FAQ

The below Frequently Asked Questions are applicable to the on-campus MEM and MF programs, as well as the DEL-MEM program. When there are differences between the programs, those differences are noted.

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GENERAL PROGRAM QUESTIONS            

Do you offer part-time or evening classes?       

MEM/MF: We do not offer part-time or evening classes.

DEL-MEM: While the DEL-MEM program is not part-time, it is a flexible, innovative format that allows you to update your education while maintaining a commitment to your job and family. The program format consists of five short, intensive, place-based sessions as well as synchronous and asynchronous learning in space-based (distance learning) sessions. Students participate in weekly real-time course webconference meetings that are typically held in the evening (ET).                                     

Do I need to be a certain age or have a certain amount of work experience?  

MEM/MF: There is no specific age requirement, and while work experience adds value to your application, and we encourage it, there is no specific requirement for work experience. For those coming right after earning an undergraduate degree, competitive applicants have often built in internships, and experiential, hands-on work to help them stand out as applicants.

DEL-MEM: Applicants need not be a certain age, but five years of relevant professional environmental experience is required. Evidence of leadership potential and an established background in fields directly related to the environment is also required.                                             

Do you offer early decision?

No, we do not have an early decision option. Once applications are completed, they are sent on for review. We try to review and alert applicants of our decision as quickly as possible.

    What is the difference between an MEM and an MS?

    Please check out this infographic for more information. You'll notice one of the major differences is MEM, MF, and DEL-MEM students complete a master's project (MP) rather than a master's thesis. What distinguishes master's projects from master's theses is that, although they may include original laboratory or field research, they may also take the form of management plans, handbooks, educational curricula, or other such products. Master's projects which are original research should not be as large as a master's thesis. They should be of publishable quality, although they need not be comprehensive enough to stand alone as a publication (although some are published either as stand-alone papers or as part of a larger piece of work).

    DEL-MEM: In addition to the above, DEL-MEM students often make the most of the MP by engaging in a topic that ties closely to their career and/or advances their organization. Also, starting in 2017, DEL-MEM students have the option to pursue the MP or a capstone in environmental leadership. The capstone is intended to give you space and support to explore what leadership looks like in a particular sector, context or organization, and to encourage you to delve into a project that is meaningful to your own leadership journey.

    Do you offer Spring admission?

    We do not offer Spring admission. Applicants are admitted to enter the program in the fall each year.

    Can I transfer in to the Duke MEM/MF programs?     

    We do not accept transfers from other programs into the MEM/MF programs at the Nicholas School. It is possible, however, to add a degree once enrolled, such as the MF, MBA, etc., through our concurrent degree program.  

    Do I need to have a certain major to apply?

    We have applicants from a variety of majors ranging from Environmental Sciences to Real Estate to Religion. Since files are reviewed holistically, applicants from many disciplines are still deemed competitive because of their coursework and varied experiences; however, it's important to keep in mind that if your major lacks training in the natural or social sciences related to your area of interest, you should build in some experiences prior to applying. Every concentration also requires at least one semester of college calculus and a college statistics course that includes descriptive statistics, probability distributions, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, correlation, simple linear regression, and simple ANOVAs. Additional coursework may be required or recommended depending on your specific choice of concentration. If these courses aren't a part of your major's curriculum, make sure you take them and become comfortable with the content (you'll use it in your classes at the Nicholas School). Application and acceptance to the MEM and MF degrees is possible with prerequisite deficiencies. However, although we admit applicants with missing prerequisites, we only matriculate students who are missing no more than one required prerequisite. If you have not yet fulfilled a prerequisite, you are strongly urged to complete it prior to matriculating in the Nicholas School. Courses taken after matriculation to satisfy prerequisites do not count towards the credits required for the degree.    

    Are the Master’s degrees STEM compliant?       

    Per current guidelines, both the Masters of Environmental Management and the Masters of Forestry programs are STEM compliant.

