2021-2022 was an exciting year for our professional programs, ranging from our new executive Master of National Security Policy, to our mid-career Master of International Development Policy, to our top-ranked Master of Public Policy, and also our growing Executive Education programs. 

Research & Expertise | Professional Programs | Undergraduate Experience | Engagement

Text-based graphic with Sanford rankings information

Top Rankings

The 2023 U.S. News & World Report rankings, released in March 2022, ranked Sanford as 5th in Public Policy Analysis, widely viewed as the key indicator among schools of public policy.

Sanford is the only school in the southern United States in the top 10 for public policy analysis.

2022 Graduation - Professional/Graduate Program Highlights

The Sanford School celebrated 128 graduates of professional/graduate programs in 2022:

- 77 earning Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees;

- 29 receiving International Master of Environmental Policy (iMEP) degrees;

- 16 earning Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) degrees; and

- 6 earning doctoral degrees in public policy (PhD).

During the graduation ceremony on May 6, 2022, the Distinguished Alumna Speaker was Sonia Sekhar MPP’14, deputy director at the New York State Department of Health. She has worked on health policy issues at the federal and state levels, including in the White House Office of Health Reform.

“Everyone has power. As a policy leader, it’s your job to bring people together and harness that collective power."

Sonia Sekhar MPP'14 - Distinguished Alumna Speaker


Welcoming New Students

In fall 2022, Sanford welcomed its newest professional and graduate students:

- 90 MPP students,

- 30 MIDP fellows;

- 18 new MNSP executive students;

- 2 PhD students.

Master of National Security Policy - New in 2022

Sanford launched the new executive Master of National Security Policy, welcoming the first 18 students in summer 2022.

Master of International Development Policy

The Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) admits students dedicated to policymaking and public service in developing countries. In fall 2022, we celebrated the comeback of our Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) program, affected as many international programs were by the pandemic and travel restrictions with a robust new class of 30 MIDP fellows.

Featured Video

MIDP Student Alan Medina

Alan came to study at Sanford from Mexico. "I keep telling my friends and my family members that Sanford is the best school in the world. If I had to choose again, I would do it with less doubts."


"The Sanford Latin American and Caribbean Students brings together students coming from these regions to focus on creating a community that hopes to do policy work in these countries." - Jorge Morales Alfaro, Mexico


"I co-founded Bive, a social enterprise facilitating access to high-quality healthcare for 60,000 low-income farmers. I am studying International Development Policy at Duke to gain knowledge and skills on how to design, implement, and evaluate social policies that make a difference in people’s lives." - Diana Carolina Quintero, Colombia

Master of Public Policy

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) prepares students for careers as analysts, leaders and managers at various levels of government, nonprofits and corporations – both domestically and internationally. The MPP program has seen a strong increase in applications in the last two years. In fall 2022, Sanford welcomed 90 MPP candidates. In addition, The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) announced that its Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) accredited Sanford's MPP program.


MPP Student Andres Hernandez


"I want to be not only one of the first Latinos in a political space, but also the first with large exposed tattoos. I want to push the envelope and really represent the community." - Andres Hernandez Jr.

MPP Earns NASPAA Accreditation

Dean Judith Kelley says NASPAA accreditation is one of many quality indicators of Sanford’s top-ranked MPP program.

More about NASPAA accreditation

Sanford Executive Education - Cybersecurity Leadership Program

In June 2022, Sanford Executive Executive held the first Cybersecurity Leadership Program over the course of one week here at Duke. The week included specific training for private sector leaders and senior government regulators, and included a cybersecurity simulation exercise that combined the groups together on small teams. One participant said of her experience: “This provided exactly what is missing in my country, which is access to knowledge about how to provide senior leadership of cybersecurity risk management.” The program was so well received that it is expanding.

Cybersecurity Leadership Program

International Master of Environmental Policy

The international Master of Environmental Policy (iMEP) is a collaboration with the Nicholas School of the Environment and Duke Kunshan University in China. 


Serge Bakire was living in China when he was accepted into the iMEP program. 


Serge left China due to the pandemic and studied at home in Rwanda. He conducted research for his master's thesis in person in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Serge Bakire spent the last semester of his master's program in Durham, NC at Duke.

Student Voices

Throughout the academic year, students attend events and share their experiences on our website, and on social media in the "student voices" series.

50th Student Reflections

Reflecting on the immense legacy of public policy studies at Duke University for the past 50 years, students share their experiences from the past year of celebrations and their ambitions for changing the world with their degrees from the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Featured Video

50 Years of Public Policy at Duke: Student Perspective