Frequently Asked Questions | Duke Kunshan University

Frequently Asked Questions

The information below was updated on Aug. 11, 2020.

Overview

Undergraduate Program

Graduate Programs

Credit/Refund Options for Spring 2020 (Undergraduate Program)

Online Courses for Students

International Undergraduate Admissions

 

Overview

General Questions

How is DKU addressing the coronavirus threat?

The DKU Emergency Preparedness Task Force mobilized in late January to monitor and manage the response to the Covid-19 outbreak caused by a novel coronavirus. Our highest priority is the health of our students, faculty and staff on campus and beyond. The DKU campus, along with all other schools and universities, has been closed since Feb. 3 at the direction of the Chinese government. All students, faculty and staff who were able to return to their home regions and countries did so; about 60 DKU students who could not return to the homes because of travel restrictions in China are currently residing on campus, along with seven staff members including Chancellor Feng Youmei and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Scott MacEachern. To ensure the continuity of our academic program, the university is already delivering graduate programs remotely and will be offering remote online teaching for undergraduate students by Feb. 24. You can find regular updates on the DKU website, Facebook and Twitter.

Why did DKU close the campus and send students home?

The Chinese government required all schools and universities to postpone the opening of school after the Chinese New Year holiday. The highest priority continues to be the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. While DKU offered financial support to all students to travel home on short notice, a small number of students remain on campus and are being supported by essential personnel.

Has anyone at DKU been diagnosed with the coronavirus?

No. To date, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 among DKU staff, students or faculty. You can find regular updates on the DKU website, Facebook and Twitter.

Has the city of Kunshan (or Jiangsu province) been affected significantly by the virus?

The city of Kunshan and Jiangsu province in general have not reported a significant impact of the virus. To check on the status of locally reported cases, please check our website for updates.

How close is the DKU campus to the city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated?

Wuhan is 482 miles (776 kilometers) away from Kunshan and is located in Hubei province. Kunshan is located in Jiangsu province.

How has the DKU community reacted to the coronavirus situation?

Our community is adaptable, collaborative, resilient and innovative. Many of our students, both Chinese and international, worked together on various charitable endeavors to assist with the epidemic, and recently completed a campaign that raised almost 400,000 RMB for relief efforts. Meanwhile, staff and faculty at DKU and Duke have been working tirelessly to implement an online learning platform to ensure all students will continue to receive the quality education they signed up for. This platform is now functional and students are returning to class. This “overnight” transition to an online university was the result of an extraordinary effort that engaged many people at Duke and DKU, as well as faculty working from around the world. DKU students for their part have created real and virtual meet-ups to sustain the sense of community that characterizes our university.

We are an institution that prides itself on its ability to confront the world’s most pressing challenges. Recent events have required us to put our theories into practice. Indeed, we are living the kind of case study that our students tackle in the classroom. While these times are challenging, we are absolute in our resolve and are confident that the outcome will only strengthen DKU’s mission in the future – our future.

I missed the parents webinar on Feb. 17. Is it available anywhere?

Yes. You will find a link to a recording of the webinar and accompanying resources on Updates for DKU Parents.

 

About Covid-19

Can you tell me more about this virus? Symptoms, duration, recovery, etc.

The 2019 novel coronavirus, the cause of the Covid-19 outbreak, is a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. For health advice, situation reports and the latest travel advice, use the following resources:
World Health Organization Q&A on Coronavirus Situation (English)
CDC Novel Coronavirus in China
CDC Frequently Asked Questions on Covid-19
You can also read more about the virus from Dr. Gregory C. Gray, an infectious disease epidemiologist, physician, and a professor at Duke Kunshan University, Duke University and Duke-NUS Medical School (Singapore): What is coronavirus?

How long will the epidemic last? When is the epidemic going to be contained?

DKU is monitoring news and developments of the COVID-19 outbreak very closely. Many viruses, like flu, measles and norovirus, thrive in cold, dry air and therefore peak in winter. However, there are many variables that will influence the course of events, and therefore it’s difficult to predict. For health advice, situation reports and the latest travel advice, use the following resources:
World Health Organization Q&A on Coronavirus Situation (English)
CDC Novel Coronavirus in China
CDC Frequently Asked Questions on Covid-19

Is a vaccine likely to be developed soon?

The World Health Organization (WHO) is following the progress of several research facilities that are racing to develop a new vaccine for COVID-19. Although efforts to come up with a vaccine for this new coronavirus have been accelerated, according to WHO, research is still at an early stage and clinical trials will take time before a vaccine is available to the public. Medical experts indicat that a publicly available vaccine is likely to be at least a year away.

 

Student Health & Safety

How does DKU ensure the health and safety of its students? What kind of medical care is available to me if I become sick at DKU (whether from coronavirus or another illness)?

DKU students have access to an on-campus health clinic for health management, medical consultation and 24/7 on-call nurse for emergency support. International students enroll in the International SOS medical insurance plan. There are several local hospitals in the Kunshan area, an international hospital nearby in Suzhou, as well as access to medical specialists in Shanghai.

What will happen if I begin classes at DKU in the fall, and the coronavirus resurfaces and all students have to be evacuated?

DKU has contingency measures in place to ensure the health and safety of our students as our top priority. Our contingency plans also ensure the continuity of the academic program. In the unlikely event that the campus needed to close again in the future, we would utilize alternative modes and locations for temporary delivery of courses.

Why should I risk my safety (or my child’s safety) to enroll at DKU?

We understand that the decision to send your child overseas for their education can be a difficult one and may be made more difficult when new risks surface. Since our inception, we have attracted a community of students, staff and faculty who are pioneers, adventurers and innovators. However, we recognize our custodial role in ensuring safe boundaries for these kind of explorations to thrive. Therefore, we cannot overemphasize the importance we place upon student safety and well-being. This is our highest priority and we hope that you recognize it in the swift and decisive actions we’ve taken in recent weeks.

We realize that emergencies can happen anywhere and in any form. That is why we maintain and monitor detailed contingency plans to ensure the safety of our students and continuity of learning if and when problems arise. Because of recent events, our emergency response plans have been thoroughly tested and proven successful.

 

Packing, storage/shipping of students’ belongings

What will happen with the belongings left behind in student dorm rooms if students do not go back to Kunshan for Session 4 and are planning on going to Duke in the fall?

At this time, all personal belongings are secured in locked rooms while the campus is under restricted access. The DKU cleaning staff has entered student rooms under supervision to remove perishable food items.

What are the procedures for students currently residing on campus?

Students on campus will pack their own belongings and must check out before 12 pm on May 9. We will assign students with items at Scholars Hotel a date and time to retrieve their belongings prior to checkout. Students now on campus (with the exception of those from Hubei province) are ineligible for shipping or storage services.

