Applying to Master's Programs

The following instructions are for applying to on-campus and online master's degree programs only. Doctoral students should apply through the Duke University Graduate School. Undergraduate students should apply through Trinity College of Arts and Sciences.

Deadlines

For MEM, MF and DEL-MEM Programs:

  • Online application available: September 16, 2019
  • Priority deadline: December 16, 2019
  • Regular deadline: January 17, 2020

Application Process & Instructions

  1. To begin your application, you will need to register a Duke OneLink account. If you have ever applied to another Duke University program, including the undergraduate program, chances are you already have a OneLink account, it may just need to be reactivated. If you choose to link your OneLink account to your social media, you must first log out of any existing social media accounts before attempting to link the two. 
  2. Start the application by answering some general identification and education questions.
  3. Attach the required supplemental documents (details below).
  4. Pay the $80 application fee and submit your application.
  5. Your application is not considered complete until all letters of recommendation are received. When all letters of recommendation are received, the review process will begin.
  6. You may track the status of your application within the Slate application portal.


Apply to Master's Programs

 

On-Campus Degrees: MEM and MF

MEM & MF Admissions Requirements

General Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Nicholas School requires that the applicant has a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university prior to matriculation at the Nicholas School. Applicants who have three-year undergraduate degrees must complete a fourth year of study to be considered for admission.

We also expect that applicants will have:

  1. Some previous training in the natural or social sciences related to your area of interest
  2. At least one semester of college calculus that includes: algebra (graphing linear equations, solving systems of linear equations); functions (characteristics of functions in one variable, logarithmic functions, exponential functions); calculus of one variable (derivatives, definite and indefinite integrals); calculus of more than one variable (partial derivatives, total derivatives); first-order differential equations (discrete and continuous time, rates of decay, initial conditions)
  3. A college statistics course that includes descriptive statistics, probability distributions, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, correlation, simple linear regression and simple ANOVAs

View Statement of Prerequisite Coursework

Program Requirements

Additional courses might be required or recommended depending on the student’s program area of study within the MEM or MF degree. For program-specific requirements, view the Statement of Prerequisite Coursework, or visit the Master of Environmental Management and Master of Forestry sections.

Satisfying Prerequisites

    AP/IB Credit

    We will accept Advanced Placement (AP) and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if the student earned college credit for the course(s) from their undergraduate institution. View AP/IB credit policy

    Prerequisite Deficiencies

    Students may apply for admission with prerequisite deficiencies, though they may only enroll with one required prerequisite deficiency, which must be completed in the first year of enrollment, preferably in the fall. In general, we strongly urge all students to complete all prerequisite coursework prior to matriculation. Courses taken after matriculation to satisfy prerequisites do not count towards the credits required for the degree. See: Requirements for taking courses to fulfill prerequisites

    Challenging Deficiencies

    If you have taken a college level course that you think may fulfill a prerequisite that has been listed as a deficiency, see: Challenge a prerequisite deficiency

     

    MEM & MF Application Materials

    Application Fee

    A non-refundable application fee of $80 is required of all applicants. You may pay via credit card when submitting your online application. 

    We offer application fee waivers for Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year, and/or Teach for America alumni; active duty military and veterans; and recipients of GRE Fee Reduction vouchers. If you meet any of these qualifiers, please complete the Application Fee Waiver Request Form before submitting your application (we cannot reimburse fee payments).

    Letters of Recommendation

    Applicants are required to identify three individuals who can articulately write about their suitability for the program. Recommendation letters will not be accepted outside of the online portal. Applicants should notify their recommenders that letters are limited to one page in length.

    Transcripts

    Applicants must submit transcripts for all colleges and universities attended. If your school does not post fall grades until after January, please submit your most current transcripts, including all courses in progress. All transcripts submitted through the online application are considered unofficial. Official transcripts are not required, nor requested, until the applicant is admitted.  

    Statement of Purpose

    Describe your educational goals and post-degree professional goals, and how Duke can prepare you to achieve those objectives. What experiences make you a good match for Duke, and how will you contribute to the Nicholas School of the Environment community? Your personal statement may not exceed 500 words.

