Master of Environmental Management (MEM) - Online

The Duke Environmental Leadership Master of Environmental Management (DEL-MEM) program offers working professionals the opportunity to continue their education, advance their careers, and become leaders in their organizations.

The innovative, flexible format of this online program lets participants maintain their careers and personal lives while earning a master’s degree over the course two years (four semesters).

Program Format
Course Requirements
How to Apply


The DEL-MEM program focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to environmental management. Through individual and group coursework and a master's project, you’ll deepen your knowledge of core concepts and tackle real-life case studies that are directly related to your current profession.

Our unique program format melds the Nicholas School’s multidisciplinary environmental curriculum with the renowned “place and space™” model of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Students reap the benefits of both online and face-to-face learning models to engage in challenging coursework, develop core leadership skills, and foster lasting relationships with their professors and peers.

Place-Based Sessions bring students together for five brief, intensive in-person sessions in North Carolina and Washington, D.C. over the course of the two-year program. These required sessions offer valuable networking opportunities and provide a springboard for the program’s courses and leadership development activities.

Space-Based Sessions are the cyberspace-based learning venues that allow students to complete their coursework and engage virtually with their professors and peers on a regular basis. These include weekly webconference course meetings (held in the evening) and a variety of electronic communication tools for ongoing exchange.

Through the DEL-MEM Leadership Advantage, our program is designed to cultivate each student’s individual leadership capacity.


The DEL-MEM is a two-year, four-semester, 30-credit program. In addition to the five required place-based sessions, the program requires the following:

  • Orientation course at Duke campus -- 1 credit
  • Professional writing course -- 1 credit
  • Core courses -- 12 credits
    • Ecosystem Science & Management or Environmental Decision Analysis
    • Economics of Environmental Management
    • Environmental Law and Policy
    • Program Management for Environmental Professionals
  • Electives developed around specialized themes -- minimum of 11 credits
  • Environmental leadership module in Washington, D.C. -- 1 credit
  • Master’s project directly related to the student’s current employment -- 4 credits


See Application Materials & Requirements for upcoming deadlines and detailed instructions on applying to the DEL-MEM program.
To be considered for the DEL-MEM program, students must have the following:

  • Five years of relevant professional environmental experience
  • Evidence of leadership potential and an established background in fields directly related to the environment, as shown by applicant essays and reference letters
  • Self-motivation and commitment to learn at a distance
  • A working knowledge of the Internet and personal computers for word processing and data analysis
  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Written sponsorship from employer (or letter of commitment, if self-employed)
  • Proficiency in English