"Durham offers big city activities without the big city hassle. It's the best of both worlds - you can be outdoors hiking in nature and then have dinner at a terrific restaurant. The residents here love their city, and our students often don't want to leave."
—Pope "Mac" McCorkle, Director of Graduate Studies, Master of Public Policy
Located near the center of the North Carolina, Duke University's campus spans nearly 9,000 acres. The university offers many activities for all types of interests, from professional theater, music and film festivals to exciting intramural and NCAA athletic events. Students take advantage of many outstanding on-campus facilities, including:
- Sarah P. Duke Gardens, the perfect place for a picnic or stroll
- Wilson Center, the popular recreation facility complete with a rock climbing wall
- Bryan Center, home to the Student Union, Gothic Bookstore and all types of student organizations
- Al Buehler Cross Country Trail, a forested loop just right for a challenging run or walk with friends
Duke's hometown is Durham, a city with vibrant research, medical and arts communities. Durham, along with nearby cities Raleigh and Chapel Hill, form the Research Triangle — a growing metropolitan area of more than a million people.
Hear from graduate students in this video about life in Durham.
Nearby schools, such as the UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, increase research collaboration and social options. North Carolina's mild weather allows for outside fun year round. The mountains and beaches are just a few hours away from Durham by car.
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When students and faculty need to relax, they often stroll through the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. With many paths to explore, the gardens offer arrays of flowers and trees, a Japanese inspired teahouse, a bamboo forest, a pond with lily pads and koi fish, a giant outdoor field and other spots to enjoy.
No longer a secret, Durham has gained national attention for its many offerings and great value:
- 10 Best Places to Live, US News & World Report
- "America's Foodiest Small Town" Bon Appétit Magazine
- Best Places for Businesses and Careers Forbes.com
The city continues to flourish and attract new businesses that the Duke community enjoys, as seen in this recent article, A Corner of Durham Comes to Life, in The New York Times.
Read the Buzzfeed article 34 Amazing Things That Will Make You Fall in Love with Durham, NC.
Close Ties to Washington
Ideal for policy students, our location allows for easy travel to Washington, D.C., and other major East Coast cities. The Sanford School has special relationships with D.C.-based alumni and employers who provide valuable internship and job search connections. Policymakers, politicians and other dignitaries regularly visit our campus to offer lectures and insight to our students. Recent visitors to Sanford have included leaders such as:
- Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator
- Jon Hunstman Jr., former governor of Utah and GOP presidential candidate
- Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund
- Thomas Friedman, NY Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author
Combined with the many public events at Duke's top ranked business and law schools, Sanford students have many opportunities to learn from those individuals who are shaping the future.
See the beauty of our campus and gain a sense of student life on the Duke University Pinterest Boards. We encourage you to visit our campus in person for a great Southern experience you won't forget.