About DukeEngage 

Our mission: DukeEngage empowers students to address critical human needs through immersive service, in the process transforming students, advancing the University’s educational mission, and providing meaningful assistance to communities in the U.S. and abroad.

DukeEngage provides one-time funding for Duke undergraduates who wish to pursue an immersive (minimum of eight weeks) service experience by meeting a community need locally, domestically or internationally.

DukeEngage was launched in 2007 through the combined gifts of $15 million each from The Duke Endowment and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, establishing a $30 million endowment, which continues to fund a significant portion of the DukeEngage annual budget. The program has benefited from the additional support of a growing number of generous and devoted alumni and friends. 

Since the program began, more than 3,600 Duke students have participated.  

Students each year participate in a vast range of civic engagement activities, including environmental advocacy, community outreach, global health, education, social justice and more. Since 2007, students have:

   • launched mentoring and school enrichment programs;

   • created community support initiatives;

   • designed health education and outreach programs

   • improved a community’s health information infrastructure;

   • produced environmental education documentaries;

   • developed microfinance opportunities for disadvantaged women and families.

For more information, visit the section of our website detailing our current Immersion Programs

Duke undergraduates in good standing (both academic and disciplinary) who have completed two semesters of coursework are eligible and may apply. Because post-experience reflection and sharing with others in the Duke community is a central tenet of the DukeEngage philosophy, the program is restricted to applications from first-year students, sophomores and juniors who plan to return to campus following their DukeEngage experience for at least a full-time semester. DukeEngage will cover expenses (travel and living) associated with the immersion experience. For students on need-based financial aid, Duke will also assume responsibility for the “summer earnings” requirement.  

Students may apply for either an independent project of their own creation or may apply to one or two group programs (if applying to two programs, one must exist in the United States). An online application becomes available October 1 each year once group programs are announced. Information sessions are held throughout the fall. Application deadlines vary (view our key dates and deadlines section).

Students interested in developing an independent project are required to meet with a DukeEngage staff advisor in the fall as they begin conceptualizing their project in advance of submitting their application online.

  • Email List

Tre' Scott ('15) and Phil Reinhart ('16) on How DukeEngage Shaped their Duke Experiences

  • The DukeEngage Strategic Plan
  • DukeEngage 2017: A Blueprint for Deeper and Broader Engagement

  • Download PDF