Why Pursue Concurrent Degrees?

Many graduates find that holding two master’s degrees from Duke (or from Duke and a partner institution) increases their marketability, expands their career flexibility and allows them to pursue highly rewarding areas of professional specialization much sooner than if they held just one master’s degree.

Concurrent Degree Options

Master of Environment Management (MEM) + Master of Forestry (MF)


Students interested in forests and forestry can deepen their training through the concurrent Master of Environment Management (MEM) and Master of Forestry (MF). The educational program leading to the Master of Forestry degree is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF), the largest professional forestry organization in the United States. 

The MF can be paired with all areas of study within the MEM, and with careful planning of their curriculum, students can earn both the MEM and MF degrees in as few as five semesters.

At the application stage, students may choose to apply to either degree program, or to the concurrent MEM/MF. Students who apply and are admitted to only the MEM or the MF may add the other degree after enrolling, and typically do so before the end of their first semester at the Nicholas School. Determination of eligibility for the degrees will be made on an individual basis and will consider the educational background and objectives of the student.


  • The student must qualify for either the MEM or MF degree by earning 48 units of credit.
  • For the second degree, the student must complete an additional 24 units of study that, in combination with courses taken for the first degree, meet the substance of the requirements for the second degree.
  • Two additional semesters in residence are normally required, although, with careful planning, the student may be able to complete both professional degrees in a total of five semesters.
  • One Master’s Project (MP) is required. Students completing both MEM and MF degrees write one MP that includes subject matter suitable to both Forestry and the MEM program area (this requirement applies also to students who elect to do group MPs).


To facilitate course planning, you will have a coursework advisor for each degree (but just one MP advisor). In Stellic, you can designate 48 credits for the primary degree and 24 credits for the secondary degree. To show where you are using courses taken for credit under the primary degree to meet requirements of the secondary degree, submit a request for an exception in Stellic (to indicate that the substance of the course meets the program requirements, but the credits do not count toward the 24 for the second degree).

Master's Project & Seminar

MEM/MF students will have only one MP advisor and participate in only one MP seminar. The MP seminar would usually be the one for the primary degree (the one where the student is completing 48 credits), but it’s possible that the MP advisor might be affiliated with the secondary degree program, or be the advisor of a group MP, in which case it would make more sense for the student to participate in the MP seminar for the secondary degree or for the group MP.

To verify that the MP covers both MF and the MEM subject area, the signatures on the MP proposal must include both the student’s MF advisor and the student’s MEM advisor, as well as the MP advisor (in most cases, the MP advisor is likely to also be filling one of these other roles and could sign in both places). If the subject matter of the MP changes after the proposal is signed, it is the responsibility of the student to check with both the MF advisor and the MEM advisor to be sure that the new topic also satisfies the requirement to include both MF and MEM subject matter.

MEM or MF + Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Why a Concurrent MEM/MBA or MF/MBA Degree?

Duke's concurrent MEM/MBA and MF/MBA offerings are two of the most prestigious business and environment degree programs in the world, and are supported by resources at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Fuqua School of Business, and Duke's Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE). Students also have the option of concurrently completing an MEM/MBA or MF/MBA with UNC Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Duke's MEM/MBA and MF/MBA programs are highly customizable, allowing students the opportunity to draw on world-class resources across the entire Duke campus, including not only the Nicholas School and Fuqua, but also interdisciplinary resources like the Duke University Energy Initiative.

Concurrent degree students are fully immersed at both the Nicholas School and Fuqua during their time at Duke—when they graduate, they feel equally at home among CEOs and financial analysts as they are among scientists and policymakers. You’ll find MEM/MBA alums is leadership roles at organizations such as Tesla, Nike (Sustainable Business & Innovation group), GE Energy Ventures, Vestas, Pacific Gas & Electric, Amazon (sustainability department), and ClearPath Foundation.


  • At least 36 units of credit within the Nicholas School are required to receive the Master of Environmental Management (MEM) or Master of Forestry (MF) degree. 
  • MEM/MBA and MF/MBA students are required to complete a Master's Project (MP) as part of their Nicholas School program requirements. Students may fulfill their MP requirement by either reporting out on an applied project they participated in as part of their MBA degree or by expanding on a project that they have already completed during their MBA degree, by diving deeper into an environmental component. See the MEM/MBA and MF/MBA MP Guidelines for more information. 