    In the past, we have had several international students take the one year OPT extension. There is a separate application and approval process for OPT. Additionally, students wanting to use the STEM designation for the 24-month extension to work in the United States will need to complete a third application and approval process. Please note that the full extension cannot be applied for or granted in advance. The Duke Visa Services Office website provides the most current and applicable information. You may also find their F1 and J1 Work Authorization PowerPoint Presentation helpful.

    I’m not sure I’m ready to commit just yet.  Can I apply now and request a deferral later?

    Typically, we do not offer deferrals unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances. In the event that you apply and are accepted but feel that you must defer a year, you would need to reapply. Your application would be considered among the applications for the new term and no guarantees could be made for acceptance.

    You may also be interested in our shorter-term, non-degree Executive Education programs until you are ready to apply to a master's degree program. Learn more about upcoming courses to find the perfect fit for your career advancement. You can take just one, or pursue our certificate program for in-depth learning. This would provide you an opportunity to see the level of rigor required in duke programs and experience our world-class faculty.

    I’m applying for a concurrent degree.  Do I have to fill out two applications, get two sets of recommendations, write two essays, etc.?                                

    While we do require separate applications, we are happy to work with you and make it as easy as possible. You do not need separate recommenders and you can submit the same essays. You only need to submit your test scores once.

    Is the Nicholas School committed to diversity?

    Absolutely! Diversity, equity, and inclusion matters. Environmental issues affect us all. We thus look to honor diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences by engaging all people in the pursuit of environmental solutions.  Our 2017-22 strategic plan, “Working Together to Advance Environmental Education and Research,” sets the course we will follow over the next five years. This plan – which was guided by our school’s core values but informed by the realities of our changing world – presents the ideas our faculty and staff have formulated to build a stronger Nicholas School in six critical areas, including diversity and inclusion.

    Furthermore, we have a staff/faculty action committee, known as the Actionators, that is continuously working to bring to life new ways of thinking about diversity and inclusion, particularly as it relates to the student, faculty, and staff experience at the Nicholas School. The student-led equivalent is the Diverse & Inclusive Community for the Environment (DICE). Built upon the truths in "a rising tide lifts all boats," there is also Rising TIDE: Training for Inclusion & Diversity in the Environment. Other student groups with a focus on diversity and inclusion exist as a home for building relationships with others who are like you (and also those who are not) to promote synergies and overall comfort at the Nicholas School.

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    CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

    Will the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) find me a job?

    The CPDC provides you with numerous resources, including individual career coaching and alumni connections that will help you identify opportunities and organizations for your job search, but it is not a placement office. Your success in finding a job is largely a product of your preparation, commitment, and initiative. There are certainly ways to stand out to employers, and the CPDC will work closely with you so that you will know how to characterize your skills for employers.

    Where can I expect to work when I graduate?

    While there are many factors that determine where you will work, a few of the bigger factors are the strength of your professional network, the quality of your professional experience, and the breadth of your academic background. Nicholas School graduates can be found around the world in consulting firms, business/industry, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, federal/state/local governments, etc. Employers range from start-up ventures to boutique consulting firms to multi-national corporations and conservation organizations. A variety of employers include WWF in DC, National Grid in Boston, FedEx in Tennessee, Amazon, Coca-Cola Company, and federal and state resource agencies such as NOAA, USFS, USFWS and USEPA.

    Our alumni are a testament to the value of our degrees. Take a look at who our alumni are and what they are doing.

    How many Nicholas School alumni are there?

    The Nicholas School proudly boasts of its some 5,000 alumni, many of whom remain actively connected with the Nicholas School and the CPDC. "Big Duke" has approximately 160,000 alumni, which makes the network 32 times larger! At the Nicholas School, we have an Alumni-In-Residence Program, which brings Nicholas School and Duke University alumni back to campus to share their expertise and lead interactive training for Nicholas School students. Alumni are selected to represent the broad range of career interests of Nicholas School students and skills sought by employers. Each Alumnus-in-Residence leads a series of workshops, talks, and student career meetings during a two- to three-day visit.

    How many students have internships?

