Duke in Silicon Valley

Innovation & Entrepreneurship 4-WEEK SUMMER COURSE


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Duke University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center and Global Education Office for Undergraduates (GEO), offer a four-week, one-course program in northern California’s Silicon Valley. Situating students in the nation’s hub for innovative enterprise, the program is designed to give them an intensive course experience in the creation of a new venture, both commercial and social.

Students will tour research facilities and company headquarters throughout the Bay Area and interact with the founders and leaders of the country’s most innovative companies. These visits give students an opportunity to observe the process of building new enterprises up close, inspiring them in their own ventures.


Location: Mountain View, CA

Term: Summer

Dates: May 22 – June 21, 2018

Application Deadline: 1st deadline - December 1, 2017; 2nd deadline January 18, 2018; 3rd deadline February 1, 2018

Academic Theme(s): Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: There are no prerequisites for this program. 

Duke Affiliation: Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative

Housing: Apartments

GEO Advisor: Carolyn Covalt

  • Site visit to Apple

  • Site visit to PayPal

  • In class with Dr. Clayton M. Christensen

  • Site visit to TESLA

  • Guest speaker from Zume Pizza

  • Site visit to Google

  • In San Francisco

  • Hiking Windy Hill

  • Site visit to Google

  • Guest speaker at Apple

  • Students attending a guest lecture


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

I&E 271A* / ECON 281A / MMS
Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise 

(SS) 1.0 Credit

In this signature program course, students will develop an understanding of the resources, skills, and planning required to launch a new product or service. Through lectures, case studies, and visiting talks, the course addresses critical factors such as: competition and competitive advantage, financing requirements, barriers to entry, corporate culture, product positioning, customer identification, and market segmentation. While the theory of new venture development will provide an underpinning, the class will focus on learning through practical examples. 

Prerequisite: No prior coursework is required and program is open to all majors.

*Relation to I&E Certificate: This course satisfies either the gateway or elective course requirement for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate program.



Please note that there is no meal plan for this program though occasional lunches may be provided during field trips to local companies/start-ups.


Student accommodations will be in furnished apartments (four students per apartment unit) offered through the Oakwood housing company in Mountain View, near major technology companies and office parks—this property's central location in the Valley provides easy access to the entire San Francisco Bay Area.

Students who are not enrolled in the Duke in Silicon Valley program will not be permitted to share housing with enrolled students.


Summer 2018

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

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $3,390 $3,390
Program Fee $5,140 $5,140
Transcript Fee N/A $40
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $10,955.00 $10,995.00


Costs FAQ

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 22, 2018
  • Departure: June 21, 2018


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.


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.

Paul Paparella

GEO Asst. Director & Regional Manager


Deadline: This program has three rounds of deadlines. Applications will close as soon as the program is filled, so applicants are encouraged to apply early.

  • Round 1 Deadline: December 1, 2017
  • Round 2 Deadline: January 18, 2018
  • Final Deadline: February 1, 2018

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 and meet the prerequisites.

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 MyGlobalEd

  1. Online application
  2. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended.
  3. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate on this program
  4. Academic letter of recommendation (one)

Interview: The program director will contact you to schedule an individual interview.