Objective

We strive to give students:

  • A broad and cohesive knowledge base in environmental economics, politics, and law, including the economics of public goods and externalities, the study of interest group behavior, political institutions, and property rights
  • In-depth knowledge in a chosen area of concentration
  • Quantitative and qualitative skills in applied statistics, survey research, analytical modeling, optimization techniques and case-study methods
  • Professional management skills in teamwork and leadership, ethics, and oral and written presentation

Vision

Our highly analytical program provides training in the social and natural sciences for future policymakers, those who offer them expert advice, and those who try to influence policy through the political process. With a small class size and low student-faculty ratio, the program gives students a strong foundation in the methods needed to analyze how households, businesses, governments and other stakeholders react to existing and proposed environmental and resource policies.

Curriculum

Our core curriculum trains students in environmental economics, law and politics and the use of quantitative tools such as regression analysis, program evaluation, risk analysis, geospatial analysis, optimization, conflict resolution and benefit-cost analysis.

To complement this, you’ll work with your advisor to choose a specialization track and select natural science courses to build a cohesive and marketable set of skills customized to your career aspirations.

Areas of specialization could include:

  • Collective action
  • Interest group behavior
  • Environmental institutions
  • How public policy is formed and implemented
  • Sustainable development
  • The economics of public goods and externalities
  • Public finance
  • Valuation of nonmarket goods and services
  • The intertemporal allocation of natural resources
  • The allocation of resources as reflected in property rights
  • Environmental risks as reflected in torts
  • Regulation by statutory law

Transferable Skills

Environmental Economics & Policy students receive in-depth training in:

  • Economic analysis, including benefit-cost analysis and non-market valuation
  • Policy analysis
  • Program evaluation
  • Survey research
  • Applied data analysis
  • Risk analysis
  • Qualitative methods

Your Future

The Nicholas School’s dedicated Career Center helps EEP graduates find positions in a wide array of industries and sectors. Many of our graduates enter consulting, both for the private and public sectors. Others work for governments or NGOs. Still others enter the business world, frequently in positions focused on business sustainability strategies.

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Prerequisites

PREREQUISITES

See Master of Environmental Management degree prerequisites.

ADDITIONAL PREREQUISITES FOR EE STUDENTS

One semester of college-level microeconomics. Alternatively, this requirement can be fulfilled with one semester of introductory economics, if your course had a focus on micro rather than macroeconomics.

Courses & Requirements

 

Requirements

In addition to the MEM degree requirements, a typical EEP curriculum consists of the following components.

  • 3 courses/tutorials required for all MEM students (2 credit hours)
  • 4 Core Courses (9 credit hours)
  • 3 Major Electives (12 credit hours minimum)
  • 3 Tools Courses (8 credit hours minimum)
  • 3 Natural Science Electives (9 credit hours minimum)
  • Master’s Project (4-6 credit hours)
  • Additional electives as needed to meet the minimum requirement of 48 credit hours total

Requirements for All MEM Students

All MEM students must take the following courses:

REQUIRED FOR EEP Program

Courses supporting the EEP program are taught within the Nicholas School, at several other departments at Duke, and at UNC-Chapel Hill. This list of example courses is not exhaustive; see our Advising page for an up-do-date list of available courses.

Core Courses

All students must take the following four Core Courses for a total of 9 credit hours.

  • ENVIRON 520 & 521 Resource & Envir Econ I and II (3 credit hours total, fall)
  • ENVIRON 577 Environmental Politics (3 credit hours, spring)
  • ENVIRON 835 Environmental Law (3 credit hours, fall, Duke Law School)

Environmental Policy and Analysis Track

  • ENVIRON 775 Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy
  • ENVIRON 850 Program Evaluation of Environmental Policies
  • ENVIRON 826 Global Environmental Politics
  • ENVIRON 563 Applying Economic Analysis for Environmental and Public Health
  • ENVIRON 868 (crosslisted as LAW 368) Natural Resources Law
  • ENVIRON 869 Integrated Case Studies: Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
  • ENVIRON 891 Topics in Environmental Regulation
  • ENVIRON 543S Water Cooperation & Conflict
  • ENVIRON 579S Collective Action
  • ENVIRON 755 Community Based Environmental Management
  • LAW 520 Climate Change and the Law
  • ENVIRON 855 (crosslisted as LAW 555) International Environmental Law
  • LAW 503 Sources of Environmental Law
  • ENVIRON 583S Energy and National Security
  • ENVIRON 725S Protected Areas, Tourism, and Development
  • ENVIRON 532 Evaluation of Public Expenditures
  • ENVIRON 659 Should I Eat Fish: Economics, Ecology and Health
  • ENVIRON 590.28 US Water Governance
  • ENVIRON 590.37 Sustainable Cities
  • ENVIRON 621 Water Resources Finance and Planning
  • ENVIRON 684 Politics of the Urbanized Environment
  • ENVIRON 590.36 Federal Fisheries Management
  • ENVIRON 590.86 Putting Ecosystem Service Markets Into Practice