How will the people doing the boxing know what belongs to which student in the double occupancy rooms?

You will need to discuss and identify where individual items are in the room with your roommate to assist the Residence Life staff with sorting and gathering your belongings. Send any pertinent information about your belongings to residencelife@dukekunshan.edu.cn. Please provide clear instructions, details and/or descriptions of your items. 

Can some things be boxed and shipped and other items boxed and stored in anticipation of return to campus?

All items will need to be shipped or stored. We will not do a combination of boxing and storing items.

Can students now outside the Chinese mainland return to campus to collect their belongings?

No. These students are prohibited from traveling back to campus in the near future for health and safety reasons. We urge students outside of China to either leave belongings here (we will store until you return) or request items be shipped home.

Can students now in China return to campus to collect their belongings?

Students now in China who are able to return to campus between May 10 and 30 will be allowed to enter campus to pack the items in their dorm room. Once items are packed, DKU staff will move them into storage. Belongings will be stored until fall 2020, or for students planning to study at Duke in the fall, until spring 2021.

Alternatively, students can choose to have the packed items shipped, either by SF Express to an address in China or another vendor to destinations outside China. We strongly discourage students from attempting to ship items to overseas destinations due to the delays that may arise from Covid-19 control measures. Shipping within the Chinese mainland should take about a week.

Students will be assigned a date and timeslot between 9am and 6pm to enter campus. They will be allowed to bring a maximum of two people to help them pack. Students who return to campus to pack for themselves and/or others cannot stay overnight on campus or in their rooms.

How can students unable to return to campus collect their belongings?

Students who are unable to return to campus can arrange for a DKU student to enter campus between May 10 and 30 to pack their items for them. Alternatively, they can have a logistics company complete the packing. Once items are packed, DKU staff will move them into storage. Alternatively, students can choose to have them shipped to an address provided.

Shipping within the Chinese mainland should take about a week. We strongly discourage students from attempting to ship items to overseas destinations due to the delays that may arise from Covid-19 control measures.

If a student returns to pack for themselves or others, will DKU provide boxes and packing materials?

The packing company will provide all necessary materials. Students will need to follow the instructions from the packing company to decide whether they want their belongings stored or shipped.

Can students designate a classmate to collect important belongings on their behalf and leave the remaining belongings to be packed by a DKU mover?

Yes, but that designee can only collect the items the student has requested. He/she must show written proof of the student’s request and verifying them as a designee. Once the items are retrieved, the designee will be solely responsible for returning the items to the student. Contact Residence Life for details.

What will happen to students’ valuables stored in the DKU safe?

Students can send their code to Residence Life and our staff or designate classmate can retrieve these valuables. After students check out, DKU Operations will double-check the safes in student rooms. Contact Residence Life for details.

Can students choose to ship some items and store others?

No, they cannot. However, students can have a classmate go into their room to pick up important items and mail them separately before the belongings are packed by a designated DKU mover. Contact Residence Life for details.

Will students need to pay any storage costs?

DKU will cover all storage costs for students who are unable to return to campus. Students now on campus (with the exception of those from Hubei province) are ineligible for shipping or storage services.

Will students need to pay the insurance to ship their belongings?

DKU will cover the cost of shipping and insuring items up to the value of US$3000 (RMB 21,000). If the total value of the property exceeds this amount, students will need to store their items or accept personal responsibility if items are damaged or lost. We strongly discourage students from attempting to ship items to overseas destinations due to the delays that may arise from Covid-19 control measures.

Can students residing at Scholars Hotel leave belongings in their room?

Yes, on the condition the student meets all of the following criteria: (a) they commit to living in the same room next year, (b) they will be in Kunshan in the fall, and (c) they know that staff may enter their room to accommodate a roommate’s request to pack belongings.

Can students return to Scholars Hotel to pack important items and leave the rest untouched?

No. Only those who are unable to return can leave their belongings untouched. Students who return must pack all their own belongings.

How can students access their stored belongings?

Once items are stored, they will not be accessible during the summer break.

 

Undergraduate Program

Timeline

If the Chinese government allows the primary schools to reopen, will this affect DKU’s decision about when to reopen?

Our plans for reopening are based on three factors: (1) safeguarding the health of our students, staff and faculty, those now on campus and those around the world; (2) compliance with government directives about reopening institutions and travel; and (3) our great desire to resume face-to-face teaching on campus. The pace at which schools and other institutions in China reopen will certainly be important as we calculate a date for reopening DKU, but health considerations come first.

When will the DKU campus reopen? When will students be allowed to go back to Scholars Hotel?

This is a constantly changing situation. We do not have a firm date yet, and any changes depend upon progress with combatting the coronavirus outbreak as well as government directives. We have formed a team that is now developing detailed plans for reopening campus, once we decide upon a date to do so. Be assured that we want to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Is there a new academic calendar?

The new academic calendar for undergraduate students can be found at dukekunshan.edu.cn/en/information-undergraduate-students and is copied here for your convenience.

Session 3
Weeks 1-3: On campus
Weeks 4-7: Online
Feb. 24-March 20: Online session, inclusive of exams
Friday, March 6: Last day to withdraw with a W grade for first seven-week classes. Last day for I grade change.

Mini-Term 2020: Canceled
Class of 2022: A mini-term course may be taken in spring 2021 or 2022 if desired, but it is no longer required.
Class of 2023: Required to take a mini-term course in spring 2021, 2022 or 2023.

Session 4 (tentative)
We want to everyone to be prepared to do Session 4 online if that becomes necessary. If we are able to resume full operations, instruction will be held on the DKU campus. If we have the opportunity to return to campus, we may need to delay a few days to allow for travel.
March 23-May 8: Online session, inclusive of exams
Friday, March 27: Thursday. Drop/add ends for second seven-week undergraduate session.
Friday, April 10: Last day to withdraw with a W grade for 14-week classes.
Friday, April 24: Last day to withdraw with a W grade for second seven-week classes. Last day for I grade change. 

When are final exams? 

In the online format, we anticipate that many of our faculty will do final projects or presentations instead of final exams. In addition, online courses are more self-paced than in-person courses, so faculty may wish to provide students some flexibility in when to take their exams. Therefore, we have not scheduled specific time slots for final exams. These may take place during the last few days of each session.

 

Coursework

Some of the information provided in the Feb. 17 presentation about online courses beginning on Feb. 24 is confusing because my child began courses on Feb. 18.

The graduate and undergraduate courses have different schedules for spring 2020. Certain DKU graduate programs began online instruction on Feb. 18. However, undergraduate classes will begin on Feb. 24. Please check “Information for DKU students” on our website for information about each graduate program.

I do not understand the comments about the fall 2020 backup plan because my child is scheduled to graduate in May 2020.

