The Cardea Fellows Program


The Cardea Fellows Program is for highly motivated students who are committed to preparing for a career in health care by mastering core knowledge in math and science. Every undergraduate admitted to Duke has demonstrated academic excellence. Some students may have had fewer opportunities to develop a foundation in science and math that will lead them to their professional goals. The Cardea Fellows Program is designed to enhance the competitiveness of high performing students through a learning community to help establish a solid foundation in the natural sciences for each fellow. The goal of this program is to enable our fellows to prepare competitive applications to medical school and other health professions schools.

STEM courses and majors, specifically the pre-med track, can be extremely competitive and stressful at Duke. Cardea provides a supportive community where you can find your place and form your identity in STEM and healthcare, and Duke as a whole. Where you are encouraged to explore and pursue your interests knowing you are supported by the program and your peers. Cardea strives to create an environment that fosters collaboration and close social bonds, where fellows are celebrated for their successes, and supported during their challenges. To that end, Cardea provides a Living & Learning Community (LLC) and we host many social events throughout the year, e.g. Dinner & Lingers, game nights, watch parties, and more!     

Program Structure

The program extends through each student’s four-year undergraduate experience. A fellowship of scholars will be established in the first year. Upperclass fellows increasingly engage in research and preprofessional experiences, interact with a network of Duke alumni, and serve as mentors to first- and second-year students.

All Cardea Fellows:
  • Live together on East Campus during their first year
  • Live in the Cardea Living Learning Community during their sophomore year
  • Participate in the SAGE Program, which includes weekly study sessions for the introductory chemistry sequence (4 courses)
  • Attend the weekly Cardea seminar in the fall of their first year
  • Meet with Cardea Director to discuss goals and design an academic plan that fits fellow best
  • Meet regularly with their academic advisor
  • Meet annually with their prehealth advisor
  • Explore health careers and engage in professional development activities
  • Collaborate with other ambitious students in a supportive community
  • Apply to prehealth summer enrichment programs
  • Receive free textbooks and supplementary resources for many of their prehealth courses
If accepted into the program:
  • You will start the program as a fellowship candidate
  • You will sign a letter of intent agreeing to work toward full induction into the Fellowship at the end of your first year. The letter of intent describes the program expectations.
  • Induction is dependent upon course performance and engagement, utilization of campus resources, contributions to the fellowship program, and demonstrated commitment to a health-related profession.