MEM/MBA or MF/MBA candidates must apply to and be accepted by both the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Fuqua School of Business. Students electing to pursue the MEM or MF concurrently with the MBA must complete requirements for both degrees before either degree will be awarded. Given the academic demands of these degrees, those entering without the necessary analytical skills or life science background may be required to take additional work beyond that specified.

Degree Program Sequencing

There is room for some flexibility in sequencing a concurrent degree program, but there are some usual patterns for each concurrent degree combination. If you are beginning your studies in the business school, rather than in the Nicholas School, be sure to come to the Nicholas School early in your first semester to meet with your Nicholas School advisor, who will help you coordinate course selection for the two programs.

  • Concurrent degree MEM/MBA or MF/MBA students usually begin with one full year at the Nicholas School, then a full year at Fuqua; this tends to complement Fuqua’s summer internships program (and, for those going to Kenan-Flagler at UNC, allows them to establish NC residency for tuition purposes), but it is possible to begin with a year in either school.
  • In the third year, students combine Nicholas School and Fuqua courses. Students pursuing the MEM/MBA or MF/MBA at Kenan-Flagler will split their enrollment in year three – one semester at NSOE and one semester at UNC. In order to register for Nicholas School courses during the third year, students will meet with their Nicholas School course work advisor to receive registration clearance, and to ensure they are selecting the appropriate "career" (Fuqua or NSOE) for each course.

Additional Considerations

  • Since Fuqua courses are usually offered M/Th or Tu/F (as well as in different time blocks from the rest of Duke), students taking classes in both Fuqua and the Nicholas School in the same semester might experience scheduling conflicts. It is important to consider Fuqua’s terms each semester when scheduling Nicholas School courses in order to avoid such conflicts.
  • MEM/MBA or MF/MBA students in Nicholas School program concentrations that specifically require statistics may fulfill the requirement by taking Applied Statistical Modeling for Environmental Management (ENVIRON 710), or by counting the content (but not the credit) of Statistical Forecasting (DECISION 614) at Fuqua. Students in other Nicholas School program areas have a broader selection of courses to meet this quantitative/tool requirement.

Learn More

Student Profiles

MEM/MBA and MF/MBA students come to Duke with an incredible diversity of backgrounds and interests—from clean-tech entrepreneurship to sustainable agriculture, corporate sustainability, impact investing, and many, many more. The MEM/MBA and MF/MBA community is truly a family, with alumni returning frequently to campus and life-long bonds forged through extracurricular, social, and experiential learning opportunities.

See Student Profiles

MEM or MF + Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Why a Concurrent MEM/MPP or MF/MPP Degree?

As issues concerning natural resources and the environment become increasingly significant, a corresponding need has developed for well-trained policy analysts who can provide timely and appropriate information and analysis to policymakers. The concurrent MEM/MPP or MF/MPP degrees provides training in the politics and economics of resource and environmental policymaking. Emphasis is placed on understanding the social and political forces involved, developing facility with quantitative and logical methods of forecasting and evaluating policy consequences. Knowledge of the uses and limitations of policy analysis and an awareness of the ethical dimensions of policy choice are also stressed.


  • At least 36 units of credit within the Nicholas School are required to receive the Master of Environmental Management (MEM) or Master of Forestry (MF) degree.
  • A summer internship with a resource or environmental agency, or with a related legislative, judicial or interest group, is required for the MPP degree.

The concurrent degree takes three years to complete. The first year is typically devoted to study in the Sanford School of Public Policy, the second year is spent in the Nicholas School and the third year is divided between the two schools.

MEM/MPP or MF/MPP candidates must apply to and be accepted by both the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Sanford School of Public Policy. Students electing to pursue the MEM or MF concurrently with the MPP must complete requirements for both degrees before either degree will be awarded.