    Resume

    Your resume should highlight your strengths, skills, and accomplishments as accounted for in your personal, academic, and professional experiences.

    Essay

    Share with us your list of '15 Random Things About You'. The Nicholas School of the Environment wants to get to know you beyond just the professional and academic achievements we can find elsewhere in your application. This is your opportunity to tell us anything that helps us to understand what makes you who you are. Present your response in list form from 1-15. The complete list should not exceed two pages and should not contain pictures.

    GRE / GMAT / Standardized Exams

    Depending on your background and your intended program, you must provide results from the following standardized exams. The admissions committee will review your application with self-reported scores, which are entered within the application, but offers of admission and scholarship will not be made until official test scores are reported to Duke University through the associated testing service. It is highly recommended that applicants request official test score reports be sent prior to submitting an application.

    GRE 

    • With few exceptions, all applicants must provide an official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score that includes the verbal, quantitative, and analytical/writing assessment components.
    • Subject tests are not required.
    • Scores should be reported to Duke University’s institution code 5156; there is no department code.
    • You must have taken the GRE within five years of the date of the application.
    • Application decisions will not be made until official scores are received by ETS. As a result, we urge you to take the GRE by December 1, 2019.  

    GMAT

    • Applicants to the joint MEM/MBA or MF/MBA program are permitted to submit a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score instead of a GRE score.
    • Official GMAT scores should be reported to Duke University’s institution code Q13-N532.

    LSAT

    • LSAT Applicants intending to pursue a MEM or MF degree concurrently with a JD (Juris Doctorate) must submit an official Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score to the Duke School of Law AND an official GRE score to the Nicholas School.

    English as a Second Language 

    If your native language is not English, you must submit an official score on either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. This requirement is waived if you earned your undergraduate degree in the United States, earned an undergraduate or master's degree from an English-only speaking institution, or have been working in the United States for two years or more. If your TOEFL or IELTS score is low, you may be accepted on the provision that you complete an intensive English language program in the United States prior to enrollment.

    TOEFL

    • Official TOEFL scores should be reported to Duke University’s institution code 5156; there is no department code.

    IELTS

    • IELTS score reports should be uploaded in the "Supplemental Uploads" section of the application so that the Enrollment Services team may verify your scores through the testing service.

    English Proficiency Evaluations

    Non-native English speakers will be required to take proficiency exams in written and spoken English during orientation week; depending on your scores, you may be required to enroll in additional English language instruction. You should be prepared to assume all costs for any required English tutoring and may need to reduce your course or research work while being tutored. Find more information for international applicants here.  

    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.

    Admissions Interview

    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.

     

    Online Degree: DEL-MEM

    DEL-MEM Admissions Requirements

    Admissions Requirements

    To be considered for admission to the Nicholas School requires that the applicant has a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university prior to matriculation at the Nicholas School. Applicants who have three-year undergraduate degrees must complete a fourth year of study to be considered for admission.

    To be considered for the DEL-MEM program, students also must have the following:

    • Five years of post-degree environmentally-related experience (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, as shown by applicant essays and reference letters
    • Self-motivation and commitment to learn at a distance
    • A working knowledge of the internet and personal computers for word processing, data analysis, and synchronous online conferencing
    • Written sponsorship from employer (or letter of commitment, if self-employed)
    • Proficiency in English

     

      DEL-MEM Application Materials

      Application Fee

      A non-refundable application fee of $80 is required of all applicants. You may pay via credit card when submitting your online application. 

      We offer application fee waivers for Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year, and/or Teach for America alumni; active duty military and veterans; and recipients of GRE Fee Reduction vouchers. If you meet any of these qualifiers, please complete the Application Fee Waiver Request Form before submitting your application (we cannot reimburse fee payments).

      Letters of Recommendation

      Applicants are required to identify three professional references who can articulately write about their suitability for the program. Recommendation letters will not be accepted outside of the online portal. Applicants should notify their recommenders that letters are limited to one page in length.

