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Welcome to the Nicholas School
Congratulations on your admission to the Nicholas School of the Environment and Duke! Everyone here is eager to introduce you to your new community, share the resources and opportunities, and connect you with fellow admitted students, current students, alumni, faculty and staff.
–Dean Toddi Steelman
MASTER'S PROGRAMS • 02 / 05
Meet Our Community
Duke Environment brings together people with different backgrounds, beliefs, sexual orientations, life experiences and career interests. Learn how building an inclusive community benefits our students.
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Meet the Marine Lab
Our year-round coastal campus in Beaufort, N.C. is home to research, teaching and student life facilities. Whether you spend a day or a year, the Marine Lab is a unique resource for all of our students.
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Meet the Duke Forest
Since 1931, the Duke Forest has been Duke University’s living laboratory and outdoor classroom. The Duke Forest has taught countless students, generated innumerable scientific articles and launched the careers of many well-respected scientists.
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Get to Know the Nicholas School
We bring together talented and purpose-driven people from across the globe who look beyond themselves and use their Duke degree to pursue a career that makes a positive contribution on the environment and our planet.
Admitted Students Events
Join Us for Explore Duke Environment
Virtual sessions will be held throughout March and April. These sessions will cover informational and logistical topics, as well as facilitate connection with various members of the Duke Environment community, including current students, alumni, faculty, staff, and campus partners. We will offer opportunities for you to engage with the Nicholas School community, meet other admitted students and see yourself at Duke.
On Friday, March 31, we held our in-person, on-campus visit day. Designed specifically for admitted students to our on-campus MEM and MF program, this day is meant to enhance the admitted student experience for those who are able to come to campus. Check out highlights from this year’s event in our campus visit day recap.
You must submit your enrollment deposit by May 1 to secure your spot in the incoming class. We encourage you to use the provided resources to gather all the information you need prior to submitting your deposit. Once your deposit is processed, you will gain access to complete the remaining transactions applicable to enrolled students.
Step 1: Prepare to Confirm Your Enrollment
The following items are things you should focus on prior to submitting your enrollment deposit. Several steps in the enrollment process will not be accessible to you until you have paid your deposit.
Participate in 'Explore Duke Environment'
Explore Duke Environment is a series of in-person and virtual events designed to meet the needs of admitted and newly enrolled students. Events are hosted throughout March and April.
- Virtual sessions to meet Dean Toddi Steelman, your faculty chairs and fellow admitted students.
- Virtual presentations about financial aid, academics, career and professional development, master’s projects, and more.
- Virtual panel discussions with current students and alumni.
- Virtual office hours with Student Services staff from our financial aid, career development, Registrar, and admissions teams.
- A campus visit day in Durham, NC.
Further event information and updates will be sent to the email address on your application.
Understand Your Financial Aid
- Financial aid awards, if applicable, are sent after admissions decisions.
- Financial aid award notifications were sent to recipients via the email address on their application by March 16. Students who received financial aid offers will view their awards per the instructions in that email.
- During the Explore Duke Environment event series in March and April, there will be ample opportunity to discuss and ask questions about financial aid:
- Join us for Understanding Your Financial Aid on Friday, March 24 for a detailed overview of financial support and aid at the Nicholas School.
- Virtual one-on-one appointments with our Assistant Dean of Student Services, Cynthia Peters, will also be offered. These are private meetings in which you can ask questions specific to your situation.
- Registration for these appointments will open after the “Understanding Your Financial Aid” session.
- To make the most of your time, admitted students are strongly encouraged to attend the live session and/or watch the recording prior to their one-on-one appointment.
Create Your Community
Admitted Student Slack Space
- To connect with your fellow admitted students and current Nic School students, request to join the NSOE Admitted Student Slack space.
Nicholas School Student Groups
Nicholas School students are active and engaged in dozens of student-led groups and activities. Find clubs and organizations that appeal to your diverse interests and build community.
- Visit the Student Groups page for more information.
- Admitted students may request to be contacted by representatives from NSOE student groups.
Identity, Culture and Religious Centers at Duke
Visit the Duke Student Affairs website for links to each and more information:
- Duke International Student Center
- Jewish Life at Duke
- Center for Multicultural Affairs
- Women’s Center
- Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
- Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture
- Center for Muslim Life
You will not be able to begin the process of requesting an F-1 student visa until you have submitted your deposit to confirm enrollment. Once your deposit is confirmed via the Bursar's Office, you can proceed with items listed below in Step 3.
