|This is a long but important email that contains important information about your Duke master’s program. Please read it in its entirety. Thank you!
Dear MEM Students,
We hope this finds you healthy and well. We at Duke Engineering are preparing diligently for you to begin your master’s degree program, and we are incredibly excited to welcome you to the Duke Engineering family in August!
This is truly an unprecedented time, and many of you are facing challenges and uncertainties, whether because of your individual visa situation, potential travel restrictions, health concerns, or otherwise. We want you to know that we here at Duke Engineering are doing everything we can to make your experience at Duke as safe, academically fulfilling, and enjoyable as possible.
On June 30, Duke President Vincent Price sent a message to all Duke students with important information about fall plans. If you have not yet read the latest message in its entirety, please do so now—you can find this and previous updates on Duke’s coronavirus response website.
Adding to that information, we are writing to provide more details on what you can expect as you transition to campus as a Duke Engineering master’s student.
Academic Calendar and Registration
The Duke Engineering Master’s Program will follow the Duke Undergraduate Calendar. Classes will begin on August 17, and final exams will conclude before Thanksgiving (Tuesday, November 24). There will be no fall break.
The Duke Registrar is currently in the process of creating a new class schedule that incorporates considerations of physical distancing, health standards, and remote learning. As President Price noted, courses will be offered in multiple formats, and Duke Engineering is ensuring that we have a range and wealth of learning opportunities available to our students, whether you are able to join us on campus or will be engaging in classes remotely.
The full class schedule will be available on July 27, at which time you will be able to select and “bookbag” your courses. Class registration will take place August 3-12, in advance of classes beginning August 17.
MEM Innovations and Flexible Class Options
Duke Engineering has been working diligently to ensure that all students, whether remote or on campus, have the opportunity to engage in a world-class educational experience that prepares you to achieve your career aspirations. We have taken on this challenge as an opportunity to innovate, investing in new technology and training to be able to deliver course content in multiple ways to meet the varied needs of our global student population.
We in the MEM Program are uniquely positioned to provide excellent learning opportunities in these unique times, having delivered online education for over 10 years. Our faculty are skilled at being able to teach both in person and with remote learners.
We are planning to offer our full array of class offerings, including 19 unique EGRMGMT course offerings for Fall 2020. All courses will be available online if that is your preferred delivery method. This number is consistent with what we have historically offered.
· 9 courses will be online only
The delivery approach in these courses will vary by faculty member; they will often include pre- recorded content with synchronous class discussions on Zoom.
· 10 courses will be offered both in-person and online
This delivery approach permits both synchronous and asynchronous (lecture capture) learning supplemented with discussion boards and/or discussion sections.
Summer Career-Building Opportunities
In addition to our comprehensive course offerings, we are excited to share that Duke Engineering’s Summer Industry Projects Program (SIPP), which was initiated in Summer 2020, will be available to MEM students again in Summer 2021. This program allows students to engage in a meaningful industry-defined project while fulfilling their MEM internship requirement (if applicable) and gaining valuable career-building experience. Some of these projects are paid. This is a good alternative if an international student is not eligible for CPT or if internships are difficult to secure in Summer 2021.
Career Services and Professional Development Support
We know that the ability to pursue exciting career options is a big part of your decision to come to Duke Engineering, and we will continue to do everything we can to support your career goals.
The Career Services and Professional Development (CSPD) team will continue providing a full range of student coaching and support services, all of which will be available virtually in Fall 2020. These offerings include our regular career coaching appointments; events with industry employers including TechConnect and the Duke Career Fair, among others; and new opportunities to engage in Virtual Career Treks, which will allow students to “visit” employers virtually and learn about exciting companies and roles.
New Cohort-Based Course and Communications Support
Responding to the needs of our diverse global student population, we have created a new cohort-based course designed to meet the needs of all incoming master’s students. This class is designed to build community within your department or program, provide connections to resources and support, and provide English language support to students who may need it. This class will be led by our Graduate Communications and Intercultural Programs (GCIP) team, with active engagement from our Student Engagement and Support and Career Services and Professional Development teams. We are excited about bringing this innovative experience to our students, and in partnership with your home department, we strongly encourage you to actively participate and benefit from this unique opportunity.
In addition to the cohort meetings, GCIP will also continue to offer its full suite of communications supports in a virtual environment, including individual appointments, workshops, and weekly informal SnackChat conversations with fellow students and staff.
If you will be engaging in classes as a remote learner this fall, Duke University Learning Innovation offers a wealth of resources to help you be as effective as possible at keeplearning.duke.edu. Duke Engineering also has a dedicated Director of Online and Distance Education, who is working with our Pratt Information Technology team on engineering-specific resources and support for remote learning.
Community Health and Safety
Your health, wellness, and safety are of utmost importance to us. We need to all work together to do what is necessary to keep our community strong and healthy.
As noted in President Price’s June 30 message, “All members of the Duke community who come to campus—faculty, students, staff, and visitors—will be required to complete daily symptom monitoring, wear face coverings in classroom and public settings, and practice physical distancing.” COVID-19 follow-up, including testing, will be required for any members of the Duke community who are symptomatic or deemed at risk due to contact tracing.
In addition, all students living in the Durham area are expected to stay in the Durham area throughout the fall semester until finals conclude in late November, in accordance with current public health recommendations.
All students will also be required to complete and abide by the Duke Compact, “a statement of mutual commitment to community health and behavioral standards that every student, faculty, and staff member will be required to agree to before the start of the semester.” Our community at Duke is strong and resilient, and this will allow us to come back together safely. Updates and more information will be available throughout the summer at returnto.duke.edu.
For those of you joining us for courses on campus, Duke Parking and Transportation is working to ensure students have a range of options for transportation to, from and around campus to accommodate the range of class and lab schedules that will be followed.
Preparing for Your Arrival
We know that many of you are facing unknowns and challenges associated with securing your visa. Please find the latest information and updates from Duke Visa Services at visaservices.duke.edu.
Orientation programming for incoming students will begin in early August, with Pratt School of Engineering-specific programming taking place the week of August 10.
In addition to the Orientation itself, you have been and will continue to receive valuable information through our weekly onboarding emails. Please watch your Duke inbox for new messages each Monday morning, and be sure to view all of the short videos and review any additional materials as these messages arrive. We’re doing everything we can to help you transition to Duke Engineering successfully, and these ongoing messages are an important step!
Again, we are incredibly excited to have you join the Duke Engineering community, and we are here to support you! If you have any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brad Fox, PhD
Executive Director of the Master of Engineering Management Program
Associate Dean of Master’s Programs
Duke University Pratt School of Engineering
Deb Wojcik, PhD
Managing Director of Graduate Student Programs and Services
Duke University Pratt School of Engineering