    Nearly all of our students--98%--secure internships, 95% of which are paid directly by the employer, or are partially paid using internal and external grants. Internships cross industry sectors: consulting, business and industry, government agencies, and conservation agencies. About 15% are completed internationally. 80% of our online internship postings come from alumni--"We Are Duke Environment" isn't just a saying, it's words we live by.

    Unique to Duke is the Stanback internship program. The Stanback internship program offers 11-week, paid summer internships for Duke students, undergraduate or graduate, US citizen or international. There are over 50 environmental organizations offering 150 internships each summer. Examples include the Environmental Defense Fund, Rocky Mountain Institute, Earth Justice, NC Nature Conservancy, and many land trusts, policy, legislative, or community-based organizations. When available, incoming students have the opportunity to apply for a Stanback internship the summer prior to matriculating to the Nicholas School.

    Once I graduate, am I on my own?

    Most certainly not! The CPDC offers assistance for a lifetime, from recent graduates to those who are already established.

    How might an MEM or MF from Duke Environment offer career flexibility?

    An MEM or MF degree from Duke Environment arms you with the skills and experience you need to choose the career that’s best suited to your passions and goals. Nearly all of our graduates are employed within six months of graduating across a variety of sectors, ranging from consulting (25%), business (25%), non-profit or NGO (12%) and federal government (15%), as well as state and local government; research; entrepreneurship, academia and law. Employment statistics>

    Oftentimes a Duke Environment graduate will leverage the career flexibility a MEM or MF provides by veering from their concentration, and repurposing their skills to an alternate career path. For example, David Blaha (’81), who concentrated in Water Resources Management (WRM) while at Duke Environment, proceeded on to a career within sustainable consulting. David explains, “My education at Duke… has given me a strong, broad understanding of environmental issues and relationships and real credibility with my clients, colleagues, and governmental and financial sector managers.”

    What kind of benefits does the CPDC offer?

    From the very beginning, students are presented with a Career-Readiness Curriculum, which outlines essential skills and experiences that students should pursue as they search for internships and their first job. While not an exhaustive list, below you'll see the kinds of things you can expect from the CPDC. Keep in mind on-campus students typically have 10+ unique interactions with the CPDC every year.

    • One-on-one consultations for career advice and job search strategies
    • Current job and internship postings
    • Recruiting events
    • Professional development workshops
    • Weekly newsletters
    • Access to our active alumni network
    • Active promotion of your resume to relevant employers
    • Access to a landline phone for job and internship interviews
    • Help finding internship funding and project fellowships and grants

    It should also be noted that the CPDC offers a Conference Fund and Enrichment Fund. The Conference Fund provides monies to offset the cost of attending a professional meeting/conference once per year. The Enrichment Fund is money available by application for students to receive additional training that's unique and unavailable at Duke, but that will advance a student's academic/career preparation.

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    GRE AND TESTING (on-campus MEM/MF ONLY)

    What is the minimum percentile score I need on the GRE to be admitted?

    Our admission process does not set minimum percentile scores as we read each application thoroughly to gain an understanding of the whole student. We are looking for indications that you will not only be successful and adequately challenged here, but also comfortable and helping to add depth to our student body.

    Our holistic review takes into account that while an applicant may not be stellar in one particular area, they may still be a competitive candidate for the incoming class. The most important thing is to do your best and make sure that the “true you” is described fully in your application. Now, don't get us wrong, our programs are rigorous and competitive. So, ensure you are able to present your best GRE score by taking the test early so, if necessary, you have time to retake it and submit your new score prior to our application deadline.

    Do I have to take the GRE?

    All applicants to the MEM or MF program must submit a GRE score from the most recent five years unless the applicant is a concurrent degree applicant with the Fuqua School of Business. The concurrent MEM/MBA or MF/MBA applicant submits the GMAT to Fuqua and we can use those scores. DEL-MEM applicants do not have to take the GRE.

    When should I take the GRE?   

    We can accept a GRE score that is no more than five years old, but we strongly suggest you take the GRE prior to December 1 in the application cycle. While we will read your application with unofficial, self-reported scores, a decision to admit will not be made without receipt of your official GRE (or GMAT) scores.

