Frequently Asked Questions

Are joint degrees or concentrations available for online students?

Online students can customize their degrees by selecting an elective track. Our elective tracks are:

  • Customer Experience and Product Design
  • Data Analytics and Machine Learning
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Product Management
  • Technology Development and Commercialization

There is also a "Build Your Own" option, where you create a custom track focused on your interests.

More about elective tracks »

There are no joint degree options available for Duke MEM Online students.

Are MEM Online residencies mandatory?


The three weeklong on-campus residencies are a critical aspect of the program. Students must attend all three residential sessions. Administrators will review a student's inability to participate due to extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Are MEM Online students required to have work experience?


Duke MEM Online is geared toward students with fewer than five years of relevant work experience, but there is no minimum work requirement.

Are online students required to be employed full-time throughout the program?

Generally, Duke MEM Online students should be employed full-time throughout the duration of their enrollment. The program is designed to best serve the needs of working professionals.

Are online students required to have a corporate sponsor?


Duke MEM Online students are not required to have a corporate sponsor to cover tuition and fees. We will, however, encourage employed online students to minimally obtain management support to participate in the program, given the on-campus residency requirements.

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.  

Can graduate classes at another university be used for Duke's Master of Engineering Management degree?

Graduate courses taken at other schools may be used, with the Duke Master of Engineering Management Director's permission, to fulfill Duke's core required courses (including Law, Marketing, Management, and Finance), but all students are required to take 8 total courses at Duke, plus the internship requirement and two semesters of the seminar/workshop series (campus) or three residency sessions (distance).

For example, if a student has taken a course that satisfies the requirements of a core course, then the student would only have to take the 3 remaining core courses and could then take 5 technical electives instead of the usual 4.

In short, previous graduate courses may give students a bit more leeway in the types of courses taken at Duke, but they do not decrease the total number required for the degree. 

Can online students attend a class in person?


Duke MEM students are welcome to attend classes in person whenever they are in Durham, NC.

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 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 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 are online course materials delivered?

Duke MEM Online courses are recorded using Panopto software and are accessible for synchronous and asynchronous viewing via the Internet. Faculty individually determine which other collaboration technologies and tools they use for their courses.

More about course delivery »

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 online students engage with the broader Duke MEM program beyond the 3 residencies?

Online students interact with campus MEM students in the courses that they take using the collaborative tools and techniques that the faculty member chooses to use in his or her class.

Also, online students have access to the same web-based resources provided to campus students—such as the Sakai Learning Management System, faculty blogs and student discussion forums.

The three weeklong residencies are, however, the key means through which MEM Online students engage with their cohort, meet faculty and staff, and gain exposure to Duke's campus.

How do online students participate in group projects?

Duke MEM Online students use a variety of tools and technologies to support group assignments and projects.

Faculty individually determine which collaboration technologies and tools they want to use for their courses. Students may likewise leverage teleconferencing, email, and other approaches to work with other students.

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 MEM Online students use current employment for the internship?


Employment experience is expected to be used to meet the internship requirement for Duke MEM Online students.

May non-degree students participate in Duke MEM Online?


At the current time, only degree candidates can participate in Duke MEM Online.

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.

May students take longer than 2 years to complete the MEM Online?

Duke MEM Online students may extend the program with the approval of the program director.

See sample curriculums for completing the program in three and four years »

What do online students do during the 3 scheduled residencies?

Duke MEM Online students will participate in a number of activities including, but not limited to):

  • Program introductions and updates
  • Business simulation activities
  • Professional development workshops

In addition, online students will complete the internship component of the program during the final residency experience.

More about the residencies »

Where can I find information about DukeCapture (Powered by Panopto)?

DukeCapture Panopto ScreenshotDukeCapture (powered by Panopto) is a powerful tool that can live-stream, record and playback lectures from more than 150 classrooms and conference rooms at Duke University. Students access Panopto via a web browser.

The cost of the Panopto license is covered by Duke’s Office of Information Technology, so there is no cost to students to use the software.

More about Duke Capture and Panopto »

Which online courses will be offered in the upcoming term and in the next two years?

We post classes here. We expect to know which courses will be offered for upcoming terms by mid-April for a fall term and mid-October for a spring term. The program provides enough online course options to satisfy degree requirements. However, Duke MEM Online students have fewer elective choices than campus students, as a limited selection of courses is available online.

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. 

Will I need special software or hardware to view MEM Online lectures?


You may be required to install Microsoft's free Silverlight plugin the first time you view a lecture. No special software is required at all to view Panopto content—the recordings can be viewed on a number of systems, including the Windows and OS operating systems, and on the Firefox and Safari web browsers.

Will my diploma or transcript indicate I completed the online program?

Duke MEM Online students receive the same degree as students in the campus program. Transcripts and diplomas do not indicate the method by which the degree was earned.