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Early Career Program and 4+1 Program for Duke Students

Early Career Program

Recent graduates of a Duke University bachelor’s degree program can apply for the Early Career Program up to five years after graduation.

Students enrolled in the Early Career Program will follow the standard application deadlines. Admission must be approved by the department/program in which the master’s degree is sought and by the Pratt School of Engineering. Applicants are not required to take the GRE and are not charged an application fee.

Recent graduates who have unused graduate-level (at the 500 level or above) elective credits as part of their undergraduate degree can transfer up to 4 courses.

4+1 Program for Duke Students

Advanced Duke undergraduates may participate in a 4+1 Program where both a bachelor’s degree and a MEM/MEng degree may be completed in about five years. In the 4+1 Program, students may typically apply up to four graduate courses (at the 500 level or above) that were taken during their undergraduate career but not used to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements toward master's degree requirements.

Additional academic policies for Duke undergraduates in the 4+1 Program can be found at prattprofessional.bulletins.duke.edu/policies/academic/early-programs.

To be considered for the 4+1 program, undergraduates may apply for a MEM/MEng admission decision during the standard admission cycle for entrance. Applicants are not required to take the GRE and are not charged an application fee. Students should plan to apply in the semester before admission:

  • apply in the spring of junior year for admission in the fall semester of senior year; or

  • apply in the fall of senior year for admission in the spring semester senior year.

Admission decisions will be made and communicated to the student following the published admissions decision calendar. Although an admission decision may be made before or during the student’s senior year, matriculation into the MEM/MEng Program will generally not occur until the undergraduate degree has been earned. Matriculation will occur in Summer Session 1 after the spring semester of the senior year unless a student opts for the 4+1 deferred enrollment option. Therefore, students will pay undergraduate tuition for the first four years of study and will pay Pratt tuition for the fifth year of study. The 4+1 deferred enrollment option allows a student to defer enrollment for up to 3 years.

MEM and MEng courses are not typically available to undergraduates. Undergraduate 4+1 students work with the student records coordinator to register for courses. Not all graduate-level courses are available to undergraduates, and registration will only be provided for approved courses. If a 4+1 student desires to take graduate-level elective classes that are not available to undergraduates, they should plan to take these courses in the fifth year of study.

The following rules apply when transferring graduate courses taken as an undergraduate:

  • a maximum of four graduate-level courses may be transferred to the MEM/MEng degree

  • transferred courses may not have been used to fulfill any undergraduate degree requirements

  • transferred courses must fulfill MEM/MEng degree requirements in the major of interest

  • a grade of B or better must have been earned in the course

  • grades earned are not used to calculate the MEM/MEng GPA

To transfer course credit, students must complete the Pratt Credit Transfer Form and obtain approval from their undergraduate dean and the program director of the master's program.

For 4+1 students in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, additional undergraduate courses may be required as prerequisites in addition to master's program requirements. It is suggested that 4+1 students discuss their program of study with the program director to understand the expectations in earning the degree. Depending on the extent of the prerequisite courses required, it may not be possible to complete the master's degree in only one additional year.