Frequently Asked Questions

Can I join the program in the spring?

The MEM campus program accepts students in the spring, and though the majority of students enter in the fall, previous spring entrants have not had any problems integrating into the program. The program's primary career development activities are initiated in August at the beginning of the fall semester, but spring semester entrants are given the same attention related to career services on Duke's campus and developing one's "toolkit" for creating an optimal job search.  During Orientation, students who begin in the spring spend a day with the MEM career coaches to assess their career interests and learn how to pursue their career goals with what Duke has to offer.  Additionally, students who begin in the spring often search for summer internships during their first semester followed by a search for a full time position in the following fall semester.

Please note that international students who enter in spring are required to be enrolled full-time for the spring semester and the following fall semester before becoming eligible to apply for off-campus work authorization. Additional information is available here.

Distance students may only start in the fall semester, as they are required to attend an orientation residency before beginning classes.

Can students with undergraduate majors other than engineering apply?

Generally, the program accepts applications from students with undergraduate degrees in any scientific or technical field, and we may accept applicants with other degrees as long as they meet our Minimum Application Requirements. Please see our information for non-engineers.

However, to be eligible for some of electives, non-engineering students may need to take additional prerequisites beyond the MEM requirements. Students can take longer than one year to complete the program.

Does the MEM Program accept the GMAT instead of the GRE?

No, the MEM Program requires the GRE for all applicants

Does the program require the TOEFL Exam? Can I submit the IELTS?

The Master of Engineering Management degree has a participatory approach to education. We require international applicants to submit official results from the TOEFL exam to ensure adequate ability to contribute to the classroom discussion.

We do not accept the IELTS.

Does the program require work experience?

The program is designed for students with five years or less of full-time work experience, including new graduates with no experience. Generally, our campus students tend to join the program directly after receiving their undergraduate degree, though some have returned to school after spending some time in the workforce. Our distance students usually have between 1 and 5 years of experience.

The program provides a rewarding educational experience whether or not you have work experience. For those without work experience, you have the opportunity to work on teams with individuals that have often faced some of the challenges that are being discussed in class. These experienced classmates can share their own experiences and can help you understand that material better.

For those with work experience, it provides an opportunity to reflect on what you are learning and relate it to your previous experience. A key question to ask yourself is "with this new understanding, how would I address the situation differently?" It also provides the opportunity to mentor some of your less experienced classmates. Mentoring allows you to work on developing your skills to lead and manage other technical professionals.

How can I compare the campus program and the distance options to see which is right for me?

Download a quick comparison of the two options.

Both the campus and distance options award the same Master of Engineering Management degree, and campus and distance students take the same courses with the same faculty.  The difference between the two options includes the method by which information is disseminated to students and the flexibility of the degree.   d-MEMP students take courses on their own schedules via distance learning and come to our campus for three one-week residencies over the course of two years. The courses are recorded using Panopto software, and are accessible for live or delayed viewing via the internet. Professors determine what other collaboration technologies and tools they want to use for their specific courses, like Skype, Adobe Connect, etc. One key factor is that both campus and distance students take courses together, so d-MEMP students work with campus students on a team in courses like marketing, management, project management, etc.   The residencies allow d-MEMP students to connect with faculty, each other, and the campus students who will be in their classes as well. The residencies also enable d-MEMP students to satisfy our seminar and workshop requirements, which campus student satisfy by attending weekly seminars and monthly workshops.   An advantage the campus program has over d-MEMP is the greater flexibility in choosing technical electives. d-MEMP students are limited to the course selection for technical electives and focus areas.  This is not a problem for the d-MEMP student who is interested in operations and supply chain management, financial engineering, or commercialization and innovation, but we offer many other tracks in the campus program – see our campus focus area list.   But while traditional campus students can start the program in fall or spring, d-MEMP students can only start in the fall – this coincides with the first of three required residency weeks.   Overall, it depends on a student’s needs – is course flexibility important, and can the student take a year off to come to our Durham campus? Or does his/her interest align with one of our d-MEMP tracks, and can s/he take three weeks off from work in the next two years? (An example residency schedule would be a week in August Year 1, July Year 2, and May Year 2 – graduation.)

Is it better to apply in Round 1? Am I at a disadvantage if I apply in a later round?

Which round is best? That's up to you. We use rounds to help us manage the flow of applications and to provide admission decisions within a timely manner. We consider every application, no matter which round it's in, so you should choose the round with dates that fit your timeline. When making your selection, keep these in mind:

  • If you are applying to other programs and you're concerned about responding to multiple offers, consider the date by which a reply is required.
  • If you are applying to the distance program and want to include your education plans in your performance review, consider the decision notification date.

What codes should I use to send official GRE and TOEFL scores to Duke?

GRE Scores: Use the institution code 5156, with department code 5199 for "any department not listed".

TOEFL Scores: Use the institution code 5156 with departmental code 99 for "any department not listed".

Applicants may request score reports on the day of testing or afterwards at

What test scores and GPA are required for admission?

Duke’s MEM Program does not have a minimum requirement for GRE scores or GPA. View our current class profiles. Admission depends on the strength of the applicant pool within any given year. 

If a student has concerns, consider the following:

  • Applicants with low test scores often retake the GRE or TOEFL a second time with the hopes of improving their scores and increasing their chances of being admitted.
  • Undergraduates with low GPAs can work to increase their grades in their remaining semesters, and those who have graduated sometimes consider enrolling in another Master’s program; doing well in other graduate work can show improvement in grades and that an applicant is adequately prepared for graduate study.

If any applicant is concerned about a weak area in their application, they are encouraged to include with the application an explanation of why they feel they are still a good candidate for the program. This can be an additional page in the Statement of Purpose.

When is the best time to apply for the program?

  • The MEM campus program offers fall and spring admission, both of which have multiple rounds for application.
  • Admission for d-MEMP is only offered for fall entry.
  • International students are required to apply in the earlier Rounds to allow for the visa process.


This model to helps us with the flow of applications and to provide students with a more timely response; no Round or term is easier or more difficult than another.

Our deadlines include both the application deadline, the decision date, and the date by which admitted students must respond to an offer of admission. The program can only guarantee a spot for applicants if they respond by the enrollment deadline; applicants should consider the MEMP enrollment deadline when planning to apply for other programs as well.

All admissions materials should be turned in by the application deadline for the Round. After submitting your application, no edits will be made after the submission of the application. Similar to sealing and mailing an envelope, once it has been submitted, none of the documents enclosed with it can be altered. Only complete applications will be reviewed by the admissions committee. We cannot review incomplete applications, so we cannot offer conditional admission. Applications submitted and complete before a deadline will not be reviewed until the deadline has passed.

You may review all deadlines here.