Program Details, Policies, and Philosophies


The Duke TIP eStudies Program offers an exceptional academic and social experience for students who are seeking challenging coursework over the summer. eStudies participants connect with a vibrant online community of students and a TIP instructor while exchanging ideas with academically gifted youngsters from around the world.

eStudies is unlike most distance learning programs because it’s designed to provide academic challenge to gifted students, and because it offers small class sizes. This means eStudies requires commitment. It is not a self-paced class. There are weekly deadlines for readings and assignments, and students should be prepared to log in most days, as they will receive daily course updates.

Learn about the impact with stories from eStudies students and parents.

The online classroom

eStudies courses are primarily delivered through Canvas, which is TIP’s online course management system and learning environment. Within the dedicated Canvas course site, students will participate in discussions, check their assignments, and access materials. We also provide access to Collaborate, a web conferencing system we use for live sessions.

Once they are enrolled in eStudies, students are provided with TIPonline credentials that they use to log in to their online course site, course email, and other web tools. For security reasons, all discussion forums, chat areas, live meetings, and tests or quizzes are only accessible to registered students, the course’s instructional staff, and TIP administrators.

If you have any concerns about your computer’s compatibility with this web-based system, please check the technology requirements.


Most of the interaction that takes place in an eStudies course is asynchronous, meaning that students (and the instructor) are participating at different times. In this way, eStudies is very flexible—but it is not self-paced.

As long as they meet due dates and deadlines, students can post to the discussion board or take a test at any time that is convenient, whether 7 a.m., 10:30 p.m., or any other time. This flexibility is one of the greatest benefits of a distance-learning course.

However, while most interactions are asynchronous, each course has weekly deadlines associated with reading assignments and written coursework, such as papers, discussion posts, tests, and quizzes. Students will be provided with deadlines in advance so that they can plan their work accordingly.

During the first week of the program, instructors will present a selection of possible weekly meeting times, review student availability and conflicts, then determine the best possible time for the class to meet. This is done so that students have an opportunity to participate in the scheduling process.

Every effort will be made to accommodate the schedules of students in the course when possible. If students or families have concerns about the schedule for the live meetings, they are strongly encouraged to contact the course instructor with their summer schedule when the program begins.

Learn more about our attendance policies.

Live interaction

Each course instructor hosts two hours of live, synchronous interaction each week within which students can engage, collaborate with peers, and discuss topics in real-time. For example, a class might meet Wednesdays at 8 p.m. (EST) and Sundays at 3 p.m. (EST). In these instances, groups of students and the instructor are online simultaneously.

Live session times for each course are selected during the first week of the eStudies term by student majority vote. The course instructor will schedule live sessions on the days and times that the most number of students are able to attend.

We recommend students attend sessions as they are able, but recordings of those sessions will be available. There are also other opportunities to engage with the material outside of the sessions.

Students can be successful without attending every live session, provided they view recordings and engage in other post-session activities. Although such interaction limits flexibility, most students find this opportunity to connect with their classmates in real time to be one of the most rewarding aspects of an eStudies course.

In addition, student-to-student and student-to-teacher interactions occur daily. Students post daily to the discussion forums and engage in challenging conversations with other students and their instructor. In some classes, group or peer projects and assignments allow students to collaborate as well.

Instructors provide detailed email communication and personalized assignment feedback to their students. Students also have the opportunity to chat with, speak to, hear, and see other students and their instructors at the weekly live meetings.

Read about the rest of our policies and expectations.

This seven-week program for seventh through eleventh graders takes place during the summer. Students join an online class of twenty-four and are led in high school– or college-level coursework by an expert instructor who oversees discussions, live video meetings, and peer-to-peer interaction.