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Concentrations

The MPP Program offers six policy-area concentrations that span domestic and global policy issues — environment and energy policy; health policy; international development policy; national security and foreign policy; social policy; and technology policy — for which the concentration is recorded on student’s transcript upon graduation.

Requirements to earn a concentration include:

  • completing nine credits of coursework in the specified concentration (either one, three-credit foundations course plus six elective course credits, or, for concentrations without a designated foundations course, nine approved elective course credits);
  • completion of a summer internship related to the concentration; and
  • writing a master’s project in the concentration area.

Regardless of whether a student chooses to concentrate in a particular policy area, elective courses will play an important role in shaping the student’s learning experience. MPP students may take elective courses within the Sanford School, in other departments and schools at Duke, and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, or North Carolina Central University. Students should plan their coursework based on the course offerings for a particular semester.

For current course offerings, consult Duke University’s official schedule of classes available through DukeHub.

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  • Photo of Mac McCorkle talking

    Policy Experience Informs Teaching

    Mac McCorkle, professor of the practice, talks with students on the lawn outside Sanford School. McCorkle draws on his two decades of experience as a political consultant in his direction of the MPP program. He also practiced law in the Raleigh firm founded by former Duke President Terry Sanford.

Beginning with the matriculating class of fall 2021, the following concentrations will be available:

  • Environment and Energy Policy
  • Health Policy
  • International Development Policy
  • National Security and Foreign Policy
  • Social Policy
  • Technology Policy

The following concentrations are available through the class of 2021:

  • Development Policy
  • Environment and Energy
  • Health Policy
  • Global Policy
  • National Security
  • Population Studies
  • Social Policy

See how our students apply their skills and knowledge after graduation in a variety of careers.


Alumna Story: Sanford Degree Launches Social Entrepreneur

When she was in her 20s and a student at Sanford, Maya Ajmera founded the Global Fund for Children. The nonprofit invests in innovative organizations working with some of the world’s most vulnerable children. As of 2016, the fund has awarded $34 million in grants to more than 600 grassroots organizations in 78 countries. Here, Maya Ajmera talks about how she was able to incubate her idea while obtaining her Master of Public Policy degree: