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The 2024 Summer Graduate Academy is offered as a partnership between Duke Learning Innovation & Lifetime Education and Duke’s Office of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Duke University graduate and professional students and postdoctoral fellows can build skills, tools and knowledge to augment their regular coursework and research.

Courses in the Duke Graduate Academy cover topics not typically included in a graduate curriculum, or they provide an intensive introduction for graduate students and postdocs who might not have the time or inclination to pursue a full course in a subject. Instructors are Duke faculty as well as highly trained Duke staff and Ph.D. students. Watch the video below to hear some past participants’ experiences with the Academy:


Participation is open to current Duke graduate students, including Duke law and medical students, master’s and professional students. The Graduate Academy is also open to all Duke postdocs.

Fuqua students, please note: Duke Graduate Academy courses are available to Fuqua students active in an MSQM program or in the Daytime MBA program. Fuqua students must obtain proper permission from their program dean (MSQM) or the Fuqua Registrar (MBA).


There is no cost for Duke participants.


Courses are not for credit and are not graded, but they will appear on Duke graduate student transcripts. No offerings require prerequisites or assume areas of knowledge. Each course meets regularly for one to three weeks.

Classes are offered online with synchronous and asynchronous elements. Instructors emphasize interactive discussion and group activities/projects to maintain a high level of student engagement.

Most courses will enroll 30 students, although some courses may be smaller or larger. Courses with fewer than eight enrolled students may be canceled.


Registration for Summer 2024 Graduate Academy is currently open. The deadline to register for any course is by the drop/add date of its respective summer session term:

Session 1: May 17, 2024
Session 2: July 3, 2024

Duke graduate students may register for courses using DukeHub, while Duke postdocs must register via a Qualtrics form. Space is filled on a first-come, first-served basis during registration. Waitlists will be used for all courses.


All classes meet online/virtually. Individual class schedules are noted in the course descriptions below and in DukeHub. Meeting details and coursework materials will be confirmed by instructor email or through course sites.


For questions regarding the Duke Graduate Academy, please contact Meg Atchison at mjb43@duke.edu.

Summer 2024 Courses

Summer Session I GS990 Section 17; offered June 3-13, MTTh 12:30 – 2:35 p.m. EDT 
Instructor: Lou Brown, senior research scholar and director of programs, Forum for Scholars & Publics 

This is an intensive course in the theoretical and practical use of interviewing as a method in the humanities and social sciences. Students will gain experience in how to set up, conduct, transcribe, corroborate and archive interviews for social science and humanities research projects and for engaging in public discussions about research. Students will be immersed in the practical aspects of generating interview questions, establishing rapport and conducting background research in order to prepare for interviews. Other topics include Institutional Review Board (IRB) considerations and technological options for recording, transcribing and archiving. Considerable space will be given throughout to the ethical issues generated by this research methodology, particularly when working with vulnerable populations and legally or morally fraught topics. In addition to developing interview protocols for academic research, students will examine and practice interviewing for public audiences to identify the ways scholarly forms of inquiry intersect with question-asking in popular culture.

Summer Session I GS990 Section 04; offered May 15 – 31 (two-week course), MWF 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. EDT   *note, no class on Memorial Day
Instructor: Maria Wisdom, director of interdisciplinary coaching and mentoring programs, Office of Interdisciplinary Studies 

Having effective advisors and mentors is critical to success in graduate school. However, most academics are not trained how to mentor, and both mentors and mentees may try to “wing it” without ever asking: 

  • What is mentorship, anyway?
  • How will you know a good mentor when you see one?
  • How do you know your mentoring relationship is “working”? 
  • What can you do, as a mentee, to make the most of your relationships with mentors and advisors?

In this course we will explore best practices, for being both a mentee and a mentor. Topics include: how to establish strong working relationships from day one, how to support another person’s learning and growth, and how to create a dynamic for constructive, ongoing feedback. We will also explore systemic challenges facing both mentees and mentors in sustaining strong, effective relationships. These challenges include meeting the mentoring needs of an increasingly diverse group of young professionals, preventing mentor burnout, and balancing mentoring commitments with other demands and expectations of a busy career.

