Options for Current Duke Students

Duke Undergrads 4+1

Duke undergrads can earn a bachelor's degree and a Master of Engineering or Master of Engineering Management degree in just five years through Duke's progressive 4+1 Masters program. Students who are admitted as undergradutes get a head start in this accelerated program by taking graduate level courses during their senior year.

Details to Remember

  • To be admitted while an undergraduate, complete our online application as early as the spring of your junior year or as late as the spring of your senior year and indicate that you are a 4+1 candidate. See our tips on choosing when to apply.  An application fee waiver is available for Duke students, and Duke 4+1 applicants are not required to take the GRE.
  • You can allocate four departmental graduate courses* taken in your senior year toward your MEng/MEM degree requirements using the Pratt Credit Transfer form. Transferred courses must fulfill MEng/MEM degree requirements in the major of interest. Note: Only the credits transfer, the grade remains on your undergraduate transcript and is part of your undergraduate GPA.
  • You need to earn at least a B in each graduate level course for it to count toward your MEng/MEM degree.
  • Graduate courses used for your MEng/MEM degree cannot be used for your undergraduate degree
  • In order for students admitted as undergraduates to complete the program in only one additional year, you must complete the required internship the summer between your undergraduate degree and the start of your master's program at Duke.
  • International 4+1 students are strongly encouraged to use Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for the summer internship, as the internship is a required component of the degree, and the CPT process can be completed more quickly than OPT for your undergraduate degree. If you have questions on CPT eligibility, we encourage you to contact Duke Visa Services. 
  • 4+1 students admitted during the undergraduate program may defer admission for up to three years. Any Duke alumnus may apply for 4+1 up to five years after graduating from Duke's undergraduate program. Students may request to transfer their admission to one of the Master of Engineering Online programs or the Master of Engineering Management Online program.

*The transfer of credit requires approval of the Director of Master of Engineering Studies (DMS) for the major of interest/Director of the MEM program and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs. AB Duke scholars and other students on a case-by-case basis may be able to allocate up to six courses towards the degree. Graduate courses are listed in the 500s or above. 

When to Apply

Early Admission for Undergraduates

If you're an undergraduate, when should you apply?  You have three options.

  • Spring of Junior Year for admission in Fall of Senior year
  • Fall of Senior Year for admission in Spring of Senior year
  • Spring of Senior Year for admission in Fall of 5th year

Note that no matter when you apply, you'll remain an undergraduate for four years before becoming a MEng/MEM student in the fifth year. That means that you should select your application term based on when you'll actually join the program after graduation, not when you'd like to take and MEng/EGRMGMT or departmental graduate courses you plan to transfer. For that reason, the application will choose summer term 1 for the year of your BSE graduation, but your application will be considered and a decision will be posted in the admission timeline you seek.

Example: If you’d like a decision before you take the classes, apply using the deadlines the term in which you’ll take them. For example, if you want to take the classes in Spring, you'd apply using Spring admission deadlines to hear back by December 1 of your senior year.

Admission for Alumni

If you're a Duke alumnus, you may apply for 4+1 admission up to five years after graduating from Duke's undergraduate program.

Please note

4+1 students admitted to the MEng/MEM program while undergraduates remain an undergraduate for four years before becoming a MEng/MEM student in the fifth year. Typically, matriculation occurs in summer term 1 after the spring semester of the senior year, and students will complete the internship requirement within 1 year of matriculation. Students will be charged as undergraduates for the first four years and as MEng/MEM students for the fifth year. The MEng program charges tuition by semester, and payment by credit is not available in the fifth year. The MEM program charges 4+1 students by credit in the fifth year.

All 4+1s should submit paperwork for the transfer of credits from the student's undergraduate program into the MEng/MEM program within the first semester of starting the program.

In order to complete the program in only one additional year after being admitted as an undergraduate, a 4+1 must complete the required internship the summer between the undergraduate degree and the start of the MEng/MEM program. 4+1 students should seek approval from the department before beginning the internship. Alumni who are admitted may sometimes use work experience in lieu of the internship.

The MEng core courses/MEM(EGRMGMT) courses are available to undergraduates who have been admitted to the 4+1 program on a space available basis. After admission, 4+1 students work with our academic coordinator to receive permission numbers to allow registration for MENG/EGRMGMT courses while an undergraduate. Not all graduate level courses are available to undergraduates and permission numbers will only be provided for MENG/EGRMGMT courses. If a 4+1 undergraduate student desires to take graduate level electives classes that are not available to undergraduates, a 4+1 student should take these courses in the fifth year of study.

Trinity students need to plan their undergraduate courses carefully to ensure they allow room in their schedule for graduate level courses in their senior year. Students without room in their senior year may require more than one additional year to complete the MEng degree – contact us for more information.

Contact the admissions office for more information.

4+1: Student Perspectives

Rachel Fleming"The 4+1 MEng Program was the perfect opportunity for me to spend one more year on a beautiful campus, earn my Master’s degree, and share my alma mater with MEng peers from around the world. The Civil MEng program allowed me to take my structural engineering education to the next level while gaining an introduction to the business side of the industry. To this day when I speak to prospective Pratt students, I highlight the unique MEng program that Duke has to offer. Everything from graduate student campout to MEMP seminars enhanced my overall Duke experience."

