Study Away

Study away can lead to meaningful learning and personal growth. ICS encourages majors to consider registering for "Duke in" or direct enrollment programs offered beyond the Durham campus. Service-oriented programs like DukeEngage also offer students very rewarding, personally transforming, and memorable experiences.

Duke has global advisors who can help with choosing programs, balancing abroad experiences with academic plans, advance preparation through coursework and research, and processing such experiences upon return.

Study Away Options

There are a growing number of study-away and study-abroad options for Duke students, including:

  • "Duke in" programs: Offered through Duke, the Registrar’s office treats courses in such programs the same as courses taken on campus. Many of these courses meet ICS criteria for Region, Global, or Foreign Language categories.
  • Duke-approved study-abroad programs: Sponsored by other institutions, students receive transfer credits for such courses. Many of these courses also meet ICS criteria for the Region, Global, or Foreign Language categories. Note that grades for these courses do not factor into your GPA or transfer to your Duke transcript.

Study Away Requirements for ICS Majors

  • Up to four study away courses may be used to meet an ICS major’s requirements if they are determined to fulfill RegionGlobal or Foreign Language criteria. See "Process to Receive Credit for ICS" below.
  • Students considering or planning a major in ICS are required to complete the gateway course, ICS 195, before a study away semester.
  • Declared ICS majors must have an approved curricular plan on file with the program before leaving for study away.
  • ICS 195, ICS 489S, and ICS 495S must be taken at Duke and may not be substituted with study-away courses.
  • ICS considers any study-abroad course determined to meet Region or Global criteria to be at intermediate levels (between 200 and 399 in the Duke numbering system that commenced in August 2012).
  • ICS does not count independent study courses toward the major.

Process to Receive Credit for ICS

All Duke students planning to study away must first apply through the Duke Global Education office and follow their step-by-step guide.

For ICS majors, there is a three-step process to assure that study-away credit is received toward the major:

Duke Credit

  1. You must ensure that a course qualifies for Duke credit. Many courses in established programs have been taken by students and previously approved by the appropriate departments. Check the Course Approval Database on the Duke Global Education web site for an updated list. If the courses appear in this database, credit is awarded by Duke upon completion of the course with a grade of C‐ or better.
  2. Contact Cathy Penny in the GEO‐U for assistance with courses that do not appear and require approval.
  3. Once a course has been approved by Duke, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the relevant department (e.g. History, Sociology, Theater, Portuguese) for an equivalent course and course number. Courses not approved before going abroad may not receive credit! 
  4. If information on courses is not available before leaving the country or a course change is made while abroad, fax or e-mail Cathy Penny to assure that credit is earned for courses taken abroad.

ICS Credit

Confirm that a Duke-approved course satisfies ICS criteria for Global, Region, or Foreign Language by submitting the new Duke course number, departmental approval (if relevant), and syllabus to Professor Kathryn Mathers for review. She will respond with a decision, copying a student’s ICS advisor. Course approvals will be noted in a student’s ICS curricular plan.

Check Your Transcript

Each student must request that an official program transcript is sent to the GEO‐U at the end of the study-away experience and confirm that all of the courses that appear on this transcript are in the Course Approval Database or that Course Approval Forms have been submitted and approved. Given the number of courses, institutions, and students involved, it is each student’s responsibility to follow up on issues related to their academic transcripts from study-away programs.