Summer Session II GS990 Section 03; offered July 15– August 8, MTTh 3:30 – 5:35 p.m. EDT
Instructor: Shep Moyle, instructor Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Markets & Management Studies 

This course is full; email certificate-entrepreneurship@duke.edu to be added to the waitlist.

Using innovation and entrepreneurship as a core theme, this course provides a broad overview of business, including strategy and leadership, negotiation, entrepreneurial finance, building culture and talent management, and practical business tools to apply in any organization and business. Students will experience the early stages of entrepreneurship, examine the basis for startup success and failure including funding, learn how to manage and inspire innovation within an organization, and evaluate the ethical implications of managing an enterprise. Coursework will be case-driven with several on line simulations and expectations for participation and engagement.

Open to all students, this course fulfills a core requirement in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Graduate Certificate.

Summer Session I GS990 Section 08; offered May 21 – June 6, TTh 10:00 a.m.– 12:05 p.m. EDT 
Instructors: Karl Leif Bates, science journalist and director of research communications, and Robin A. Smith, PhD, senior science writer, University Communications 

Scientists speak and think differently from non-scientists, often to their own great frustration when they try to communicate effectively with media, policymakers and the general public. Why do we struggle to communicate, and what can we do to lessen the problem? If we want to be ambassadors for science, we’re going to have to brush up on the language and culture of the non-science community. In this course, we will present both the theory and practice of effective science communication in written, oral, visual and social media channels. Topics include the empirical benefits of communicating science; development of speaking, writing and storytelling practices for diverse audiences; answering difficult, controversial and critical questions; and tweeting, blogging and presenting research to engage non-scientists, including potential funders and policymakers.

Summer Session I GS990 Section 02; offered May 15 – May 28, MTTh 3:30 – 5:35 p.m. EDT 
Instructor: Jessica Sperling, Social Science Research Institute 

Engaging and partnering with community members and entities in research, sometimes in the form of research practice partnership, can be a powerful mechanism for ensuring research is appropriately situated within the context and utilized for social change. These concepts and processes are highly complex, and often quite challenging, both in theory and in practice. This course will interrogate the meaning of “community-engaged research” and related terms, explore their relevance for both researchers and communities, address the ethical considerations and logistical problems that often arise, and consider recommendations for enacting best practices. Throughout this session, we will apply our knowledge through active learning by developing a community-engaged research design.  

Summer Session I GS990 Section 10; offered May 20 – 24 (one-week course), MTWThF 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. EDT
Instructors: Liz Milewicz, digital scholarship & publishing services, and Will Shaw, digital humanities consultant, Duke Libraries 

This course will help you learn about ways of working with digital information, from gathering research remotely to sharing it broadly through the open web. With an emphasis on the humanities and interpretive social sciences, you will learn strategies for locating and acquiring digital or digitized artifacts; organizing research data; and using digital tools to manage personal archives, analyze data, and share research outcomes. No previous experience with digital tools or methods is required. While we recommend that you have a project in mind, so that you can plan your work or apply these concepts as we go, anyone can benefit from exploring the sample projects and scenarios that we provide. 

Summer Session II GS990 Section 18; offered July 29 – August 6, MTTh 2 – 4:05 p.m. EDT
Instructors: Noelle Wyman Roth, Jessica Sperling, Social Science Research Institute 

This course focuses on understanding program/initiative impact and informing initiative decision-making through evaluation, which represents an area of increasing relevance in academic careers and in public/non-profit sectors. Topics include: differences and similarities between evaluation and academic research; when and why to conduct evaluation; types of evaluations; foundational aspects of an evaluation process, including partnership and Theory of Change development; empirical processes, including study design considerations, data sources, data collection, and analysis; and real-world recommendations for feasibly and effectively implementing evaluation. Throughout the course, students will apply concepts to a real-world initiative. In addition, we will address the applications of academic training for evaluation. It will address alignment of evaluation research with doctoral training and the uses of evaluation in numerous career paths, including academic and other career trajectories. The course will be led by Jessica Sperling, Social Science Research Institute. 

