Project Selection

The two-semester master’s project (2S MP) is a nine-month multidisciplinary collaboration between an external partner, a small team (2-5) of master’s students, and a faculty advisor. Partnering organizations may be private-sector corporations, government agencies, or non-profits, and may be based in the local community, across the country, or even abroad. A final 2S MP might result in the formation of management plans, educational curricula, policy analyses, business plans, or other similar deliverables. These projects are mutually beneficial, with our students achieving additional professional growth by collaborating with a real-world organization, and the organization receiving tangible research benefits at no cost.

2s Project topics will be open to students Monday, August 16 at 8:00am ET. Student’s will have until Friday, August 20 at 11:59pm ET to submit their top 3 project choices on the 2s MP Application Form.

The application form asks for the following information:

  • Your top three project choices, ranked in priority order. 
  • Your reasons for why you’re interested in the projects you have selected. Be prepared to address the experience you’d bring to the project and how your interests, skills, and coursework meet the needs of the project/client. Your narrative response is limited to 350 words (roughly 2/3 a page). Please note that your narrative should address all three projects within the 350 word limit. You’re encouraged to take the time to craft a thoughtful, clear narrative supported with specific examples that demonstrate your relevant kills, knowledge, and experience. 

Please keep in mind the following: 

  • You will most likely be assigned to your first or second project choice but this is not guaranteed. You must be willing to participate in all three of your project choices. 
  • Do not contact the faculty advisor to learn more about the project and/or express your interest in joining the project team. If you have questions about a project, please email nsoe-mastersproject@duke.edu.
  • You are not permitted to request teammates or self-form a group. Students are placed on teams based on a combination of stated interests, coursework, skills, and experience with the needs of the external partner/client. 
  • All project team decisions are final. Only on rare occasions, and with the consent of the program chair, will a student be permitted to leave a project team. 
  • Every project is open to students from any concentration as long as they have the majority of the required skills/experience listed. It is important to note that you do not need to possess every required skill in order to apply for a project. You will be working with other students who complement your area of expertise.
  • The MP Application Form will close promptly at 11:59pm ET on Friday August 20. You will not be able be able to submit once it’s closed.

Students will be notified with their assigned project, team members, and MP advisor no later than Friday, August 27.