Analysis + Action

We pursue innovative policy solutions to create positive change

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Terry Sanford

The Sanford School of Public Policy is among the nation’s leading public policy schools, and offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral-level degrees in public policy and international development policy.

Launched in 1971 as the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs by Terry Sanford—President of Duke, former Governor of North Carolina, and later a U.S. Senator —it is one of the oldest and largest public policy programs in the nation. It became Duke’s newest school in 2009. Judith Kelley, an expert on international relations, including issues such as human trafficking and election monitoring, became the school’s dean on July 1, 2018; she is the first woman to hold that role.  

The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University is a community of excellence committed to producing knowledge and leadership to truly transform policy challenges.

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100+ Faculty

Our faculty research pressing public policy issues and prepare students for lives of leadership, civic engagement and public service.

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8,000+ Alumni

Our alumni are part of an extensive Duke alumni network, making an impact worldwide.

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1,000+ Students

Our students pursue the Sanford approach of care and service, with rigor and analysis. They learn from the world’s best faculty, from one another and through internships.

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Our mission

To improve lives and communities by researching the most pressing public policy issues and preparing students for lives of leadership, civic engagement and public service.

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Our purpose

To produce knowledge and leadership for the next generation of policy challenges.