Duke Employee Tuition Rates

Students gathered in Perkins Library

In terms of academic programs, medicine, and research, Duke University ranks as one of the leading universities in the world.  The Special Employee Tuition Rate Program is designed to make Duke’s academic coursework more accessible to its employees by offering greatly reduced tuition rates for most undergraduate courses.

The Duke Employee Tuition Grant may be utilized for a maximum of two courses in a fall or spring semester or one course in a summer term, whether enrolled for academic credit or audit.

To learn more about the program, see the sections on Employee Tuition Rate Plan and Frequently Asked Questions.

Employee Tuition Rate Plan

Under the Special Duke Employee Tuition Rate Program, eligible Duke employees may enroll in undergraduate level courses for academic credit or for audit at greatly reduced tuition costs.

Tuition Rates

Employees may enroll for academic credit in an undergraduate course valued at one course credit for $975 and/or enroll as an auditor in an undergraduate course valued at one course credit for $100

Courses that are two course credits in value will cost $1,950 when taken for academic credit and $200 when audited.

Applicable Courses

These special rates pertain to courses numbered from 1 to 499 and include courses sponsored by Trinity College Arts and Sciences, the Duke Marine Lab, and the Sanford School of Public Policy.

 However, these rates do not apply to music lessons, dance technique and performance courses, physical education activity courses, independent studies or practicums, House courses, Global Education (study abroad) programs, medical science courses, or courses originating from the Pratt School of Engineering.  This is not an exhaustive list.  General academic policies – such as course prerequisites and courses requiring the consent of the instructor – remain in effect.

NOTE: The special tuition rate of $975 does not apply to undergraduate coursework taken as part of a graduate degree program because of IRS law and tax implications.

How to Apply

For Credit

An individual wishing to take a course for academic credit during the fall or spring semesters must complete the Continuing Studies’ application process by submitting an application with one letter of recommendation and official college and university transcripts, pay a $35 application fee, and receive an offer of admission. Learn more about the process.

Individuals desiring to take a course for academic credit in the summer but with no plans to continue into the fall should complete the Summer Session application/registration form found on the Visiting Students’ web page.

Anyone enrolling in a course for academic credit, whether during the regular academic year or in the summer, is required to pay a one-time $40 transcript fee.

For Audit

An individual desiring to audit must obtain the permission of the instructor of the course.  Read more about the privileges and responsibilities of auditing a university course. See also the Personal Information Form and the Audit Permission Form.

Definition of Duke Employee

The definition of ‘Duke employee’ is someone working in a regular job position for 20 hours per week or more.  Full-time Duke students and individuals working as temporary staff through Duke Temporary Services do not qualify as Duke employees for the purposes of this Program. 

Deadlines and Conditions

The completed Employee Special Tuition Rate Form must be received by the Office of Continuing Studies prior to the first day of class for the term of the grant request.

This offer of greatly reduced tuition rates and audit fees for undergraduate level courses is distinct and independent from the Employee Tuition Assistance Program (ETAP), administered by Duke University Human Resources.  

The Duke Employee Tuition Grant may be utilized for a maximum of two courses in a fall or spring semester or one course in a summer term, whether enrolled for academic credit or audit.

NOTE:  Some employees, if they meet the ETAP requirements, may wish to use the Employee Tuition Assistance Program for reimbursement of the $975 course tuition charge after successful completion of the course, if they apply and are approved by Human Resources by required deadlines.  To avoid late payment charges, employees should be prepared to pay the $975 tuition charge according to the regular payment dates of the Bursar’s Office.  Also, remember that The Employee Tuition Assistance Program (ETAP) does not provide for reimbursement of the $100 audit fee.  Visit Duke's HR website for information on the Employee Tuition Assistance Program.

Duke employees who do not meet the eligibility requirements for the Duke Employee Tuition Assistance Plan (ETAP) administered by Duke Human Resources may still take advantage of these discounted rates, but they will be personally responsible for paying the full, reduced cost of the course.

Tuition Rate Form

The Employee Special Tuition Rate Form (please submit this form with your course application to be eligible for the reduced tuition rate)

Contact Us

Questions may be directed to the Office of Continuing Studies by telephoning (919) 684-6259 or (919) 684-5375, or sending an e-mail to learnmore@duke.edu.