Environmental and Resource Economics Track

  • ENVIRON 752 Sustainability and Renewable Resource Economics
  • ENVIRON 531 Economic Analysis of Environmental Policies
  • ENVIRON 532 Evaluation of Public Expenditures
  • ENVIRON 850 Program Evaluation of Environmental Policies
  • ENVIRON 680 Economics of Forest Resources
  • ENVIRON 851S Environment and Development Economics
  • ENVIRON 563 Economic Analysis and Evaluation for Public Health and Environment
  • ENVIRON 717 Electric Power Markets
  • ENVIRON 635 Energy Economics & Policy
  • ENVIRON 538 Environmental Health Economics & Policy
  • ENVIRON 579S Collective Action
  • ENVIRON 563 Applying Economic Analysis for Environmental and Public Health
  • ENVIRON 659 Should I Eat Fish: Economics, Ecology and Health
  • ENVIRON 590.86 Putting Ecosystem Service Markets Into Practice
  • ENVIRON 829 Natural Resource Economics (Ph.D. Course, permission of instructor required)
  • ECON 601 Microeconomic Theory
  • ENVIRON 891 Economic Instruments for Environmental Protection
  • PUBPOL 598 Economic Growth and Development Policy

Tools Courses

Students must complete at least three courses in quantitative or analytical methods for a total of 8 credit hours minimum.

At your advisor’s discretion, you may take 12 credit hours of tools (rather than 8-9) and only 9 credit hours of Major Electives (rather than 12) to fulfill program requirements.

All students are required to take ENVIRON 710 Applied Data Analysis for Envir. Sciences (3 credit hours, fall). For the other two courses, students may select from the following options:

  • ENVIRON 716L Energy Systems Modeling (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 717 Electric Power Markets (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 715 Understanding Energy Models & Modeling (1 credit hr, spring)
  • ENVIRON 638 Environmental Life Cycle Analysis (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 755 Community Based Environmental Mgmt (3 credit hrs, fall)
  • ENVIRON 752 Sust. & Renewable Resource Econ. (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 764 Applied Differential Equations in Envir. Sci. (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 531 Economic Analysis of Environmental Policies (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 532 Evaluation of Public Expenditures (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 556 Environmental Conflict Resolution (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 563 Economic Analysis & Evaluation (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 635 Energy Economics (1.5 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 850 Program Evaluation of Environ. Policies (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 590.67 Participatory Techniques Env. Decisions (1 credit hour, fall)
  • ENVIRON 758 Applied Qualitative Research Methods (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 621 Water Resources Finance and Planning (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 832 Environmental Decision Analysis (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 557 Social Science Surveys for Envir. Mgmt. (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 559 Fundamentals of Geospatial Analysis (4 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 852 Spatial Analysis in Ecology (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 665 Bayesian Inference in Environment Models (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 658 Qualitative Research Methods (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 769 Hydrology Modeling for Water Quality and Quantity Assessment (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 811 Sustainable Systems Analysis (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 867L Satellite Remote Sensing for Environmental Analysis (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 859 Advanced Geospatial Analysis (3 c.h., fall)
  • ENVIRON 761 Geospatial Analysis for Conservation Management (4 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 765 Geospatial Analysis for Coastal and Marine Management (4 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 768 GIS for Water Quantity and Quality Assessment (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 771 GIS Field Skills (2 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 589 Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 756 Spatio-temporal Models (3 c.h., spring)
  • ENVIRON 795 Community-based Environmental Management Practicum (3 c.h., spring)
  • EOS 590.02 Remote Sensing in Hydrology (3 c.h., spring
  • PUBPOL 813 Quantitative Evaluation Methods (3 c.h., spring)
  • SOCIOL 720 Survey Research Methods (3 c.h., spring)
  • SOCIOL 722 Social Statistics I: Linear Models, Path Analy. & Struct. Eq. Sys.
  • SOCIOL 723 Social Statistics II: Discrete Multivariate Models

Natural Science Electives

Students must complete at least three courses in the natural sciences for a total of 9 credit hours minimum. These courses are intended to help you develop skills related to the management of natural resources (e.g., water, energy, forest resources, tropical resources, coastal resources). Consult with your advisor to select a coherent set of resource electives that complement your previous training and make up any deficiencies.

Courses satisfying the natural resource electives change often. Below is an example list of courses that EEP students frequently take as natural science electives. To count for this requirement, classes must be taught by a natural scientist and have primarily natural science content; management or policy classes taught by social scientists or with majority social science content do not count, even if the course is in the student’s topical area of interest.

