EEP Program Description

Thanks for your interest in the Environmental Economics & Policy program. As one of eight available concentrations in the two-year residential Master of Environmental Management (MEM) program, EEP focuses on informing effective decision-making in environmental economics, policy and law. 


We endeavor to give EEP students:

  • A knowledge base with breadth in environmental economics, politics, and law including the economics of public goods and externalities, the study of interest group behavior, political institutions, and property rights, and depth in a chosen area of concentration (e.g., environmental policy analysis and environmental and resource economics)

  • Quantitative and qualitative skills in applied statistics, survey research, analytical modeling, optimization techniques, and case study methods;

  • Management skills to train decision-makers, those who offer them expert advice, and those who try to influence policy through the political process, which includes an understanding of the basic methods needed for analyzing how households and businesses react to existing and proposed environmental and resource policies.

  • Oral and written skills to communicate the effects of markets and institutions on people and the environment include writing policy memos, research reports, and delivering public presentations.


Our curriculum focuses on three broad areas of knowledge: (1) the basic sciences pertaining to a natural resource or an environmental phenomenon; (2) relevant disciplines in the social sciences; and (3) the quantitative and qualitative tools required for using knowledge from the physical, biological and social sciences to arrive at informed decisions.

Political science, economics, and legal analysis are among the social sciences emphasized in the program. Relevant political science topics include the study of collective action, interest group behavior, evolution and operation of local, domestic and international environmental institutions, and the formulation and implementation of public policy. Economic topics include sustainable development, the economics of public goods and externalities, public finance, valuation of nonmarket goods and services, and the intertemporal allocation of natural resources. Legal analysis topics include the allocation of resources as reflected in property rights, environmental risks as reflected in torts, and regulation by statutory law. 

Quantitative and analytical tools are essential components of this program. These include regression analysis, program evaluation, risk analysis, geospatial analysis, optimization, conflict resolution and benefit-cost analysis. Students also learn professional skills in teamwork and leadership, professional ethics, and oral and written presentation.


The MEM degree requires a minimum of 48 credit hours and is usually completed in four semesters. A typical EEP curriculum consists of the following components: 

  • Three courses/tutorials required for all MEM students (2 credit hours)
  • Four Core Courses (9 credit hours)
  • Three Major Electives (12 credit hours minimum)
  • Three Tools Courses (8 credit hours minimum)
  • Three Natural Science Electives (9 credit hours minimum)
  • Master’s Project (4-6 credit hours)
  • Additional electives as needed to meet the minimum requirement of 48 credit hours total

See EEP Prerequisites & Course Requirements for course examples and specific requirements. 


Students choose from one of two tracks, depending on their interests and career goals: Environmental Policy and Analysis or Environmental and Resource Economics. See EEP Prerequisites & Course Requirements for detailed requirements and guidance on choosing a track.

Educational Network

EEP students benefit from a strong and diverse network of educational resources. At Duke, the Nicholas School shares research and programmatic overlap with Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Science, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Fuqua School of Business. Students also have access to courses and resources at our sister universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 


Applications are accepted through early January of each year for fall enrollment. Spring enrollment is not offered at this time. See Application Materials & Requirements for further details and application materials. 


If you’re still deciding whether CEM is right for you, feel free to get in touch. Check out our Faculty List to find someone who shares your interests, send your questions to our Program Chair (Randall Kramer), or contact the Admissions Office. We’re happy to help. 

You can also see what our alumni are up to at our EEP Alumni page