Prerequisites


The purpose of prerequisite requirements is to ensure that students are adequately prepared for their graduate-level courses in the Master of Environmental Management (MEM) and Master of Forestry (MF) professional degree programs. It is important that students complete their prerequisite coursework prior to the start of the program. Review Program Area Specific Guidance for more information on this topic.


Matriculation/Enrollment Expectations/Graduation Requirement

Students may not matriculate with more than one required prerequisite deficiency. Once the student confirms their intent to enroll, their transcript is reviewed for prerequisite requirements for the program area to which they are admitted. We strongly urge students to complete their prerequisite coursework prior to matriculation. Students who matriculate with one required prerequisite deficiency should plan to complete the prerequisite course in their first year of study, preferably in the fall semester. Keep in mind, students lacking a prerequisite may be unable to take graduate courses in the recommended sequence and may find it difficult to graduate within the standard two years of study. Students cannot waive nor test out of prerequisite requirements. Successful completion of required prerequisite coursework is a graduation requirement.


Prerequisites by Program Area 

View the key topics in a standard college level course for each subject.

Required Courses

  • Calculus: All program areas require calculus
  • Statistics: All program areas require statistics
  • Microeconomics: Business of Environment (BE)-MEM, Coastal Environmental Management (CEM)-MEM, Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP)-MEM, Energy and Environment (EE)-MEM and Master of Forestry (MF)
  • Chemistry: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health (EEH)-MEM
  • Principles of Ecology: Ecosystem Science and Conservation (ESC)-MEM and Master of Forestry (MF)

Recommended Courses

  • Microeconomics: Ecosystem Science and Conservation (ESC)-MEM and Water Resources Management (WRM)-MEM
  • Organic Chemistry: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health (EEH)-MEM
  • Physics: Water Resources Management (WRM)-MEM
  • Chemistry: Water Resources Management (WRM)-MEM
  • Principles of Ecology: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health (EEH)-MEM

Eligible Courses: Prerequisite Policy

The prerequisite policy below applies to students admitted in fall 2020 and later.

Students may fulfill prerequisite requirements by demonstrating successful completion of at least one of the following options for each required prerequisite. While highly recommended, students may choose whether or not to complete prerequisite courses recommended for their program area of study.

  1. Traditional/standard college-level course: Complete a college level course at any accredited college or university (including community, technical or junior college); for graded credit and a minimum grade of C- earned; a Passing (P) or Satisfactory (S) grade) is also acceptable; and submit an official transcript to demonstrate successful completion.
  1. Coursera/MOOC/Open Course Ware: Students may satisfy prerequisite requirements by providing a certificate of completion at the conclusion of a course taken through Coursera, MOOC or Open Course Ware. If the student is unable to provide a certificate of completion, then a copy of the complete grade history report must be submitted at the end of the course. The student must submit a complete list of all final grades (including all individual modules) as a PDF (see the “Grades” section within the course portal). Then, the student should upload the certificate and/or grade report in the transcript drop box. Proof of completion must include the student’s name.

     

    • Duke University offers chemistry and statistics courses at no cost to current Duke students; non-Duke Coursera courses are at the student’s expense. Search for course options that are covered by Duke Coursera. *IMPORTANT: NetID login is required to take the statistics and chemistry Coursera courses at Duke. Login here and then click on Go to Coursera at Duke. Below is the list of Duke and non-Duke options: 
  1. Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB): We will accept advanced placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if the student earns college credit for the course(s) from their undergraduate institution. College credit must be clearly documented on the official undergraduate transcript. In the absence of the appropriate documentation on the official undergraduate transcript, we will accept an official letter from the institution’s Registrar’s Office (sent directly to our office), which clearly confirms the student earned college credit for the advanced placement course(s); the letter may not be sent by the applicant or student.
  1. Distance Learning Courses: Students may fulfill prerequisites at any accredited college or university. Students wishing to enroll in a distance learning course (i.e., online), in order to fulfill a prerequisite, are encouraged to seek prior approval to make sure the course is appropriate to fulfill the prerequisite requirement. Send an email to nsoe-registrar@duke.edu with the name of the institution, course title, course number, credit value, dates of the course and the link to the online course details. The Nicholas School maintains a short list of Pre-Approved distance learning courses (for required prerequisites only). To request the list of Pre-Approved Distance Learning Courses, send an email to nsoe-registrar@duke.edu.

All Program Areas

We strongly urge all students, regardless of their program area, to complete all prerequisite courses prior to the start of the program. Although students are permitted to matriculate with one required prerequisite deficiency, students lacking a prerequisite may be unable to take courses in their program area’s recommended sequence and may find it difficult to graduate within the standard two years of study. Students who matriculate with one required prerequisite deficiency should plan to complete the prerequisite course in their first year of study, preferably in the fall semester. In addition to successful completion of prerequisite coursework, the Nicholas School administers diagnostic exams in calculus and statistics prior to the start of the program. All students must show proof of successful completion of their prerequisite coursework and earn passing scores on the calculus and statistics diagnostic exams in order to graduate. Information on diagnostic exams is outlined below.  

Courses taken after matriculation to satisfy a prerequisite do not count towards the credits required for the MEM or MF professional degree. Successful completion of graduate-level courses in the MEM and MF program does not eliminate a prerequisite requirement. Students who fail to complete their prerequisite coursework by the end of the first year of study are at risk of being dismissed from the program. Note:  students admitted to the Cooperative College 3-2 program may not matriculate with any prerequisite deficiencies.

Program Area Specific Prerequisite Guidance
 
Diagnostic Exams

The Nicholas School administers diagnostic exams in calculus and statistics. All students are expected to take and pass the diagnostic exams (regardless of the program area). Students must submit proof of successful completion of the calculus and statistics prerequisites prior to taking the diagnostic exams. We encourage students to spend time reviewing calculus and statistics prior to the exams. Although we want students to do well on the diagnostic exams, please do not stress about these tests in advance. The exams are intended to assess where students are in these subjects at the time that they matriculate in the program and to ensure that students are prepared for graduate level courses requiring calculus and statistics as prerequisites. Students cannot take the diagnostic exams to waive a prerequisite requirement.


Notification of Enrollment/Transcript Submission

Students who plan to matriculate in the fall should provide notification of enrollment in their prerequisite course(s) no later than June 15.

Transcript Submission

Students may submit official transcripts, degree certificates, course certificates and grade reports at the link above or if the undergraduate or non-degree institution uses eSCRIP-SAFE International (or similar transcript service) for the delivery of official electronic transcripts, please ask the university registrar to forward the official transcript to nsoe-registrar@duke.edu. If the original transcript is not in English, the student must also provide a certified English translation along with the original transcript.


Quick Links

Questions?

For questions and/or concerns about prerequisite course requirements, send an email to nsoe-registrar@duke.edu or call 919-613-7459.