Summer Session II GS990 Section 20; offered July 15 – 26, MTWTh 3:30 – 4:35 p.m. EDT 
Instructor: Anne Mitchell Whisnant, director, Graduate Liberal Studies and adjunct associate professor of history and Social Science Research Institute 

This course invites students to grapple with major themes and events related to race and U.S. history through a virtual exploration of museums, state and national parks, and historical sites across North Carolina and the American South. Over two weeks, participants will “visit” sites that are presenting histories of American slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, segregation, lynching, Black education and entrepreneurship, and Black political and civil rights activism in compelling and challenging new ways. The class will offer a focused opportunity to learn about Black experiences in the United States and legacies of slavery. It will also introduce challenges that historical sites face in uncovering and confronting these complicated histories. Students will consider how encounters with place-based histories can expand understanding of our present, build empathy with multiple perspectives, and give us tools to confront the dilemmas of our own time and work towards social justice. As a foundational text, students will read Clint Smith’s How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America (2021). Since this course is built around engagement with sites and museums serving the visiting public, there is no expectation of any history background or prior knowledge. Imagine yourself a traveler; all you need bring is curiosity and an open mind.

Summer Session I GS990 Section 06; offered June 3 – 14, MWF 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EDT
Instructors: Laura Howes, assistant vice provost, interdisciplinary studies; Meghan O’Neil, associate director, Bass Connections; Liz Milewicz, director, digital scholarship & publishing services; Sophia Lafferty-Hess, research data consultant, Duke Libraries

Project management is a set of techniques that can be applied in any industry or setting to make projects more successful. It guides small, simple projects as well as complex, team-based projects that bring together individuals from different fields and involve multiple stakeholders.

In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of project management, from defining a project’s scope and creating a project plan to managing resources, roles, and workflow. Along the way, you will learn strategies for effective communication, organization, and team motivation, and be introduced to tools that help set achievable project goals, establish healthy group norms, organize project materials and processes, and troubleshoot common issues.

While this course will focus on strategies for managing interdisciplinary project teams within a university setting, the training can be broadly applied to individual and team-based projects across fields and environments, from completing a dissertation, to managing a research lab, to leading projects in academic, nonprofit, and corporate settings. This is a foundational course and will not cover technical or field-specific forms of project management.

Summer Session II GS990 Section 07; offered July 15 – 23, MTTh 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. EDT
Instructors: Noelle Wyman Roth, assistant director, Erin Haseley, research analyst, Marissa Personette, evaluation & applied research associate, Social Science Research Institute

This course presents an introduction to qualitative research methods with a lens on combining qualitative and quantitative data (i.e., mixed methods). The course will emphasize qualitative research methods, examining their uses – when they are appropriate, what unique strengths they offer, what challenges they can introduce. In addition, we will explore when it is useful and valuable to utilize a research design that combines qualitative and quantitative data. It will cover gathering qualitative and mixed data using both primary (interviews, focus groups, participant observation, surveys) and secondary sources, and managing such data during and after their collection. The course will also examine what is involved in coding qualitative data, including how coding schema are developed and applied, how coding can be done in ways that are consistent and replicable, and how to use NVivo software in coding. It will also explore how quantitative and qualitative analyses can be sequenced and/or combined, including in NVivo. Finally, we will consider reporting findings, including integrating findings from multiple data sources, how a researcher assesses what their materials teach them and how they can compile and present those findings to make their case, as well as how to respond to criticisms. This course will include lectures, active discussion, and classroom exercises.

