Frequently Asked Questions

While you are selecting a graduate degree program we know that you will have questions. Below are answers to questions we frequently hear from applicants.

If you have a question that is not answered below, please feel free to contact the Master’s Program Coordinator.

Degree Programs

How do I know which master's degree program is right for me?

We have an option that is right for you! You might begin your path by reviewing our degree comparison chart.

The chart quickly details options for graduate education in engineering at Duke.

How long does it take to complete a master's degree at Duke?

Usually 1.5 to 2 calendar years. Both the Master of Science (MS) and Master of Engineering (MEng) programs require 30 units of course credit, which usually translates to 10 courses. Most students complete these 10 courses in three or four semesters, or 1.5 to 2 years.

How do I match my interests with the research and curriculum within the Duke MEMS master's program?

The best way is to find out more about Duke. Our website is full of information about our research strengths and our world-class faculty members.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Why not sign up to receive Duke Engineering Now, our free email newsletter?


We enjoy talking to prospective students. Email or call the Duke MEMS master's programs contacts on this webpage.

If you find an individual Duke faculty member with whom you'd like to work, please feel free to call or email her or him to discuss your mutual interests. Phone numbers and email addresses are listed for nearly all of our faculty members on our departmental websites.


Visiting Duke? We'd love to meet you. If you call or email us a week or more before your trip, we can arrange for you to meet with a current student and get a tour.

How do I choose a master's advisor?

All master's students enter the program under the Director of Master's Studies. If they decide to pursue a research track, the research adviser of that lab generally becomes their adviser.

May I take courses in other departments and across Duke?

Yes! We encourage students to build an interdisciplinary educational experience tailor to their future plans. Duke offers a wide range of opportunities, and students are encouraged to work with their advisers to develop plans that take full advantage of course opportunities in the School of Medicine, Sanford School of Public Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment and the Duke basic science departments.

Application Process

What are the application requirements for engineering master’s programs at Duke?

Our entire application process takes place online.

The Graduate School at Duke processes all applications for Master of Science (MS).

The Pratt School of Engineering processes all applications for Master of Engineering (MEng).

In general, you will need the following documents to apply for any graduate engineering program at Duke:

  • An official transcript that states you hold a BS degree or equivalent in engineering or science.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Written statement of purpose that describes your specific academic and career interests
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score (if applicable), IETLS (International English Language Testing System) score1, or a waiver2

1IELTS is less commonly submitted by applicants. 

2Consider the program to which you are applying, and then read the Duke Graduate School minimum scores and TOEFL/IETLS Waiver PolicyMaster of Engineering Management (MEM) TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Policy, and Master of Engineering (MEng) TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Policy

What are the admissions criteria for engineering master’s programs at Duke?


We require an undergraduate degree, but one in the sciences or engineering is not strictly required. We base admissions decisions on several factors, including letters of recommendation, your specific research interests, undergraduate coursework/preparation, and faculty match. Your GPA and GRE score are important, but they're not the only pieces that factor into our evaluation.

We consider all applications holistically and recognize that there are several ways of demonstrating proficiency. For example, a strong score on the quantitative section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), along with positive letters of recommendation speaking to your technical acumen may be sufficient.

If you do not have an undergraduate degree in the sciences or engineering, be sure to address this in the statement of purpose you submit with your application.


We require a minimum GPA of 3.2 from an undergraduate program in order to gain admission to the Master of Science (MS) or PhD degree programs.

If applicable, a minimum TOEFL score of 90 on the Internet-based test is also required.


  • GRE Quantitative: 159
  • GRE Verbal: 151
  • UGPA: 3.7
Can the TOEFL requirement be waived for international students who have studied in an English-speaking country?

For all our master's programs, we require a:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)1, or
  • IETLS (International English Language Testing System) score2, or
  • A TOEFL/IETLS Waiver

1 Master of Science (MS) programs require a minimum TOEFL score of 90. Master of Engineering (MEng) and Master of Engineering Management (MEM) programs do not require a minimum TOEFL score

2 IELTS is less commonly submitted by applicants


For more information, consider the program to which you are applying, and then read:

Cost of Attendance

What does it cost to attend Duke for a master's student in engineering?

Master's students are required to enroll in and pay tuition for at least three semesters of full-time study.


Find the latest cost of attendance information at the Duke Graduate School's website.


Find the latest cost of attendance information at


We provide scholarship support in some of our master's degree programs. For information, contact Susan Brown assistant director of admissions at

Many master's students take out loans to finance their educations, and believe strongly that the return on the investment in a Duke engineering education is significant. Additionally, many master's students access their employer's sponsorship and tuition reimbursement benefits.

Career Services

What career development services are available for master’s students?

In addition to the support provided through faculty advising within the department, the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering offers assistance and extensive resources to our master's students.

These services include professional and career counseling and support for exploration of employment opportunities. As well, the Duke Career Center offers confidential advising services, electronic magazine and scholarly society links, fellowship and grant links, graduate school and thesis/dissertation guides, networking information, research directories, writing and research online resources, and career and employment resources, among others.