The fall 2020 backup plan applies only to undergraduate students. Graduate students should consult with their program directors and check “Information for DKU students” on our website for information about each graduate program.

The new interdisciplinary course for undergraduates sounds cool! Will the course have multiple sections as I suspect it could be quite popular?

Absolutely. We want this course to demonstrate the potential of online learning to bring together the Duke Kunshan and Duke University undergraduate communities and strengthen the connections among them. We will have multiple sections to ensure as many as students as possible, at both institutions, have the chance to participate.

Can a DKU student (including first-year students) attend the upcoming summer session at Duke? How about any of Duke’s other international semester or summer Duke-in programs?

All students may attend the upcoming summer session(s) at Duke. A number of students from the Class of 2022 have already registered for courses in the six-week, term 2 summer session, June 29 to Aug. 9, 2020. The communication to students to date has assumed that most students who choose to come to Duke during the summer would do so before or after a semester at Duke during their third year. We recognize that with the temporary campus closure and the migration of courses to an online format, some students may now wish to study at Duke this summer, assuming that they are able to secure the required J-1 visa.

Students considering summer courses should carefully review the Duke Summer Session website for a list of course offerings, session dates and other information. Please note that like Duke students, DKU students who attend summer session are responsible for tuition, housing and all related fees. Please refer to the cost of attendance document on the DKU Study Abroad sakai site.

Prior to applying for the summer session, students should discuss specific course selection with their DKU faculty adviser.

We ask that all DKU students who wish to apply to Duke Summer Session 2020 contact dkuprograms@duke.edu for an application, to enable Duke and DKU to share relevant student records. If you attempt to register without contacting dkuprograms@duke.edu, you will receive a message indicating that you are not eligible to register.

Note that while attending both Summer Term 1 and 2 may (with prior approval from DKU) enable students to transfer a higher number of Duke instructor credits back to DKU, we do not recommend enrolling in two summer terms in lieu of spending a fall or spring semester at Duke.

DKU students are generally eligible to apply for any of Duke’s international semester or summer Duke-in programs. These programs are selective and students must meet eligibility requirements. Please refer to the specific program of interest information on the website: globaled.duke.edu/programs. Note that DKU students are required to pay the full cost of the Duke-in programs, including tuition as well as any other costs/fees indicated in the estimated program costs. Duke will not be able to accept any scholarship funding that a student may be receiving from DKU.

Can students take more than the two classes they usually take per quarter in Session 4?

We recognize that this is an unusual time. Many students are isolated in their apartments, and many of their usual co-curricular and extracurricular activities are currently unavailable. We will consider allowing students to take an overload of up to 12-14 credits (maximum of three four-credit courses and one two-credit course) in Session 4. Students considering an overload should discuss the pros and cons carefully with their academic advisor. If the adviser approves an overload, they should contact Dean Marcia France for approval.

Please note that when we return to in-person courses, we will also return to our usual policies regarding course loads.

How will lab courses be handled?

We are creating approaches that will allow students to complete the lab part of science courses and ensure DKU science students are well-equipped with lab skills. Most professors are working to create “virtual labs” that will allow students to complete the entire Session 3 course on schedule. The virtual labs are carefully designed to allow students to see and do actual manipulations, calculations, and demonstrate lab skills. Also, there is increased effort to work with students on aspects of experimental design, data analysis, and writing lab reports. In some cases, professors may give students the chance to finish lab activities when the campus reopens, without compromising their ability to complete the current course and progress to the next course in the sequence.

Will DKU accept credits from other schools in case students decide to attend community college or take some summer classes at other universities? The DKU approved list of schools seems to be short or nonexistent?

All coursework undertaken after matriculation as a full-time degree-seeking student at DKU must be at an accredited four-year institution in the United States or similarly accredited institution abroad with a liberal arts and general education curriculum. DKU students may study away for a fall or spring semester and/or during the summer, either at Duke or on a DKU-approved program sponsored by another university.

Further information is available from the university registrar. Approval forms for DKU students taking courses at institutions other than DKU and Duke may be obtained online or from the DKU Office of Study Abroad. Students wishing to transfer credit for study at another accredited college or university while on leave, on a DKU-approved study abroad program, or during the summer must present a catalog of that college or university to the DKU Office of Study Abroad and the corresponding division chair and obtain their approval prior to taking the courses.

For more information regarding courses taken at other institutions, please visit the DKU Bulletin.

 

Finance and Administration

Will DKU provide refunds for tuition, room and board for spring 2020 for those students who had to return to their homes or could not return to the DKU campus?

Updated March 1: DKU has put in place several financial incentives that we hope will demonstrate DKU’s good faith efforts to minimize what we know has been a difficult time for all members of our community. Please note that due to the unusual circumstances, the arrangements provided for tuition and lodging deviate from and replace DKU’s normal policies, which will be in place once normal operations resume. Read this chancellors' letter for specific details.

Can international students who have left China now drop their China health insurance?

Updated March 1: International students paid US$1,104 for international health insurance. Students who no longer need the international health insurance will have the option to (1) cancel their coverage and get a 100 percent credit for spring 2020 to be applied toward a future semester, or (2) request a prorated refund from the date the campus closed, Jan. 25, 2020.

 

Study Away at Duke

I am planning to study abroad at Duke in the summer or fall. Can I still do that?

We are moving ahead with plans for study abroad at Duke. Unfortunately, we cannot control when the U.S. embassy and consulates in China will be open for appointments and visa application processing. Our plan is to proceed with data collection and preparation of all supporting documentation. Duke will accept scanned documents and electronic signature where needed to prepare the DS-2019, which will be mailed to students or to DKU. Students planning to go in the summer have received information about this, and those planning to go in the fall will receive it soon.

For those located in China: We recognize that those of you planning to come to Duke this summer and/or fall are wondering when the U.S. embassy and U.S. consulates in China will reopen for visa appointments. We have been in communication with the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai, and it is aware of the number of DKU students who will be applying for J-1 visas to study at Duke. At this time, the consulate cannot issue routine visas until the current U.S. Presidential Proclamation on travel to and from China is lifted. While that timing remains uncertain, once the restrictions are lifted, we have been assured that consulate staff will do everything they can to facilitate DKU student visa appointments. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and communicate any new information as it becomes available. We also encourage you to check the U.S. embassy website on a regular basis to stay current on government policies and announcements.

For those located in areas where the U.S. embassy and consulates are open: Students should complete the following steps as early as possible after receiving their DS-2019 from Duke, including (1) paying your SEVIS fee, (2) completing the DS-160 Form and (3) requesting an appointment for an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate of your choice..