For detailed information on the MPP degree, e-mail to MPPadmit@duke.edu or write to the Admissions Office, 171-B Rubenstein Hall, Duke University, Box 90243, Durham, NC 27708-0243, or visit the Sanford School of Public Policy website.

Degree Program Sequencing

It is generally preferable for students wishing to pursue an MEM/MPP or MF/MPP concurrent degree program to begin their studies with the first academic year in Public Policy, taking 27 or 30 credits, and then completing the required MPP summer internship. The second year would be spent at the Nicholas School. Year three would include coursework at both schools, including PUBPOL 807 and 808, and the Nicholas School and MPP master's projects (or a single combined master's project, see "Master's Project" section below). Alternatively, students who have completed the Nicholas School prerequisites can begin with one year in the Nicholas School and then go to Public Policy for the second year, returning to the Nicholas School for their final semesters.

Students who start with two semesters in the Nicholas School and then go to Public Policy may be waived out of some of the first-year Public Policy courses and vice versa. Students lacking Nicholas School prerequisites should start in Public Policy. Students following either sequence should consult with advisors from the other program during their first year in order to choose Public Policy and Nicholas School master's projects on related topics (if doing two MPs) or the same topic (if doing one MP). Most students will need three years to complete both coursework and MP requirements. 

Master's project (MP)

Students who have to complete a master's project (MP) for both the MPP and the MEM or MF may opt to do two separate MPs on related topics, or one combined MP on one topic. If doing two separate MPs, it’s a good idea to try to coordinate the topics of your MPP and MEM or MF projects so you can be getting background for one while working on the other. Remember, however, that the two MPs have different requirements and different aims, and if you are doing two separate MPs, they must be two separate pieces of work. Consult with your Nicholas School advisor when you are choosing your MPP master's project topic, and vice versa, in order to coordinate topics for both. Students who choose to complete two separate MPs may enroll in up to 6 MP credits (ENVIRON 899) at the Nicholas School, and 6 credits at Sanford (PUBPOL 807 and PUBPOL 808). Students who choose to complete one combined MP may enroll for 3 credits in PUBPOL 807 in the fall, and 3 credits in ENVIRON 899 in the spring of their third year. See the MEM/MPP MP Guidelines for more information. 

Other Tips

    • Nicholas School faculty generally encourage concurrent MPP students to choose an MEM concentration other than policy, in order to maximize the added value of the concurrent degree.
    • If you are doing a client-centered Sanford MP, make sure your MPP summer internship after your first year will yield a client and topic for your MPP MP, since it can be hard to find one later during your Nicholas School program.
    • If you are doing two separate MPs, get an MPP MP advisor early in the fall of your final year (or earlier). Students spending the second year in the Nicholas School may need to start looking for an MPP MP topic and advisor in late spring. For the MPP MP, choose an advisor whose primary appointment is in Public Policy. Students working on a group MP in the Nicholas School must choose the two MP option. Visit the NSOE Master's Projects Handbook for more information about the MEM/MF + MPP MP.
    • All MEM/MPPs or MF/MPPs register for Master's Project I (PUBPOL 807) in their final (3rd fall) semester. Students completing two separate MPs, once for Sanford and one for the Nicholas School, will also register for Master's Project II (PUBPOL 808) in their final spring. Students completing a combined MP will not register for PUBPOL 808.
    • For MPP support, students should contact: 

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

    Why a Concurrent MEM/JD or MF/JD Degree?

    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 a cooperative arrangement to allow pursuit of concurrent Master of Environmental Management (MEM) or Master of Forestry (MF) & Juris Doctor (JD) degrees.

    Duke’s four-year concurrent MEM/JD or MF/JD degree prepares students to forge a sustainable future through leadership in national and international law and legal practices. The ability to apply scientific, management, legal and regulatory knowledge for the resolution of environmental and natural resources issues is at the forefront of our programs.


    • 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.

    Learn More

    Interested students should visit the Duke Law's concurrent degree academic advising page to learn more, or contact Amanda Lacoff, assistant dean for academic Initiatives, Duke Law, for more information. At the Nicholas School, contact Timothy Johnson, Associate Dean for Professional Programs; Erika Lovelace-Young, Registrar; or Cindy Peters, Assistant Dean, Student Services, for information about the program.

