Frequently Asked Questions

Are any graduate assistantships or stipends available for the campus program?

The program does not offer any assistantships or stipends, though a limited number of fellowships are available to US citizens and permanent residents. This degree is a professional degree rather than a research degree; thus, most students pay their own tuition costs. Many of our students take out loans and feel there will be an excellent "return on investment" when they get out into the work force. Other students work part-time while enrolled in the program. 

Are MEM students eligible for Resident Assistant positions? What are the benefits? How do I apply?

A Resident Advisor is an on-campus work position in which a student lives on campus and serves as an advisor to other students living on campus. 

Perks include: free housing with a meal plan included, on-campus location so very convenient getting to and from class, and a small stipend. Students report that it's a great option!

Time commitment can range depending on weekly responsibilities. RA's are expected to be on-call during certain times over the semester and hold programming events for their residents. Overall, RA's foster community-building, safety, and a positive atmosphere for their residents.

Applicants find out about their acceptance into the RA or GR role before they hear back from MEM, but that is not an issue.

The interview process involves a few short essay questions, submitting a recommendation, and an on-campus interview (which can be done over the phone/Skype).

Read more at  

As a graduate student, can I get men's basketball tickets?

Graduate and professional students are allocated a certain number of tickets each year, and tickets are distributed based on a weekend campout and lottery. Those selected by the lottery have the right to purchase a season pass to the men's home basketball games. See Campout 101 for further information.

Per rules established by Duke's Graduate and Professional Student Council, only full-time Duke University graduate and professional students who have paid student activity fees by a certain date each year are eligible to participate in the campout and lottery.  

As an international student, the program provides flexibility to stay a third or fourth semester. Is this recommended?

As an international student, staying a third or fourth semester should be based on your academic interests and career goals. If there are courses that you did not have the time to take within the one year time period, or if you feel that four courses per semester coupled with our workshop and seminar series would overload you, then, by all means, you should stay a third or fourth semester.

Please note that the program cannot allow academic decisions to be based on whether or not an international student has yet found a job or wants to change the timing of training extensions. This means that if you choose to stay an extra semester or two, you must continue to take classes as a full time student and cannot simply stay to continue your job search. Full time means that you must register for at least three 3 courses worth a minimum of 9 total credits.

See additional information.

As an international student, will I be able to get a job in the U.S. after graduation?

Maybe, but it is not at all guaranteed and it is not easy! It takes a lot of effort, and in addition, there are many factors that are beyond a student’s control or the control of the program. Although the program teaches career development and assists with job searches, its primary function is education, not job placement. What students learn in the program will help them throughout their career and will provide very important skills to assist them in almost any job.

On the other hand, if students are coming to the program primarily to find a job in the U.S., they should reconsider. Visa restrictions, timing of practical training extensions and the overall economy all impact the probability of finding a job in the U.S. after graduation. The knowledge and skills gained in the program will help international students in jobs within their home country and this avenue for employment after graduation is encouraged.

Keep in mind that finding a job is the student’s responsibility. It is a time-intensive activity that requires significant skills which most students have not yet mastered when they join the program. These skills will benefit students throughout their careers, but take time to develop. The program is committed to helping students develop these skills and helping students understand career development in general (in fact, we believe our program has one of the most comprehensive career development and job search programs available), but it is the student’s responsibility to find a job. Be prepared to work hard and take advantage of available resources.

Can campus students specialize in a specific area of engineering?

The MEM Campus Option offers many focus areas that allow students to focus on a technical field or industry segment, but we do not require these. Students are free to tailor their technical electives to their interests.

Can students take classes during the summer?

No. In general, we don’t offer any classes in the summer because that’s when our campus students complete their internship requirement.

Can students take longer than one year to complete the campus program?

Yes, this is a possibility for both fall and spring entrants, but Career Services has found that staying a third semester does not improve a student's chances for employment. Instead, consider extending the program if you

  • would like take fewer courses to leave more time to adjust to the program or for the wide variety of activities that Duke offers.
  • want to take additional courses. Note that additional courses beyond the eight required courses may be charged additional tuition.

If a student would like to prolong the program, they must speak to a program administrator so that correct tuition is charged and registration limits are set.

Can students take more than 8 courses?


Students can take more than eight (8) courses. Campus students may take up to five (5) courses in a semester under the flat semester tuition fee. MEM Online candidates will incur additional per-course tuition costs for additional classes.

Does Duke arrange internships for students?

No, students are responsible for finding and establishing their own internships, though there are several resources that can help in the search. Students who are still enrolled in undergraduate study are encouraged to use their institution’s career center, and current MEM students should work with the MEM Career Services team.

Does Duke have an agreement with the Navy Nuclear Power Program?

Yes. Since 2005, Duke and the United States Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program have partnered to enroll nuclear-trained Navy officers in the Master of Engineering Management Program. Read more about the agreement here.

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 online options to see which is right for me?

Both the campus and online options award the same Master of Engineering Management degree. And, campus and online students take the same courses with the same faculty.

Duke MEM Online students take courses on their own schedules via online 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, such as Skype, Adobe Connect, WebEx, etc.

A key factor is that both campus and online students take courses together, so MEM Online students work with campus students on a team in courses like marketing, management, project management, etc.  

