MEng Email Archive Fall 2013

Did you miss an important email from Duke MEng?  Archived information is below:

Emails from Erin Degerman, Admissions

New! Information from our recent Admitted Student Day is now available.

When is orientation?

  • Fall: International Student Orientation will begin August 12th for international students. You must enter the country on or before this date.
  • Fall: The main Orientation program for all students will begin August 20th.
  • Spring: The main Orientation program for all students (international and domestic) will begin January 6th.
  • Orientation is required as part of the program, it is not optional.

When do courses start?

Courses will begin on August 26th for Fall, January 8th for Spring.

When can I register for courses?

You'll be able to register for courses later as soon as you receive your NetID.

When do I need to pay tuition?

Tuition is billed prior to the start of classes, and we have posted Estimated Tuition and Fees for 2013-2014. Payment information is available at

Should I submit the FAFSA?

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident planning on applying for a federal Stafford or Perkins loan, you can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form at For further information on FAFSA and the U.S. Department of Education’s student aid programs, you may call 1-800-433-3243 seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to midnight (Eastern time). When completing the FAFSA form online, you will be asked for Duke’s Title IV code; it is E00165. Once you have received confirmation that your forms are complete and have been forwarded to the University, a financial aid officer will complete your aid award. If you have any questions during this process, you may contact Ms. Lisa Roop-Wioskowski who manages Graduate Financial Aid at 919-681-3247 or

What about housing needs?

See for on-campus housing information and off-campus housing. Please note that on-campus housing for graduate students is limited due to Duke's commitment to providing undergraduates with three years of on-campus housing. Most graduate students live off campus.

What transportation options are available?

If you plan to bring a car to campus, you can sign up for a parking permit.  There are many other options if you do not have a car or do not choose to use it.

I have a question-who should I contact?

Questions should be routed through the admissions office for now; we can direct your question to other resources if we cannot answer it directly.

What about I-20 or DS-2019 information?

A separate email with detailed instructions will be sent after you accept the offer of admission and your official transcripts have been received. Visit Duke's Visa Services Office for more information. Do not send any documentation before you are requested to do so.

How can I connect with my potential classmates?

If you're on Facebook, there's a group for Admitted Master of Engineering students. Join in the conversation and get a head start on getting to know your classmates!

How do I accept or decline the offer of admission?

Admitted students should complete the Enrollment Form found in their admission letter.  The form includes a brief survey where the applicant accepts or declines the offer, with follow-up questions that the program uses to understand how we can better serve applicants.  Please complete your form by the deadline indicated in your letter.  Note that we do not require a deposit to accept the offer of admission.

Where can I find the Semester Schedule for my program?

The program follows Duke University’s academic calendar, which you may view at, though we host our own Orientation prior to the start of classes. See Orientation question above for dates and note that Orientation is required as part of the program. 

What's Duke like?

Take a peek at life at Duke at

What's Durham like?

Durham, North Carolina is the vibrant home of Duke University! Information on Durham is available at and

Where can I find information on Duke's Stanback internship program?

Every year Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment manages a nation-wide intern program that is open to incoming Duke students. If you are a US Citizen, or an international student who is graduating from a US school this May, you are eligible to apply for these summer 2013 opportunities!  Please see the information below.

Would you like to have a substantive and meaningful summer internship experience?  Then apply to the Stanback Internship Program exclusively for Duke University students! 

Celebrating 17 years, here are the program highlights:

  • The program is funded by alumni Fred and Alice Stanback
  • A few non-profit organizations still have open positions and welcome applications
  • Most interns will work in North Carolina or Washington, DC, but other locations include: New York, San Francisco, and Boulder
  • Internships are 40 hours/week for 11 weeks
  • Interns are paid a stipend of $5,000 for the summer
  • Many organizations will have more than one Stanback Intern and aid in coordinating Summer housing
  • Current international students are eligible to apply if they have been in F-1 status at Duke or another US university for at least 9 months prior to this summer.

Here is a list of the 60+ remaining internships that may be of interest to Engineering Students:

  • Better Transportation for a Better Charlotte – Natural Resources Defense Council (great for a civil engineering student or student interested in urban planning)
  • Building Energy Efficiency Intern – Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Chestnut Biotechnology Intern –The American Chestnut Foundation
  • Clean Energy Advocacy Internship – Natural Resources Defense Council (for engineering students interested in energy and economics)
  • Clean Energy Internship – Environmental Defense Fund
  • Clean Energy and Air Research and Analysis in VA– Southern Environmental Law Center (focus on energy strategy and economics)
  • Clean Vehicles Research and Outreach Intern – Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Climate Change and Energy in India Intern – Natural Resources Defense Council (located in NYC)
  • Climate Impacts Outreach Intern – Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Fossil Fuels Subsidies Intern – Friends of the Earth
  • Graphics/Web Design Assistant – Appalachian Voices (targeted to computer engineering students)
  • Paper Industry Transformation Campaign Intern – Dogwood Alliance
  • Solar PV Permitting Cost Analysis – North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
  • Sustainable FERC Project Intern – Natural Resources Defense Council (they really want a student with an electrical engineering and/or business background and interest in electric grids)

For a full list of vacant positions, position descriptions and further details about the application process visit: To apply, submit a cover letter and resume (and any other requested information) to the contact person listed in the position description. If you are an incoming graduate student, the subject line of your email should read "Incoming Duke student interested in your Stanback internship".

Positions will remain open until filled or May 31 which is when the application season for summer 2013 ends.

If you secure an internship, let us know ASAP by completing the placement form at:, as this will prompt us to send you details about next steps.  NOTE: If you are not local and cannot come on campus, the mandatory Stanback orientation session will be conducted virtually and you will be sent the paperwork to register for payroll via email.  