    MEM or MF + Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

    Why a Concurrent MEM/MAT or MF/MAT Degree?

    International concern for protecting our ecosystems has led to an increased need in recent decades to educate citizens on the challenges facing our environment. Numerous education programs are now aimed at K-12 students as well as the general population. Environmental education is of increasing importance to those who prepare to teach, particularly in the sciences. Duke’s concurrent degree program between the Nicholas School and the Graduate School allows students to meet this challenge by earning a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) or Master of Forestry (MF) & a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree.


    • To earn the MEM or MF degree students must complete 36 units of credit in the Nicholas School, including a Master’s Project.
    • For the MAT degree, students will complete 30 units of credit, including a full-year teaching internship and all requirements for the North Carolina teaching licensure in comprehensive science at the high school level.

    Competencies required by the state will be met through undergraduate courses taken prior to admission to Duke, science courses taken as part of the MAT or courses taken as part of the MEM or MF. Students will normally enroll in the MAT program during the summer and then complete an academic year of student teaching and MAT coursework prior to enrolling in the MEM or MF program for three semesters. Students electing to pursue the MEM or MF concurrently with the MAT must complete requirements for both degrees before either degree will be awarded.

    Students must apply to and be accepted by both the Nicholas School and the Graduate School of Duke University, citing the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Students admitted to the MAT program in comprehensive science must hold an undergraduate degree in one of the natural sciences with significant undergraduate preparation in biology and chemistry. Organic chemistry is required. Questions concerning the MAT degree should be addressed to the Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program, Duke University, Box 90093, Durham, NC 27708-0093; telephone (919) 684-4353.


    Students complete the MAT first (one summer plus the following academic year), followed by 3 semesters in the Nicholas School (fall, spring, fall).  It is possible to come to the Nicholas School first, starting in January, but the MAT program needs to know exactly when you will be coming into that program in order to arrange student teaching assignments.  Sometimes MAT courses can satisfy prerequisites needed for the Nicholas School (e.g., statistics). 

    MAT students should take some Nicholas School courses as part of their science courses for the MAT degree (these can satisfy the substance of Nicholas School requirements, but the credits count for the MAT). 


    The Graduate School requires that you be registered at Duke continuously (or on official leave of absence). This requirement is satisfied either by your registration in your Graduate School degree program (MAT) or by your registration in the Nicholas School (MEM or MF).

    The Graduate School further requires that you be registered in the Graduate School during the semester in which you complete all your requirements for your Graduate School degree (MAT). Students in the MAT program who find themselves using the Nicholas School “grace period” to finish their NS MPs should make sure that they request a “joint degree leave of absence” from the Graduate School for the period until they complete all requirements for both degrees.

    MEM or MF + Master of Engineering Management Program (MEMP)


    Duke’s concurrent Master of Environmental Management (MEM) or Master of Forestry (MF) & Master of Engineering Management Program (MEMP) degree program between the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Pratt School of Engineering provides a broad perspective to blend students’ engineering backgrounds and the students’ training in natural and social environmental sciences. Graduates of the concurrent degree program will have a strong mix of technical and contextual knowledge as well as tools well-suited for careers in many environmental sectors, particularly energy and environment, environmental health, and water resources.

    Duke is also a founding member of the Master of Engineering Management Programs Consortium (MEMPC), a small group of highly recognized university graduate level programs in engineering management.


      • 24 credits in the Master of Engineering Management Program
      • 36 credits in the Master of Environmental Management program
      • Pratt's MEMP summer internship and the MEMP seminar
      • Nicholas School's MEM or MF Master’s Project and the MP seminar

      Students are able to complete the MEM/MEMP or MF/MEMP degree in as little as 24 to 28 months rather than three years, providing students with significant tuition and time savings.