Step 2: Submit Your Deposit to Secure Your Spot
Submitting your deposit is the way you communicate to us that you have accepted our offer of admission and that we should hold a spot for you in the incoming class. Your deposit will be applied towards your first tuition bill.
Instructions on how to submit your enrollment deposit are contained in your decision letter, accessed by logging in to your application portal. Once your deposit is processed by the Office of the Bursar, you will have access to complete items in Step 3 below.
Step 3: Finalize Your Enrollment
The following items are things you should focus on after submitting your enrollment deposit. These actions will not be accessible until your deposit is processed by the Office of the Bursar.
Set up Duke Accounts
Once the Bursar's Office confirms your deposit payment, you will receive information within 3-5 business days regarding the following:
- Duke NetID - A Duke NetID is your electronic key to a variety of computing resources at Duke. As a new student you will receive notification of your NetID via email with an activation link to set your initial password.
- Duke Email and Calendar - Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud service provider used mainly for email and calendaring (see also Microsoft Teams). Duke students are automatically provided Office 365 accounts.
This information will be sent to the email address used on your application for admissions. Please double check your spam/junk folder.
- If you cannot find this information, please contact the university’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) at 919-684-2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request that the initial setup instructions be resent to you. Be prepared to provide a few personal identification markers such as your date of birth, permanent address, the last four digits of your social security number (if applicable) and so on.
Visa Resources for International Students
Duke Visa Services provides comprehensive information for international students. Information specific to you as an incoming Nicholas School student will be provided by the Nicholas School Registrar.
- If you are a non-United States passport holder living outside of the U.S., you are required to apply for the F-1 student visa.
- Non-U.S. passport holders living in the United States with a work visa (H-1b or L-1) are required to complete certain documentation requirements, but do not need to apply for an F-1 visa.
Evaluation of Prerequisite Coursework
After you confirm your intent to enroll at the Nicholas School, our Registrar completes a formal evaluation of prerequisite requirements for the degree program and concentrations to which you were admitted.
- You will receive the results of this evaluation via your Duke email address. This evaluation will include information on completing any outstanding requirements, as well as the process to appeal a particular prerequisite course. We strongly urge students to complete their prerequisite coursework prior to matriculation.
- For further details, please view the Statement of Prerequisite Coursework.
Academic Advising and Course Planning
Be sure to join our Explore Duke Environment sessions to meet your faculty chairs, learn more about advising at the Nicholas School, our MEM and MF curricula, and meet your future classmates.
- MEM: Please plan to attend both the Environment and Management sessions for the concentrations to which you were admitted.
- MEM/MF: Please plan to attend both MEM concentrations sessions and the Master of Forestry session. In addition, students admitted to either the MEM or the MF who are considering adding this concurrent degree option are encouraged to join!
Your faculty advisor will be assigned over the summer, from your primary concentration. Your academic advisor will schedule a time to meet with you at the beginning of the school year.
Course registration happens during the summer, and some courses are set for you based on your concentrations (e.g., all Energy and Environment students will take ENVIRON 716L Modeling for Energy Systems in the fall).
You may view a public listing of the Duke Course Catalog. Advisors and faculty chairs will assist you with course planning.
Summer Onboarding & Orientation
Enrolling students will receive a series of welcome and onboarding emails from our Registrar to aid in their transition to the Nicholas School.
- You can expect a welcome email to arrive soon after your enrollment deposit has been processed by the Office of the Bursar.
- Between June 1 and August 15, you’ll receive a series of messages covering topics such as student health insurance, housing, advising, disability accommodations, course registration, and more.
- To prevent onboarding messages from going to your SPAM folder, please make sure that email@example.com is in your address book/non-SPAM list.
- Through June 1: Onboarding messages will be sent to both the email address you used when applying, as well as your recently activated Duke email address (NetID@duke.edu).
- After June 1: All onboarding and other communication from the Nicholas School will be sent ONLY to your duke.edu email address.
Over the summer, our Career and Professional Development Center team will review the resume you included with your application for admission, and provide feedback on how to highlight your experience and accomplishments, including your newest endeavor: starting your master’s degree here at the Nicholas School.
New Student Orientation
All incoming Master of Environmental Management (MEM) and Master of Forestry (MF) students are expected to attend Orientation Week in Durham in late August. The Office of Student Services at the Nicholas School of the Environment leads Orientation Week, and we look forward to working with you during your time here at Duke University.
