Client-Centered Masters Projects


Client-Centered Master's Projects (MP) are conducted in collaboration with, or for the benefit of, a real-world client. Clients can be private-sector corporations, government agencies, or non-profit organizations, and can be based in the local community, across the country, or even abroad. Client-centered MPs typically do not follow the usual format for scientific research, and instead may result in the formation of management plans, educational curricula, policy analyses, business plans, or other similar deliverables.


29792246_10160236573545710_144796838040436736_o (1).jpg

The Master's Project (MP) is the capstone experience required of all Master of Environmental Management (MEM) and Master of Forestry (MF) students. The MP is an integral, culminating part of the professional and educational experience at NSOE, for which students are given the opportunity to apply the skills they've acquired in the classroom to tackle real-world environmental issues. During completion of the MP, students design and carry out a well-formulated and defensible analysis of a management-related problem. The MP should expand students’ awareness and skillsets relating to their field of study and may be used to showcase their abilities to future employers after graduation. All MPs culminate in a public presentation at an end-of-semester symposium, and a written report that becomes part of the Duke Library electronic archives.

A faculty advisor will first work with a potential client to define the precise scope of the project.  A group of students (4-6) or on rare occasions, a single student, will then be matched with the client and the project. Work on the project will begin in March of the student’s first year and be completed during April of the second year.

Projects Requirements

A Master's Project should:

  • Align with interests, expertise and capabilities of students and faculty.
  • Ask a well-defined environmental science, policy or management question.
  • Make data available for analysis, or include a plan for assisting students in obtaining data.
  • Be completed within the master's project timeline.

Client Expectation

  • The organization should provide a clear point of contact who will communicate with students and  respond regularly and in a timely manner
  • The client should engage and commit to work with the team for the duration of the MP.
  • The client should regularly provide feedback to the group throughout the MP process.
  • The client should meet with the group and the MP advisor to define the project scope, formulate a researchable problem and develop a work plan that best fits the challenge posed.

Clients Master’s Projects Submission Form

Please fill out this online form to be considered for this academic year cohort

For more information, please email