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Career and Professional Development

The Nicholas School of the Environment operates its Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) for MEM, MF, and DEL-MEM students and alumni, including those students enrolled in concurrent degree programs.

The professional staff in CPDC are leading career experts in the fields of energy, environment, and sustainability. To help students maximize their career readiness, the center’s professional staff pledges to:

  • Assist in developing a student’s career strategy;

  • Help students refine and communicate career skills they possess and acquire new ones for career success;

  • Assist in making connections with professionals and alumni in a student’s chosen field; and

  • Provide a variety of career experiences, tools, and resources.

For more information, visit

The Nicholas School recommends three main career networking platforms—a Nicholas School Job Share Facebook group managed by alumni, the Duke Alumni Engagement and Development Office's Alumni database, and the NSOE LinkedIn group. The LinkedIn group is managed by CPDC, and members are vetted to ensure they are a member of the Nicholas community (prospective/student, alumni, faculty, or staff) before being admitted to the group.

The CPDC schedules career exploration opportunities, employer information sessions, site visits, and on-campus recruiting events throughout the academic year to allow students to meet employers and broaden their knowledge of the environmental profession.

The Duke Career Center (DCC) provides career services to Trinity College undergraduates and doctoral students in The Graduate School. For more information, visit

Summer Enrichment Opportunities

Practical experience is integral to the Nicholas School’s educational process and even more important to employers seeking qualified candidates. Some type of summer enrichment experience is recommended, but not required, between academic years of study. The CPDC staff can assist students in identifying experiences that meet professional development goals or research interests. Internships, fellowships, or research experiences are opportunities for students to explore or enhance career experiences, learn or apply new skills, establish networks of practicing professionals, and gain perspective on environmental issues in various regions or countries. Typically more than 90 percent of all Nicholas School students report completing summer enrichment experiences during their MEM or MF program.

Each year Nicholas School students participate in summer experiences throughout the United States and around the world. Students work with consulting firms, businesses, industry, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and international organizations to supplement career preparation or research interests. Enrichment experiences may be secured at other times throughout the school year.

Summer Enrichment Funding Opportunities

The CPDC staff may also assist students in identifying paid opportunities or securing financial support for underfunded summer projects. The Nicholas School provides additional financial support that MEM, MF, and DEL-MEM students utilize to partially support both US-based and international internships. Students typically apply for summer enrichment funding in the spring term of years in which they are not graduating.

Made possible by the generous support of Fred and Alice Stanback, the Nicholas School partners with targeted conservation organizations to administer the Duke University Stanback Fellowship Program. Its purpose is to provide all Duke students with the opportunity to apply for a significant paid summer learning experience in environmental policy, research, applied resource management, and/or stakeholder engagement. In 2023, approximately 83 internship projects with 31 non-governmental conservation organizations were secured exclusively by Nicholas School and Duke University students. Incoming MEM and MF students may become eligible to apply once Student Services confirms receipt of the tuition deposit.