Energy

  • Energy and the Environment
  • Energy Technology and Its Impact on the Environment
  • Hydrocarbons:  Houston Field Trip
  • Energy Systems Modeling
  • Electric Power Markets
  • Transportation and Energy
  • Energy and the Environment in Existing Homes
  • Energy Approaches to the Low Carbon Economy
  • Clean Energy
  • Coal Combustion Products
  • Water and Energy Nexus
  • Petroleum Exploration
  • Energy Building Energy on Campus
  • Mineral Resources

Water

  • Water Quality Health
  • California Water Crisis
  • Stormwater Science
  • River Processes
  • Ecology and Management of Streams and Rivers
  • Water in Africa
  • Urban Ecology
  • Watershed Hydrology
  • Hydrology Modeling for Water Quality and Quantity Assessment
  • Coal Combustion Products
  • International Water Resources
  • Landscape Hydrology
  • GIS for Water Quality and Quantity Assessments (advanced; best suited to students with previous exposure to topic)
  • Remote Sensing in Hydrology (advanced; best suited to students with previous exposure to topic)
  • Aquatic Geochemistry
  • Hydrologic Data Analysis
  • Water Resources, Finance and Planning

Ecosystems/Conservation

  • Tropical Ecology
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Molecular Ecology
  • Ecology and Conservation in Gabon
  • Putting Ecosytem Markets into Practice
  • Agriculture and Sustainability
  • Wildlife Surveys
  • Land Conservation in Practice
  • Soil Resources
  • Silviculture
  • Silviculture Prescription
  • Landscape Analysis and Management
  • Ecology and Management of Streams and Rivers
  • Western Field Trip
  • Species Distribution Modeling
  • Urban Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Wetland Field Skills
  • Wetland Ecology and Management
  • Landscape Hydrology
  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Advanced Topics in Wetlands Ecology and Management (advanced; best suited to students with previous exposure to topic)
  • Geospatial Analysis for Conservation Management (advanced; best suited to students with previous exposure to topic)
  • Topics in Genomic Science (advanced; best suited to students with previous exposure to topic)
  • Ecologcl Div & Climate Change
  • Genomics of Microbial Diversity

Marine Coastal

  • Federal Fisheries Management
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Water Quality and Health
  • Water Pollution
  • Beach and Island Geologic Processes
  • Waves, Beaches, Coastline Dynamics
  • Geospatial Analysis for Coastal and Marine Management (advanced; best suited to students with previous exposure to topic)

Environmental Health/Toxicology

  • Water Quality Health
  • Environmental Health
  • Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment
  • Population/Environment Dynamics and Health
  • Air Pollution:  From Sources to Health Effects
  • Focused Topics in Environmental Toxicology*
  • Mechanisms for Environmental Toxicology*
  • Environmental Toxicology*
  • Chemical Fate of Organic Compounds*
  • Environmental Aquatic Chemistry*
  • Environmental Exposure Analysis*
  • Air Quality: Human Exposure and Human Effects
  • Chem Transform of Env Contam

*Note: Advanced; best suited to students with previous exposure to topic)

Forestry

  • Forest Ecosystems
  • Silviculture
  • Silviculture Prescription
  • Soil Resources
  • Duke Forest Practicum
  • Tree Structure and Function
  • Forest Measurements
  • Forests in the Public Interest

Climate Change

  • Climate Change

  • Biogeochemistry
  • Changing Atmosphere
  • Climate and Society
  • Approaches to the Low Carbon Economy
  • The Climate System
  • Ecologcl Div & Climate Change

Air Resources

  • Air Pollution:  From Sources to Health Effects
  • Air Quality Management
  • Air Quality: Human Exposure and Human Effects

Additional Electives

Some students must take additional elective courses to fulfill the minimum 48-credit hour requirement for degree completion. We suggest taking additional courses that will help to round out your suite of marketable skills. 

See all Courses

Educational Network

EEP students benefit from a strong and diverse network of educational resources. At Duke, the Nicholas School shares research and programmatic overlap with Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Science, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Fuqua School of Business. Students also have access to courses and resources at our sister universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Choosing a Track

The EEP program allows students to choose from two curriculum tracks. We can help you determine which track best aligns with your interests and career goals.

Environmental Policy and Analysis

This track emphasizes the development and implementation of environmental policy. Students in this track typically choose from courses offered at the Nicholas School, the Sanford School of Public Policy and Duke’s Political Science Department.

Environmental and Resource Economics

This track allows students to deepen their skills in the economic analysis of environmental management and policy. Students in this track typically choose from courses offered at the Nicholas School, the Sanford School of Public Policy and Duke’s Economics Department.

For Current & Admitted Students

Course Planning Worksheets

Master's Projects

A Master’s Project combines the academic rigor of a thesis with the practical experience of an internship. Working singly or in groups, students apply skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom to tackle real-world environmental challenges for real clients through a well-formulated and defensible analysis. The MP typically culminates in a paper and presentation in the program’s final semester. It fulfills 4-6 credit hours. The EEP program requires a business-sponsored MP with specific consulting components detailed to you when you start your second year.