All Concurrent Degrees - Requirements & Information

Coursework Advising in the Nicholas School

1. Consult your coursework adviser and/or Director of Professional Studies.

Each professional program area has a coursework adviser for concurrent degree students (either the program chair or someone else designated by him/her). If you have questions that cannot be resolved at the program level, please consult the Office of Professional Studies.

Here is the current roster of concurrent degree advisers by program:

EEP - JD/MEM or MF emphasizing economics and policy – Dr. Jeff Vincent or emphasizing environ. political science – Dr. Erika Weinthal
EEP - MEM/MF – Dr. Jeff Vincent
EEP - MEM/MBA – Dr. Deb Gallagher
ESC and MF – Dr. Dean Urban
EEH – Dr. Heather Stapleton
CEM – Dr. Pat Halpin or Grant Murray
GEC – Dr. Brad Murray
EE – Dr. Tim Johnson
WRM – Dr. Martin Doyle

2. Satisfy all NS program requirements.

The general rule for concurrent degree students completing MEM or MF programs is that you must satisfy the substance of all NS program requirements. It is generally possible to do this within a 36-credit program by (1) planning your coursework for both degrees with NS program requirements in mind; (2) giving up most "free" electives, and (3) counting courses taken in your non-NS program toward the substance of NS program requirements (but not toward your 36 units of credit for the NS degree).

When you fill out your NS program planning worksheet, you can indicate which requirements will be satisfied in substance by coursework from your non-NS degree by listing those courses in parentheses. Remember not to count the credits from those courses toward the 36 units you need in the NS.

Sometimes concurrent degree students have to take one or two credits beyond the required 36 in order to complete all their NS program requirements. If, despite your best efforts, it appears that some element of the NS program must be slighted, it should be the area where you have the most coursework from your non-NS program or from your undergraduate degree. For example, a concurrent JD/MEM student in Ecosystem Science and Management with very extensive undergraduate coursework in ecology might take one fewer fundamental ecology courses than required. Your adviser should put a note on your course planning sheet and documentation in your advising file indicating agreement with this part of your plan, so that it does not cause trouble when your planning sheet is reviewed prior to graduation.

MP Advising

MP Deadlines — Since concurrent degree students are often on a different "sequence" than students in the regular 4-semester program, you may have to take extra responsibility for making sure you are keeping up with MP deadlines. All MP deadlines are linked to the MP Timetable webpage. When in doubt, verify with your adviser or program chair what deadlines you need to meet.

MP Seminar — Each program has a 1-credit MP seminar (ENVIRON 898.xx ), which students sign-up for each semester, receiving one credit on successful completion of all activities in the final semester. MP seminar activities include program meetings to discuss MP proposals, MP presentation practice sessions, etc. You may need to attend some of these meetings while you are enrolled in your other degree program depending on the semesters you’ll be taking NS courses. We encourage you to make sure you are on NS email lists even while enrolled in your other degree program (see suggestions below).

MPs and Internships — It is very common, but not universal, for NS students to use material from summer internships as the basis for their MPs. Some concurrent degree programs also have expectations for summer work (e.g., work with MPP masters project client for MPP, summer law job for JD) or summer study (e.g., for incoming MAT students). Concurrent degree students need to look at the sequence of semesters they will spend in the NS vs. the other school with an eye to when they could do summer work leading to an MP and how to have adequate NS coursework as background for that summer’s work.


We have an email list for concurrent degree students (, and concurrent degree students should also be included on program email lists. However, you should be alert to a couple of communications difficulties that can arise for concurrent students. During the semesters when you are not registered in the NS, you may not be included automatically on the NS email lists. Be sure to ask to be added, so that you will receive messages about program meetings, required modules, MP deadlines, etc. Even when you are registered in the NS, check to be sure that you are on the right program email lists to receive messages about "first-year" and "second-year" activities and deadlines. Because concurrent degree students are not on the standard four-semester plan, you will have to make sure that you are on the list or lists that are appropriate for your stage of completion of MP requirements (you may need to be on both the first and second year lists, for example).

Note for Coastal Environmental Management Students: CEM students in concurrent degree programs who want to spend one or more semesters in Beaufort will need to be exceptionally attentive to coursework planning because most of your course requirements will need to be completed in Durham.