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Master of Engineering (MEng) in Risk Engineering

Use big data and models to assess risk and guide decisions

Mitigating losses and human impacts to a range of extreme events, including financial, public health, environmental, and climatalogical crises is far more cost-effective than paying for recovery, remediation, and reconstruction.

Duke's Master of Engineering (MEng) in Risk Engineering emphasizes a systems approach and the use of statistical decision theory to assess the potential for extreme events, and the costs and benefits of their consequences.

Mark Borsuk

“We’re seeing events that we could have never previously predicted. Society needs to create systems that are robust in case things don’t turn out exactly as we expect.”

Mark Borsuk |Co-director, Duke Risk Engineering Program

Career Areas

Graduates from this program will be prepared to work in:

  • Risk assessment
  • Engineering and business consulting
  • Insurance
  • Financial engineering
  • Infrastructure analysis, and more

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We offer significant support for competitive applicants—typical scholarships range from


Concentration Areas

Our students explore concentration areas including:

  • Energy and Climate Systems
  • Environment and Population Health
  • Financial Risk
  • Materials and Structures

Degree requirements

  • 30 course credits
  • 1 Seminar
  • Internship Opportunity

How to Apply

Application deadlines:

Apply Now

Who Should Consider Applying?

  • Practicing engineers and scientists with backgrounds in civil, environmental, or another branch of engineering who wish to earn a master’s degree providing them with expertise in risk analysis, added competence in an engineering specialty, proficiency in risk policy, economics, or law, and advanced leadership and management skills
  • Duke undergraduates who wish to participate in a 4+1: BSE+Master’s program that builds on, and complements, their undergraduate education
  • Other recent undergraduates in engineering (or a related mathematical or physical sciences, with appropriate catch-up courses) who wish to obtain a non-thesis master’s degree in preparation for professional work or as a first step towards subsequent graduate study.

How A Master's in Risk Engineering Will Differentiate You in Your Career

  • Engineering positions in model-based risk assessment increasingly require masters-level training.
  • Analysis and management of risks in the modern world requires knowledge of the economic, policy, and societal context, in addition to the technical and mathematical foundations.
  • Expertise in probabilistic modeling, data analysis, risk assessment, and decision-making under uncertainty is critically important to a broad range of academic, industrial, and governmental career paths.
  • Graduates from this program will be prepared to work in a wide variety of sectors including risk assessment, engineering and business consulting, insurance and re-insurance industry, financial engineering, and infrastructure analysis, among others.
  • Students completing the program will be well-prepared to continue to doctoral programs in systems engineering, financial engineering, operations research, or infrastructure engineering.


Learn from World Leaders in the Field

Our faculty brings experience and expertise from engineering and data science. Leaders of the Master of Engineering in Risk Engineering are:

Mark Borsuk

Mark Borsuk

Research interests include mathematical models for integrating scientific information on natural, technical, and social systems; Bayesian network modeling with application to environmental and human health regulation and decision-making; and novel approaches to climate change assessment.

Henri Gavin

Henri Gavin

Research interests include structural dynamics, earthquake engineering, seismic hazard mitigation for building contents, nonlinear dynamics, system identification, optimal control with application to systems with controllable damping.

Johann Guilleminot

Johann Guilleminot

Research focuses on uncertainty quantification, computational mechanics and materials science, as well as on topics at the interface between these fields.


Program Details

The Master of Engineering in Risk Engineering is a 30-credit degree distributed as:

  • Core Industry Preparation Courses (6 credits)
  • Core Engineering Courses (6 credits)
  • Methodological Requirements (9 credits)
  • Technical Electives in a Concentration Area (9 credits)
  • Internship, Project or Equivalent (0 credits)
Curriculum and Requirements

I. Course Requirements in Business Fundamentals, Leadership and Management (6 credits; 2 courses)

  • MENG 540: Management of High Tech Industries (3 credits)
  • MENG 570: Business Fundamentals for Engineers (3 credits)

II. Core Course Requirements in Uncertainty, Risk, and Systems Engineering (6 credits; 2 courses)

  • CEE 690: Risk and Resilience Engineering (3 credits)
  • EGRMGMT 580: Decision Models