The list below includes course subjects—official abbreviations and their full names—that are included in this program.  However, keep in mind these cautions:

  • in one or two departments, only a particular course may be taken under the Special Employee Tuition Rate program;
  • course numbers that end in ‘S’ (for example, LIT 144S) are seminar style courses involving significant discussion participation;
  • course numbers that end in ‘FS’ (for example, BIOLOGY 180FS) are part of the FOCUS Program and registration is limited to Focus participants;
  • some departments will have courses numbered 89S (for example, HISTORY 89S) that are First-Year Seminars that may only be taken by first-year undergraduates.

The grant cannot be applied to music lessons, dance technique and performance courses, physical education activity courses, independent studies or practicums, House courses, Global Education (study abroad) programs, medical science courses, or courses originating from the Pratt School of Engineering.  This is not an exhaustive list.  General academic policies – such as course prerequisites and courses requiring the consent of the instructor – remain in effect.

Remember that the Special Employee Tuition Rate cannot be used for graduate courses (typically numbered 500-899), for courses offered by the Pratt School of Engineering, or any of the university’s professional schools. 

If you have a question about a specific course, send an email to kprice@duke.edu. Please consult the current public course schedule.

A - J
K - Z
AAAS - African & African American Studies KOREAN - Korean
AMES - Asian & Middle Eastern Studies LATAMER - Latin American Studies
AMI - Arts of the Moving Image LATIN - Latin
ARABIC - Arabic LSGS - Latino/a Studies in the Global South
ARTHIST - Art History LINGUIST - Linguistics
ARTSVIS - Visual Arts LIT - Literature Program
BIOCHEM - Biochemistry (only BIOCHEM 301) MMS - Markets & Management Program
BIOLOGY - Biology MATH - Mathematics
CANADIAN - Canadian Studies MEDREN - Medieval & Renaissance Studies
CHEM - Chemistry MUSIC - Music
CHINESE - Chinese NEUROSCI - Neuroscience
CLST - Classical Studies PASHTO - Pashto
CREOLE - Creole PERSIAN - Persian
COMPSCI - Computer Science PHARM - Pharmocology (only PHARM 350)
CULANTH - Cultural Anthropology PHIL - Philosophy
DANCE - Dance PHYSEDU - Health, Physical Education & Recreation (only courses numbered 200 and higher)
DOCST - Documentary Studies PHYSICS - Physics
ECON - Economics POLISH - Polish
EDUC - Education POLSCI - Political Science
ENGLISH - English PSY - Psychology
ENVIRON - Environment PUBPOL - Public Policy Studies
EOS - Earth & Ocean Sciences RELIGION - Religion
ETHICS - Study of Ethics PORTUGUE - Portuguese
EVANTH - Evolutionary Anthropology ROMANIAN - Romanian
FRENCH - French ROMST - Romance Studies
GENOME - Genome Sciences & Policy RUSSIAN - Russian
GERMAN - German SANSKRIT - Sanskrit
GLHLTH - Global Health Certificate SES - Slavic & Eurasian Studies
GREEK - Greek (Classical) SOCIOL - Sociolgy
HEBREW - Hebrew SPANISH - Spanish
HINDI - Hindi STA - Statistical Science
HISTORY - History SXL - Study of Sexualities
HUMANDEV - Human Development THEATRST - Theater
HUNGARN - Hungarian TURKISH - Turkish
ICS - International Comparative Studies UKRAIN - Ukrainian
ISIS - Information Science & Information Studies VMS - Visual and Media Studies
ISLAMST - Islamic Studies WOMENST - Women's Studies  
ITALIAN - Italian  
JEWISHST - Jewish Studies  
JPN - Japanese  


Please fill out the Employee Special Tuition Rate Request Form and return it to our office:

A) by mail to:

Duke Continuing Studies & Summer Session
Box 90700
Durham, NC 27708-0700

or B) by fax to 919/681-8235

or C) as a .pdf attachment via email to summer@duke.edu.  

Questions? Call 919/684-6259


Frequently Asked Questions

How many courses can I take, using the Employee Tuition Grant, in a single academic term?

