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Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to provide the requisite knowledge, tools, and experiences to devise policy solutions to complex environmental problems. The core courses ensure that students have the perspectives from economics, politics, public policy and law, when they analyze environmental policy problems. The elective courses and tools provide students the knowledge and skills in a specific field they want to dive deeper. The Master’s Project gives students a testbed to apply what they have learned into a real-world environmental policy challenge, thus accumulating practical case experiences.

Specifically, the first-year structure of curriculum includes economics, statistics, and policy analysis, followed by a spring semester policy practicum. In the second year, students will have an opportunity to spend one semester in Durham. This allows them to benefit from the larger number of electives available on the Durham campus. They are required to take environmental science, law, and a master’s project.

The overall curriculum emphasizes on policy and the social sciences, and it draws more heavily on the Chinese experience and other comparative cases in Asia.

The curriculum consists of 16 classes (48 course hours) spread out over 2 years. Students will be required to take 7 core classes (21 course hours of credit) so as to ensure quality and consistency in the degree. They will also be required to enroll in a full year of the Masters Project class (MP, 6 course hours). Unlike the traditional master programs in China, the iMEP program does not offer a thesis option

but a capstone project. There will be flexibility with the 7 elective classes (21 course hours) so as to allow students to pursue particular environmental policy and resource issues as well as enhancing their methodological skills. Finally, they will be required to complete a summer internship in China, ideally connected to their MP.

The curriculum will include (expected 2-year schedule):

The program includes a statistics and economics prerequisite; students will be evaluated prior to enrollment to ensure that they have the appropriate statistical skills and background in principles of economics. 

Students who would like to improve their language skills could benefit from the courses offered by the Language and Culture Center at Duke Kunshan University. For students who need additional support in writing or oral communication, the program strongly suggests they enroll in the English-language classes. Students who are interested in learning Chinese can choose to enroll in Chinese-language class.