For all students: Anyone who can get their visa may attend Duke University as planned. Those who are in an area where the U.S. embassy or consulate is closed should consider backup summer plans in case they are unable to get their visa in time. For those planning to go to Duke in the fall, we are considering alternatives for those who are unable to get their visas on time, including options for you coming in spring 2021 or fall 2021.

What's the prospect for now for students going to Duke during spring/summer 2021?

While we hope that there will be no problem for students planning to go to Duke for spring 2021 or later, it is important to keep in mind that we have no control over when the U.S. visa services will reopen in China, nor how long the application review process will take once that happens. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and communicate any new information as it becomes available. We also encourage you to check the U.S. embassy website on a regular based to stay current on government policies and announcements.

 

Study Away at Other Universities

May I take courses at another university this spring or over the summer?

All coursework undertaken after matriculation as a full-time degree-seeking student at Duke Kunshan University must be at another accredited four-year institution. Courses must be approved for credit. Students are expected to go through the course approval process through the study abroad office in advance. See page 36 of the 2019-20 Bulletin for more details on coursework taken after matriculation.

 

Other

What is the communication plan for parents moving forward?

We recognize that communications with parents has not been as frequent and effective as it should be. Be assured that going forward we will seek to be in regular contact with parents about the current status of DKU and future plans for your students. You can also email us at UGspring2020@dukekunshan.edu.cn with specific concerns and we will respond within 24 hours.

What is the main contact info email for follow up questions?

Send follow-up questions on DKU parent updates to UGspring2020@dukekunshan.edu.cn and student-specific questions to marcia.b.france@dukekunshan.edu.cn.

Can you ensure that the DKU professors will come back from all over the world when DKU reopens?

While we cannot guarantee what any individual’s plans will be for the future, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Scott MacEachern has spoken to most of the faculty individually and they are generally eager to come back to campus and resume teaching. We also look forward to welcoming 30 new faculty members who have accepted offers to join DKU in fall 2020, and we expect to hire another 10 to 20 more faculty by fall 2020.

Are Duke and DKU trying to tap into the Duke alumni for networking opportunities, internship/shadow opportunities? Students have more time now to take advantage of these things.

Plans are underway to provide DKU students access to the Duke alumni network later this spring. The Duke Alumni Relations team had planned to introduce this initiative in person during a visit to DKU in March, but plans are now being made to provide training and access instructions online.

DKU students should continue to work with the DKU Office of Career Services as their primary resource for career advising and internship opportunities.

Can you briefly mention if you have any updates on the Signature Work requirement?

A faculty committee has been hard at work throughout the fall semester to develop more details on the Signature Work requirement. At the moment, the faculty is focused on preparing for online course delivery for sessions 3 and 4, but we plan to have additional information on the Signature Work available later this semester. If modifications are necessary owing to the disruption in our academic schedule, we will share them as early as possible.

Can you say a bit more about the process of major declaration?

The major declaration process for the Class of 2022 will take place no later than the last teaching day of Session 3, which is March 20, 2020. Students should plan to meet with their advisers by Zoom. Students may also wish to arrange a Zoom appointment with the appropriate division chair and/or a faculty member in their area of interest to discuss their plans. The major declaration will be made using a Qualtrics form that will be sent to you in March.

For Chinese mainland students, will there be any changes to the schedule for the military training after the spring 2020 semester?

The military training for Chinese mainland students is currently scheduled to proceed as planned. Should there be a change in the schedule, DKU is considering contingency plans.

 

Graduate Programs

General

If students cannot get visas in time for their scheduled study in Durham, what are the contingency plans?

Contingency plans would be program-specific and depend on several factors, including potential delays in visa processing, when the DKU campus will reopen, and travel restrictions for students, faculty and staff. Our goal is to help students advance toward their degrees and in their careers as much as possible amid the coronavirus outbreak. Please contact your program coordinators for more details.

If DKU cannot reopen its campus in the fall, what are the contingency plans?

Although the chances that DKU’s campus will remain closed in the fall are small, all the graduate programs are working with their corresponding schools at Duke to develop contingency plans. The university and the graduate programs will continue to be flexible and creative in coming up with options that enable students to make the best of their time during the coronavirus outbreak. Please check our website to get the latest updates.

Can we receive online teaching support instructions (for example, how to use DKU resources remotely)?

Yes, graduate students have received online teaching support instructions similar to undergrauate students.

When will DKU hold its commencement for graduate students?

The date is still to be determined.

 

Prospective Students

Since recent TOEFL and GRE test dates have been cancelled, can I substitute with other tests?

TOEFL and GRE tests are expected to resume in China in May 2020. We encourage you to sign up and prepare for them. We may consider alternative test scores if the situation becomes more challenging. Please contact the admissions officers of your intended program for the most updated admissions policies.

Is it possible to have the application deadline further extended?

We understand this is a challenging time for applicants. Please contact the admissions officers of your intended program to discuss your specific situation.

Are there any upcoming campus day events? Can we visit the university?

The campus has been closed to visitors since Jan. 26. Visits will not be possible until the campus reopens and until the university, working together with public health authorities, determines that the additional travel and interaction associated with campus visits will not create unwarranted health risks. Please check our website for the latest updates.

 

Credit/Refund Options for Spring 2020 (Undergraduate Program)

Tuition and Study Abroad

How do I inform DKU about my decision regarding the options outlined in the Feb. 29 letter to students and parents?

Once you have made a final decision about spring 2020 sessions 3 and 4 and continuing with DKU, notify the university by completing this form. In addition to filling out the survey, undergraduate students wishing to take a leave of absence from DKU must submit a completed Undergraduate Leave of Absence application to Marcia France at marcia.b.france@dukekunshan.edu.cn, and undergraduate students wishing to withdraw from DKU must submit a completed University Withdrawal Form to Marcia France.

Can I apply my US$2,000 credit for a future study abroad experience?

Yes. The US$2,000 credit can be used toward any expenses (tuition, lodging, airfare) you would incur to attend Duke or another university for for-credit study abroad in any semester or summer.

Will the US$2,000 credit be limited to Duke or Duke-in programs, or can be used for any study away program of the student's choice?

The US$2,000 credit can be used toward any expenses (tuition, lodging, airfare) you would incur to study at Duke or another other university for for-credit study abroad in any semester or summer.

What if I do not take advantage of a study abroad experience during my time at DKU? Can the US$2,000 credit be applied to other expenses? 

Great question. If you decide not to study abroad during your time at DKU, you can apply the US$2,000 credit to your DKU tuition or housing bill in your senior year.

I have already received financial aid from the DKU Study Abroad Grant program for my study away. Can the US$2,000 credit be given to me for personal expenses?

We cannot just give you cash. But if your DKU grant and the US$2,000 credit is more than the amount to be billed to you by Duke or another university, DKU can pay for other direct travel expenses associated with your study abroad, such as airfare. Any remaining funds not used for study abroad can be applied to your DKU tuition or housing bill in your senior year.

