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Master of Public Policy

At Duke University, interdisciplinary problem solving is highly valued. And at the Sanford School, the extraordinary resources of this world-class institution converge.

Our two-year, professional Master of Public Policy (MPP) program offers students outstanding preparation for dynamic careers as analysts, leaders and managers at various levels of government, nonprofits and corporations – both domestically and internationally.

Sanford alums are changing the world. Holding influential positions in many countries, our graduates are addressing the most pressing issues faced around the globe. They share a spirit of optimism and a confidence that allows them to be creative, think big, and solve problems.

Benefit from a Close Community

  • Our class sizes are small. With 60-65 students enrolling each year, you will know everyone and be known.
  • Sanford offers individualized career counseling. Typically, 75 percent of graduates are employed within three months of beginning their job search and 95 percent within one year.
  • Professors are accessible and provide one-on-one mentoring. Our faculty enjoys interacting with students and sharing their policy experience. 
  • Classmates often become friends for life. The Sanford School emphasizes collaboration over competition. 
  • Graduates join an active network of alumni who hold leadership positions around the globe.

"I chose Duke based on my Open House experience. It was truly because of the people – the folks who sat by my side during the presentations who became my classmates and friends, the professors and staff I met who became my mentors, and the second year students who gave us tours who then became my TAs and career network. The people at Duke made me feel like I was not just joining a school, but a community of passionate public servants invested in making a difference in the world."—Megha Bansal MPP'12

Gain Practical Policy Experience

  • Students get hands-on, practical experiences starting in their first year of study.
  • Projects are carefully constructed to build skills over time and give you real-world experience.
  • Opportunities abound to make an immediate impact through Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators, the Sanford Board Leadership Initiative, the Sanford Journal, and more.
  • Internships are required. About half our students go to Washington, D.C., and the rest go around the globe to make valuable career connections and see how policy works in action. 
  • Faculty members share with you what they have learned through years of professional policy experience.

Learn more about the practical experience you gain through Sanford's MPP program.

Live in a Terrific Location

In the following video about life in Durham, two successful MPP alums offer their perspectives on our thriving town.

  • Durham, N.C. is a short flight from major East Coast cities.
  • Students here enjoy a low cost of living and high quality of life.
  • North Carolina offers nice weather year round, as well as beaches and mountains.
  • The Triangle Region has diverse people from around the world and flourishing entrepreneurial, research and creative sectors.
  • Duke and Durham offer a wide range of cultural experiences such as the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Durham Performing Arts Center, the Durham Bulls Baseball Club, Duke Athletics and more.
  • Local non-profits welcome Duke students to volunteer and make a positive impact in the community.

After experiencing the welcoming people and beautiful scenery of North Carolina, some of our students never want to leave. Learn why Durham has been named one of the best places to live in the U.S.

“Not only is a Durham a great place to live, it’s like a policy laboratory. It’s full of creative, energetic people working to build and network all kinds of communities. Downtown is alive with rock clubs, film screenings and a central park.”—Fiona Morgan MPP’11

Learn more about the MPP curriculum and dual degree options.