    Do you think I should take the GRE again?       

    If you think your GRE score is not indicative of your ability, you may want to consider taking the test again. When weighing a possible re-take, consider the likelihood of improving your score (e.g. will you have additional time to prepare?), where you are on the admissions timeline (can you submit your new scores before the deadline), and whether or not you have other skills and experiences that can adequately offset your score. Your application is reviewed for merit-based scholarship opportunities with one component of merit being your GRE score. You could have a GRE score that is sufficient for admission, but limits your merit-based scholarship potential, therefore it's important that you present an application that represents the "true you" in as many ways as possible, GRE score included.

    I have multiple GRE scores.  How do you evaluate them?         

    We look for the highest percentile score in each category, using any valid scores. We can only accept scores from the last five years.

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    PREREQUISITE COURSES (on-campus MEM/MF only)

    What should I do if I am missing a prerequisite course?

    Prerequisite courses must be completed at an accredited college or university. The class must be taken for college credit and you will need to submit the official transcript. You can take classes at a local community college wherever you live, or you can take classes from a list of approved, online classes.

    We are not able to accept non-credit courses including those offered through Coursera and Opencourseware. Prerequisite classes must have been taken for a grade, and the grade must be a B- or better. If your undergraduate transcript demonstrates that you received AP credit for classes taken earlier, that would suffice as well. 

    Please know that if you have not fulfilled your prerequisites when you apply to our program, it will not hurt your chances of admission. You will, however, be expected to fulfill the prerequisites prior to arriving on campus. If necessary, you may matriculate with one prerequisite deficiency (3-2 students must fulfill all prerequisites prior to matriculating).

    What prerequisites do I need to fulfill?

    A college Calculus and college Statistics class are required for any concentration in our MEM or MF program. Application and acceptance to the MEM and MF degrees is possible with prerequisite deficiencies. Although we admit applicants with missing prerequisites, we only matriculate students who lack no more than one required prerequisite. Some concentrations have additional prerequisites and/or recommended coursework.

    Why do you require prerequisite courses?

    The courses you will take require a basic understanding of the concepts covered in the prerequisities courses. Having that understanding prior to matriculation ensures our students are adequately prepared so they can jump right in and engage with their professors and fellow classmates in an intellectually meaningful way.

    Can I just take Calculus/Statistics at Duke my first semester?   

    If you have not yet fulfilled a prerequisite, you are strongly urged to complete it prior to matriculating in the Nicholas School. Courses taken after matriculation to satisfy prerequisites do not count towards the credits required for the degree. Further, since our MEM and MF programs are both four semesters, you will have limited time to pack in as many enriching experiences as possible, including courses that are very relevant to your future. Spending time fulfilling a prerequisite could likely result in a missed opportunity elsewhere. We'd rather you get the most out of your experience by completing your prerequisites beforehand.

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    APPLICATION QUESTIONS    

    How do I start an application?

    The application for the MEM, MF and DEL Professional Masters Programs open every year on September 15th. When the application period opens, the first step is to establish a Duke Self-Service account. This will be your entry point throughout the application process. If you have difficulty with your Duke Self-Service account at any time, please contact Duke OIT. They can verify your identity and correct any access issues. Unfortunately, the Admissions office cannot assist with technical issues.

    You may also want to review our application instructions. Now is a good time to prepare for and schedule any exams required for admissions and to investigate scholarship and financial options.

    How does the application process work?          

    The system requires you to submit information in multiple sections in order to complete your application. Please be thoughtful when entering your application - we cannot make any changes to your application (including, but not limited to, preferred name, phone numbers, email addresses, or any supplemental materials).

    The first step is to answer all required general identification and education questions and to submit the application form. You will then be asked to submit your payment. If you qualify for a fee waiver (offered to active duty military, veterans and alumni of AmeriCorps, City Year, Teach for America and the PeaceCorps), you will need to contact the admissions office a minimum of five business days in advance of wanting to submit this portion of your application.

    The online application and fee must be submitted before you can upload required supplemental materials. Supplemental materials such as unofficial transcripts, essays, and resume can only be uploaded once your application and fee are submitted. You will then receive instructions on next steps for entering your recommenders' email addresses.

