Last updated: June 7, 2021


To clarify Graduate School requirements and expectations for summer registration.


Students receiving financial support from Duke University that is related to their studies or who will be meeting an academic milestone at any point during the summer are required to register and will be charged tuition.

“Financial support” includes receipt of student loans and/or fellowship, internship, and research assistantship stipends.

  • Federal lending laws require that students are enrolled at least half-time in the term in which they are requesting federal financial aid. Ph.D. students are considered to be enrolled full-time when enrolled in the graduate-level Continuation course (CTN) during the summer. Master’s students must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits per summer term (Summer I and/or Summer II) in order to be considered half-time for the purposes of federal financial aid eligibility.
  • Ph.D. students who have been awarded summer research fellowships are required to register for CTN. The fellowship funding source will be charged tuition in accordance with the Graduate Student Fellowship Policy.
  • Ph.D. students who are training as Research Assistants during the summer are required to register for CTN. The research grant or institutional funds supporting the student will be charged tuition remission in accordance with the Graduate School Tuition Remission Policy. Although tuition remission can and should be prorated among funding sources to reflect actual student effort over the 3-month summer term, the summer tuition charge cannot be prorated and must be paid in full from appropriate sources.
  • Ph.D. students training in other assistantship or internship roles are required to register for CTN or the appropriate internship course as instructed by graduate program leadership.
  • Master’s students who are receiving financial support from Duke University for services that are unrelated to their academic pursuits are exempt from summer registration.

“Academic milestones” include but are not limited to coursework, preliminary exams, dissertation or thesis defense, and graduation.

  • Tuition for graduate level coursework is covered under the Graduate School flat rate summer tuition charge. Students wishing to take undergraduate level or continuing education courses (i.e. health, physical education, recreation courses) unrelated to their degree coursework during the summer will be charged separately for those courses and the student will be responsible for the additional tuition charges. DGSes may request that summer session course charges be waived when a course can be demonstrated as being essential for a Ph.D. student's progress to degree. The DGS request is only available to Ph.D. students enrolled in CTN or another course and requires a written justification from the DGS to accompany the completed Request to Register in a Course Below the 500- Level form submitted to
  • Tuition cannot be prorated or waived. Students will be charged for the full summer flat rate tuition regardless of when the academic milestone is met during the summer term.


  • Students enrolled in School of Medicine, Engineering, Business, and Nicholas School of the Environment Ph.D. programs, and students in Arts & Sciences departments who are typically supported for 12 months (such as Chemistry and Physics) will be automatically registered for summer CTN by The Graduate School and the Registrar’s Office. The presence of a registration block on a student’s account will prevent automatic registration in CTN. In such cases, students will be required to resolve the issue that precipitated the block and self-register for CTN in DukeHub.
  • Students who will be supported by Graduate School summer fellowships will likewise be automatically enrolled.
  • The determination of enrollment for other non-research related activities should be managed at the department level.
  • Students who are not automatically registered, as above, but meet the expectations for summer registration due to financial support or academic activities, will be expected to self-register through DukeHub.