Duke in Rome


study ancient roman history and its influence on the modern world

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Taught in English

The program invites participants of all backgrounds to discover and explore monuments and other material remains that embody ancient Roman history and culture and to reflect on the influence of the ancient Roman world on later periods of European history, literature, art, and architecture. Although some background in Latin, Roman history, and/or Italian art and archaeology is a plus, the course is designed to give any student a firm understanding of Roman civilization and its role in shaping fundamental aspects of Western culture.

A signature of this program is the hands-on daily immersive experience of Roman antiquity. Instruction is conducted on site, not in a classroom; students participate at all levels by researching and analyzing their surroundings and presenting to their peers their own research of sites, monuments, and cultural artifacts in their relevant contexts; non-presenters in turn respond with questions and suitable amplification. The resulting dynamic is one of close collaborative learning. Carefully selected targets are assigned to participants in advance of travel and their research begins at Duke. The experience of “recognition” at the eventual encounter with research targets is one of the profound pleasures of this on-site high impact “flipped classroom” learning approach.


Location: Rome, Italy

Term: Summer I

Dates: May 14, 2022 - June 14, 2022

Application Deadline: February 1st

Academic Theme(s): Roman History and Culture

Language of Instruction: English

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: No prerequisite. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Department of Classical Studies, Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies, and Duke's History Department

Housing: Residence Hall, Hotels

GEO Advising: Request an appointment 

  • Study history through guided tours of major sites, monuments, and museums.

  • Ampitheatrum Flavium

  • Caryatids at Hadrian's Villa

  • Group at Villa d'Este

  • Castel Sant Angelo


All students enroll in the program's signature course offering one Duke credit. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted. 



Rome: History of the City
(ALP,CCI,CZ) 1.0 Duke Credit

Instructor: Prof. José M. González, Associate Professor, Classical Studies

This course examines Roman history and culture, especially the city of Rome, from the earliest times to the present day. Rome is prominent as one of the supreme centers of urban culture in the western world. Here, as nowhere else, one can read a continuous record of the successive rises, declines, and re-emergences of the city in its Italian context and as a central expression of our civilization.

In this course, the students will experience the history of the city directly and personally through walking lectures and guided tours of major sites, monuments, and museums. Visits to other ancient sites in Italy help students visualize Roman urban realities and ideals. The sites themselves function as "text"; we experience and analyze Rome and other cities in a "hands-on" fashion that cannot be duplicated in the classroom. This hands-on approach allows us to think about the lives of everyday Romans as we not only view the monuments built by and for the wealthy but also walk among the bars, taverns, bakeries, and public toilets that were part of the everyday lives and routines of the non-elite.


Site Visits

We begin our trip in Latium and Campania, for we cannot understand Rome without seeing other sites that convey the contributions of Latin, Greek, and Etruscan cultures to it. The fortified hill towns Ferentinum and Teanum exemplify Rome’s indigenous background. In Campania we encounter Greek sites that influenced Rome (Cumae, Paestum). Here we also find Herculaneum, Pompeii, and other cities whose catastrophic burial by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 has preserved striking evidence of Roman daily life.

Proceeding to Rome, we explore the city itself and some of its important environs: the Etruscan sites of Tarquinia and Cerveteri; the Latin hills; and Roman dependencies like Ostia and Tivoli. These locations convey the central theme of the course: The emergence and development of Roman civilization, the impact of other cultures upon it, and the endless fascination this “head of the world” (caput mundi) has evoked in visitors through the centuries. Attention will be given to the idea of Rome as it emerges in the literature and propaganda of various periods, from antiquity to the present. We will also spend some of our time looking at religious practices, voluntary associations, and economic life in the Roman city, noting in particular the place of Christianity in Rome from its earliest centuries to the emergence of a Christian empire after Constantine.


Most teaching and learning will take place at archaeological sites, museums, re-purposed ancient buildings such as churches, and “restored” classical monuments. A main goal of the program is the joint study of the multiple layers of history and culture reflected in major monuments from overlapping eras and cultures, from antiquity to the present.

  • We begin in the Bay of Naples, so as to investigate Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other cities famously “buried” in the eruption of Vesuvius.
  • The second part of the course is based in Rome itself. Day trips may include Naples, Cuma, Paestum, Tarquinia, and Tivoli.



Students will stay at the Villa Vergiliana, Via Cuma, 580, 80070 Bacoli, Naples, Tel. and Fax: 011-39-081-854-3102. In Campania, students have all meals included in the program fee.


Students will be housed at the Hotel Villa dei Misteri Via Villa dei Misteri, 11, 80045 Pompeii, Naples. Tel.: 011-39-081-861-3593, Fax: 011-39-081-862-2983. In Pompeii, breakfast and one other meal will be provided. For other meals, students will be aided in finding good, inexpensive restaurants.


Students stay at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (Centro), Via A. Algardi 19, 00152 Roma, Tel. 011-39-06-581-7036; Fax: 011-39-06-580-9306. The Center includes classrooms, an excellent library and slide collection, email, and other facilities. It is located in the relative cool and quiet of the Janiculum Hill, but frequent bus service connects it with every corner of the city. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included, Monday-Friday.


Summer 2022

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

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $2,600 $2,600
Program Fee $6,500 $6,500
Transcript Fee N/A $120
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $12,525 $12,645

Explanation of Costs

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:


  • Dates
  • Itinerary


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 (in Naples): May 14, 2022
  • Departure (from Rome): June 14, 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.

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.



Please note that this itinerary is not final, and is subject to change.

May 14 - May 21, 2022: Cumae

May 22 - May 26, 2022: Pompeii

May 27 - June 14, 2022: Rome





No visas are required of U.S. citizens. 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 visas are required for participation.


All participants must have a valid passport. For instructions on how to get a passport, you can go to the U.S. State Department website. The U.S. Department of State recommends that those traveling ensure that their passport has at least six months of validity beyond their dates of international travel to avoid unintended disruptions.

International Student Identity Card

An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is optional for this program. Students may purchase this card for $25 through the ISIC website. Processing of the card takes between 4-15 days. Please order your card well in advance of your departure.

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.

José González

Associate Professor of Classical Studies

Susan Pratt

GEO Asst. Director


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 apply early.

Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.

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.


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 on this program
  4. Academic letter of recommendation (one)


Gretchen on ICCS Rome: New Friends and New Experiences

"You’ll learn a ton, see beautiful ancient sites, and meet kind, dedicated classmates.  This program will change your life, your understanding of your world, and your plans for the future."

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Rebecca's Childhood Dream Fulfilled on Duke in Rome

"By the 8th grade, I was practically a human encyclopedia of information about Ancient Rome. So, in short, this program allowed me to delve further into a civilization which had fascinated me for years. It was amazing to visit these places as a tourist—but the Duke program allowed me to view the area through a scholarly lens. I watched history come alive."

Read More