    Can I get an application fee waiver?     

    We are able to offer application fee waivers for Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year or Teach for America alumni as well as active duty military and veterans. If you meet any of these qualifiers, please send an official verification document from the organization to admissions@nicholas.duke.edu.  Please note that it may take up to 5 business days for review and decision.

    I have AP credit for a prerequisite but my high school doesn't appear in the dropdown list. Why is this? (on-campus MEM/MF only)

    You do not need to enter the high school where you received credit. When you select AP credit and it asks you to select city and state, you should choose Durham and North Carolina even though you attended high school in another city, state or country. This will give you a dropdown menu where you will simply choose “IB/AP credit.”

    I'm not certain which concentration I want to choose yet. What should I select? (on-campus MEM/MF only)

    Consider your passion, interests, and career aspirations when determining which concentration to pursue. We encourage you to reach out to the admissions team and/or faculty within a respective concentration to discuss. On the application, you can select any concentration, and will be assigned an academic advisor based on the program area in which you are admitted. You will officially select your concentration during the registration process.  We strongly encourage applicants to look closely at the prerequisites and program descriptions to ensure they have the appropriate foundational knowledge and/or experience to responsibly pursue their selection. Should you decide you'd like to consider pursuiing a different concentration once you have matriculated, program chairs approve post-application concentration changes on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, if you believe you may want to change your selection, please remember approvals are granted only if the program chair believes you to have the requisite knowledge and skills to maintain pace with others in the concentration you are seeking to enter.

    My recommender’s email address changed. Can you change it on my application?

    We cannot make an actual change to your application, however you can log in to your ChooseDuke account and designate a new recommender.  

    Do I need to send official transcripts with my application?          

    We do not require official transcripts for the application process, so you are permitted to scan and upload an unofficial version as part of your application. If accepted, your offer of admission will require an official transcript before you can enroll. The Nicholas School Registrar will reach out to you to ensure we have everything we need.

    What if I have a three-year bachelor’s degree?

    We require that students who apply for admission to our master's degree programs have a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent. For some students (e.g., applicants coming from India where a three-year degree is the norm), that means a three-year bachelor's degree from an accredited institution as well as at least one additional year of master's degree level study to equal the four-year degree requirements.

    Do you conduct interviews?

    MEM/MF: If requested, you may be required to participate in a brief admissions interview as part of the application process. All interviews will be conducted in a virtual (online) setting. Details will be communicated to participants.

    Any student whose first language is not English may be required to participate in a Skype interview to evaluate spoken English language ability. The interview results will be included in the application reviewed by the Admissions and Awards Committee.

    DEL-MEM: All applicants are required to participate in an extensive admissions interview as part of the application process.

    How do I make myself a strong applicant?

    We review applicants very holistically, so each piece of the application is important.

    MEM/MF:

    • Practice taking the GRE test so that you feel prepared when you take the one that counts. Remember that the GRE involves pacing yourself so that you can perform to the best of your ability. We recommend that you take the GRE at least a few months before applying (e.g. in June), so that if you are not comfortable with your score, you have time to take it again to perhaps improve your score.
    • Write a concise, clear essay that allows us to see that you have an understanding of our programs and why you believe you are a good fit, will contribute to the program, and will take what you learn over the two-year program and forge a sustainable future. We encourage you to share your passion for the environment and your career aspirations in your essay.
    • Be sure to review our programs, specifically the concentration areas to ensure a solid understanding of our curriculum.
    • Think through who you will approach for recommendations, and ensure that they know you, why you are applying to this particular program, and your capabilities so that they can speak to your strengths and appropriateness for our program.
    • Help us to know you, by including a well-thought out resume that highlights your accomplishments and gives us insights into what makes you a unique candidate, and highlights your relevant experience. Also take advantage of the "15 Random Things" application item by describing yourself in a creative way. This is a unique opportunity for you to go beyond academic and professional credentials and really showcase how you will be a part of a large community of smart and active people who are working to make a positive impact in the world.
    • Diversity is not about checking boxes. Diversity is defined in many ways. We are interested in you as an individual, what you have accomplished, what adversity you have overcome, and the ways those experiences have enabled you to bring a unique perspective to the classroom and the professional environmental landscape. Consider sharing your diversity story if you have served in a service program (such as the Peace Corps, Americorps, or Teach for America), the military (active duty or veteran), or are a first-generation applicant. If you have a story to tell, we'd love to hear how your background and experiences add diversity to our cohort.
    • Ensure that all of your materials are submitted on-time and that you follow application guidelines.

