptions in the Founder's Library and the Cloisters also are regular features of the summer program. 

The University of Oxford hires a program assistant who lives at the college and who provides assistance and information on a daily basis. Tutors are accessible and may join students at meals or on excursions.


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

Summer 2020

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $7,158 $7,158
Program Fee $3,000 $3,000
Transcript Fee N/A $120
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated): $12,958 $13,078

Explanation of Costs

Financial Aid

Duke students receiving financial aid are eligible for aid for this program (work-study funds must be converted to loans). 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: June 27, 2020
  • Departure: August 8, 2020


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 MyGlobalEd to update your travel registry.

Housing Before/After

Lodging is not available at New College before or after the program dates. Students who wish to spend more time in Oxford should book accommodations early, as hotels fill up quickly in the summer.



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 optional. 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. 

Program Faculty & Staff

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

Darrell A.H. Miller

Melvin G. Shimm Professor of Law

Carolyn Covalt

GEO Program Coordinator / Advisor


Deadline: February 1st

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.

PriorityPriority is given to applicants who submit all materials by the deadline and meet admissions requirements. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as this is a very popular program.

Minimum GPA: Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Non-Duke studentsNon-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.

*Special Note for First Year Applicants: Program acceptance cannot be determined until after Dean’s Checks are completed in January.


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 MyGlobalEd

  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)


Jules Nasco

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In the summer after her sophomore year at Duke, Tiffany de Guzman ('19) did two Duke-In summer programs: Duke in Bologna and Duke in Oxford. We asked her to share what motivated her to tackle four credits in one summer and what advice she has for others considering doing the same.

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