Opportunities & Benefits

Financial Benefits

The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program provides eight semesters of full tuition, room and board, and most mandatory fees for Scholars at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. Scholars also have access to generous funding for up to three summer experiences.

Two Campuses, One Learning Community

The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program is the only scholarship in the country that offers students access to the resources of two of the most highly regarded universities in the world – Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Although Robertson Scholars matriculate to only one university, they receive student privileges at both, including opportunities to pursue second majors and minors, enroll in courses, and participate in student activities. This unique “dual citizenship” allows Scholars a wide variety of choices throughout their four years.

During the second semester of their sophomore year, Robertson Scholars live and take classes on their sister campus. The Campus Switch is designed to build stronger educational and community ties between UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke, and to offer Scholars the opportunity to adjust to new situations and thrive in challenging environments. During and beyond the Campus Switch, Robertson Scholars serve as ambassadors of cross-campus collaboration and leadership.


Summer experiences are an essential component of the Robertson experience. The program’s unique three-part model (Community, Exploration, Launch) challenges Scholars to pursue both domestic and international experiences, explore and act on individual passions, and step outside of their comfort zone. Year-round, Scholars work closely with the program staff to design, implement, and learn from these meaningful and personally relevant experiences. For details about the goals of each summer experience, see the Program Timeline. For specific examples of Robertson summer experiences, see Scholar Snapshots.

Leadership Development

During the academic year, Scholars have the opportunity to participate in programs and activities designed to help them learn new skills, expand their academic and professional networks, and solidify their personal and professional goals. Scholars may apply to participate in a ten-day wilderness expedition led by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and for Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) grants to fund self-initiated leadership and professional development activities.


Robertson Scholars have a variety of opportunities to form mentoring relationships with faculty and administrators at both universities, as well as with the staff of the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program. Robertson staff members assist Scholars in planning their summer experiences and advise them in their overall leadership and personal development.

Scholar Community

The Robertson Scholar community comes together frequently for formal and informal, planned and spontaneous gatherings. Throughout the school year, RSLP hosts scholar dinners, global trends forums, and fireside chats. These events are meant to strengthen the Robertson community and provide Scholars with opportunities to have conversations with renowned leaders and change-makers who are confronting some of the world’s biggest challenges and opportunities. Scholars also actively participate in the recruitment and selection of new Robertson Scholars.

Alumni Community

Founded in 2001, the Robertson Program now currently has over 250 alumni on six continents. The alumni community, while dispersed, remains connected through formal and informal channels of communication and support. The Robertson Program regularly engages alumni in program events, including the regional dinners, the Senior Capstone retreat, and the recruitment and selection of new Robertson Scholars. Scholars are encouraged to leverage connections within the alumni community to find summer internships or post-graduate employment, or to simply seek guidance and mentorship in their field of interest.

Dinner for 8 and Coffee for 6

Dinners for 8 offer Scholars the opportunity to invite a faculty member or community leader to dinner along with six other Scholars, and Coffee for 6 is a way for Scholars to meet with a group of fellow Scholars and discuss a topic of academic or professional importance. These opportunities encourage Scholars to build academic and professional networks within the Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill communities.