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

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

•  BE – Dr. Deborah Gallagher
•  EEP - JD/MA emphasizing economics and policy – Dr. Jeff Vincent
•  EEP - JD/MA emphasizing environmental political science – Dr. Erika Weinthal
•  EEP - MEM/MF – Dr. Jeff Vincent and Dr. Ram Oren
•  EEP - MEM/MBA – Dr. Randall Kramer
•  ESC and MF – Dr. Dean Urban
•  EEH – Dr. Heather Stapleton
•  CEM – Dr. Grant Murray and Dr. Patrick Halpin
•  GEC – Dr. Prasad Kasibhatla
•  EE – Dr. Tim Johnson
•  WRM – Dr. Martin Doyle

2. Satisfy all NS program requirements.

Concurrent degree students completing MEM or MF programs generally satisfy the substance of all NS program requirements. It is often possible to do this within a 36-credit program by (1) planning coursework for both degrees with NS program requirements in mind; (2) foregoing most "free" electives and counting courses taken in the non-NS program toward the substance of NS program requirements (but not toward the 36 units of credit for the NS degree).

When filling out the NS program planning worksheet, indicate which requirements will be satisfied in substance by coursework from the non-NS degree by listing those courses in parentheses. Remember not to count the credits from those courses toward the 36 units needed 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 best efforts, it appears that some element of the NS program will not be completed, it should be in the area where the student has the most coursework from the non-NS program or from his/her/their 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 course than required. Advisers will document their agreement with this part of the student’s plan so it will not cause trouble when the student’s planning sheet is reviewed prior to graduation.

Master’s Project (MP) Advising

MP Deadlines — Since concurrent degree students are often on a different "sequence" than students in the 4-semester program, it is essential that they keep up with their MP deadlines. Advisers or program chairs can also verify deadlines to be met.

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. They may need to attend some of these meetings while enrolled in their other degree program. We encourage students to make sure they remain on NS email lists even while enrolled in their other degree program (see suggestions below).

MPs and Internships — Some concurrent degree programs have their own 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 should look at the sequence of semesters they will spend in the NS to determine the best time to complete adequate coursework as background for their summer work (it is very common, though not universal, for NS students to use material from summer internships as the basis for their MPs).


We have an email list for concurrent degree students (, and concurrent degree students should also be included on program email lists. Please be aware that students may not be included automatically on the NS email lists during the semesters they are not registered in the NS. To stay in the loop, students need to simply ask to be added so they can receive messages about program meetings, required modules, MP deadlines, etc. Even when registered in the NS, students will want to verify they are on the appropriate 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, they will want to verify they are on the appropriate list or lists depending on their MP requirement progress.

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 their course requirements will need to be completed in Durham.