Ronald & Carrie Ludwig Duke in Silicon Valley Program

Innovation & Entrepreneurship 4-WEEK SUMMER COURSE

Program Alert

The Ronald & Carrie Ludwig Duke in Silicon Valley Program is being facilitated by Duke's Summer Session and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship program for the summer of 2021. Please visit for more information and to apply.

Learn How to Launch & Sustain a New Venture

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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 18, 2020 - June 17, 2020 

Application Deadline: February 1

Academic Theme(s): Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: Cumulative GPA of 3.0. There are no prerequisites. Non-Duke students are not eligible to apply to 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 2020

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

  Duke Students
Tuition $3,579
Program Fee $5,136
Transcript Fee N/A
Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $11,090.00

Non-Duke students are not eligible to participate in this program.

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.


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 18, 2020
  • Departure: June 17, 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.

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.

Kevin Hoch

Managing Director for Education

Amy Bowes

Operations Director


Deadline: February 1

This program does not have rolling admission. Decisions will be released in three waves: Mid-to-late December (once grades for fall semester are posted), Mid-January, Mid-February. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. Application opens November 1.

Interview: Some applications may require an interview.

PriorityPriority is given to applicants who submit all materials by the deadline and meet prerequisites. 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 students: Non-Duke students are not eligible to apply to this program.

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

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.


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. Academic letter of recommendation (one)

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


Every summer, the Duke in Silicon Valley blog is updated with participant bios and student blog posts about the experience. Find out why students say the program is, "challenging, thought-provoking, exhausting, invigorating, incredibly valuable, and everything in between."

Duke in Silicon Valley 2018 group

"Everyone who I have been able to meet, with many thanks to generous Duke alumni plus so many more, has eagerly welcomed our group of 25 students into their workspaces and openly shared their experiences, mistakes, values, and goals."

Camaren Dayton '21
Mechanical Engineering, Visual Arts, and Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Pansy Tseng at Netflix

"Since I am going into the finance industry, I came into this program with the desire to learn more about the innovative technological side to finance as well as the strategic funding component of scaling a startup."

Pansy Tseng '20
Economics, Finance, and Visual & Media Studies

Ehime Ohue at TESLA

"I have come to realize the importance of being a self-starter that constantly creates her own path, practicing reflection frequently to help with knowing your story, and constantly being aware of problems around you and thinking of creative ways to solve them, even if they seem far-fetched."

Ehime Ohue '20
Public Policy Studies, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Bryant Huang Silicon Valley 2018

"Prof. Azhar put us on the spot and made us think unconventionally – all part of his goal to simulate what it’s like to be a part of a startup.  I think that we were all a bit anxious at first, but by the end of the class, we were all sold by his teaching style and excited to draw from his entrepreneurial experience moving forward with the summer."

Bryant Huang ’21
Economics, Computer Science, Innovation & Entrepreneurship