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.
- Full-time professors teach all core courses, 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.
"Profoundly Passionate Individuals"
After the Sanford Open House that I knew I had to go to Duke. I knew that the Sanford School was going to be the place where I could be surrounded by profoundly passionate and inspiring individuals who were trying – and continue to try still – to make a difference for the better in this world. I am tremendously blessed and fortunate to have walked alongside these amazing people (my classmates) for two years, these strangers who are now my closest friends. I know that my life at Sanford was a formative time, and that it was not an easy time, but I'm grateful it happened. - Anna Alcaro MPP'17
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.
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Margolis Scholars in Health Policy
The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and the Sanford School of Public Policy invite highly qualified Master of Public Policy applicants who have demonstrated strong interest in health policy or have experience in the health field to apply to be Margolis Scholars. Margolis Scholars receive full tuition stipends and paid summer internships that provide hands-on experience in health policy and management. Scholars are also linked with the world-class experts and leading-edge research of Duke-Margolis on the Duke University campus and in Washington, DC. Learn more.
Live in a Terrific Location
- 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. Explore Durham by taking a virtual tour.
In the following video about life in Durham, two successful MPP alums offer their perspectives on our thriving town.
“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
Inside Sanford's Graduate Programs
Under an agreement with AmeriCorps, City Year, Peace Corps, Teach for America, and Yellow Ribbon programs, students who are accepted into the Duke MPP Program are guaranteed a tuition fellowship.