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.
Do I need to be a certain age or have a certain amount of work experience?
MEM, MF: No, there is no specific age requirement. For those joining the MEM/MF program directly following the completion of an undergraduate degree, competitive applicants have often incorporated internships and experiential hands-on work to help distinguish them.
DEL-MEM: Applicants need not be a certain age, but five years of post-degree environmentally-related experience is required (professional OR a significant commitment to the personal/volunteer work in related fields). Evidence of leadership potential and an established background in fields directly related to the environment is also required.
Please check out this infographic for more information. One major difference is Duke 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.
Both the Masters of Environmental Management and the Masters of Forestry programs are STEM compliant.
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. For more information, visit Duke Visa Services:
- F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) 24-Month STEM Extension
Can I defer my enrollment?
Deferrals will be granted for Teach for America, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year and military service. Additional deferral requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. Deferrals are granted for one year (next fall admission cycle). Approved deferral requests require receipt of your tuition deposit; should you choose not to matriculate, you will forfeit your deposit and be required to reapply for future admission consideration. Any financial aid award(s) will be re-evaluated alongside the next admitted student class and a new FAFSA will be required. Deferral requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Separate applications are required for concurrent degree programs with the only exception being the Master of Environmental Management/Master of Forestry concurrent degree. We will accept the recommendations and essays submitted to the complementary program and you only need to submit your test scores once.
Career & Professional Development
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.
How many students have internships?
The CPDC surveyed rising second year MEM and MF students regarding their 2018 summer internships. Of those who responded, 100% reported securing an internship, with 97% paid directly by the employer or partially paid using internal and external grants.
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+ distinctive 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
GRE & Testing
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 that you are comfortable and will add depth to our student body.
Is the GRE required?
MEM, MF: 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. Concurrent MEM/MBA or MF/MBA applicants may submit their GMAT scores to Fuqua and we can use those scores.
DEL-MEM: Applicants do not have to take the GRE.
What should I do if I am missing a prerequisite course?
MEM, MF: 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 pre-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.
You will be expected to fulfill the prerequisites prior to arriving on campus. If necessary, you may matriculate with one prerequisite deficiency.
Can I get an application fee waiver?
We are able to offer application fee waivers for the following individuals:
- Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year or Teach for America alumni
- Active duty military and veterans
- GRE Fee Reduction Voucher recipients
If you meet any of these qualifiers, please complete the Application Fee Waiver Request Form before submitting your application. Please note we cannot reimburse a processed application fee. Upon completing the request form, the admissions office will review your documentation within 5 business days and waive the application fee for you, if you qualify. This is an internal process. You will not receive an application fee waiver code.
Can I apply with 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 and MF applicants
- 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.
- Be sure to review our programs, specifically the MEM program areas, to ensure a solid understanding of our curriculum.
- Think through whom 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 can be 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. you have a story to tell, we'd love to hear how your background and experiences add diversity to our cohort.
- Ensure that you follow application guidelines.
- 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 whom 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.
Is the application the same for the Master’s and PhD programs?
No. PhD admissions are handled through Duke’s Graduate School.
I'm interested in both the MEM and MF degree programs. Do I apply to both?
No. If you are planning to pursue only one degree, please select the program in which you are most interested and apply to it. If you change your mind, please contact the enrollment services office (email@example.com) so that your application can be evaluated in light of the admissions criteria (e.g., prerequisites) for your new program preference.
If you change your mind post-admission, you would follow the same protocol as someone changing program areas within the degree.
I’ve been out of school a while and don’t have any academic recommenders. Who should I ask?
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 would prefer to hear from employers and/or supervisors from a work/professional setting.
DEL-MEM: Applicants are required to submit professional recommendations.
Tuition & Cost
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.
What aid is available for international students?
We consider all admitted applicants, including international students, for school-supported aid: 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 federally supported loans such as the Stafford or GradPlus. Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for federal loan programs.
Whereas the federally supported loan programs are not available to non-U.S. 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.
Can I apply for financial aid after the admission deadlines?
Federal student aid (through the FAFSA) is not tied to our admission deadlines.
All applications received by the final application deadline will receive consideration for our merit-based scholarships. Your application for admission also serves as your merit-based scholarship application.
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.