Rachel Fleming
BSE Civil Engineering May 2012
MEng Civil Engineering May 2013
Gilbane Building Company
Durham, North Carolina

Read Alumni Spotlight

Read article on BME 4+1 student Vinay Nagaraj

Duke PhD Students in Engineering

Students who received their PhD degree from the Pratt School of Engineering may also want to pursue a MEng degree to obtain the breadth found in the MEng core courses.

To facilitate this, PhD students may utilize their PhD courses to fulfill the technical course requirements of the MEng degree (i.e., the eight noncore course requirements) if those courses meet the curricular requirements of the MEng major of interest. Thus, PhD students may obtain the MEng degree by adding the two MEng core courses to their coursework and fulfilling the internship requirements.

Note that generally the student’s PhD research will not be acceptable as the internship experience for the concurrent MEng degree. Students must apply for the MEng Program independently from the PhD and must be enrolled in the MEng Program (i.e., dual enrolled in the MEng and PhD) before taking the MEng core courses. Students should register for these MEng core courses separately from their PhD courses under their MEng “bookbag” and will be billed for these courses separately from their PhD. Other MEng courses to be utilized to fulfill the MEng requirements may be taken at anytime while a PhD student, before or after enrolling in the MEng Program.

Note that being accepted as a PhD student does not guarantee acceptance as an MEng student. Note that students will generally receive their MEng degree at the same time or after receiving their PhD. If a student does not obtain a PhD, only four of the technical courses taken as a PhD student may be applied to the MEng degree. The other four technical MEng course requirements and the MEng core courses must be taken after enrollment in the MEng Program.

All PhD students should discuss their plans with their faculty advisor for their research program and with the DMS for their major of interest. When applying for the MEng degree, he/she should indicate they are already a PhD student and plan to do the MEng concurrently with his/her PhD.

Duke MD Students

MD/Master of Engineering Dual Degree Program at Duke University

MD candidates in Duke’s School of Medicine have the option of adding the Master of Engineering (MEng) degree in a 5-year program. Students spend four years (Years 1, 2, 4 and 5) in medical school to fulfill the MD curriculum requirements, and one year (Year 3) to take the required MEng courses. In the fourth year, students work on development of new technologies or engineering approaches (including optimization/system analysis or feasibility analysis, etc.) for improving human health and write a thesis, for which they will receive School of Medicine credit in fulfillment of their Third Year thesis requirement.

School of Medicine Requirements

The MD curriculum requirements for typical Years 1, 2, and 4 (Year 5 for dual students) remain unchanged by this program.

School of Medicine Third Year thesis credit will be based on submission of a document whose rigor is consistent with current Third Year theses. As with all current Third Year theses, the thesis proposals will require Third Year School of Medicine approval. The thesis would consist of a detailed Business Plan, complete with extended Introduction (similar to the extended Introduction currently required of Third Year students who choose the manuscript or grant alternative theses) stating more thoroughly the human health need being addressed. The scope, subject, and outcomes of the thesis will be determined by the Engineering program of specialization in collaboration with the School of Medicine. A thesis alternative can be submitted in the form of a SBIR/STTR grant application since the grant thesis alternative is already an approved option offered to all Third Year medical students. At the discretion of and selected by the Third Year Committee, the thesis may be reviewed by faculty or other experts well versed in the specific technology field who are not on the Committee. These external reviews would be used by members of the Third Year Committee to grade the theses in order to ensure that the grading standards, rigor and criteria are consistent with current theses. The thesis may also be used to fulfill requirements for the MEng 550/551 courses.

Pratt School of Engineering Requirements

Master of Engineering students in all majors must complete 30 credits comprised of key program elements as follows:

  • Core industry preparatory courses (6 credits)
  • Departmental or interdisciplinary core courses (15 - 18 credits, varies by major)
  • Technical electives in a concentrated area (6 - 9 credits, varies by major)
  • Internship, Project, or Equivalent

Additionally, some majors have a seminar participation requirement.

The MD/MEng student will fulfill all of the requirements of the MEng degree. To accomplish this, the following accommodation has been made for those seeking a dual degree:

  • 6-9 credits (depends on MEng major) required for the MEng degree may be fulfilled based on satisfactory completion of the School of Medicine 1 Basic Sciences curriculum (see table below).
Major MD credits
applied to
MEng degree
Biomedical Engineering 9 3 Credits - Life Science Requirement
6 Credits - Technical Electives
Civil Engineering 6 6 Credits - Technical Electives
Electrical and Computer Engineering 9 9 Credits - Technical Electives
Environmental Engineering 9 9 Credits - Technical Electives
Materials Science and Engineering 6

6 Credits - Technical Electives

Mechanical Engineering 6

6 Credits - Technical Electives

Photonics and Optical Systems 6

6 Credits - Technical Electives

  • Internship, project, or equivalent requirement may be fulfilled as described below.