Where do students live?

Students generally live off-campus in apartment complexes that surround Duke's West Campus. Most of your classes will be held on West Campus and this Google Map is centered on the Engineering Buildings at Duke. A majority of current MEM and MEng students live at these locations:

A smaller percentage of the class lives in other complexes such as Alexan-Garrett Farms, The Lofts at Lakeview, Holly Hill, Erwin Square and Erwin Terrace, Bradford Ridge, etc.

Additional Helpful Information:

Do I need a car?

Not necessarily. Many students at Duke leave their cars at home because Duke makes getting around easy by offering convenient options that help us become a more sustainable campus.

WeCar, a car-sharing service, is on campus and available 24/7. For as little as $8 an hour or $66 per day, you can reserve a sedan, SUV, van, or electric vehicle to run errands, go shopping, perform community service, or take a road trip. One-way rentals are also available on campus through the Enterprise Rent-A-Car office in Durham.

Biking is big on Duke’s campus. Bike lanes and paths make it easy to get places fast. Our online map details over 140 unique rack locations around Duke. Bike shops are within walking distance of campus. Riding your bike is the fastest way to get around campus and off.

GoPass is a free public bus pass that allows all students to ride local and regional transit for free. Duke transit and public buses can also be tracked in real time on your computer or mobile phone. You can also ride the free Bull City Connector to get downtown.

What cell phone providers/banks/transportation options are used by students?

According to Duke's International House, the most popular cell phone companies in this area continue to be Verizon, AT&T and T-MOBILE. I-House has a lot of useful information on getting settled into the area and transportation options whether you're an international student or not.

What's Durham really like?

In a word, awesome, but don't take our word for it. See this great site from Duke Law that shows how lov-a-bull Durham is (you'll have to click to understand that). Please check it out - you'll be glad you did!

How safe will I be at Duke?

Recent events around the world have everyone on edge, and it may leave you wondering how safe Duke is. We've pulled information on Safety at Duke, with Duke Police Department resources, emergency notification, serious crime reports, and safety precautions YOU can take. Please review this information.

Who am I likely to hear from in the future

You may have communicated with the admissions team through the application process, but once you become a student, you're likely to forget we exist. But that's the circle of life, and we don't mind. At Duke, you have a wide range of support in student services, academic advising, and career services. You'll be introduced to Student Services later, but for now, meet the rest of the team:

You can also visit the Faculty/Staff page of MEng.

Where will I be able to find information on the program in the future?

In the coming months, the program's Sakai site will be released. You'll find Orientation schedules, program policies, academic information, career services, extracurricular activities, and more at the site!

In addition to the program's Sakai site, many of your classes will use Sakai.

Can I connect with other incoming students on LinkedIn?

Yes! We now have a group for incoming MEng students on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will be a vital part of your networking and professional experience at Duke. This group was created to give you a chance to connect and learn more about each other before you arrive. Please join today!


Where can I find more information on IT at Duke?

Duke's Office of Information Technology offers a site that will answer many of your questions, but here are a few key points.

NetID: Your Duke NetID is the electronic key to online Duke resources, including email, digital file storage, ACES (for registration and grades), Sakai (for course information), and more. Your NetID will be emailed to you before you arrive on campus, with instructions for activating and setting up a secure password. 

Email: You can access your Duke email account using any email client (such as Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook), from most mobile devices,  or via the Web at  

Additional resources
: From the DukeMobile app to emergency DukeALERT notifications, the OIT site offers the most up-to-date information about computing on campus: 

DukeCard: Your DukeCard is a vital part of your life at Duke University. DukeCard serves as identification for all official interactions at Duke, provides access to everything from your classroom buildings to athletic events, and can eliminate the need to carry cash on campus through a flexible spending (FLEX) account (NOT required, but can be helpful). You'll receive information on getting your DukeCard from the Student Services Team.


What do I need to do to meet North Carolina's immunization requirement?

Duke posts North Carolina Immunization Record Requirements online, and you should read this carefully and follow all directions. You will need your NetID, and the deadline to submit information, according to the website, is June 30 for fall. It's our hope that you don't have to get many shots to come to Duke, but if you do, start now. Questions on meeting the requirement should be sent to


Am I required to have health insurance through the university?

All Duke students are required to have medical insurance - either through the Duke-sponsored plan (Duke Student Medical Insurance Plan - SMIP) or a comparable medical insurance plan based in the United States. If you hold a F-1 or J-1 visa, participation in the Duke SMIP is mandatory. Read more about insurance at If you have questions about insurance, contact Student Health at or call +1 919-681-9355.

As an international student, are there any upcoming events I should consider?

Yes! Duke's International House, which helps international students acclimate to life in the US, held its Virtual Orientation on Friday, June 7. Read more about it here.

Wait! This is my final email from the admissions team? 

This is the final one of this type of email, but you may hear from me or Susan in the future. At this time, we'd like to say that we enjoyed getting to know each one of you over the application cycle, and we can't wait to meet you in August/January. The countdown begins! 

Welcome to Student Services! 

In June/November, you'll begin hearing from our Student Services team. You may have already received registration information from Staci Thornton in academic services, but be on the lookout for information from student services as well. 

Welcome to Career Services!

Later, you'll also hear from our Career Services team, including Ross Wade. If you haven't already, please join the LinkedIn group for incoming MEM students.   Career Services plans to post a lot of great stuff there.

What about my other questions?

If you have any further questions for the admissions team, please contact us at!  You can also continue to post on the Facebook or LinkedIn Groups.

MEng Admitted Facebook Group:

MEng Admitted LinkedIn Group:

Emails from Student Services