      MEM/MEMP or MF/MEMP candidates must apply to and be accepted by both the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Pratt School of Engineering. Students electing to pursue the MEM or MF concurrently with the MEMP must complete requirements for both degrees before either degree will be awarded.

      degree program sequencing

      • Prior to enrolling in the fall, students fulfill their required MEMP engineering internship in the summer preceding the fall term.
      • During the first year, courses are split evenly between engineering and environment, with an emphasis on core engineering courses and requirements.
      • The second year includes elective credits in the Pratt School and key core courses in the Nicholas School, as well as the master’s project for the Nicholas School.

      Most students will need to spend a fifth semester finishing the MEM master’s project and any remaining course credits. The fifth semester will especially be necessary for non-native English speakers who must take English courses to enhance their language skills, and for students who must take additional courses during the first year to meet MEMP or MEM prerequisites (which would not earn any credit towards the graduate degrees).


      • Questions concerning the MEMP degree should be addressed to: Master of Engineering Management Program, Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, 3120 Fitzpatrick Center (FCIEMAS), Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708-0300. Phone: (919) 660-5455, Fax: (919) 660-5456, Email: memp@pratt.duke.edu
      • Review the Pratt Professional Masters Blog
      • Discover Research @ Nicholas

      MEM + Master of City and Regional Planning Program (MCRP)

      Why a concurrent MEM/MCRP Degree? 

      Rapid urbanization is increasing social and environmental stressors at the local level across the globe, increasing demand for professionals who can understand these interactions and develop solutions that simultaneously address needs across the social, built and natural environments. Likewise, the most significant U.S. efforts to address climate mitigation and adaptation are currently taking place at the state and local levels, once again giving rise to the need for professionals with expertise in both urban and regional planning and management of natural systems, who can apply a wide range of skills to understand and guide the future of human settlements while mitigating their environmental, social, and economic impacts.  

      The Master of Environmental Management & Master of City and Regional Planning (MEM/MCRP) dual degree program between the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke and the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides this knowledge, along with the technical and analytical skills needed to become a leader in urban sustainability, resilience and environmental stewardship. Individuals with expertise in environmental policy and finance, renewable energy, environmental health, or urban ecology, as well as urban planning and design, will be especially competitive in the emerging job market. MEM/MCRP graduates will find employment in the public and private sectors and nongovernmental organizations, and the dual degree will open employment options at the local (municipal) and regional levels. 


      MEM/MCRP students must fulfill the core course requirements for each program and will earn separate degrees. The MEM credit total drops from 48 to 36, while the MCRP threshold drops from 51 to 42, allowing MEM-MCRP students to complete both degrees in three years (six full-time semesters). 
      The MEM and MCRP programs each require a capstone Master’s Project (MP).  

      • Students may fulfill their Nicholas School MP requirement by: (1) completing a separate individual or group MP, or (2) reporting out and expanding on an applied project such as an independent study or a class project that they may have already completed as part of their MCRP studies by diving deeper into a related environmental component.  
      • Students fulfill their MCRP MP requirement by completing a final project of professional quality on a topic in their area of specialization. This is an independent project and students must complete it in their last semester in the program. Students may expand on work they have already completed as part of their MEM requirements by carving out an independent portion if the MEM project was a group project and by diving deeper into the Urban Planning component of the project. 

      Prospective MEM/MCRP students apply separately to each institution, with admission to one program not guaranteeing acceptance into the other. The MEM/MCRP program requires three continuous years of full-time study and leads to a Master of Environmental Management degree conferred by Duke, and a Master of City and Regional Planning degree conferred by UNC Chapel Hill. Students must complete requirements for both degrees before either degree will be awarded.

      Degree Program Sequencing

      Students may begin at either Duke or UNC Chapel Hill, and spend a full year as well as one semester of their third and final year in each program.   

      If you have questions about this degree option, please contact Tim Johnson, Associate Dean of Professional Programs.



      Other concurrent degree options

      It is possible to make special arrangements to do a Nicholas School concurrent degree program with degree programs at other universities (e.g., UNC Law School, UNC Business School, or other universities). The credit and financial arrangements for the Nicholas School degree are essentially the same as for concurrent degrees with other Duke programs (36 credits, 3 semesters in residence, 3 semesters of Nicholas School tuition). The credit and tuition arrangements for the other university are at the discretion of that school.