Duke in Rome


Program Alert

Duke in Rome runs every other summer and will not run in Summer 2024. Duke in Rome is planning to return in Summer 2025. Program details will be updated before applications open in November 2024. 

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: TBD

    Application Deadline: February 1

    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: Villas, Residence Hall, Hotels

    Primary Contact: Kayla Soltis-Katella


    • 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. 

    • COURSE


    CLST 340A / ARTHIST 209A / HISTORY 238A 
    Rome: History of the City
    (ALP,CCI,CZ) 1.0 Duke Credit

    Instructor: Prof. Cassandra Casias, Assistant Professor, Classical Studies

    This course studies the history and culture of ancient Rome and its capital through an archaeological lens, from the earliest times to the late empire. The city of Rome is one of the most important 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. Rome is also a chief contributor to our modern civilization.

    In this course students will have direct personal experience of the ancient city through walking lectures, presentations, and guided tours of major sites, monuments, and museums. Visits to other ancient sites in Italy will help them visualize Roman urban realities and ideals in a broader context. These sites and their material record function as the main "course text"; we learn to read this "text" firsthand, through high-impact immersive encounters that cannot be duplicated in the classroom. This hands-on approach allows us to think about the lives of non-elite Romans, as we not only view the monuments built by and for the wealthy but also walk among the markets, temples, taverns, shops, and public toilets that were part of the everyday lives and routines of the less privileged.


      Site Visits

      We begin our trip in southern Italy in order to survey the contributionof Greek culture to Roman civilization. In Campania we visit the Greek sites of Cumae and Paestum. We also walk the streets of Herculaneum, Pompeii, and other cities whose catastrophic burial by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 preserved striking material evidence of Roman daily life.

      Proceeding to Rome, we explore the city itself and its environs, including the Etruscan sites of Tarquinia and Cerveteri, the Latin hills, and Roman dependencies like Ostia and Tivoli. These locations further illustrate 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, art, and architecture of various periods. We will also study the voluntary associations, economic life, and religious practices of the Roman city, including the emergence of Christianity.


      Instruction will take place at archaeological sites, museums, re-purposed ancient buildings (including churches), and “restored” classical monuments. A chief goal of the program is the integrated study of the archaeology, history, and culture reflected in monuments that span multiple eras, from antiquity to the present.

      Our visits begin in the Bay of Naples and include Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other sites buried by the eruption of Vesuvius.

      The second part of the course is based in Rome itself. Day trips may include Capri, Tarquinia, Cerveteri, Orvieto, Palestrina, 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 2023

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

        Duke Students Non-Duke Students
      Tuition $2,705 $2,705
      Program Fee $6700 $6700
      Transcript Fee N/A $120
      Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
      TOTAL (Estimated) $12,905 $13,025

      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


      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): TBD
      • Departure (from Rome): TBD


      You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. The program starts in Naples, Italy and ends in Rome, Italy. You are expected to arrive in Naples 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.



      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.

      Cassandra Casias

      Assistant Professor of Classical Studies

      Kayla Soltis-Katella

      GEO Assistant Director


      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.

      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. 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


      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."

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