Do we have to pay the US$2,000 study abroad credit back to DKU?

No, this is not a loan. Think of it as a scholarship that you can put towards a study abroad experience.

If I receive a scholarship from DKU, especially full scholarship, does the tuition credit policy remain the same?

The US$2,000 credit can be used toward any study abroad expenses (tuition, lodging, airfare) you would incur to attend Duke or another university for for-credit study abroad in any semester or summer.

 

About Insurance

I am studying at Duke in fall 2020. Will I be allowed to carry forward my insurance credit to pay for insurance fees at Duke?  

No, but you can apply the insurance credit to your next semester at DKU.

 

About Lodging

Can I apply my lodging credit to my study abroad at Duke?

The lodging credit can only be applied to your next semester at DKU.

Resident Advisors (RAs) do not pay for lodging. Is there a separate policy for RAs?

Since RAs do not pay for lodging, the university will not provide lodging credit or refunds for RAs.

 

About a Leave of Absence and Withdrawal

What is the difference between withdrawal and leave of absence?

Students who withdraw from the University have to apply through the Admissions Office through the regular admissions process if they wish to return to the university. Students who wish to take time away from their studies but intend to return to DKU are advised to take a leave of absence. Return from leave of absence is contingent upon approval of a Return from Leave of Absence application. 

What factors should I consider when deciding whether to finish the term or take a leave of absence?

Students are strongly encouraged to continue with the online courses and complete the semester. Students considering taking a leave of absence should discuss their plan with their academic advisor so that they fully understand the implications of the leave of absence on their progress toward graduation. Taking a leave of absence might require a student to complete at least one additional semester in order to complete their graduation requirements.

How do I take a leave of absence?

Undergraduate students wishing to take a leave of absence from DKU must submit a completed Undergraduate Leave of Absence application to Marcia France at marcia.b.france@dukekunshan.edu.cn.

How many times can I apply for a leave of absence before I graduate?

There is no limit to the number of leaves of absence. However, the maximum length of time to complete your degree should not exceed six years, including the time taken for leaves of absence.

Is there limit to the number of years that I have to graduate in?

Undergraduates at DKU are expected to complete the bachelor’s degree in eight semesters of enrollment. This period may be extended with approval from the Office of Undergraduate Studies for legitimate reasons, but the maximum length of time to complete the degree should not exceed six years, including the time taken for leave of absence. For students who are taking a leave of absence for military service reasons, the maximum time to complete the degree could be further extended by two years.

How do I withdraw from the university?

Undergraduate students wishing to withdraw from DKU must submit a completed University Withdrawal Form to Marcia France at marcia.b.france@dukekunshan.edu.cn.

If I decide to withdraw from DKU for spring 2020, will I get any credit for coursework already completed?

No. A withdrawal for spring 2020 means that you do not obtain credit for courses taken during the spring semester.

If I want to complete Session 3 in spring 2020 and then take a leave of absence in Session 4, can I get a tuition credit for Session 4?

If you take leave of absence for Session 4 only, DKU will give a 50 percent credit of spring 2020 net tuition, adjusted for any prior outstanding balance, toward the cost of the first DKU term in which you re-enroll. A Leave of Absense application must be completed before the last day of classes in Session 4.

If I take a leave of absence in spring 2020, can I graduate in the summer of 2022 as usual if I can make up for the credits?

Students considering taking a leave of absence should discuss their plan with their academic advisor so that they fully understand the implications of the leave of absence on their progress toward graduation. Taking a leave of absence might require a student to complete at least one additional semester in order to complete their graduation requirements.

 

Miscellaneous

If I do not need a credit or refund that is offered by DKU (for study abroad, lodging or insurance), may I give it back or to someone else?

Any offered credits or refunds that are not taken by our students will be used to help DKU students with demonstrated financial need who otherwise might not be able to attend DKU or participate in a study abroad program.

 

Online Courses for Students

General

If two courses in Session 4 have time conflicts according to the original course schedule on SIS, but possibly no longer conflict if they are taught online, can I take those two together in Session 4? Is it possible to cancel the “validate” process in sispub since there will be no time-violation problems online?

For Session 4 courses, we will be changing all the original meeting times into the new online synchronous time. This way, the system will still prevent students from taking two courses with synchronous session scheduled at the same time, but you will be able to take two classes that originally had time conflicts due to lab, recitation or discussion sections. While we understand that students might not be able to participate in synchronous instructions due to their time zone or internet access, you should not deliberately sign up for a conflict. If there is no conflict with the new schedule, you may make registration changes before the end of the drop/add period.

What should we do if the time of our classes conflict with each other? I mean, what if two of my classes require online meetings at the same time?

Synchronous time slots were assigned based on similar rubrics to those used to schedule final exams, which should minimize the potential for conflicts. Instructors may change their time slot only if everyone in the class agrees and is available. For example, if participants are all located in a single time zone, the instructor might select a time that is more convenient. Instructors may not move their course to another time slot that causes a student to have a conflict with a regularly scheduled synchronous time slot for another course.

Can my instructor change the assigned time slot?

Yes, if everyone in the class agrees and is available. For example, if participants are all located in a single time zone, your instructor might wish to find a time that is more convenient. They may not move the course to another time slot that causes a student to have a conflict with a regularly scheduled synchronous time slot for another course. Realistically, rescheduling to a time convenient for participants will be much easier for small classes than for larger ones.

What if one of my courses has scheduled Zoom meetings at a time that does not work for me?

Synchronous time slots were assigned based on similar rubrics used to schedule final exams, which should minimize the potential for conflicts. However, we are aware that our students are spread all over the world and in different time zones. Students should not be penalized if they cannot participate in these sessions. Sessions should also be recorded and distributed to students via Sakai, to accommodate those who are unable to participate.

You have mentioned that synchronous Zoom meetings should be optional and not required. Can faculty require students to do make-up work such as writing essays if they do not attend the synchronous zoom meetings?

Students who cannot attend Zoom meetings because of their time zone or technical difficulties should not be required to do additional work to make up for their absence.

When taking online courses, I am concerned that other students will cheat. Won’t that put me at a disadvantage?

This was covered in the recent FAQs, but it is so important that it is included again here. Academic Integrity is the responsibility of every student. You each signed a pledge to uphold the DKU Community Standard. Your reputation, and the reputation of the university, is at stake.

  • Your instructors may take steps to help students avoid temptation, such as open note/open book exams.
  • For every assignment, quiz or test, you are expected to pledge to uphold the community standard. We will be setting up a feature in the assignments and quiz and test tools in Sakai that requires students to sign the pledge in order to do the assessment.
  • If you have any questions about what is and is not permitted, such as whether or not notes can be used, ask your instructor. Please contact Dean Marcia France if you have any concerns about potential academic integrity violations.

