Student Reflections

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Visit

Student Reflections

Meeting Writer Isabel Wilkerson

New Alumni Perspective

Why Public Policy Matters

Programs We Offer

The Sanford School of Public Policy is a vibrant, dynamic community of thinkers and doers who are dedicated to leaving the world a better place.

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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.

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The Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) is a flexible interdisciplinary degree program focused on early to mid-career professionals who will dedicate their careers to policymaking and public service in developing countries. The program is run by the renowned Duke Sanford Center for International Development.

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The four-semester, 16-course international Master of Environmental Policy (iMEP) is an international program that is designed to meet the growing global need for leaders who are versed in both Chinese and international environmental issues and policies. It is based at Duke Kunshan (China). Many students spend a semester at Duke's campus in Durham, NC and take classes at the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Sanford School of Public Policy.

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The Master of National Security Policy program is a one-year program for those working in national security – government, military, defense or consulting  – to help advance your career and skills. Achieve your ambitions in just one year while continuing to work. The program is for those currently working in national security who have at least seven years of work experience.

More information about the Master of National Security Policy program.

The Duke MPA will prepare you for leadership positions within an organization. It can also help mid-career professionals in other fields transition into a rewarding career in public affairs.

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The PhD in Public Policy at Duke University enables students to collaborate with Duke’s top-rated faculty in public policy and with Duke’s departments of economics, political science and sociology. Most students pursue research with the goal of working in domestic and international public agencies, research organizations and policy consulting firms. Others seek academic positions in public policy, public administration and policy-oriented schools. 

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Executive education programs are for mid-career and senior-level professionals to enhance their skills on timely topics related to behavioral economics, cybersecurity leadership, corporate social responsibility and more. Open enrollment and custom programs for organizations are available.

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Distinguished Lectures

Key Themes


The Sanford School offers 7 key themes as options for academic focus.

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Sanford has numerous centers and initiatives. Students can join research projects, attend special events and more.

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MPP Student Story

When asked where he came from, where he’s going next, and why he is getting a master’s degree in public policy, the answer is always, resoundingly, “San Francisco.” After graduation, Jordan Wilson is headed back to the Golden City and will be working in the mayor's office, actually implementing his master’s project, which aims to advance career technical education in public schools.

Explore more 2024 student stories