Reduced Rate For Undergraduate Courses

Employees offered 80 percent off regular undergraduate course fee

Starting in August, Duke employees can take an undergraduate course at Duke for $975. Shivnath Babu, associate professor in the Computer Science department, teaches a class here.

Starting in August, employees at Duke can take select undergraduate courses at the university for a savings of more 80 percent off regular tuition.

The Special Duke Employee Tuition Rate Program is offered through Duke Continuing Studies and enables employees working at least 20 hours per week to take an undergraduate course for academic credit for $975; the normal rate for fall semester is $5,287. Employees can also audit a class for $100 instead of the regular $514 fee.

The program applies only to undergraduate classes from Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke Marine Lab and Sanford School of Public Policy. Courses at the Pratt School of Engineering and graduate-level classes are not part of the program. A maximum of two courses can be taken per semester through the program; one per summer session.

"Duke is known far and wide for the quality of its education, and these reduced rates make that education more accessible for employees," said Paula Gilbert, associate dean and director of Duke Continuing Studies and Summer Session.

The special tuition rate is independent from the Employee Tuition Assistance Program through Duke Human Resources. However, eligible employees can apply for reimbursement of up to $5,200 a year through the Employee Tuition Assistance Program if courses are taken for academic credit, are approved by the supervisor as part of the employee's professional development plan and all other eligibility requirements for the tuition assistance program are met.

The application deadline to take a course for academic credit this fall is August 1. The audit registration process continues through the month of August.

Employees who complete a for-credit course can receive a Duke transcript showing the grade. Employees can use the transcript to apply for a transfer of credit if they choose to apply later for a bachelor’s degree program at Duke or if they enroll in a degree program at another higher education institution. Auditors can receive a Duke transcript with details of the audited coursework.

For Matt Gates, an analyst with the Office of Information Technology (OIT), studying in a class with Duke faculty has been an invigorating experience. Last fall, he audited "Data Intensive Computing Systems" with Shivnath Babu, an associate professor in the Computer Science department.

Gates took the class to learn more about the future of computing. "It helped me bridge the gap between the theoretical stuff and what we are doing day to day in OIT," he said. "Because of the class, I ended up helping a professor implement a distributed computing system in one of our labs."

OIT paid for Gates' class as part of professional development, but he said he would be interested in other classes under the special tuition rate.

"I keep close tabs on what classes are being offered," he said.

Gilbert, the associate dean and director of Duke Continuing Studies, said she hopes the reduced tuition rate will increase the number of employees who take advantage of academic opportunities at Duke.

"There is something for everyone at Duke whether it is for professional development or just the pleasure of learning," she said.

For more information, visit the Continuing Studies website, call (919) 684-6259 or send email to