In the 4th year, each MEng student is required to undertake a practical internship, which must encompass at least 320 hours of effort (as documented in their detailed laboratory notebook). These internships are by nature focused on engineering applications and technology development. To achieve this, each MD/MEng student may work under the auspices of Faculty in the School of Medicine, MedBlue Program, the Pratt School of Engineering, or other similar program to be reviewed and approved by representatives from the MEng and SOM faculty. Specifically, each MD/MEng candidate will: 

  1. work under the guidance of one or two attending physicians and engineers during their 4th year (“second third year”) to identify and complete at least one comprehensive Confidential Need Specification with the sponsorship of one of the clinical faculty;
  2. develop new technologies or engineering approaches (including optimization/system analysis or feasibility analysis, etc.) for improving human health based on the Need Specification;
  3. present their proposed technology or engineering approach to a select group of prospective investors and/or end users (clinicians);
  4. complete an Invention Disclosure Form approved by faculty advisor for the project and the faculty who teach the internship course, MEng 551
  5. (optional) submit the IDF, which requires review and signature of appropriate SOM Department Chair; review and signature by appropriate Engineering Department Chair.
  6. (optional) provide required information and support to OLV to assist in their review and action.

Example Curriculum

The MD/MEng is most closely aligned with the Biomedical Engineering major and is ideal for medical students with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship. The example below shows the Pratt course work requirements for a major in Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis in Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering with emphasis on Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Requirement MD/MEng Fulfillment of Requirement
Core Industry Preparation Courses (6 credits)
  • MEng 540 Management of High Tech Industries (3 credits)

  • MEng 570 Business Fundamentals for Engineers (3 credits)

Life Science (3 credits)
  • Satisfactory completion of SoM 1 Basis Sciences

Advanced mathematics (3 credits)
BME courses (9 credits)
  • BME 590.01 - Biomedical Device Innovation (3 credits)

  • Select from BME offerings described in BME curricular notes (6 credits)

Engineering Elective (3 credits)
  • BME 490 Special Topics in BME Design (3 credits)

Other technical electives (6 credits)
  • Completion of SoM 1 Basic Sciences fulfills this requirement

Internship, Project or Equivalent (zero credits)
  • MENG 550 Internship or Applied Research Project

  • MENG 551 Internship/Project Assessment

  • Note: students perform internship as described in this proposal

BME seminar (zero credits)
  • EGRMGMT 501 Engineering Management Seminar

Application Requirements and Process

The applicant must be in good standing with the School of Medicine. Applications should be submitted using an application to the Master of Engineering program. MD/MEng students should indicate on their application that they will be pursuing MEng as a concurrent degree.

Although the application deadline is June 1, students interested in this program should apply by March 15, the second round deadline, in the second year of the MD program.

See the links below for more information.

Review Process

The student must inform the Third Year Study Program Director in the School of Medicine, the Director of Masters Studies in the appropriate MEng major, and the Pratt Professional Masters Admissions Office so that the application and dual degree plan can be reviewed and approved separately from the Pratt School general admissions review.


Students will pay Master of Engineering tuition for one year (two semesters) after the MS2 year and School of Medicine tuition for four years (SoM 1, SoM 2, SoM 3 [year 4], and SoM 4[year 5]). The typical MEng degree is 3 semesters and so obtaining a concurrent degree saves students the equivalent of one semester of tuition compared to obtaining both degrees separately.

Granting of Degree

Because this is a concurrent degree and Medical School courses are being used to fulfill MEng degree requirements, the MEng degree will be granted simultaneous to the granting of the MD degree, typically at the end of the 5th year. If a MD/MEng student leaves the MD program before completing both degrees, a case-by-case analysis may be performed to determine if the MEng degree may be granted independently or if additional coursework is required to independently fulfill the MEng degree requirements. Since no accommodation has been made to the MD requirements, students withdrawing from the MEng degree will not impact MD degree requirements. 

Duke Graduate and Professional Students in Other Departments

Duke graduate and professional students who are not enrolled in the MEng Program may register for the two MEng core courses on a space-available basis and with permission of the instructor. Instructors will require students to have sufficient background for the course as needed AND may also limit outside enrollment for any pedagogical reason.

Non-MEng students should complete the following steps to get into the course:

  • Complete the Non-MEng Registration form
  • On the form, obtain permission from the instructor and from their home department either in e-mail or with a signature
  • Return the form to the Academic Coordinator at 3120 Fitzpatrick (CIEMAS)

Please note:

  • The MEng Office does not process forms until all MEng students have a chance to enroll, so you may not officially be added to the class until the end of the first week of classes.
  • Non-MEng students will not be added to wait lists but are added to classes in the order in which they completed their form.
  • Generally no more than 5 non-MEng students will be allowed to enroll in a course at any given time.
  • Students who enroll in MEng courses as non-MEng students may not utilize these courses for an MEng degree.
  • The deadline to submit this form is the last day of drop/add, usually two weeks after the start of the semester.

If you have questions, contact our office.