Participation Policies

group of students dancing happily
Student Video

The following participation policies ensure that TIP students receive the greatest possible value from attending a TIP program. All TIP students and families agree to participate fully in their program experience by signing the Community Standard. TIP programs are fast-paced and cover advanced material in a short amount of time. Much of the learning is project-based and completed through group work or collaborative activities. In addition, our staff strongly believes in cultivating a co-curricular environment that develops the whole student, enriching their cultural, interpersonal, emotional and moral growth. When an individual student misses components of the program, whether academic or residential, or fails to align with behavioral expectations or policies, this disrupts the learning and program experience for all students.

We understand that students have many opportunities and commitments in the summer. However, before choosing to participate in TIP, please be sure students are willing and able to fully immerse in the program. Please review the policies below and be sure that parents and students can fully commit to these prior to accepting a placement in a program.  Failure to adhere to these policies after accepting placement can jeopardize current and future program participation opportunities. Program fees will not be refunded for students who are dismissed from the program for failure to meet the Participation Policies or who are unable to check-in due to illness.

Absence policy

To enjoy the benefits of Duke TIP and avoid interference with other students who are participating in it, during Duke TIP the student is not allowed to make any other commitments of time, including travel, extracurricular training, performances, volunteering or online classes. While missing any amount of time will detract from the student's program experience, below is the maximum amount of time a student may miss the program:


Students are not allowed to miss more than 1 cumulative day, either consecutively or incrementally. This includes, but is not limited to any scheduled academic and/or student life program time, as well as arrival, departure, mid-day and/or evening check-outs, and illness.

For questions regarding this policy, or to discuss any possibilities of absence during the program, please contact:

Summer Studies

Students are not allowed to miss more than 3 cumulative days, either consecutively or incrementally. This includes, but is not limited to any scheduled academic and/or student life program time, as well as arrival, departure, mid-day and/or evening check-outs, and illness. Students may not arrive more than 2 days late.

For questions regarding this policy, or to discuss any possibilities of absence during the program, please contact:

Visitors and off-campus visits

To take full advantage of Duke TIP, students are encouraged to remain on campus for the full session to participate in all academic and residential activities and to interact with other students. For the safety of students, staff members are trained to keep individuals not associated with the program away from Duke TIP participants. Students are not permitted to travel off campus without a Duke TIP chaperone unless allowed by and provided for the Duke TIP Additional Participation Policies.

Individuals who are not involved in running the Duke TIP Program may not visit Student on campus during the Program, including without limit, participation in Program events or entering the dorm, except as allowed and provided for below.

CRISIS Program Only: There will be no on-campus or off-campus visits allowed, with the exception of medical emergencies.

All Other Programs: Duke TIP will accommodate off-campus visits under the following conditions:

  • Time away does not exceed parameters outlined in Duke TIP Absence Policy.
  • Any planned visitors, including parents or guardians, must be listed on the off-campus permission form.
  • The visitor must be at least twenty-one years of age and have a driver’s license or other photo identification.
  • Students will sign out and sign back in to the program at the on-site office.
  • Approved site visitors may not participate in TIP activities or stay overnight in TIP facilities.
  • Students should not miss class time.
Student Video

Arrival day health screening

On Arrival Day, we expect all students to arrive healthy. If they are not healthy on arrival day, we ask that parents keep them home until they are no longer in an infectious state. By keeping a student home while sick, you are protecting a sick student from other health problems, as well as protecting other students and staff from exposure. It is in the best interest of a student’s well-being to keep them home, as it is difficult for a sick student to participate effectively in the program in a meaningful way.

Upon arrival, all students will complete a general health screening to check for any contagious symptoms during registration to ensure that they are healthy and not currently sick when they check in. It is our policy to temporarily exclude students from program participation who may be infectious or who demonstrate physical symptoms that require continual one-to-one care.

Guidelines for excluding sick students

Fever over 101 degrees

May return when: The child's temperature has been below 101 degrees for 24 hours without Tylenol or aspirin.

Recurring vomiting

May return when: The child has been diagnosed as having a bacterial infection and has been on an antibiotic for 24 hours.

Diarrhea (more than 3 times)

May return when: It has been 24 hours since the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea without medication. 

Eye discharge

May return when: Eyes are no longer discharging, or the condition has been treated with an antibiotic for 24 hours. 

Excessive cough and/or nasal discharge

May return when: The discharge is not thick, yellow, or green. 

Any unidentified rash

May return when: The rash has subsided or the physician has determined that the rash is not contagious.


May return when: Student receives a check from nurse or physician and is clear of lice.

Dress code

Duke TIP expects its participants to dress in a manner that is appropriate for a learning environment. In general, dress at Duke TIP sites is casual. Students will do a lot of walking on site and should bring comfortable shoes. Students should bring adequate clothing to participate in recreational and athletic activities (shorts, t-shirts, and closed-toe shoes). Some courses may require specific attire for certain activities (e.g., labs, court visits, and field work). Families will receive a packing list and notification of any specific clothing requirements for the student’s course prior to the start of the program.

Students are prohibited from wearing clothing that displays offensive slogans or graphics, exposes undergarments, or is otherwise revealing. Students should refrain from wearing clothing that is unsafe for program activities, and clothing that advertises products or services that are illegal or illegal for minors. If staff determine that a student is not meeting these expectations, the student will be asked to change their attire.

Room and suite policy

For overnight Duke TIP Programs, students are only allowed to have their assigned roommates in their room at any given time. Duke TIP considers a student’s room a place where the student can rest and sleep after a long day of activities. This policy ensures a quiet space, while also contributing to personal safety. Students may socialize and congregate in designated common areas.