III. Methodological Requirements (9 credits; 3 courses, each from a different area of:)

Mathematical Modeling and Optimization
  • CEE 690: Numerical Optimization
  • PHYS 513: Nonlinear Dynamics
  • MATH 551: Applied Partial Differential Equations and Complex Variables
  • MATH 555: Ordinary Differential Equations
  • MATH 561: Numerical Linear Algebra, Optimization and Monte Carlo Simulation
  • MATH 577: Mathematical Modeling
  • Or another Engineering, Math, or Physics course at the 500 level or above with significant mathematical modeling or optimization content (approval required)
  • CEE 644: Inverse Problems in Geosciences and Engineering
  • CEE 690: Uncertainty Quantification
  • ECE 555: Probability for Electrical and Computer Engineers
  • ECE 581: Random Signals and Noise
  • ECE 585: Signal Detection and Extraction Theory
  • COMPSCI 571: Machine Learning
  • COMPSCI 579: Statistical Data Mining
  • MATH 541: Applied Stochastic Processes
  • STA 502: Bayesian Inference & Decision
  • STA 601: Bayesian and Modern Statistics
  • STA 611: Introduction to Modern Statistics
  • STA 623: Statistical Decision Theory
  • Or another Engineering, Math, Statistics, or Computer Science course at the 500 level or above with significant uncertainty analysis, probability, statistics, or data science content (approval required)
Valuation, Assessment, and Decision Making
  • CEE 679: Environmental Engineering Project Management
  • ENERGY 590: Applied Energy Economics
  • ECON 753: Natural Resource Economics
  • ENVIRON 520/521: Resource and Environmental Economics
  • ENVIRON 638: Environmental Life Cycle Analysis & Decision
  • ENVIRON 717: Markets for Electric Power
  • ENVIRON 640: Climate Change Economics
  • Or another Engineering, Economics, or Environment course at the 500 level or above with significant economic, evaluation, or decision content (approval required)
Policy Analysis
  • PUBPOL 504: Counterterrorism Law and Policy
  • PUBPOL 505S: National Security Decision-Making
  • PUBPOL 580S: Water Cooperation and Conflict
  • PUBPOL 582: Global Environmental Health: Economics and Policy
  • PUBPOL 583S: Energy and U.S. National Security
  • PUBPOL 585: Climate Change Economics and Policy
  • PUBPOL 607: Cost-Benefit Analysis for Health and Environmental Policy
  • LAW 590: Risk Regulation
  • Or another Engineering, Public Policy, or Law course at the 500 level or above with significant policy or law content (approval required)

IV. Concentration Area Requirements (9 credits; 3 courses)

Environment and Population Health
  • CEE 560: Environmental Transport Phenomena
  • CEE 561: Environmental Aquatic Chemistry
  • CEE 563: Fate and Behavior of Organic Contaminants
  • CEE 571: Control of Hazardous and Toxic Waste
  • CEE 581: Pollutant Transport Systems
  • CEE 667: Chemical Transformations of Environmental Contaminants
  • CEE 683: Groundwater Hydrology and Contaminant Transport
  • CEE 684: Physical Hydrology and Hydrometeorology
  • ENVIRON 539: Human Health & Ecological Risk Assessment
  • ENVIRON 563: Cost-Benefit Analysis for Health and Environmental Policy
Materials and Structures
  • CEE 525. Wave Propagation in Elastic and Poroelastic Media
  • CEE 621. Plasticity
  • CEE 642. Environmental Geomechanics
  • CEE 520. Continuum Mechanics
  • ME 527. Buckling of Engineering Structures
  • ME 555. Computational Materials Science
  • ME 742. Nonlinear Mechanical Vibration
  • BME 590. Viscoelastic Biomechanics
Energy and Climate Systems
  • CEE 575: Air Pollution Control Engineering
  • ENERGY 716: Modeling for Energy Systems
  • ENERGY 711: Energy and the Environment
  • ENERGY 630: Transportation and Energy
  • ENERGY 631: Energy Technology and Impact on the Environment
  • ENERGY 635: Energy Economics and Policy
  • EOS 512: Climate Change and Climate Modeling
Financial Risk
  • Two courses from the Duke FinTech Technology Track
  • One course from among the following:
    • ECON 571: Financial Markets and Investments
    • ECON 572: Asset Pricing & Risk Management
    • ECON 623: Forecasting Financial Markets
    • ECON 671: Financial Markets and Investments
    • ECON 672: Empirical Methods in High-Frequency Financial Econometrics
    • ECON 673: Mathematical Finance
    • ECON 674: Financial Derivatives
    • ECON 678: Derivatives for Speculation and Risk Management
    • ECON 823: Forecasting Financial Markets
  • Or another Engineering, Financial Technology, or Economics course at the 500 level or above with significant quantitative finance content (approval required).

