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Our Best Advice? Start Early.

We encourage students to use the DukeEngage application process as an opportunity for real reflection about academic, personal, career and civic interests. Be thoughtful and thorough. Make choices based on your skills and your curiosity about the world. And — we can’t stress this enough — don’t wait until the last minute!

Who Is Eligible to Participate in DukeEngage?

Any student who has completed two semesters at Duke and who will spend at least one semester back on campus after the DukeEngage experience is eligible to participate. Because one of our primary goals of the program is for the campus community to benefit from the shared experience of participants, graduating seniors are not eligible to take part.

DukeEngage will cover expenses (travel and living) associated with the immersive experience (a minimum of eight weeks is required). Students may participate in only one funded DukeEngage experience. For students on need-based financial aid, Duke will also assume responsibility for the “summer earnings” requirement.

How Do I Choose a DukeEngage Program?

STEP 1:  Follow DukeEngage on Facebook and join our e-mail list to get notices about key events and deadlines (early fall semester).

STEP 2: Explore the DukeEngage website and read student blogs from previous years; become familiar with new and continuing group programs (announced Oct. 1).

STEP 3: Attend a general information session in October (a basic overview of the program and application process) AND attend DukeEngage Week I (in October, for international group programs and independent projects) or DukeEngage Week II (in January, for U.S.-based programs) sessions about the programs that interest you. These 30-minute sessions delve deeply into specific program details.

STEP 4: Questions to consider:

  • What program themes interest you? Consider 2 or 3 program themes — such as engineering, the environment, women’s advocacy, health outreach — that excite you or that connect in meaningful ways to your academic journey.  Also, recognize that some group programs are multi-thematic and students aren’t necessarily guaranteed specific thematic placements within these particular programs.
  • Have you researched potential host communities? As you explore potential programs that might be the right fit for you, learn as much as you can about the community partners with which you could be working and the unique communities in which these partners operate. Seek out online articles, films, speakers, related events and resources on campus. Ask yourself: Is the geographic location more appealing to me than the kind of work I’d be doing daily?  If that’s the case, you may want to reconsider a community partner initiative that would truly engage you, regardless of location.
  • Are your skills and background truly a match? Program leaders, ultimately select students who possess applicable skills, have taken related coursework and/or have previous work or volunteer experience that supports the scope of service underway in their respective programs. Make a list of what you offer, which could include teaching or tutoring, language proficiency, documentary work, research, fundraising, social media and more. Consider how your skills truly relate to a program that interests you.

STEP 5: Access drop-in advising sessions with DukeEngage advising staff.

How Do I Apply to DukeEngage?

All DukeEngage students apply online through the DukeEngage site in the fall after new group programs for the following summer are announced. (Typically October 1 or very close to it.) Look for the “Apply” button in the Student navigation menu above. Please note: The Apply button is only active when DukeEngage is accepting applications. Outside of the application period, the button is not visible.

The DukeEngage Online Application is the tool our program leaders use to determine which students they will interview. Please take time to review the application questions and think through your answers carefully.

The application:

  • Includes a series of questions that focus on learning why you’re interested in a particular program or project
  • Seeks to determine why you consider yourself a compatible fit for your prospective program or project
  • Explores how you feel you have prepared to participate in an immersive, challenging DukeEngage program or independent project

Questions? Email us. We’re happy to help. DukeEngage.