Will there be classes on Fridays?

Since there is no longer a need to reserve Fridays for field trips, we are now able to use Fridays as class days. This is one of the ways we have been able to keep the end of Session 4 on May 8 as originally scheduled. We have assigned some courses synchronous time slots on Fridays. In addition, much of the online coursework is asynchronous, so you can work on it anytime. 

Are professors allowed to open more seats in Session 4 classes in order to accommodate people wanting to overload (this is in case a class remains closed even during drop/add period)?

Whether in an in-person or online course, we are conscious of maintaining class size. Class size has an impact on the student experience: Discussion, group projects and many active teaching strategies work best with smaller classes. Class size also affects the faculty experience. With a larger class, the faculty member has more grading to do and more students competing for the same amount of faculty time during office hours. Please contact Dean Marcia France if there is a reason you need to add a specific course this semester.

Can students work full-time while taking online courses?

Even though courses are online, you are still enrolled as a full-time student at Duke Kunshan University. A full load of 2 to 2.5 courses should occupy you approximately 48 to 60 hours per week of total in- and out-of-class time. Just as at DKU, employment should be limited to no more than 40 hours a month (10 hours a week) while classes are in session.

 

Questions about Specific Courses

I am worried about the STATS 101 class in Session 4. How will it be taught?

All our faculty are working hard to develop courses in the online format. Right now, they are focused mostly on Session 3 courses. If you have questions about specific courses, contact the instructor directly.

How will science labs be handled?

DKU instructors are creating approaches to ensure students are well equipped with lab skills and can advance through the science curriculum. All instructors are working to create options such as “virtual labs” that will allow students to complete the entire Session 3 course on schedule. The virtual labs are designed carefully to allow students to see and do actual manipulations, calculations and demonstrate lab skills. Also, there is increased effort to work with students on aspects of experimental design, data analysis, reading the primary literature, and writing lab reports. Labs for some courses may also be designed for students to complete with common, household objects. In some cases, professors may give students the chance to finish originally planned lab activities, but without grade or academic credit, when the campus reopens.

For students who want to get more hands-on experience, instructors may also offer some optional, non-credit labs on Fridays when the campus reopens. 

Do students need special equipment for ARHU 102: The Art of Interpretation: Images and Sound?

The course samples various forms of artistic expression, not just video. Just as when the course is offered on campus, students in ARHU 102 are not required to use professional equipment; instead, experimentation with personal smartphones, cameras, as well as editing software in the Adobe Creative Cloud, is strongly encouraged. Prior to the start of Session 4, the instructors will reach out to each registered student to get some information on what they have available.

What is the plan for the mandatory Chinese Society and Culture courses, since the professors who are supposed to teach this course will be from Wuhan University?

At the moment, we plan to offer these courses this summer as scheduled. However, this is a constantly changing situation, and the health and safety of every member of the DKU community is our No. 1 priority.

Will new courses like the novel coronavirus course be available for sign-up on SIS? If so, when?

You will be able to register for the new courses in SIS. We will notify you when the new courses are open for registration.

Will the new course about the coronavirus be in a form like the non-credit Hong Kong mini course?

No. The coronavirus course will be a regular two-credit course.

Will the coronavirus course continue to be offered even after the outbreak?

We do not yet know whether this course will be offered again in future sessions. If you are interested in taking this course, you might want to take it in Session 4.

If I want to withdraw from a PE course, do I only need to complete the survey sent previously or do I also need to withdraw in SIS?

For Session 3 or 14-week PE courses: If you respond in the PE Qualtrics that you wish to drop the course, we will take care of that for you administratively so that a W grade will not be registered.
For Session 4 PE courses: All current student registrations will be dropped. Students who wish to take a PE course in Session 4 will need to register for one of the new courses.

 

Coursera

How would using Coursera for DKU or Coursera for Duke be different from someone using normal Coursera?

For “normal” Coursera, students would just do the complete Coursera course. In contrast, in our case, your faculty may be using videos, texts or other content that will enrich the course they are offering. For example, they might refer you to a brief video instead of making a new one. Our DKU courses will still have the primary experience directly with a DKU faculty. Coursera for DKU exists to provide you access to a world of online content to support your learning, but your primary online DKU course experience will take place in Sakai, Zoom, and other DKU tools and platforms. All graded assessments will also still take place in Sakai or other locations outside of Coursera for DKU. Please see Coursera for DKU in the DKU Online Students Sakai site for more information. You may do “normal” Coursera courses if you wish, but these would not earn DKU credit.

Will we be able to access Coursera courses after returning to campus? How long will our access to Coursera last?

The current contract is good through the rest of this calendar year. After that, all DKU students and faculty will retain full access to all of Duke’s Coursera courses, but they will lose free access to the rest of the Coursera catalogue.

Can I take Coursera courses for DKU credit?

No. You will not be taking Coursera courses for DKU credit. Your professors might point you to the Coursera for DKU platform to access content in Coursera courses that would enrich your weekly class sessions, similar to how you might use a textbook or other educational resource. Coursera courses often include high-quality videos, texts and other content that might be relevant to your DKU course, as well as assessments (for example, quizzes) that you might find useful as knowledge checks and extra practice.

Please note, however, that all graded assessments will still take place in Sakai or other locations outside of Coursera for DKU. Coursera for DKU exists to provide you access to a world of online content to support your learning but your primary online DKU course experience will take place in Sakai, Zoom, and other DKU tools and platforms.

We encourage you to freely explore the entire Coursera catalog. This is an unparalleled opportunity for you to sample learning experiences from Duke and other world-class institutions. See the Sakai site for more information.

I followed the instructions and registered my DKU Coursera account. However, when I was trying to enroll in a course, it says that I will need to pay after the 7-day free trial.

Make sure that you register using your @dukekunshan.edu.cn email address. Anyone with a @dukekunshan.edu.cn email address should be able to get free access using the instructions that were sent out. If you use a @duke.edu email address, you will not have full access.

 

Resources

It’s actually pretty difficult for those of us in China (with DKU/Duke VPN) to load Coursera. Can we have IT staff look into that?

If you are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact IT:

  • China-based faculty/staff/students (+86) 0512- 3665-7100
  • US-based faculty/staff/students (+1) 919-660-1810
  • International-based faculty/staff/students can use either telephone option (recommend using tools like Skype calling)
  • Live Chat: https://oit.duke.edu/help
  • Email: service-desk@dukekunshan.edu.cn

Will the WLS be available?

Yes. You should have received an email explaining how to access the WLS. You can sign up for an appointment online at https://wls.dukekunshan.edu.cn.  