    DEL-MEM:

    • Write a concise, clear essay that allows us to see that you have a compelling interest in environmental leadership, a solid idea of how the degree aligns with your career goals, and that you have qualities and accomplishments that add value to your cohort. It's also important that you convey a plan to manage your academic, professional and personal priorities over the next two years.
    • Think through who you will approach for recommendations, and ensure that they know you, why you are applying to this particular program, your professional experience, and your leadership capabilities so that they can speak to your strengths and appropriateness for our program. We highly recommend that you consider recommenders from your professional circle, such as your supervisor, a client, co-worker, etc.
    • Help us to know you, by including a well-thought out resume that highlights your accomplishments and gives us insights into what makes you a unique candidate, and highlights your relevant experience.
    Is the application the same for the Master’s and PhD programs?             

    No. PhD admissions are handled through Duke’s Graduate School. You can contact them through this web inquiry form.

    When can I expect to hear about admittance after completing my application?           

    We utilize a rolling admissions process. This means we review applications as they are submitted and completed, and release decisions as they are available. The first wave of decisions after the December 15th Priority deadline typically comes by late January. Decisions for applications completed after December 16th are typically made by late February. Regardless of when your application is completed, please know we are giving your application the full consideration it deserves, and are diligently working to get your decision out as soon as possible. We know you're as anxious as we are for you to join us!

    I’m having trouble with the application. Who can help me?     

    Sorry you are experiencing difficulty – please contact our application technical support team (chooseDuke-support@duke.edu). Please be cognizant that in times of high volume, it may take a few business days before they can respond to your question.

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    RECOMMENDATION QUESTIONS            

    How do I know if my letter of recommendation has been received?

    You will receive an email notifying you when your letter of recommendation has been received and processed. You may also check the status of your recommendations within ChooseDuke, which is your application portal.

    I’ve been out of school a while and don’t have any academic recommenders. Who should I ask instead?

    Your recommenders should be able to write about your leadership potential, problem solving skills, maturity, personal integrity, etc.

    MEM/MF: It is not required that you have an academic recommendation, though at least one academic recommendation is suggested. Nevertheless, if you find yourself unable to find an academic recommender that can still speak to these characteristics, think about someone that knows you well enough to rate your strengths and who can thoughtfully articulate them for us. Who you choose to write your recommendation is your decision, though we do like to hear from employers and/or supervisors from a work/professional setting.

    DEL-MEM: Applicants are required to submit professional recommendations.

    I already have letters of recommendation. How can I submit them?      

    It is preferred that recommenders enter their letters directly, as in addition to a letter of recommendation, the recommender is also asked to rate you on a number of criteria. The instructions for letters of recommendation will ask you to enter the email addresses of those individuals. They will be emailed directly from the Duke system with a personalized, secure link to your application.

    You will have the opportunity to send them a personalized note but many people choose to also email them in advance. Please let them know that the input section has a limit of 2000 characters or the system will not accept their entry.

    The application asks if I want to see what my recommender wrote. Why wouldn't I want to do this?

    If you waive the right to view your recommendation, theoretically this would encourage your recommender to be more open and honest in assessing you. For this reason, these kind of recommendations tend to carry more weight.

    My recommender is out of town and the deadline is tomorrow – what can I do?             

    We know you can't control when your recommender submits the letter of recommendation and applicant rating so we expect some to be received after the deadline. Do your best to communicate early and often with each recommender, ensuring they understand the application deadline. While you may have less control over when your recommender submits their recommendation, you do have control over the rest of your application, so be sure to submit all other pieces of the application before the deadline.