The residencies allow MEM Online students to connect with faculty, each other, and the campus students who are in their classes as well. The residencies also enable online students to satisfy seminar and workshop requirements, which campus students satisfy by attending weekly seminars and monthly workshops.  

Overall, it depends on the student’s needs:

  • Can the student take a year off to come to study full-time on our campus in Durham, NC?
  • Or, can the student take three weeks off from work over the next two years?

See an example residency schedule »

How do campus applicants apply for a fellowship?

There is no separate application for fellowships within the MEM Program. Information is gleaned from the MEM application and used to award fellowships.

How do I apply for TA, RA, or other on-campus part-time jobs?

Most campus positions are generally posted and filled just a week or two before classes begin each semester. Alternatively, students may contact the Director of Graduate Studies in various departments for information on available teaching assistant or research assistant jobs.

How do students gain approval for classes outside the Pratt School of Engineering?

The MEM Program maintains a list of approved courses outside of the Pratt School of Engineering, and most of these courses are listed as part of a focus area. If a student would like to take a course outside of the Pratt School of Engineering that is not on the approved courses list, they may submit a request to the program's executive director with the following information.

  • What is the title and number of the desired course?
  • What is the content of the desired course?
  • Why is this course good for the student’s career in Engineering Management?
  • Any other reasons why the student feels this course should be used as a substitute for an engineering course

If this course is approved and is at N.C. State University or the University of North Carolina, the student will need to complete an Inter-Institutional form obtained from the MEM program office.

Is Duke's MEM program a STEM degree?

Yes, the MEM Program is STEM-designated degree program. If you would like more information, please visit

Is there a fee to audit courses?

Students who pay by semester can audit courses at no additional cost.

Students who pay by credit/course must pay a fee to audit courses.

Note that some Physical Education courses may incur additional fees even if the student is auditing at no cost.

Is tuition billed on per course basis or as a flat fee?

Campus tuition is based on a flat fee per semester, based on four (4) courses. MEM Online tuition is based on a flat fee per semester, based on two (2) courses.

Tuition can alternatively be billed per course if a student decides to take fewer classes during the semester, but courses beyond the eight (8) will likely incur additional tuition costs.

May students move from the campus program to MEM Online, and vice versa?


Students in good standing may move from one option to the other, with the approval of program administrators.

On average, how much time do full-time campus students invest in the MEM program each week?

It’s difficult to estimate the average number of hours students should expect to spend on the MEM program without considering each student's motivation, study habits, and ability. In engineering terms, the average is not very meaningful because the standard deviation is quite large. The key is that the campus option is meant to be a full-time intensive program, and because it is only one year in duration, it’s expected to take students more than 40 hours of schoolwork per week. Some average students spend about 50 hours per week, while some of the brightest students put in 60 hours or more in a week. However, many campus students are able to work part time and still maintain a full course load. Others are very active in extracurricular activities. Thus, it is clearly very dependent on the student.

Where I can find information on housing?

See Housing information under our Admitted Student tab:; find it under the Discover Duke and Durham section.

Please note that on-campus housing for graduate students is limited due to Duke's commitment to providing undergraduates with on-campus housing.

Duke's International House assists international students with acclimating to life in the US, and they maintain a housing list of complexes near Duke.  Of those files listed, choose "West Campus Area", which is near the MEM Program's campus location.  The list includes information on pricing and lease terms, and you should look for those complexes labeled "Yes" under "Walk to Duke?" and/or "SafeRides?" for those closest to campus.

Why does Duke’s MEM program use a case-study teaching model?

The Case-Study method supplements standard classroom instruction in Duke’s MEM Program’s business courses. The program uses this method because it places students in a complex, real-world situation where they use their knowledge, understanding, and analytical skills to decide on a course of action. Case studies are an excellent method for students to apply concepts that are being taught. Students benefit from case-study learning through individual analysis of the case and through group discussion of the case.

In the individual analysis, students must first figure out the problem, which is sometimes stated, sometimes inferred. Additionally, there are often several problems, and the student must prioritize the ones where action will have the most impact. Problem definition is often the most challenging aspect of a case. The clarity of the problem definition is directly related to the effectiveness of the defined actions. Next, the student must understand the assumptions and decide whether they are reasonable. Challenging the assumptions may open up new courses of action that had not been considered previously. Next, the student must analyze the facts and determine their significance. In most situations, students will wish they had more information. However, part of this learning process is to become comfortable with making decisions under conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity. Next, students must consider alternative courses of action. In most situations, the student will want to view the problem from multiple perspectives and then select the preferred approach and develop a detailed course of action.

Group discussions are an equally valuable part of the learning process. In these situations, students will be exposed to the perspectives and insights of others. Students will hear how others choice of assumptions, priorities, and actions might have differed from his/her own. Students will learn to listen to others to gain from their insights. Students will also learn to present, defend, and persuade others to see his/her point of view. Ultimately, students will need to learn to work together as a group to come to agreement on how to proceed while still respecting the differing opinions within the team.

The overall purpose of the case study method is to integrate business concepts and real world situations so that students develop a structured, disciplined decision making process that they will be able to apply throughout their careers. Additionally, it prepares students to be able to articulate and justify their decisions. It also provides students with the experience and knowledge to analyze and assess the decisions of others.