Will the ARC be available?

The ARC will offer tutoring support in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.

Synchronous tutoring sessions via Zoom
Drop-in sessions: There will be course-specific Zoom meetings hosted by either an Academic Success Tutor or an Undergraduate Peer Tutor several days a week from 10 am-12pm and/or 5-7pm (Beijing time). Students can join these meetings during the scheduled time slots to seek tutoring support. The ARC will monitor the number of visitors at these sessions and assign more than one tutor at popular time slots. In this case, they will use the Breakout Room feature of Zoom to help students in a timely manner.

One-on-one sessions by appointment: Students who cannot join drop-in sessions or prefer to get support in a private setting can request one-on-one sessions via Zoom by completing an ARC Qualtrics survey. The aim is to match students with a tutor within 24 hours.

Study group sessions: The ARC also supports several entry-level classes in a study group format. These are UG Peer-tutor-led sessions, featuring key terms and concepts review, practice questions, group sharing and discussion. These study groups will continue to be offered via Zoom at a time agreed upon by all group members.

Review sessions: The ARC provides homework review sessions or exam review sessions according to actual demand for some courses. These review sessions focus on homework understanding or exam preparation, and often attract a larger population than regular drop-in sessions.

Asynchronous tutoring support via a new ARC Sakai site
Students in courses with tutoring support from the ARC will be added to the ARC Learning Support 2020 site on Sakai. Students who are not able to attend synchronous sessions can leave their questions in the Forum of this site and then check back later for responses from tutors.

The site will also have a Resource folder for course-related study materials.

Students wishing to utilize supplemental support offered by the ARC should refer to new ARC Sakai site that will serve as the information center for all 17 courses that are being supported in sessions 3 and 4. If you are currently enrolled in one of the courses with tutoring, you will automatically be added to the ARC Sakai site. It will have Zoom meeting links for all the tutoring sessions offered, as well as course related study resources.

Email the Academic Resource Center at dku-arc@dukekunshan.edu.cn if you have questions related to online tutoring, learning strategy or supplemental support.

When will ARC support be reestablished, tutoring in particular? 

ARC services resumed on Feb. 24. If a student needs assistance prior to that date, they should contact their instructor or the appropriate tutor directly.

I need to do library research, but I am not on campus. What should I do? 

Though logistical difficulties of course limit standard operations, the library can still provide a wide range of services including:

Library collections:

  • Your access to Duke University Libraries’ vast online collections (including e-books, e-journals and streaming video) remains unchanged. All you need to access their online collections is an internet connection and your NetID (*DKU VPN may be needed for accessing in some regions/countries). Contact dkulibrary@dukekunshan.edu.cn if you encounter difficulties.
  • You can request scanned copies of journal articles or book chapters using Duke Libraries Document Delivery Service. The waiting period is approximately two to three days.
  • The Library on the DKU Campus is open from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week, for DKU community members on campus to check out books. Books may be borrowed and returned using the self-service machine (in the event of a problem with the self-service machine, contact dkulibrary@dukekunshan.edu.cn). Unfortunately, books in remote storage, DVDs, and other devices such as calculators are unavailable due to staffing restrictions.
  • The library space is not recommended to use as study space as it is an enclosed area. Special requests can be considered by the Operations department: campus-services@dukekunshan.edu.cn.

Research Consultations: Librarians are available for individual or group consultations via email, Zoom or other online platforms. Please contact the relevant librarian to schedule an appointment.

Online Chat Service: Get instant help via the DKU/Duke Libraries shared chat service at dukekunshan.edu.cn/en/academics/library. To receive a targeted service, indicate your DKU status when initiating your conversation with a librarian.

Online Workshops: Librarians are also available to record online videos through Zoom or other platforms to offer online workshops about conducting research, using the libraries’ digital collections, or using tools such as reference management software or data visualisation platforms. Please contact a librarian to discuss your needs.

Textbooks and eReserve: The Library team has been working with faculty to arrange access to required textbooks for students who no longer have access to their print textbooks. If you have any questions about textbooks, please contact ug-textbook@dukekunshan.edu.cn

News and Events: Check your email, visit the home page of the library, or follow the library via WeChat for ongoing news and events. 

Please reach out for help on any of the above topics or to inquire about other services.

 

Policies

Can I add/drop/withdraw from a course?

In most cases, the usual add/drop deadlines and course withdrawal policies remain the same. The deadlines were on the revised academic calendar. The relevant ones are as follows:

Session 3
Friday, March 6: Last day to withdraw with a W grade for first seven-week classes. Last day for I grade change.

Session 4
Friday, March 27: Drop/add ends for second seven-week undergraduate session.
Friday, April 10: Last day to withdraw with a W grade for 14-week classes.
Friday, April 24: Last day to withdraw with a W grade for second seven-week classes. Last day for I grade change. 

If students have technical difficulties that prevent them from participating in a course or other concerns, they should contact Dean Marcia France to discuss their situation.

Is it possible to overload in session 4 now that we are doing classes online?

We recognize that this is an unusual time. Many students are isolated in their apartments, and many of their usual co- and extra-curricular activities are currently unavailable. We will consider allowing students to take an overload of up to 12-14 credits (maximum of three 4-credit courses and one 2-credit course) in Session 4. Students considering an overload should discuss the pros and cons carefully with their academic advisor. The academic advisor is in the best position to help a student determine if an overload is advisable, based on the student’s personal situation and academic record. If the advisor approves an overload, they should contact Dean Marcia France for approval.

Please note that when we return to in-person courses, we will also return to our usual policies regarding course loads.

If I take a language course (which is four credits for two sessions), am I not be able to take an extra four-credit course in Session 4?

We recognize that this is an unusual time. Many students are isolated in their apartments, and many of their usual co- and extra-curricular activities are currently unavailable. We will consider allowing students to take an overload of up to 12-14 credits (maximum of three four-credit courses and one two-credit course) in Session 4. Students considering an overload should discuss the pros and cons carefully with their academic adviser. The academic adviser is in the best position to help a student determine if an overload is advisable, based on the student’s personal situation and academic record. If the adviser approves an overload, they should contact Dean Marcia France for approval.

Please note that when we return to in-person courses, we will also return to our usual policies regarding course loads.

Can I take an underload if I drop or withdraw from a course?

Students are encouraged to take a full course load in order to maintain progress toward graduation. Students are also encouraged to give the online courses a chance before making any decisions. Any drop or course withdrawal that leads to an underload should be discussed carefully with your academic adviser.

If students have technical difficulties that prevent them from participating in a course, or if they experience any other special circumstances, they should contact Dean Marcia France to discuss their situation.

Will the CR/NC policy be expanded during this semester?

