Academic Life

A student taking notes during class

Field Studies courses offer the opportunity to learn by doing. All academic work is design to include hands-on learning through field trips, lab work, simulations of real-world activities, guest speakers, and more. All of these inquiry-based activities make heavy use of the resources available at our program sites, creating an opportunity that cannot be replicated in a traditional classroom.


Duke TIP Instructors are a diverse and talented group of individuals who embrace their role in the academic development of young scholars. Instructors are selected for their expertise in their field of study, and typically include:

  • exceptional graduate students enrolled in master’s or doctoral programs
  • outstanding teachers from public and private schools
  • accomplished college and university Instructors

Each Instructor is part of an instructional team that works to provide students with a unique learning experience.

Evaluation at Duke TIP

Duke TIP does not assign letter or numeric final grades, nor offer course credit. The nongraded approach encourages a less competitive environment in which students will become comfortable taking intellectual risks that they might avoid in a stressful grade-driven environment. During the course, instructional teams will holistically evaluate performance using criteria such as journal entries, presentations, individual research, and class projects. 

End-of-program evaluations

Instructional teams evaluate students on areas such as:

  • intellectual processes
  • work habits
  • peer interactions
  • products generated in the course, such as tests, essays, or visual projects

Students who successfully complete the program per the participation policies will have access to this end-of-program evaluation in the online student portal.

Seeking credit for your Duke TIP course

Many families have successfully requested that their local school issue placement or credit for work completed at Duke TIP. If you plan to seek credit, we recommend the following steps:

  • Before Duke TIP begins, call your school counselor, vice principal, or registrar (the person who would grant placement or credit for a student’s work at Duke TIP). Explain that Duke TIP Field Studies students enroll in one course for two weeks of intense coursework.
  • Inform the local school official that at the end of the Duke TIP course, students receive a syllabus and end-of-program evaluation.

School officials will use the information provided to decide whether to grant course placement or credit. We are happy to assist in this process.

Students who intend to include their Duke TIP participation as part of their college admissions portfolio should print and keep a copy of the end-of-program evaluation. We cannot guarantee that copies of the evaluation will be available at a later date, and neither we nor Duke University will produce a transcript for TIP students.

Parent involvement

Parents are an integral part of students’ successes. Duke TIP Instructors are eager to talk with parents and are available for face-to-face or telephone conferences on departure day.



These two-week residential programs for students in ninth through twelfth grade take place at Duke University, New College of Florida, or one of several unique field study locations. Courses take place during the summer and cover a variety of different academic disciplines.