General Course Registration Matters


I. DukeHub/Course Schedule/Sakai

The most current Nicholas School course schedule is posted at the advising web pages or view the entire university course schedule and descriptions in the DukeHub.Students will be notified of any changes or additions to the Nicholas School course schedule via their Duke email address.

Students register for classes in the DukeHub (NetID and password login required). We recommend that students change their password to something memorable but that is secure. The DukeHub is also the portal where students will update their address information, check grades and view financial account information. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the University and the Nicholas School have current contact information in the DukeHub.

Book bags in the DukeHub open approximately two weeks prior to the start of the pre-registration period. Once the book bags open, students will be able to book bag courses they would like to take in the upcoming term. Book bagging does not mean enrolling in the course. The book bag is similar to the shopping cart feature, found in many online shopping sites, where courses the student is interested in taking appear together in one place.

Sakai is a flexible, open-source collaboration and learning environment that provides Duke faculty and instructors with tools to support teaching and learning activities. For students, it will most likely be the platform that you use to upload classroom assignments. Also, Sakai provides space for storing and sharing files, access to the list of course readings and assignments. Learn more here.

II. Academic Advising

Students are expected to meet with their faculty academic coursework advisor before registering for classes (includes group advising). The academic advisor will meet with the student to assist in planning a proposed program of study using the course planning worksheet. Planning worksheets are available here > be sure to choose the appropriate year. The course planning worksheet should be updated each semester by the student and the advisor and then submitted to the Office of Student Services when the student is ready to apply to graduate. Although the advisor will assist the student in setting up their academic plan, the student is responsible for making sure that requirements for graduation are met. Therefore, students should make sure that they are always aware of the required courses to complete their degree requirements. 48 credits are required for the MEM and MF degrees. 72 credits are required for the joint MEM/MF concurrent degree program.


III. Enrollment Window

NSOE uses a tiered registration process to assure that all students have equal access to classes. In the first enrollment window, students may enroll in up to 12 credits; then up to 15 credits in the second window.  If more credits are needed, submit a Course Overload Request form with advisor consent.

All course changes in the DukeHub must be completed when the drop/add registration period ends in the DukeHub. This includes requests for Inter-Institutional enrollment. After the drop/add registration ends no changes (including changes to and from audits, pass/fail, etc.) are permissible. Students are strongly encouraged to check their course schedule in the DukeHub prior to the end of drop/add registration period so that corrections to any errors can be resolved before the deadline.


IV. Time Conflicts

It is NOT possible to enroll in courses with conflicting meeting patterns, even if the overlap is only one minute, one day per week. If you attempt to enroll in a course that conflicts with another course, the DukeHub will block that registration, and display a message about the conflict. Courses with time conflicts can be added to the book bag, but courses with conflicts will be flagged as errors during the validation process. Students can waitlist a class that conflicts with another enrolled class, however enrollment in the waitlisted course will not occur until the time conflict is resolved.

V. Consent to Enroll

In order to enroll in a course requiring instructor consent to enroll, the student must obtain a permission number from the instructor. If there are any exceptions, they will be shared in the course registration announcements circulated by the NSOE registrar.

VI. Waive Required Courses

If you believe you have already taken a course that covers the material in a course that is required for your program, take your documentation (syllabus, course description, text book, etc.) to the instructor of the required course. If they concur, it is then up to your program whether or not to require you to take a more advanced course in the same area (in any case, you would not receive any Duke credit for a waived requirement). Write a note stating by what means you have already fulfilled the requirement and stating any program requirements for a more advanced course, have it signed by the required course instructor and your advisor, and place copies of this note in your advising files with your advisor and with the Student Services office. Refer to this note when filling out your program advising worksheet to show that you have satisfied the requirement. If you don't get a waiver but have a schedule conflict with a required course, there may be an acceptable substitute, with permission of your program chair.