      Sponsor Letter / Letter of Commitment

      Your employer must send a sponsor letter on company letterhead stating that your employer endorses your participation in the program and will grant you the necessary time off to attend classes. Self-employed applicants must submit a letter of commitment. Example sponsor letter

      Essay

      The DEL-MEM program seeks to enroll a class with a wide range of experience, achievements, and perspectives. In this 750-word (max) essay, please answer the following:

      1. What motivates your interest in environmental leadership?
      2. How does the MEM degree align with your career goals? How will you manage competing academic, professional, and personal priorities over the next 2 years?
      3. What qualities and accomplishments will you bring to the program?

      Please be sure that your essay is a coherent, concise, and compelling response to all of these questions, though they do not have to be addressed in any particular order.

      Resume

      Your resume should highlight your strengths, skills, and accomplishments as accounted for in your personal, academic, and professional experiences.

      Transcripts

      Applicants must submit transcripts for all colleges and universities attended. All transcripts submitted through the online application are considered unofficial. Official transcripts are not required, nor requested, until the applicant is admitted.

      English as a Second Language 

      If your native language is not English, you must submit an official score on either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. This requirement is waived if you earned your undergraduate degree in the United States, earned an undergraduate or master's degree from an English-only speaking institution, or have been working in the United States for two years or more.

      The admissions committee will review your application with self-reported scores, which are entered within the application, but offers of admission will not be made until official test scores are reported and/or verified by Duke. It is highly recommended that applicants request official test score reports be sent prior to submitting an application.

      TOEFL

      • Official TOEFL scores should be reported to Duke University’s institution code 5156; there is no department code.

      IELTS

      • IELTS score reports should be uploaded in the "Supplemental Uploads" section of the application so that the Enrollment Services team may verify your scores through the testing service.

      Visa Requirements for Non-U.S. Citizens

      If admitted, the DEL-MEM program requires students to participate in five (5) place-based sessions. Four of these sessions take place at Duke University in Durham, NC, and one place-based session is held in Washington, D.C.. Duke University and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security now require non-U.S. citizens entering the United States to participate in the DEL-MEM program place-based sessions to enter the United States on an F-1 student visa (business or tourist visas is not sufficient). 

      Admissions Interview

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

       

      Concurrent Degrees

      Applicants wishing to pursue a concurrent degree should apply to the non-Nicholas School program separately. Applicants wishing to pursue the Nicholas School's concurrent MEM/MF should apply with one application. Current Nicholas School students wishing to either add the MEM or MF degree should contact the Nicholas School Registrar at nsoe-registrar@duke.edu.

      PhD, Undergraduate & Other Academic Programs

      The above information only applies to admissions to the MEM, MF and DEL-MEM master's programs. To access application instructions and requirements for other degrees and programs, visit:

      Questions?

      Admissions staff members are here to help you through the application and enrollment process. If you start an application in error—for instance, creating an application meant for the PhD program or creating a duplicate application—please email us so we may withdraw it.

      MASTER'S DEGREE STUDENTS

      Email: admissions@nicholas.duke.edu
      (919) 613-8070

      MASTER'S PROGRAMS FAQ

      Help with OneLink

      For assistance creating a OneLink account or accessing your application, visit the OneLink Help Page.

      Help with Standardized Test Scores 

      Because we match scores by an applicant's name, it is important your name on the application and your name on your test score reports be the same. If it is not, you must update the "Other Last Names Used" field in the Personal Background section of the application to facilitate the manual matching process. 

      Until you submit your application, the application status page will indicate that your test score reports (GRE, GMAT, and/or TOEFL) have not been received, even if they have been. There is an automated score retrieval process which runs several times per week, and once the process runs your score report status(es) will be updated. Allow up to 5 business days for the update to be reflected on your application status page.

      If after 5 business days your score report status hasn't been updated, first verify you submitted your scores to the correct institution code (GRE/TOEFL: 5156; GMAT: Q13-N532) and, if so, please alert us by email (admissions@nicholas.duke.edu), as we may have to manually find and match your scores to your application. IELTS scores are verified manually and thus may take longer. We will contact you if we have trouble accessing your IELTS scores.

       

       

       


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