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A gap year, also known as a bridge or sabbatical year, is usually a break in studies between high school and college. At Duke, admitted students who confirm their intention to enroll at Duke as first-year undergraduate students can request to defer their enrollment at Duke in order to pursue a gap year experience of their choosing. For instance, a student admitted to the class of 2027 who takes a gap year will become a member of the class of 2028. Popular gap year activities include service, travel, and other personal projects.

At Duke, our approach to a gap year is simple. We believe there are few opportunities in life to take a meaningful amount of time to pause, reflect, and explore. There are even fewer opportunities where you can do so knowing you have an exceptional opportunity waiting for you. If you are admitted to Duke as a first-year undergraduate and wish to defer your enrollment, you have two options:

  • To join a cohort of students who are taking intentional gap years that emphasize civic engagement and personal discovery, apply to the Duke Gap Year Program (DGYP). DGYP applicants can request from $5000 to $15,000 of funding as part of their application.
  • If you do not want to join or are not admitted to the DGYP, request an independent gap year through your applicant portal.

To learn about Duke’s general gap year policies, visit admissions.duke.edu/gapyear. Note that all students taking a gap year, either through the DGYP or independently, are required to enroll at Duke the following year.