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DukeEngage Frequently Asked Questions

DukeEngage is an eight-week summer experience for undergraduates.  It 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 enables partner organizations to work with students, faculty, and staff to create projects that serve community needs while providing full funding to students for these endeavors. Each summer, approximately 425 Duke undergraduates participate in either independent projects or group programs, with nearly a quarter serving within the United States.

The program launched in 2007, thanks to the generous support of The Duke Endowment and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. That initial funding — $15 million from each organization — created an endowment, which continues to cover a significant portion of the program’s expenses each year. Duke University also contributes to the DukeEngage annual operating budget.


Civic engagement is action undertaken at the request of a community partner that is designed to identify and address issues of public concern. This definition may incorporate everything from traditional service work to non-partisan political participation and includes both direct service—or “hands-on” work—and “capacity building” activities.

Students are eligible to participate in a wide variety of domestic and international group programs. Duke faculty, staff, or volunteer-sending organizations develop all DukeEngage programs. Alternatively, one may choose to collaborate with a community partner and a Duke faculty or staff mentor to develop an independent project.

Students doing independent projects will be funded based on the cost of living in their host community. All program-related expenses are covered for group programs. These may include: travel, meals and accommodations, vaccinations, visas, and incidentals. Participants receiving need-based financial aid will receive a summer earnings waiver.

Each group program will have its own respective start and end dates that apply to participating students. Specific departure and return dates for each group program will be announced as soon as they are known. Start and end dates for independent projects are left to the discretion of the student and community partner. All experiences must last a minimum of eight consecutive weeks.

Ask a guiDE!

Have more questions? Want to ask a student who has participated in the program? Talk to one of the members of our DukeEngage guiDE group.

Click here for a list of guiDEs