VII. Course Numbering

Duke University courses numbers:

  • Courses in the 100-199 range are introductory level courses and while professional/graduate students may take courses in this range, they cannot be counted towards their MEM and MF degree or to fulfill program requirements
  • Courses in the 200-499 range are upper level undergraduate courses; courses in this range cannot be counted towards their MEM and MF degree requirements
    • Note that undergraduate courses are tallied in "units" and 1 unit = 3 credits for graduate and professional students. Therefore, even though the undergraduate course may be valued at 1 unit in the DukeHub, when you sign-up for course (as a grad/prof student), the value will automatically change from 1 to 3 credits.
  • Courses in the 500-699 range are graduate/professional level classes but upper level undergraduates may enroll
  • Courses at the 700 level and above are open only to graduate and professional students
  • Courses in the 900 range are reserved for the Duke Environmental Leadership (DEL) Program. Mode of instruction is online. Fall courses are open to DEL-MEMs only; on-campus students may have the option to take a few of the DEL-MEM courses in the spring

VIII. Undergraduate Courses  

Upper level undergraduate courses: Up to 2 courses (6 credits maximum) of 200-499 upper level undergraduate courses (400-level at UNC and NCSU) can count as general electives toward the 48 credits required for the MEM or MF degrees, with advisor approval. The main purpose of allowing some upper level undergraduate credits to count is to allow students to take courses in subjects that complement the student’s main interests, but for which the student does not have the prerequisites to take graduate courses. In addition, sometimes there is not a comparable graduate course in a particular area of interest. Students are not allowed to use undergraduate courses when there is a comparable graduate course that the student is qualified to take (e.g., ENVIRON 102, U.S. Environmental Policy should not be taken instead of a graduate policy course - LAW 835 Environmental Law is the closest in content). Similarly, undergraduate courses cannot generally be used to satisfy graduate program requirements (e.g., core, tools and specialization courses). Lower level undergraduate courses: Physical education, applied music, and dance classes cannot be taken as audits and must be taken for a standard letter grade. The credits cannot be used to count towards the total number of credits required for the MEM or MF degree. While grad/prof students can take lower level undergraduate classes, courses in this range (100-199) cannot be counted towards their MEM and MF degree or to fulfill program requirements.

IX. Program Change/Add

Students may request a change to their program area of study up until the end of the first year of enrollment by submitting the Program Change Request form. Students are encouraged to highlight academic and career benefits for the change in their program area. Be sure to refer to the list of required and recommended program prerequisites for the new program area; priority will be granted to those students who have already met the prerequisite requirements for the program area that they seek to move into. Approval or denials are granted by the Program Chair of each concentration. In some but not all cases, a new academic advisor will be assigned to the student. Students interested in adding the Master of Forestry degree (Forest Resource Management concentration) to their MEM degree (or vice versa) must follow the same procedures outlined above. Completed requests forms should be returned to the Office of Student Services office for processing.

X. Prerequisite Courses  

Courses taken after matriculation to satisfy prerequisites do not count towards the credits required for the MEM or MF degree. The course must be taken for credit and completed with a grade of B- or better during the first year of enrollment. Upon completion, the student must send an official transcript to the Office of Student Services. Students who fail to meet the required prerequisites by the end of the first year of study are at risk of being dismissed from the program.

XI. Enrollment Status

Nicholas School MEM and MF students pay a flat tuition rate for 4 semesters (3 semesters if you are a concurrent degree student). In order to be considered a full time student you must be enrolled for at least 9 credit hours per semester. If, after 4 semesters, the student needs to take additional course work, the student may request permission to be enrolled on a part-time basis and pay the per credit hour rate. The student’s faculty advisor and the Education Committee must approve the request. Financial aid awards are based on full-time enrollment; therefore, less than full-time enrollment will result in an adjustment and possible cancellation of funding award(s). Merit-based financial assistance is available for a maximum of four semesters (three semesters for concurrent degree students). Questions or concerns about enrollment status options should be directed to Cynthia Peters, Assistant Dean, Student Services office. Stop by A101 LSRC or send an email to