Coca-Cola Advancement in Teaching Environmental Studies (CATES) program

The Coca-Cola Advancement in Teaching Environmental Studies (CATES) program provides an opportunity for traditional and non-traditional educators to enroll in short courses or degree programs through Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. This program is available through a generous endowment grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation, Inc. aimed at cultivating knowledgeable leaders for a sustainable future.

Program Overview
How to Apply


The CATES program helps educators bring knowledge and skills in environmental studies to their students and the broader community. The program enables educators to enhance and create environmental curricula and other educational materials, provide up-to-date information to their audiences, and expose their students and communities to interdisciplinary environmental topics that encourage the development of strategic partnerships on a local and global scale.

The CATES program can be used to enable participation in executive education courses or pursuit of a full master’s degree through our online master’s degree program.

Executive Education Courses
Our executive education courses provide focused study opportunities for seasoned practitioners to expand and deepen their knowledge and skills in particular areas. Courses are offered year-round, both online and onsite at Duke University.

Executive education CATES discounted rates fall in the range of $100-$500 per course. CATES applicants (and/or their employers or sponsors) are responsible for paying the rest of the course’s cost. 

CATES recipients are required to incorporate or address environmental education or teaching as part of their coursework.

Online Master of Environmental Management (DEL-MEM) Degree
The Duke Environmental Leadership Master of Environmental Management (DEL-MEM) program offers working professionals the opportunity to maintain their careers and personal lives while earning a master’s degree over the course two years (four semesters).

To receive CATES awards, students must remain employed in an environmental education or teaching profession throughout the course of their DEL-MEM program. CATES recipients are encouraged to incorporate or address environmental education, outreach, or teaching as part of the DEL-MEM program’s required master’s project or capstone project.

DEL-MEM CATES awards typically range from $2,000 to $5,000 based on eligibility and available funding. Although award amounts vary, applicants should expect a CATES award to cover only a portion of the program’s total cost. Individuals are responsible for the remaining tuition and fees. The scholarship cannot be applied to travel, lodging, and related expenses associated with the DEL-MEM program’s required onsite visits. In no case may the amount of financial aid awarded to a student from all sources in a given year exceed the estimated annual costs of attending the Nicholas School, and students will not receive scholarship funding while on academic probation.


The CATES program is open to currently-employed educators, classroom teachers, public and community outreach educators, museum outreach educators, and others with similar professional objectives. Preference is given to those focusing on a K-12 audience.

Criteria for those applying for executive education courses:

  • Demonstrated need for the content of the executive education course to enhance/complete a specific project or campaign related to environmental education or outreach
  • Ability of the recipient to reach a diverse audience and/or meet the needs of underserved populations as a result of this training.
  • Financial need.

Criteria for those seeking funds for the DEL-MEM degree program:

  • Demonstrated leadership in the field of environmental education, outreach, and/or teaching.
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in the field of environmental education, outreach, and/or teaching.
  • Expression of how applicant will consider environmental education, outreach, and/or teaching as part of the required master’s project.


Apply for CATES via our online form. We require the following of all applicants:

  • Employment in the education or teaching field, with a preference given to those in the environmental education, outreach, or teaching field.
  • Recommendation letter from employer or sponsor (for MEM applications only)
  • Completed application.

Executive Education Courses
Applicants can register for a course before or after submitting the CATES application. Applications must be received at least 7 business days prior to the course start date. Submit a separate CATES application for each course for which you would like to be considered.

Online Master of Environmental Management (DEL-MEM) Degree
You must apply and be accepted to the DEL-MEM program to be considered for CATES funding. Submit both the DEL-MEM application and the CATES application by January 15th.

Contact us at (919) 613-8070 or for further DEL-MEM information. For information on Executive Education courses, please contact with any questions.

Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a learning and work community that is free from prohibited discrimination and harassment. The university prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, genetic information, or age in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid, employment, or any other university program or activity.