Nicholas School of the Environment Duke University

Nicholas School of the Environment Duke University

Durham, NC
student ratio
total students
Tuition Cost $41,187
average amount to complete degree
December 15
fall application deadline
Not Reported
acceptance rate
5 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Master of Environmental Management

Duke's Master of Environmental Management (MEM) professional graduate degree allows students to understand the scientific basis of environmental problems, as well as the social, political, and economic factors that influence policy solutions. They work with advisors to design individualized programs that will prepare them for leadership in the corporate, nonprofit, government or academic sector - wherever they see themselves making a difference.

The two-year MEM on-campus program offers a flexible curriculum with opportunities to take classes across Duke and at other nearby universities. On-campus MEM students elect to participate in one of eight concentrated areas of study. Whether a student's passion is in the realm of Business and the Environment, Coastal Environmental Management, Ecosystem Science and Conservation, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health, Energy and the Environment, Environmental Economics and Policy, Global Environmental Change, or Water Resources Management, there are programs that mirror those fields of study.

The Society of American Foresters

The Society of American Foresters (SAF)-certified MF degree equips students to become experts in the sustainable management of forested ecosystems in today's increasingly complex market. Students graduate with a skillset of practical field skills supported by cutting-edge tools for geospatial analysis, multi-resource assessment, and finance.


Forests are managed for a broad variety of goods and services, in an increasingly complicated context of changing climate, land use pressures, global markets, and conflicting cultural values. The aim is to train foresters to work effectively on the emerging frontiers in forest management, with a skillset grounded in practical field skills and augmented by cutting-edge tools for geospatial analysis, multi-resource assessment, and finance.


As accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF,, the curriculum for the MF includes coursework toward five core competencies: forest ecology and biology, measurement of forest resources, forest management, forest policy and administration, and professional ethics. Within these categories, students customize their course selections to emphasize particular resources (e.g., forest hydrology, wildlife) or analytic approaches (e.g., geospatial analysis, finance). Field trips are an essential element of the curriculum, especially featuring the Duke Forest adjacent to campus.

Your Future

Students graduating with the MF degree work in a variety of sectors: private/industrial forestry, state and federal agencies, nonprofits such as land trusts that steward working forests, and in private consulting. Joint-degree students who complement the MF with a MEM degree are especially competitive in the job market.

On-campus master's students also have the opportunity to earn a professional MEM or MF degree concurrently with a master's degree in business, law, public policy, engineering, or academia.


There are numerous opportunities to work collaboratively across the entire Duke campus to gain experiential learning outside of the classroom, through potential interaction with research centers, certificate programs, and internships throughout a student's study. Duke also affords students access to the Duke Marine Lab on the North Carolina Coast as well as 7,000 acres of the Duke Forest, which serve as resources available both recreationally and for research purposes.

The culmination of a student's program at the Nicholas School of the Environment is the master's project presentation, at the Master's Project Symposium, in a student's second year of study. Master's Project topics cover a broad spectrum of environmental issues and topics.

Career and Professional Development Center

The Nicholas School of the Environment has its own dedicated Career and Professional Development Center, which assists students with maximizing their career readiness, developing a personal career strategy, refining, and communicating existing career skills, and learning new ones for career success. The staff helps students learn to connect with professionals and alumni in their field, and network to gain access to employment opportunities.


Nicholas School alumni span the globe and work across sectors, from federal/state governmental jobs, non-profit/NGO organizations, consulting positions, business and industry, entrepreneurial ventures, academic institutions, and research institutes/think tanks.


The Nicholas School is committed to making this world-class education affordable to all qualified students, regardless of their financial circumstances. More than 80% of students in the on-campus MEM and MF, and DEL-MEM professional programs receive merit-based or need-based scholarships funded by the school. Over 100 types of financial aid awards are offered, including scholarships, fellowships, Yellow Ribbon awards, and recognition for qualified Americorps, Peace Corps, City Year, or Teach for America service members. A Need-based grant program is available for applicants who demonstrate the greatest need, including non-US citizens or permanent residents. Partial tuition scholarships are available for environmental educators pursuing an on-campus MEM or MF degree or the online masters (DEL-MEM) program through the Coca-Cola Advancement in Teaching in the Environment Scholarship (CATES).

Students interested in the Nicholas School of the Environment are encouraged to apply for consideration for fall of 2018 admittance.

Location & Contact

Nicholas School of the Environment

Duke University

Box 90328 9 Circuit Drive
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Sherri Nevius

Associate Dean, Student Services

Phone: 919-613-8063

Benjamin Spain

Associate Director of Enrollment Services

Phone: 919-684-1155

Request More Info

Degrees & Awards

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Earth And Ocean Sciences Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) [Geosciences ]
    • Marine Science And Conservation Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) [Marine Sciences ]
    • Environment Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Environmental Management (MEM)
      Master of Forestry (MF)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 130
    • Doctoral Degrees 25
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? Yes
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Project
    • Doctoral Degrees Foreign Language Varies and Thesis Required
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $80
    • Application Fee - International $80
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline December 15th December 15th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test, previous course work in natural or social sciences relevant to environmental interests; college calculus, and college statistics, and concentration-specific prerequisites
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, IELTS required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & Fees$41,187
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitCSS Profile and FAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsDecember 15
    • Types of financial support availableCareer or Field-Related Internships, Federal Work-Study, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students135
    • Female Percentage70%
    • Male Percentage30%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students135
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Race/Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / LatinoNot Reported
    • Black / African AmericanNot Reported
    • White / CaucasianNot Reported
    • American Indian / Alaskan NativeNot Reported
    • AsianNot Reported
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific IslanderNot Reported
    • Two or more racesNot Reported
    • Unknown or International StudentNot Reported


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchGlobal environmental change, energy and the environment, water resource management, ecosystem science and conservation, ecotoxicology and environmental health, business and environment, environmental economics and policy, coastal environmental management, forest resource management
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported



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