MEM or MF/Juris Doctor in Environmental Law (MEM/JD or MF/JD)

Environmental and natural resource issues increasingly require legal and regulatory knowledge for resolution. There is a growing demand for resource managers and scientists who have legal credentials; similarly, attorneys are facing more situations in which knowledge of natural resources and the environmental sciences is critical to the resolution of disputes. To satisfy these demands, the Nicholas School and the School of Law have developed a cooperative arrangement to allow pursuit of concurrent Master of Environmental Management and Juris Doctor degrees. For students in the concurrent MEM or MF/JD program:

  • the Nicholas School requires 36 units of credit, including a Master’s Project.
  • the School of Law requires 87 units of law credit, 12 units of which may be satisfied through courses taken in the Nicholas School. 

Typically, a student will complete the first year of study in the School of Law and the second in the Nicholas School. During the third and fourth years, the student will take a combination of courses in both schools. MEM/JD or MF/JD candidates must apply to and be accepted by both the Nicholas School of the Environment and the School of Law. Students electing to pursue the MEM or MF concurrently with the JD must complete requirements for both degrees before either degree will be awarded.

Interested students should visit the Law School's joint degree academic advising page to learn more or contact Tia Barnes, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Duke Law, for more information. At the Nicholas School, contact Deb Gallagher, Director of Professional Studies; Erika Lovelace, Registrar; or Cindy Peters, Assistant Dean, Student Services for questions about the dual MEM (or MF)/JD concurrent degree program.

Standardized Exams

Applicants pursuing the concurrent MEM/JD or MF/JD will need to submit an official LSAT score to the Duke School of Law and an official GRE score to the Nicholas School. To find additional information about all standardized test requirements, go here:

Application Materials & Deadlines >

Degree Program Sequencing

MEM/JD and MF/JD students usually begin their studies in the Law School for the first year, though it is also possible to begin with the first year in the NS. Spend the next academic year taking courses in the other school. Spend the last two years taking a mix of Law and NS courses; you'll need to be sure to meet with your NS adviser so he or she can clear you for registration and click the "eligible to enroll" button in the DukeHub. When you register for courses, be sure you select the correct "career" (Law or NSOE) for each course so that the credits count toward the appropriate degree. Verify with the law school to be sure your registration status is correct for law courses. Law credits: 87; NS credits 36.

Other Tips

  1. If you are in the EEP program, where Environmental Law is a core course, you will want to take this course for Law credits rather than for NS credits.
  2. EEP concurrent students may want to take their 3 science courses in a variety of areas, rather than in just one, for broader preparation for environmental law.
  3. Students in programs other than EEP should try to take all the required science courses for their MEM degrees during the year they spend in the NS, since it may be difficult to schedule these in conjunction with Law courses during the 3rd and 4th years.
  4. Regretfully the Nicholas School cannot accept LSAT scores in lieu of GRE scores for those applicants who are applying to the Nicholas School and the Duke Law School in order to pursue the MEM or MF concurrently with the JD.