    My recommender is having trouble submitting the recommendation letter. Can the letter just be emailed to you directly?    

    It would be better for the recommender to seek assistance with submitting the letter. The personalized, secured link sent directly from the Duke system to the recommenders is the most efficient method of linking the recommendation to the applicant’s electronic file, making it immediately available to the review committee and allowing the applicant to see what items are outstanding. Additionally, there are specific questions as well as the free text entry. The recommendation is not complete without both components completed.

    There is a 2000 character limit in the free text entry, including spaces. If the text exceeds this limit, the recommender will receive an error message. In our experience, the shorter recommendation leads to more unique and focused interpretations on the applicant’s character and talents. With longer recommendations, we typically find comments duplicate information that is found elsewhere in our application or in another letter.

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    FINANCIAL AID QUESTIONS  

    What aid is available for international students?             

    The Nicholas School considers all admitted applicants for school-supported aid. That aid comes in two forms: merit-based aid in the form of scholarships and/or modest assistantships (for MEM/MF only, valued at $3,000) and need-based grants.

    International students are not eligible for any of the federally supported loans such as the Stafford or GradPlus. Students who are US citizens or permanent residents are eligible for the federal loan programs.

    International applicants are also eligible to apply for need-based grants.

    In partnership with Fundación Mexicana para la Educación, la Tecnología y la Ciencia (FUNED), the Nicholas School provides tuition scholarships for eligible admitted MEM or MF students with Mexican citizenship. Learn more about this great partnership here.

    You can learn more about all the forms of financial aid at our website. It contains merit-based aid information, need-based grant information and outside scholarships information.

    What kind of aid is available?   

    The Nicholas School considers all admitted applicants for two forms of financial aid: merit-based aid, in the form of scholarships and/or modest assistantships (for on-campus MEM/MF only, valued at $3,000), and need-based grants. Consideration for merit-based aid comes from the admissions application; there is not a separate application for merit-based aid.

    Need-based aid is also available for applicans who demonstrate the greatest financial need, including non-US citizens or permanent residents. The need-based grant program is also open to F-1 and J-1 visa holders provided they can supply the necessary documentation to support their application.

    Students who are US citizens or permanent residents are eligible for the federal loan programs. These programs require completing and submitting the FAFSA.

    All students are expected to contribute to the investment of their Duke degree. The Nicholas School does not offer any scholarship or aid amounts equivalent to the full cost of the program.

    You can learn more about all the forms of financial aid at our website. It contains merit-based aid information, need-based grant information and outside scholarships information.We encourage you to look at outside sources for scholarship money--there are thousands of scholarships available around the world.

    Does the Nicholas School provide Yellow Ribbon support?

    The Nicholas School provides up to seven Yellow Ribbons awards of up to $10,000 per student per year. Students must be certified by the Duke Veterans Education Office. The Veteran's page on the Student Records/University Registrar website is a good resource for our student veterans.

    Does Duke submit my name for the World Bank Scholarships Program?   

    The World Bank Preferred Program Scholarship requires applicants to apply for admissions to the University and to apply for the scholarship separately.  Applicants should only submit one scholarship application. The online scholarship application will give the opportunity to list up to 5 preferred masters degree programs for possible funding. At the time of submitting the scholarship application, the scholarship applicant is not required to have been admitted into one of the preferred programs.

    How do I finance my education?   

    At Duke Environment, we are committed to supporting our students in pursuing their passions within the environmental sector. As such, we work hard toward ensuring those who require financial aid receive it – with 80% of our students in our on-campus and online programs receiving merit or need-based scholarships annually. The tuition costs are significant, but the return on your investment is high: the opportunity to pursue a fulfilling career that enables you to affect positive change. Check out all of the opportunities available to MEM, MF, and DEL-MEM students here.

    What is the Nicholas Scholars program?  

    Established with funding from five endowments and the Annual Fund, the program enables us to award up to 15 Nicholas Scholarships each year to incoming students from diverse backgrounds and experiences who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and academic excellence. Those selected for this highly competitive program receive scholarships that cover approximately two-thirds of their tuition.

