Last updated: April 18, 2023


To clarify The Graduate School (TGS) requirements and expectations for summer registration.

Ph.D. Student Policy

In support of the 12-month funding initiative effective in the 2022-2023 academic year, Ph.D. students who are in funding years, not on leave of absence, and are receiving institutional or external financial support are required to register and will be charged tuition.

  • “Funding years” are currently defined as the first five consecutive years of study, starting with the matriculation term.
  • “Financial support” includes receipt of student loans and/or institutional or external fellowships, internships, teaching/research/graduate assistantships, and other training stipends.
  • Ph.D. students are considered to be enrolled full-time when enrolled in the graduate-level Continuation course (CTN) during the summer. 
  • Ph.D. students receiving fellowships from TGS are also required to register for CTN. The fellowship funding source will be charged tuition in accordance with the Graduate Student Fellowship Policy
  • The research grant or institutional funds supporting Ph.D. students will be assessed 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 and/or the appropriate internship course as instructed by graduate program leadership. International students pursuing internships with non-Duke employers must enroll for the appropriate internship course and receive approval for Curricular Practical Training from the Duke Visa Services.

Ph.D. Enrollment Procedure

  • In March and April, Ph.D. students will be automatically enrolled in 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.
  • Unless there is another identified and appropriate funding source determined by each graduate program and/or schools’ financial leadership, TGS will provide summer tuition scholarships to Ph.D. students in their first five consecutive years of study (i.e., standard funding years). Examples of other appropriate funding sources include:
    • Sponsored projects
    • Internship programs managed either within or outside of the University
    • External awards providing summer scholarship support
    • Other internal or external training programs that allow for tuition scholarship funding
  • The determination of enrollment for specific internship courses for other non-research related activities should be managed at the graduate program level, including determination as to whether students should self-register for these specific courses.
  • Students who are not automatically registered, as above, but meet the expectations for summer registration, will be expected to self-register through DukeHub prior to the add/drop deadlines.
  • Students who do not wish to be registered for summer to engage in experiential activities and opportunities away from their program of study until the start of fall semester may submit, with permission from their advisor and DGS, a voluntary request to The Graduate School to be unenrolled from summer Continuation.  Unenrollment will result in cancelation of the summer stipend, tuition, and fees.  Student medical insurance coverage will be maintained. Students on Summer Experiential Leave (SEL) will maintain active, unenrolled status, and, as such, summer experiential leave will not be noted on a student’s transcript and will not count against the maximum number of official fall/spring Leave of Absence (LOA) semesters permitted (2). 

Master's Student Policy

  • 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. Beyond federal aid eligibility, master’s student enrollment may vary based on the academic requirements of their graduate program.
  • Master’s students who are receiving financial support from Duke University for reasons unrelated to their academic pursuits are exempt from summer registration.

Master’s Enrollment Procedure

Master’s student summer enrollment will vary based on graduate program. Students should contact their graduate program to determine enrollment requirements.

All Students Enrolled in TGS

  • Federal lending laws require that students are enrolled at least half-time in the term in which they are requesting federal financial aid. 
  • 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. Directors of Graduate Studies (DGSs) 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, which must be approved by the Graduate School Registrar. 
  • Tuition charges 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.