Sanford educates the next generation of policy professionals in a time when the skill set needed to succeed is changing and government needs professionals more than ever. 


Finding Your Calling

"The moment I sat in on my first public policy class, it was clear to me, that public policy all along was what I was interested in; the ability to improve people’s lives through a multitude of avenues. I knew that was what I was interested in, but I didn’t know what it was called."

– Andrea Barnes, MPP’21


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.

Our community

More than 1,000 students are pursuing the Sanford approach of analysis + action.

Learning from the best

Our students learn from the world’s best faculty, from one another and through practical internships. Together, our students and faculty are:

  • Developing new solutions for real-time fact-checking
  • Serving the Durham community and helping to improve services through numerous class-based and community service projects
  • Providing evidence-based research
  • Providing testimony to the state of North Carolina and U.S. Congress
  • Producing news for Durham and the region, including covering the court system
  • Serving as consultants for dozens of non-profits, state agencies and other clients through annual masters’ students projects

Sanford Impact Report

Read more about our accomplishments in our 2024 Impact Report 

Impact Report

Sample Student Experiences

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