Design Your Future

Duke’s Winter Breakaway offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional students learning opportunities between semesters. The Winter Breakaway enables students to combine skills such as collaborative leadership, compelling communication across audiences and media, and complex problem solving with technical skills like digital competencies and data analysis. Some students will add a technical component to their repertoire while others will strengthen their humanistic skills; some students will do both.

Quick Facts:

Dates: January 4-15, 2021
Registration deadline: December 1, 2020; Alumni Mentoring has a program registration deadline of November 2, 2020
Delivery method: Programs will be offered virtually both synchronously and asynchronously
Registration: Non-competitive with priority given to students who commit early
Credential: Programs with more than 15 program hours earn a Practice-Oriented Experience transcript notation
Cost: Free and open to all Duke students


Registration for Winter Breakaway offerings will open on October 19, 2020. Registration is simple and stress-free. Priority will be given to students who commit early by signing their commitment to participate form after being accepted into a program. Access the registration portal from each program’s page.


Winter Breakaway courses are open to all Duke undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students. There are no prerequisites, grades, or credits. Students are limited to enrolling in one program.

Students on leave from Duke and in good academic standing with the university may participate in Winter Breakaway. Students on disciplinary leave may not register for Winter Breakaway. Students graduating in December 2020 are not eligible for Winter Breakaway.


The core of Winter Breakaway will run from January 4-15, 2021. Some programs will have pop-up content available in December 2020. Check each programs detailed description to understand the schedule and attendance expectations of the instructors. 

Program Delivery

Winter Breakaway programs will be offered virtually. Whenever possible, programs will be delivered both synchronously and asynchronously with global participation factored in the development of program materials. Check each program’s detailed description to understand the delivery method.


Students registered for programs with a 15+ hour commitment will earn a Practice-Oriented Education (POE) notation of their transcripts. In order to earn the POE notation for most programs, students must complete a minimum of 15 program hours. The Duke 2030 Design Sprint program requires students complete 45 program hours to earn the POE notation.

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