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The application will open, and 2022 programs will be announced, in early November. (Look for the Apply button above.)

Application deadline is January 10, 2022.

All applicants to international programs are urged to have a valid passport in hand before February.

Application process

You can submit applications for one or two programs, one of which may be international. You will be asked to rank your choices.

Accepted students will only receive one offer. If you’ve applied to two programs and are selected for both, you will be offered a spot in the program you ranked as your first choice.

Think about:
  • Which social issues matter to you? Use the filters on the group program page to consider what excites you or connects in meaningful ways to your journey.
  • What type of work do you want to do? Work directly with community members, such as teaching, tutoring, or outreach? Capacity-building work such as fundraising, marketing, or evaluation? Policy-level research? Work with your hands? Read group program profiles carefully.
  • What type of community do you want to be immersed in? Rural or urban? U.S. or international? Is there a culture or language you have been studying? Seek out articles, films, speakers, events, and resources on campus to learn more.
  • Can you make a contribution? Consider how your skills and background relate to the program that interests you. Program leaders aren’t always looking for previous experience, but think about what you have to offer.

Learn more:
  • Read program profiles carefully.
  • Attend DukeEngage Days information sessions for any program you are interested in. If you can’t attend, write to the program director with your questions.
  • Talk to students who have participated. Start with the DukeEngage guiDEs. If we don’t have a guiDE who participated in the program you’re interested in, contact the program leader or DukeEngage and ask for a name.

The application consists of a series of short essays, about why you are interested in the program or project, how your background makes you a good candidate for that program, and what your personal strengths are.

Don’t wait until the last minute and risk missing the deadline:

  • Reach out to us (on a business day) before the deadline with any questions
  • Compose your responses in a separate document
  • Submit well ahead of the deadline

Applications are read, and students are selected, by each program’s directors.

Many program directors, but not all, interview some portion of their applicants. Interviews can take place any time during the application review period. Not all program directors conduct interviews at the same time, nor do they all send out interview invitations at once.

You are free to withdraw your application at any time before being accepted and committing to the program, without penalty, by simply writing to If it’s after the application deadline, write to the program director as well.


All applicants are notified about the status of their applications by email on a specific day. (See Dates and Deadlines for this year’s dates.)

Applications will either be accepted, placed on a wait list, or not accepted.

No, but if you remain a student in good standing and meet all eligibility requirements, you’re welcome to re-apply the next year. Re-application does not guarantee preference or acceptance.

If you’re accepted to DukeEngage, you’ll be given a short time, typically one week, to commit to the program by submitting a participation agreement, completing a registration survey, and submitting or applying for the appropriate tax identification document.

For international programs you’ll also be asked to submit a scan of your valid passport, a travel health survey, and visa application materials (if applicable).

All applicants to international programs are urged to have a valid passport in hand before February.

If you withdraw after committing to the program, it’s likely you will have prevented another student from participating, and in some cases, left a partner organization without an anticipated volunteer. As such, students who withdraw after committing to a program are not eligible to apply to DukeEngage again.