In addition to academic sessions and course registration, Orientation also provides opportunities for you and your classmates to continue building community within the first-year cohort, make connections with the returning students, and further establish relationships with faculty advisors and staff administrators.
The Orientation schedule and related details will be sent via onboarding emails during the summer. All Orientation sessions are in-person and will not be recorded.
Enrolled Students Websites
MEM, MF and DEL-MEM students will find additional information about your program(s) on the websites for enrolled students, which will be linked in your onboarding emails sent throughout the summer. These websites are designed to be one-stop-shop resources while you are a professional graduate student, beginning with fall enrollment and continuing throughout your academic career. Here, you’ll find information related to orientation, prerequisites, support staff contact lists, course requirements and more.
Prepare for Your Duke Experience
Tuition Payments & Financial Aid
Tuition Billing & Payments
- Bills for tuition and fees for the fall semester will be sent out electronically towards the middle of June with a due date of August 1. More information on this process is available through the Office of the Bursar.
- Students pay their tuition bill through the Office of the Bursar.
- Additional information is available through the Office of the Bursar’s Frequently Asked Questions.
Financial Aid Disbursement
- If you were offered any merit-based aid or need-based aid by the Nicholas School, you do not need to take any action. Half of the award will be applied automatically to your fall bill and the other half will go towards spring.
Graduate Assistantships & Work Study
Nicholas School of the Environment Assistantships
- Merit-based assistantships are awarded to a select number of professional degree students during their first year of study to assist Nicholas School faculty and staff with teaching, research, professional and other projects.
- The list of available assistantships/position descriptions will be provided to recipients prior to orientation, with steps for applying to positions of interest.
- Students awarded an assistantship will attend an orientation session for further information.
Federal Work Study
- The U.S. federal work study program is a form of need-based financial aid, determined via review of the student’s FAFSA application form. Students who have submitted the FAFSA and are eligible for work study are notified as part of their Nicholas School financial aid package. Students attending on an F-1 or J-1 visa are not eligible for federal work/study funds.
- Students awarded work study may apply for positions hosted through Duke University departments and participating non-profit agencies. Employers post job openings using JobX. Students with federal work study eligibility may also apply for employment through the Duke Center for Civic Engagement for placement with America Reads, America Counts and other non-profit organizations.
- Students awarded work study will attend an orientation session for further information.
Students may explore listings of on- and off-campus jobs via JobX. Please note that listings include both work study (WS) and non-work (Non-WS) study jobs, and that only students eligible for work study may apply for those positions.
International students should review information about working in the U.S. provided by Duke VIsa Services.
We recommend moving to Durham by mid-August to allow you to start familiarizing yourself with Durham before the start of orientation and the fall semester. Duke Student Affairs has resources available for graduate and professional student housing.
Additional resources for your housing search are available in the Admitted Student Slack, where you’ll connect with current students to hear their tips for living in Durham and connect with other incoming students – and perhaps even find a roommate!
Your housing decision impacts the transportation options available to you. This is because distance from campus, proximity to transit, bike paths and presence of other students in your neighborhood determine what transportation modes may be easily accessible. If you are interested in taking advantage of alternative transportation, you should factor this in when deciding on a place to live.
- Transit: In conjunction with Duke University and the City of Durham, several mass transit options, including Go-Passes, are available to all students free of charge.
- Walking/Biking: Duke has several services to accommodate active students who wish to walk or ride their bikes to campus. Both Grainger Hall and the Levine Science Research Center have shower facilities and ample bike racks, Duke students qualify for discounts at bike shops.
- Carpool: Some students may wish to form carpools with other members of the Duke community, and Duke offers financial incentives if you choose to apply.
- Occasional Parking/Carshare: For those students who need or wish to drive on occasion, the university offers two free parking days per month for registered alternative commuters, along with discounts on car rentals.
- Commute Planning: Chat with a Duke transportation representative today for personalized commute planning!
Across Duke University, you will find a wealth of resources and individuals in student support roles dedicated to prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our student community.
Wellness Resources for Students
We're Here to Help
Our Admissions team designs Explore Duke Environment programming to address the various needs of admitted students, from academic life to life beyond campus. We hope you’ll join us for as many sessions as you can (check the Explore Duke Environment schedule for details). If you have additional questions along the way, please send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.