Sustainability Degrees & Programs

Undergraduate Programs

  • Majors
  • Minors
  • Program II
  • Undergraduate Certificates
  • Duke Marine Lab

Graduate & Professional Programs

  • Masters Degrees
  • Graduate Certificates
  • Doctoral Degrees

Executive and Continuing Education



The Nicholas School of the Environment offers four majors to Duke undergraduates who are passionate about the environment and related areas of study.

  • A.B. in Environmental Science and Policy
  • B.S. in Environmental Sciences
  • A.B. in Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • B.S. in Earth and Ocean Sciences

The Pratt School of Engineering offers an environmental engineering major.

  • B.S.E. in Civil and Environmental Engineering


The Nicholas School of the Environment also offers two minors in the environmental field.

  • Minor in Environmental Science & Policy
  • Minor in Earth and Ocean Sciences

The Pratt School of Engineering also offers an energy-focused minor.

  • Minor in Energy Engineering

Program II

Duke's Trinity College of Liberal Arts offers undergraduates an opportunity to propose their own curriculum, drawing on courses in different departments and colleges.  Many students have used this interdisciplinary approach to study contemporary issues in sustainability.  View past projects focused on Environment & Ecology in Program II.  Additional sustainability-related projects are listed below:

  • Skyler Stein (2009) - "Energy and Ecological Economics", advised by Randal Kramer
  • Megan Morikawa (2012) - "Conservation Biology and Genetics: Applied Environmental Sciences", advised by Stuart Pimm
  • Hannah Anderson-Baranger (2014) - "Sustainable Art and Design: Ethical Creation in a Globalized World", advised by Pedro Lasch
  • Melissa Benn (2014) - "Food Studies and Environmental Policy", advised by Charlotte Clark
  • Rolvix Patterson (2014) - "Global Health: Disease and Medicine in Resource-Poor Settings", advised by Sherryl Broverman

Undergraduate Certificates

Three certificate programs can be pursued by undergraduate students.

Duke Marine Lab

The mission of the Duke Marine Lab is education, research, and service to understand marine systems, including the human component, and to develop approaches for marine conservation and restoration.  Students can study at the Marine Lab for programs in the fall, spring or summer semesters.


The Energy Initiative has compiled a guide to opportunities for academic study in the field of energy.

Graduate & Professional Degrees

Masters-level Programs

The Nicholas School of the Environment offers two Master’s degrees, an online Master’s program, and several concurrent degree programs.  The Master of Environmental Management degree trains students to understand the scientific basis of environmental problems, as well as the social, political, and economic factors that influence policy solutions.

  • Master of Environmental Management (MEM) – Residential
  • Master of Environmental Management (DEL-MEM) – Online

The Master of Forestry degree equips students to become experts in the sustainable management of forested ecosystems.

  • Master of Forestry (MF)

Students can also earn both of these Master’s degrees concurrently, or pursue a concurrent degree (such as an MBA, JD, or MPP) at another school at Duke or another university.

Graduate Certificates

Two certificate programs can be pursued by students in any of the professional degree programs.

Doctoral Degrees

The doctoral programs at the Nicholas School of the Environment prepare students for careers in university teaching and research. Students can pursue doctoral degrees through one of  three research divisions or through affiliated programs in ecology, toxicology, or environmental policy.


The Energy Initiative has compiled a guide to opportunities for academic study in the field of energy.

Executive and Continuing Education

Executive Education

The Duke Environmental Leadership (DEL) Program is designed to equip professionals in diverse fields with the skills to lead environmental change in large organizations and industry.  Participants gain access to instructors recognized as experts in their field through a variety of instructional formats.

Continuing Education

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute frequently offers courses on diverse topics related to sustainability.  Examples range from courses exploring the natural history of the Durham region, to the geopolitics of energy.  The courses are intended for adult learners and make use of a collaborative learning environment to thoroughly explore current topics around sustainability.