No. There are no plans to make any changes to the CR/NC policy. Students may select this option as described in the 2019-20 Bulletin.

 

International Undergraduate Admissions

General

Have any changes been made to the admissions process or application requirements for the Fall 2021 application cycle?

Yes.  Due to the limitations on opportunities to prepare for and take the SAT and ACT because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke Kunshan is adopting a test-optional policy for the 2020-2021 application cycle. Please review our test-optional policy information and related FAQs.  

What should I do if I am unable to take national exams, IB exams or other exams due to school closures? How will you consider my results if I do not perform as well as expected due to disruptions caused by Covid-19?

IB, AP and Cambridge Assessment International Education have announced modifications to, or cancellations of, their respective final exams. We know that the alternations to or cancellation of these exams also disrupts the educational plans of many of our applicants. Please know that we plan to support the modifications and cancellations announced by AP, IB and Cambridge International Education so that admissions decisions and advanced placement credit policies are upheld. We will not penalize any student in the admissions process because of educational interruptions caused by the Covid-19 emergency or related precautionary measures.

May I visit the DKU campus?

Yes. To conform with measures to prevent and control Covid-19, visitors to the DKU campus need to make an appointment at least two weeks in advance and follow all local health and safety requirements. To schedule a visit, please contact Duke Kunshan International Admissions at intl-admissions@dukekunshan.edu.cn. For those who cannot travel to our campus, please register for virtual visits and online information sessions.

Will the on-campus International Admitted Student Experience weekend planned for April 2021 still take place? 

At this time, knowing that some students may not be able to visit our campus in the spring, we are planning both in-person and virtual events. Students will receive further event details at the time of their admission in March.

 

Campus Reopening / Fall Semester

What will happen if I am unable to travel to China in time for the fall semester because of travel or visa restrictions?

We continue to assist the Class of 2024 in making the necessary preparations to arrive on campus in Kunshan in August as planned. We also recognize that it may be difficult or impossible for some international students to travel to China. In that event, we have several options for helping students further their education, including attending classes at the Duke University campus in Durham, North Carolina, and through our newly developed platforms for online and hybrid modes of instruction. These options are, of course, dependent on local and global conditions at the time and are subject to change on short notice. We will continue to monitor the evolving climate and develop flexible contingencies, and communicate those to you in a timely manner.

If I cannot get to China in fall 2020, can I attend Duke for the first semester or more?

The DKU academic program is designed to allow all students to spend one semester (and an optional summer term) at Duke University in their junior (third) year if they choose. However, students who cannot enter China for fall term 2020 due to travel or visa restrictions will have the option of beginning their DKU academic year at Duke in North Carolina, U.S.  DKU students who study at Duke in fall 2020 will then proceed to DKU in spring 2021.

What are my options if Duke University is not able to accommodate residential students for the fall 2020 semester?

We hope that the DKU campus will be open for residential students for the fall 2020 semester, and it is our goal to welcome the Class of 2024 in Kunshan in August. Students who are unable to travel to China will be able to attend classes at Duke in the fall of 2020 if the Duke campus is open for residential students. If Duke is unable to resume residential instruction in the fall, both Duke and DKU will explore online and hybrid learning options.

What are my options if I cannot enter either China or the United States this fall?

We are exploring options for online and hybrid instruction that can support our broad, global community in the event that students and faculty cannot travel to DKU in time for the fall 2020 semester. 

If I study at Duke in fall 2020, will this replace the study away semester planned for the junior year at DKU?

Students may be able to pursue a second semester at Duke in their third year, but we cannot guarantee that option right now, as it will depend upon a variety of factors including space and course availability. Priority for the third-year Study Away semester at Duke will be given to those who have not already had an opportunity to study at Duke. It may also interest you to know that DKU students always are welcome to enroll in Duke’s summer sessions courses any summer after their first year. Those interested in studying at Duke in the summer should consult the DKU Office of Study Abroad to determine course transferability and academic goals.

If I study at Duke in fall 2020 and then decide I want to continue studies there instead of at DKU in Kunshan, is that possible?

No. This is a one-time option to support international students in a time of extraordinary disruption. DKU students who study at Duke in fall 2020 will be required to enroll at DKU for the spring 2021 semester in order to meet the requirements of their degree program. It is important to remember that DKU and Duke are separate universities with different curricula, requirements and academic calendars. Duke and DKU have separate admissions processes and use different selection criteria. An admission offer to one is not transferrable to the other. 

Will the cost of attending fall semester at Duke in Durham be the same as attending DKU in Kunshan?

Students will pay the DKU tuition rate (inclusive of any scholarship and aid awarded), but the room and board and other fees will be at the Duke rates, as follows:

When will I know for sure if I’ll be studying in Kunshan, Durham or online?

Although this is a time of great uncertainty for everyone, we are fortunate to have two campuses and multiple educational approaches that are ready and able to support our students. Our goal is to bring all new students to our beloved campus in Kunshan this August. At the same time, we are creating alternative plans including online/hybrid instruction models and the possibility of beginning the academic year in Durham, North Carolina, if the Duke campus is able to reopen.

In May and June, we intend to work with families to begin the student visa process. We will continue to pursue the travel entry process for China until such time that regulations prohibit them. Circumstances are likely to vary country by country, so we will work with individual students to determine the best option for their fall studies. It is our hope to be able to provide all students with a clear plan for Fall instruction by July. However, once students select a destination, they will be committed to that path for the full length of the fall semester.

We encourage students to consider all of these possibilities when making a final decision to choose DKU. Regardless of the venue, new students will find themselves welcomed and supported in a vibrant academic community that is both unique and resilient.

Can I defer my admissions offer to next year? Can I attend a different university for my freshman year and transfer to DKU as a sophomore?

If you would like to postpone your enrollment, you may apply for a one-year deferral and pursue a gap year. If approved for a deferral, students may take part-time courses during their gap year and can submit final transcripts to be considered for transfer credit. DKU allows up to eight transfer credits subject to review and approval by the registrar’s office. Admitted students who are interested in this option may request a deferral application from the admissions office at intl-admissions@dukekunshan.edu.cn.

If you choose to pursue a full-time course of study at another institution, you will need to re-apply for admission to DKU for the fall 2021 term as a freshman. The admissions office will use your high school record along with the coursework completed during the 2020-2021 academic year as the basis for their admissions decision. Please be aware that DKU allows a maximum of eight transfer credits, and these are subject to review and approval by the registrar’s office.

Is DKU expecting a dip in international student numbers this year as a result of the virus?

We certainly hope not. All indications point to an enthusiastic incoming class. Our international student application pool increased 11 percent over last year, and we are delighted with the talented and diverse candidates in our pool.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

Incoming international students (Class of 2024) should send questions to ug-admitted@dukekunshan.edu.cn.

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