    The Nicholas Scholars cohort is limited to on-campus MEM & MF students. Students are selected to be Nicholas Scholars; no application is necessary.

    If I apply after the Priority deadline date, can I still apply for financial aid? 

    Yes, you may apply for financial aid after the Priority deadline date (December 15th). Federal student aid is not directly tied to our application deadlines.

    If you are able to apply by the Priority deadline date, your application is guaranteed to receive full consideration for any of our merit-based scholarships. Not to worry, if you apply by the general deadline, January 15th, your application will still be considered for any remaining merit-based scholarships. There is no separate application required for merit-based scholarship consideration.

    You will be considered for Nicholas School need-based grants, regardless of the deadline by which your application is submitted, as long as you complete your CSS profile and submit the proper documentation by its deadline. Whereas the federally supported loan programs are not available to non-US citizens or permanent residents, the Nicholas School’s need-based grant program is open to F-1 and J-1 visa holders provided they can supply the necessary documentation to support their application.

    Whom should I contact with specific financial aid questions?

    Cynthia Peters is our Financial Aid Counselor. Please contact her at nsoe-financialaid@duke.edu.

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    TUITION AND COST OF ATTENDANCE               

    What is flat-fee tuition?       

    The Nicholas School uses a “flat-fee” tuition structure, which means all master’s degree students pay the same tuition regardless of their specific program, number of credits registered for, or whether the work is done online or in residence. You can take courses in one of our other graduate/professional schools (e.g. Fuqua, Pratt, Duke Law, etc.) at no additional cost.

    How much is tuition and fees? What about the total cost of attendance budget?

    At Duke Environment, we are committed to supporting our students in pursuing their passions within the environmental sector. As such, we work hard toward ensuring those who require financial aid receive it – with 80% of our students receiving merit or need-based scholarships. The tuition costs are significant, but the return on your investment is high: the opportunity to pursue a fulfilling career that enables you to affect positive change.

    Our master’s degree programs span two years, whether you’re pursuing an on-campus or online degree. These two years constitute time you’re investing in your future and a fulfilling career in which you can affect positive change.

    Current year information can be found on our website. Tuition costs are determined annually, ensuring expenses are reflective of existing marketplace dynamics. Information for the next year is typically available in early Spring.

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    DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION

    What is the median age of the student body?

    The median age of the MEM and MF Classes of 2019 was 24 years old, and the age range was 20-49 years old. The median age of the DEL-MEM Class of 2019 was 39 years old, and the age range was 28-57 years old.

    How many total students are in the program?

    Both years included, there are approximately 330 students in the MEM or MF program, and an additional 30 students in the DEL-MEM program.

    What is the average class size?

    Each MEM/MF class has an average of 19 students. Each DEL-MEM class has an average of 14 students.

    What percentage of the class is international students?

    The MEM and MF Class of 2019 was 26% international students. We had students with primary citizenships in Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India, Jordan, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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    HOW TO GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION          

    We'd love to see you at an open house, graduate school fair, professional conference, and/or virtual event (i.e. a concentration-specific information session or a virtual Open House). Check out both our recruiting map and the master Nicholas School calendar for connection opportunities. If you ever have a question to which you cannot find an answer, don't hesitate to email or call us.

    How do I schedule a visit?    

    We ask that individual visits be scheduled at least two weeks in advance, especially if you wish to observe a class or speak with a faculty member. Accomodations for late requests cannot be guaranteed. Please submit a request by contacting us at admissions@nicholas.duke.edu.

    How do virtual information sessions work?

    We use the WebEx web-conferencing platform for our sessions. WebEx allows participants to connect using web conferencing and VoIP using your computer or smart device, or you can also connect by telephone if you are not able to connect via computer. By joining via WebEx's web conference, you will be able to view our presentation, chat, and ask questions of our program experts. Don't worry--once you register for a virtual information session, we will email you with the connection information and directions necessary to ensure a smooth connection prior to the session.

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