With our curricular offerings, we work to provide undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with educational opportunities inside and outside the classroom, resources to support their innovations, and a diverse community of teammates and mentors.
I&E’s Undergraduate Certificate supports students in pursuing a rigorous cross-disciplinary study of innovation and entrepreneurship that complements all majors and career goals. This in-depth course of study pairs theory and practice, equipping students with the mindset and skills to tackle complex problems creatively. This experiential program provides a foundation in innovation, ideation, design, business fundamentals, and more, exposing students to real-world challenges and engagement with practitioners. Multiple pathways offer tailored curricula so students can align the Certificate with their interests and goals, learning to explore complex problems and develop innovative solutions.
In 2021, we worked to meet the ever-increasing appetite for this program, adding new courses and experiential projects ranging from internships, to research positions, to civic engagement initiatives, to entrepreneurial ventures. With more than 300 students, this program is the second largest certificate program for undergraduates at Duke, with demographics that reflect the undergraduate student demographic. In the graduating class of 2021, 80 students from a wide variety of major programs earned this credential.
Graduate & Professional Certificate
Through I&E’s experiential Graduate & Professional Certificate, aspiring innovators, entrepreneurs, and founders from across Duke’s graduate and professional programs can complement their course of study, support their career goals, expand their networks, and work on impactful ideas. This Certificate, which is open to all Duke’s graduate and professional students, can be completed in one year or over several years. Students may also elect to participate in specific courses or programmatic elements without completing the Certificate. In addition to taking elective courses that best support their interests, students work with peers from across Duke to learn fundamental skills to create a business plan, translate an innovation, and convey complex ideas and concepts engagingly and effectively. In its first year, the Certificate received more than 120 applications from students in Duke’s doctoral, masters, and medicine programs.
Advanced undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from any school and degree program across Duke may also enroll in experiential I&E courses without working toward the Certificate. These courses, such as New Ventures Clinic: Healthcare, Social Innovation Practicum, and Mission Driven Startup, provide students opportunities to work on real-world projects.
Ronald & Carrie Ludwig Duke in Silicon Valley Program
Hands-on experiences are core to our educational approach and are built into many of our courses and programs. The Ronald & Carrie Ludwig Duke in Silicon Valley Program gives undergraduate students an intensive experience in the creation of new ventures, both commercial and social. Over the course of a month, students gain an understanding of the resources, skills, and planning required to launch a new product or service, as well as immersing themselves in the Silicon Valley culture and building a network of support. The program was virtual for the second year in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and while we anticipate the program’s return to Silicon Valley next year, we plan to retain many virtual elements of the program, which democratized participation and allowed for increased engagement by many corporate partners.
The DukeEngage-Detroit program immerses emerging young undergraduate Duke change-makers with seasoned social entrepreneurs tackling some of the city’s greatest challenges in a variety of domains, including economic development, social enterprise, food security, environmental sustainability, and health. As in 2020, in 2021 students were able to take advantage of virtual internships with community partners in Detroit. The program continues to act as an incubator for social innovation, with many students returning from Detroit and building upon their progress and learnings.