Nondiscrimination policy

As stated in the Community Standard, students at all Duke TIP sites are expected to abide by Duke University’s nondiscrimination policy:

Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a learning and work community that is free from prohibited discrimination and harassment. The university prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex, genetic information, or age in the administration of educational policies, admission policies, financial aid, employment, or any other university program or activity. It admits qualified students to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students. The university also does not tolerate harassment of any kind.

Further information, as well as the complete text of Duke University’s nondiscrimination policy, may be found at

Prohibited items

Duke TIP reserves the right to confiscate prohibited items for the duration of the program. Duke TIP cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage to confiscated items. Possession or use of certain prohibited items may result in dismissal from the program. Students are not to bring the following items to Duke TIP:

  • Alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs
  • Drug paraphernalia of any kind
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, hookahs, matches, lighters, candles, incense, or fireworks
  • Cars, mopeds, motorcycles, bicycles, scooters, skateboards, roller blades, or similar items
  • Pets of any kind
  • Refrigerators, cooking appliances, or televisions (some Duke TIP sites are equipped with televisions)
  • Large stereo equipment
  • Small magnetized toys or objects
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Desktop computers

Prohibited activities

Students who engage in the following actions will be immediately dismissed from Duke TIP:

  • Possession of weapons of any kind
  • Possession, sale, or use of alcohol, tobacco products, illegal drugs, or paraphernalia of any kind
  • Tampering with fire alarms, fire extinguishers, fire hoses and any fire safety equipment of any kind
  • Accessing restricted areas, including, but not limited to the roof, mechanical rooms, etc.
  • Sharing prescribed medication
  • Swimming

At our discretion, students who engage in the following activities may be dismissed from Duke TIP:

  • Social dishonesty, including, but not limited to, theft
  • Academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to, plagiarism
  • Violating host site regulations, policies, and procedures, or federal, state, or local laws, rules, regulations, or ordinances
  • Academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to, plagiarism
  • Failure to meet academic standards
  • Using profane language in any context other than when appropriate to an academic exercise
  • Reckless, disruptive, damaging, or otherwise uncontrolled behavior in the classroom or residence hall
  • Excessive damage to host campus property
  • Misuse of any electronic use privileges by such actions as visiting inappropriate Internet sites, sending inappropriate email messages, or disrupting computer operations
  • Traveling outside of the designated Duke TIP campus area boundary or leaving campus without permission or supervision
  • Risky behavior that endangers the student’s safety or the safety of others
  • Verbal or physical harassment of students or staff, including, but not limited to, bullying and playing pranks or practical jokes, including via electronic means
  • Fighting, including hitting or pushing another person, either as an aggressor or in response to the aggressive or irritating actions of another
  • Violating the room and suite policy by visiting a room that is not your own, or permitting another student to enter a residential room that is not their own
  • Interaction of a sexual nature or sexually suggestive manner
  • Possession of matches, lighters, candles, fireworks, or any other incendiary device
  • Failure to comply with participation policies

Emotional support at Duke TIP

Occasionally, students deal with emotionally challenging issues. Duke TIP staff members are trained to assist students in adjusting to a new environment, a rigorous class schedule, and the challenge of being away from home for up to three weeks. However, Duke TIP does not have the facilities or staff to provide individual therapy or counseling while at TIP to assist students experiencing serious emotional distress.

Any student who exhibits the following behavior may be required to leave the program:

  • Develops the need to have full time one on one attention or care
  • Engages in self-harm while at the program
  • Engages in behavior that is disruptive, or may result in self-harm or harm to others

Damages and charges

Students are expected to treat property with respect. Any damages to Duke TIP or campus property caused by a student will be billed to that student’s family. For all overnight programs, residence hall rooms are inspected before and after each session. In cases where damage to a shared residence hall room is not attributable to one student, the charge will be divided between both families. Students with outstanding bills for damaged or lost property, including library books, keys, and conference cards, will be prevented from enrolling in future Duke TIP Programs. Duke TIP cannot be responsible for lost or stolen personal items, and students should keep their personal items secure. Students are responsible for their own personal property, and Duke TIP will not arbitrate disputes between or among families regarding compensation for lost or damaged personal property.

Dismissal from Duke TIP

Duke TIP may dismiss a student from participation in the program if it is determined that: (A) the Student has violated a Duke Behavioral Expectations and Policies, (B) continued Student participation in Duke TIP poses a risk to the health, safety or welfare of the Student or others, or (C) continued Student participation in Duke TIP will materially detract from the value others obtain from Duke TIP.

If Duke TIP dismisses Student from the Program, Duke TIP will inform the Parent/Guardian of the decision and Student must depart from the Program within twenty-four hours. Parent/Guardian must make immediate travel arrangements to retrieve Student at the expense of Parent/Guardian. Duke TIP will not refund Program Fees.

Behavioral issues and future Duke TIP participation

Duke TIP staff members evaluate each student’s academic and social behavior at the end of the summer. Students who fail to comply with the Duke TIP Community Standard, Digital Citizenship Policy, or Participation Policies, as well as students with numerous and/or severely negative incidents may be refused future admission to Duke TIP Programs. Some students may be allowed to return to Duke TIP only after agreeing to certain conditions regarding their behavior. The parents or guardians of students who will not be allowed future admission to Duke TIP or for whom return is contingent upon certain conditions will receive an explanatory letter from the Dean of Students in the fall.

New to Summer Studies? Look for these banners and select them for advice from other parents and students on how to make the most of your Duke TIP experience:

Parent Advice

Throughout this section of our website, you can access advice from actual Duke TIP parents by clicking on the blue banner above. Their advice will then appear in a box of text like this one.