Senior Professional Program

As environmental problems become more complex, learning must become a lifelong pursuit. Executive education programs must keep pace with the ever-changing demands that confront business executives and professionals in the environmental field. For more than 25 years, the Nicholas School has been serving the needs of practicing environmental professionals. Through a variety of short courses, certificates, and degree programs, we provide participants with cutting edge information, unique learning experiences and quality instruction by utilizing Duke University's resources in environmental science, engineering, policy and business.

Qualified professionals with at least five years of work experience in an environmental field may be admitted to the Nicholas School for either the Master of Environmental Management (MEM) or the Master of Forestry (MF) degree through the Senior Professional Program. The professionals spend one, preferably two, semesters at Duke enrolled in regular environment courses and earning a minimum of 30 credits.  

The professional must enroll full time for at least one semester, preferably the first semester following admission, enrolling in at least 15 credit hours. Following the first semester in residence, the professional has the option of enrolling for a second full semester in residence and completing all degree requirements (an additional 15 credits) or registering on a part-time basis. If the professional chooses not to do two semesters in residence then the remaining 15 or more units required for the MEM or MF may be earned through 8 credits of intensive courses or independent study and research, 6 credits of Master’s Project courses and a 1 credit symposium course. Candidates have five years from the date of acceptance to complete the required 30 credits.

Specific degree requirements for students in the Senior Professional Program (SPP), including required courses and the number of academic units necessary to complete the degree (beyond the minimum 30 credit), are established by the student’s advisor upon evaluation of the individual’s previous education, work experience, and career goals. All students seeking admission to the MEM or MF through the Senior Professional Program must submit the same complete application required of all candidates for admission. Any student admitted to the SPP must complete all prerequisites for their program area before matriculation. 

Tuition is charged at the flat fee rate for the full-time enrollment semester in residence and $1,300 per credit hour thereafter (tuition subject to change annually). A $350 continuation fee will be charged per semester that the student is not registered for course credits.