Internships & Career Planning

Relationships with Faculty

Congratulations on deciding to pursue an internship. There's no better time to try on different career options than now! As part of presenting yourself to a possible employer, you will need recommendations from faculty members at Duke. Take the opportunity while you're here at Duke to foster relationships with specific faculty members. This may involve going to office hours-whether you need to or not, or having FLUNCH with the faculty member and some friends.

Due to the smaller sizes of the CE courses many of these relationships will happen naturally. However, do try to capitalize on this opportunity as much as possible. The results can be invaluable.


Internships are powerful opportunities for students. They allow students to gain experience and perspective on how the real world works. This insight makes students more competitive during job interviews.

Pratt offers various internship programs: 

  • Paid internships
  • Unpaid internships
  • Guided mentorships
  • Federal job application assistance

To learn more about these programs, view the Pratt Internship website

Katie Smith
Assistant Director, Counseling and Programs for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Duke Career Services

Joseph Nadeau, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate Professor of the Practice
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Kirsten Shaw
Assistant Director of Corporate and Industry Relations
Pratt School of Engineering

Professional Societies

Active engagement in local chapters of professional organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) indicate to potential employers a dedication to your major, a desire to enhance your expertise, and an interest in developing professional relationships. Besides, they're fun! 

FE Exam

The Fundamentals Exam (FE) (formerly known as the EIT) is the first step toward earning licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE).  Although the FE is not required for graduation you are highly encouraged to take it regardless of your intended career path because intentions change and the exam is more onerous to prepare for the greater the time separation between taking the exam and graduation. Plan on taking this exam in either October or April of your senior year.

The FE exam is the same for all states and is valid in all states. The PE exam, however, is state specific and generally cannot be taken until 48 months of practical experience under the direct supervision of a PE has been accumulated.

Application for taking exam within North Carolina: Follow the link under "Student Application" for Application for Certification as an Engineer-Intern. 

IMPORTANT items required as part of the application: a photo, payment (approximately $140), three (3) faculty/engineer references (signatures and addresses only), and the application needs to be notarized. In other words, plan accordingly when preparing your application--do not wait until the last minute.

When should I take the exam? 

The exam is offered only twice a year, October and April, and cannot be taken any earlier than senior year. The October exam generally has an August 1st application deadline and is given at NC State in Raleigh. The April exam has an application deadline within Duke in late January and is given at Duke. There is a review session offered at Duke in the Spring that meets once a week in the evenings for eight (8) weeks. Topics covered are general information and strength of materials, fluid mechanics, materials science, electricity, chemistry, thermodynamics, dynamics, and engineering economics. These review sessions at Duke are only offered in the Spring.

There are advantages to taking the exam in April:

  • Exam given at Duke, therefore minimal travelling on the day of the exam
  • Review session offered in the Spring in advance of the April exam date
  • You have six more months of coursework related to the exam under your belt

Some students find that the timing of the April exam adds to an already busy time and, for this reason, October may be preferred.