V. An internship, applied research experience or project (0 credits)

  • MENG 550: Internship or Applied Research Project
  • MENG 551: Internship/Project Assessment

Sample Curriculum: MEng in Risk Engineering

(This table does not reflect choice of specialization.)

 Fall Year 1Spring Year 1Summer Year 1Fall Year 2
Core Industry Preparation CoursesMENG 570: Business Fundamentals for EngineersMENG 540: Leadership & Management Principles for Technology-Based OrganizationsMENG 550: Internship or Applied Research ProjectMENG 551: Internship/Project Assessment
Core RequirementsEGRMGMT 580: Decision ModelsCEE 690: Risk and Resilience Engineering  
Departmental RequirementsMethodological RequirementsMethodological Requirements Methodological Requirements
Departmental RequirementsApplication Area RequirementsApplication Area Requirements Application Area Requirements

More Information

Admissions Profile

The Duke Master of Engineering (MEng) program does not require a minimum GPA or a minimum score on the GRE or TOEFL. The program does not require work experience. Average GRE, TOEFL and grade-point averages of recently admitted Duke MEng applicants were*:

  • GRE Quantitative: 163-169
  • GRE Verbal: 152-161
  • UGPA: 3.4-3.7

* Mid-50% range

Scholarships and Cost of Attendance

We offer significant support for competitive applicants – typical scholarships range from $20,000-$30,000.

For details on the cost of attendance before scholarships, go to the Duke Engineering MEng website.

Financial Aid and Fellowships

For costs after scholarships, many students take out loans and believe there will be an excellent return on investment when they get out into the work force.

Limited additional financial aid is available to highly qualified candidates through academic scholarships with an emphasis on increasing diversity within the program.

Diversity Scholarships

Underrepresented minorities may receive up to 50 percent per year in tuition scholarship through our Diversity Scholarships. 

Externally Funded Scholarships

We also offer support to recipients of select competitively externally funded scholarships, such as

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowships
  • Fulbright Scholar Program

DoD SMART Scholarship Program

For US Citizens only – The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program has been established by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The program aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DoD laboratories.  Read more

Veteran's Benefits

Duke University offers information for veterans who are applying for VA benefits, including the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Federal Loan Programs

Duke University offers the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs for graduate students, including Stafford unsubsidized loans, Graduate PLUS, and Carl Perkins loans. Each of these loans has different terms and conditions, but they are generally deferrable until after graduation or until the student is enrolled for less than half-time.

These federal loans are available only to United States citizens. Visit the Duke Financial Aid website for more information and application procedures for student loans.

On-Campus Work

While enrolled in the program, many students work in a variety of places, such as campus libraries and various departments within Duke University. Teaching assistantships are available in various departments, and some departments have research assistantships as well.

These positions are paid an hourly rate, and most students work between 10 to 20 hours per week. Positions are generally posted and filled just a week or two before classes begin each semester.

External Funding Opportunities

Browse our extensive list of potential external funding opportunities.

Career Services

We provide outstanding career support to our master's students.

As a Duke master's student, you can take advantage of our comprehensive and aggressive career development and job search program. You will receive advice from our Master's Assistant Directors of Career Services who work with the Duke Career Center to coordinate various activities throughout the year.

Our career services include:

  • On-campus recruiting
  • Individual and group career coaching
  • Special networking events such as Career Fairs, Tech Connect, Night with Industry and Alumni Networking Event
  • Resume and cover letter development, interviewing tips, and social media advice