Study at Duke University for a Semester or a Year as a Non-Degree Student

The Visiting International Student (VIS) Program is an opportunity for foreign-national students enrolled at universities outside the U.S. to study at Duke University for a fall semester or a full academic year. The program is designed for undergraduate students, usually in their second or third year of studies, who have a thorough knowledge of the English language.

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Students admitted to the Visiting International Student (VIS) Program may study at Duke for a period of one fall semester or one academic year (two semesters at four months each), but cannot extend the term or transfer into the four-year degree program at Duke.


Applicants should be full-time students of a university or college based outside the U.S.

View Admissions Requirements

For Duke Kunshan University students interested in studying at Duke, please contact the Duke Kunshan University Global Education Office


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VIS participants join regular Duke University undergraduates in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences or Pratt College of Engineering of Duke University as non-degree students. While at Duke, Visiting International Students are treated as full-time Duke students, taking classes and examinations as home students do.

Visiting International Students may take up to four academic courses, plus one to two non-academic courses (e.g. physical education or house course) per semester.

VIS participants are limited to undergraduate courses and may not take classes in Duke's graduate level professional schools such as Fuqua School of Business, the Law School, the Medical School, etc.

Students will only be able to enroll in university courses taught on the Duke campus in Durham, North Carolina, during the academic year.

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Duke University is the fifth largest research university in the United States in research funding. Duke embraces openness in the pursuit of knowledge and welcomes intellectually restless students who use their talents to put ideas to the test. We view education not only as a gateway to personal development, but also as a pathway for improving society.

At the core of our academic programs are our globally-recognized faculty surrounded by an environment of visiting artists, distinguished lecturers, and wide-ranging support services designed to assist your academic pursuits.

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VIS Students Pose for Photos on Abele Quad
Photo of Maja Islam with Nobel prize winner Mohammed Yunus
VIS student meeting Nobel prize winner Mohammed Yunus


Duke’s remarkable reputation brought many intellectuals and successful people to campus, and gave me the chance to talk to people I didn't even dream of meeting.”

Maja Islam
University of Zagreb, Croatia



Students admitted to the Undergraduate Visiting International Student Program or as an undergraduate exchange student will be housed on West Campus in double rooms, or suites. Housing will be arranged by university administrators based on preferences indicated by the student once accepted.

Whenever possible, VIS students will be assigned roommates who are not VIS program participants. This gives VIS students a chance to meet local Duke students and better connect to the campus culture.

Housing sign-up: Admitted Visiting International Students will be sent special instructions on how to sign up for university assignments and early move-in. Please do not attempt to sign up for university housing outside of the specific VIS instructions.

Meals Plans

Students in university housing are required to purchase meal plans. Visit for more information.


Overall expenses will vary and depend somewhat upon a student's individual needs, but all VIS students pay standard Duke tuition and fees. 

Review VIS Program Costs


  • Student Visas

Student Visas

Duke University requires applicants to the Visiting International Student Program to complete a preliminary visa application. The Duke Global Education Office for Undergraduates will facilitate access to Duke's visa application for qualified applicants. Once a student is accepted and committed to Duke's Undergraduate Visiting International Student Program, Duke's Visa Services Office will provide the student with proper documentation to obtain a student visa for study at Duke.

To obtain a visa for study in the United States, a foreign national must furnish their country's United States consulate with proof of their ability to meet educational expenses. The foreign national should not plan to work in the United States since one's ability to pay must be based upon resources available at the time of application. A certificate of eligibility (DS-2019) for a visa application will be issued only to foreign nationals who have been accepted, paid reservation fees, and provided sufficient financial documentation.

Currently, VIS can only obtain the J-1 visa from Duke. Duke is no longer authorized to sponsor the short term F-1 visa. All Visiting International Students must be sponsored under the J-1 visa category ( Incoming students must have at least part of their funding coming from non-family sources (government sponsorship, private scholarship, home institution scholarship, etc.) to qualify for the J-1 visa.



Virtual International Orientation on Zoom: August, dates to be confirmed
Early Move-in Dates: August, dates to be confirmed
In-person Orientation Activities: August, dates to be confirmed
Start of Fall Semester Classes: August 26, 2024
End of exams (fall semester):  December 16, 2024
Start of spring semester classes:  January 8, 2025
End of exams (spring semester):  May 3, 2025
Move-out date for non-graduating undergraduates: May 4, 2025


The VIS program is fully administered by Duke University's Global Education Office for Undergraduates (GEO), including the application and admissions process.

For questions about admissions, finances, housing, logistics, etc., please contact Valerie Cullen, VIS Program Coordinator. For questions related to academics, please contact the VIS Program Academic Dean.

Valerie Cullen

GEO Academic & Enrollment Services Manager

Liguo Zhang, Ph.D.

VIS Program Academic Dean


Review Admissions Requirements

You do not need to apply through the Duke Office of Undergraduate Admissions.