Summer Session II GS990 Section 13; offered July 29 – August 2, MTWThF 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT
Instructor: Jessica Reif, Ph.D. & Anna Yan, candidates in the Fuqua School of Business 

The purpose of this course is to explore research-based insights about how to make diverse teams perform well and how to lead with self-awareness. A great deal of research and professional life involves working in teams, yet many people find teamwork difficult — it requires coordination, there’s always a weak link and one’s contribution may seem to be unrecognized. The difficulty in coordinating with others and maintaining motivation has only increased in recent times due to the pandemic. In addition to being useful for understanding interpersonal dynamics at work, the lessons from this course can help students cope with stress and uncertainty.  

Summer Session I GS990 Section 14; offered June 3 – 7, MTWThF 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. EDT 
Instructor: Aaron Dinin, lecturing fellow, Innovation & Entrepreneurship 

This course is full; email certificate-entrepreneurship@duke.edu to be added to the waitlist.

Students will learn to communicate why others should value their ideas and innovations, using both verbal and non-verbal elements. The first sessions will focus on common principles of storytelling and the ways in which stories have, historically, been the cornerstone of disseminating new ideas and information as far back as Homeric epics to as recently as Instagram and TikTok. Students will spend time in small groups to practice communication and design by creating and workshopping a variety of narrative materials (e.g., essay, podcast, video, presentation) related to their primary work or scholarship in another discipline. 

*Open to all students, this is a required course for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Graduate Certificate students.

Summer Session I GS990 Section 19; offered May 20 – 24, MTWThF 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. EDT  
Instructors: Liz Milewicz, digital scholarship & publishing services, Will Shaw, digital humanities consultant, Haley Walton, senior assist librarian, Kate Dickson, copywrite librarian, Paolo Mangiafico, scholarly communications strategist, Duke Libraries

From publishing an article in a peer-reviewed journal, sharing research data through an open-access repository, or building a website for engaging broader communities in research, scholarly publishing today has many forms and purposes. What works best for your research and goals? This course introduces key aspects of modern academic publishing and its implications for how you plan and publish your own scholarly work. Topics we’ll cover include practical tips for authors, such as tracking impact and ensuring discoverability, to broader considerations of the scholarly communication landscape, such as how dissemination and use of research intersects with publishing business models and copyright law. As a central activity and outcome of this course, you’ll apply what you’ve learned to developing an actionable, concrete plan for a publishing project you’re already working on or would like to start.

Summer Session I GS990 Section 11; offered June 3 – 7, MTWThF 11:00am – 1:00 p.m. EDT
Instructor: Noah Pickus, Associate Provost and Professor of the Practice, Duke University

This course focuses on the emergence of new universities across the globe in the last 25 years. Students will be introduced to key issues in innovation in higher education. It is based on the recently published The New Global Universities: Reinventing Education in the 21st Century (Princeton University Press) and is taught by one of the book’s co-authors. The New Global Universities tells the story of educational leaders who have chosen not to give up on higher education but to reimagine it. The book chronicles the development and launch of eight innovative colleges and universities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America, describing the combination of intellectual courage, entrepreneurial audacity, and adaptive leadership needed to invent educational institutions today. Their experiences offer lessons for future founders of new universities—and for those who want to renew and rejuvenate existing ones. After an initial introductory meeting, students will lead discussions on the institutions featured in the book.

Summer Session I GS990 Section 12; offered June 10 – 14, MTWThF 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. EDT 
Instructor: Will Shaw, digital humanities consultant, Duke Libraries 

This course is about analyzing texts via computational means and interpreting the results of that analysis. While it is geared toward practitioners of the digital humanities, the methods students learn here are broadly useful across disciplines. Topics will include preparing texts for research (acquisition, OCR, organization), corpus analytics, natural language processing, sentiment analysis and document classification, and topic modeling. This is a “zero-code” course, meaning that no programming or command-line usage is required. We’ll explore text analysis in a rigorous but approachable way by removing some of the technological friction that can slow our engagement with the digital humanities.