The Duke Employee Tuition Grant may be utilized for a maximum of two courses in a fall or spring sememster or one course in a summer term, whether enrolled for academic credit or audit.

I would like to take a course for credit.  I realize I need to apply for admission.  How is the admissions decision made and when will I know the decision?

The Continuing Studies Admissions Committee, composed of representatives from Undergrad Admissions and Continuing Studies, will carefully review your application (especially your essay), your letter or letters of recommendation, and your transcripts to assess your likelihood of success in the Duke classroom.  The Committee typically meets 5-7 business days after the application deadlines (August 1, December 1, April 15, and June 1) and immediately announces its decisions.

I don’t need academic credit and I am not interested in a subject related to my work at Duke.  Can I still audit a course?

Most faculty, if there is room in their course, welcome auditors.  Be sure to obtain the instructor’s permission, follow the procedures described under Auditing Courses, and understand the instructor’s expectations for you.  Coursework taken under this program does not have to be related to your professional development.  However, if the course’s meeting schedule falls during your normal work hours, you will need your supervisor’s support in adjusting your work schedule.

The special tuition rates are exciting, but I still worry about paying and keeping to my budget.  Any suggestions?

You may want to consider setting up your tuition payment – either the $975 to take a course for credit or the $100 to audit – on a payroll deduction plan.  For details and a payroll deduction form, see the Bursar’s Office web pages.

I’ve taken a few college courses, but I do not have an undergraduate degree.  I have always dreamed of earning a bachelor’s degree from Duke.  Is this possible?

Yes, it is.  On your Continuing Studies application form, you should check the box “I plan to continue toward degree status.”  With but one or two exceptions, all adult students begin their Duke careers as Continuing Studies or nondegree students.  After completing a minimum of four courses, achieving a B+ or better grade point average, and submitting two new letters of recommendation from Duke instructors, you may apply to be a degree candidate.  If you remain a Duke employee, you can continue to utilize the special employee tuition rate to cover your tuition expenses as a degree candidate.

I thought that you had to work 30 hours or more and have been a Duke employee for two years or more to take advantage of tuition assistance.  But this program sounds different.

As of fall 2012, Duke will offer two separate and distinct educational assistance programs for employees.  One of these is administered by Duke Human Resources and bases eligibility upon work schedule, length of service and other factors.  For details see the Duke Human resources tuition assistance page.

The Duke Employee Special Tuition Rate Program does not require a work schedule of 30 hours or employment of two years. 

Some employees may qualify to use both the HR plan (referred to as ETAP, Educational Tuition Assistance Plan) and the Employee Special Tuition Rate Program together to take coursework for academic credit.

Can I take Duke classes and transfer them to another college or university?

Duke classes are fully accredited and eligible for transfer credit.  Remember that it is the ‘receiving’ college or university that will determine how much transfer credit you may use towards graduation requirements and whether transfer credit can be used to satisfy requirements for a major or minor.  If you apply, are admitted, and register for a Duke course, you will also be charged a $40 Duke transcript fee.  This fee provides you access to an unlimited number of Duke transcripts over your lifetime for no additional cost.

Why are graduate courses not covered by the Special Tuition Rate Program?

Unfortunately, Duke is not permitted under federal law to offer graduate courses at a reduced tuition rate apart from significant tax consequences. This is also true for undergraduate coursework taken to fulfill the requirements of a graduate degree.

I can’t decide whether to take a course in the summer or during the regular academic year.  Does it matter?

Summer Session application/registration form is required for individuals who only wish to study in the summer.  No transcripts or recommendations are required.  Summer courses are very intensive, lasting only six weeks.

To enroll for academic credit in the fall or spring you are required to submit a regular Continuing Studies’ application, along with transcripts, one or more letters of recommendation, and a $35 application fee.  Fall and spring semester courses are approximately fifteen weeks in length.

No matter when a course is scheduled – summer, fall, or spring – it has been approved by the University Course Committee and meets for a minimum of 35 contact hours.

Does the special tuition rate program apply to the noncredit programs offered by Continuing Studies?

No, the special tuition rates only apply to credit course work .  The rates do not apply towards any of the noncredit certificate programs, courses, workshops, or camps offered by Continuing Studies.