Summer Session FAQs

For more information about preparing for Fall 2020, Duke Learning Innovation has developed a new resource, Flexible Teaching, which features a series of guides for course design, delivery, and materials. Please refer to flexteaching.li.duke.edu as you prepare for your fall course(s).

Last updated February 2, 2021 

This FAQs addresses Summer 2021 instruction. We will continuously update this as new questions come in so please check back regularly. If you have questions about summer session that are not answered here, contact summer@duke.edu. If you have questions about teaching, please contact us at keepteaching@duke.edu.


What will in-person classes be like?

In-person summer classes will be much like in-person fall and spring semester classes. Faculty and students will be expected to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Classrooms will be allocated to ensure adequate space for social distancing.

If I teach an in-person class, must I also make the class available remotely?

If you choose to teach an in-person class, you do not need to make it available remotely. However, just like any in-person class, you will need to accommodate students who become ill during the term. If you are willing and interested (and it is feasible to do so), you may consider offering an in-person section of your class and a second remote section.

What is the compensation for teaching a class?

Allsalaries are contingent upon final enrollment, calculated at the end of the drop/add period of the term and after all discrepancies have been resolved. If minimum enrollments are not met (based on the number of students registered for academic credit, i.e., excluding students auditing a course), the course will be cancelled. In the guidelines below, we assume a minimum enrollment of N=10. The “normal” expected class size is larger and is assumed to be N=20. For classes with larger enrollments (N>20), please refer to the TA funding model below to see the financial support that may be requested.

Note that some schools and units on campus (such as NSOE and Pratt) may have different compensation policies for summer; those school/unit policies will prevail.

Graduate instructors (Duke or non-Duke), recent PhDs, recent MFAs, and postdocs: $7,500 (need at least 10 students enrolled for academic credit)

Non-regular rank Duke faculty and instructors: $7,500 (need at least 10 students enrolled for academic credit)

Regular rank Duke faculty:

  • For a non-lab, full-credit course, one-twelfth of their 2020-2021 regular salary, with minimum payment $7,500 and maximum payment of $15,000 (need at least 10 students enrolled for academic credit).
  • For a full-credit science course with 8 or more hours of lab and recitation per week, one-ninth of their 2020-2021 regular salary, with minimum payment of $7,500 and maximum payment of $15,000 (need at least 10 students enrolled for academic credit).
  • Lab courses that start in summer and complete in fall are included in the latter group.
  • For courses taught by multiple faculty, we will work with the faculty team to identify anticipated effort by faculty and to apportion credit and compensation accordingly.
  • Note that the university compensation policy restricts supplemental pay in any fiscal year to no more than 3/9 for faculty on 9-month contracts. Also, regular rank faculty cannot receive supplemental pay exceeding 1/9 of the regular annual salary in one month. For individuals on 10-month contracts, supplemental pay is limited to 2/10 per fiscal year and no more than 1/10 per month.

Teaching assistants (TAs): Assist with grading, office hours, etc.

  • Full-time TA, $3,000
  • Part-time TA, if needs > 1, pro-rated portion of full-time TA

Lead teaching assistant (Lead TAs): Coordinate TAs, assist faculty with leading discussion sections, etc.

  • Full-time Lead TA, $3,750
  • Part-time Lead TA, if needs > 1, pro-rated portion of full-time Lead TA

Other classes:

  • Music Lessons: Instructors teaching music lessons will receive $500 per student per quarter-credit class, and $1,000 per student per half-credit class.
  • Physical Education (PE): Instructors of PE classes will receive $5,000 (need at least 10 students enrolled for academic credit).
  • Auditing classes: In the past, we have compensated instructors at $125 per student auditing the class if the minimum class size is not met. This per student compensation for auditors will no longer be part of the compensation formula.

Will there be compensation for supervising Independent Studies?

There is no compensation for supervising Independent Studies during the summer.

Will there be COVID-19 testing this summer?

Yes, all faculty teaching in person or hybrid format will have the option of regular surveillance testing, as has been the case during the fall and spring semesters.

Who can teach Summer Session courses?

Duke faculty, qualified graduate students, and recently graduated PhD and MFA students are invited to teach summer courses. Resources are available for TA support based on enrollment.

Will there be enough classroom space this summer if we need to be socially distant while teaching in person?

Yes. The expectation is that all in-person teaching must follow the same social distancing and public health protocols that are currently in place for the spring semester. Classroom space will be allocated accordingly.

Why is shorter programming (less than 4 weeks) not permitted, and why must programming adhere to the summer session format regarding start and end dates?

In-person versions of co-curricular programs should:

  1. Adhere to a 4-week or 6-week schedule (much like Summer Session classes) or a combination of the two (i.e., 8-, 10- or 12-week schedules); and
  2. Seek approval by February 15.  If you are interested in proposing a co-curricular program, please contact experientaled@duke.edu for more information about the application process.

The need to create strict start and end dates is necessitated by the logistics of COVID-19 testing. We also seek to avoid situations where a student tests positive at the start of the program and spends more time in isolation than they spend engaged in the activity that brought them to campus.

This page will be updated with more information as we receive more questions.