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Student Organizations

Student Councils

MPP Student Council

The Sanford MPP Student Council seeks to address student questions and concerns about their experiences in the MPP Program.  It facilitates student involvement in Sanford School planning in partnership with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Director of MPP Student Services. The Council manages an annual student activities budget, through which all Sanford student organizations receive funding to sponsor events.

MIDP Student Council

The Sanford MIDP Student Council represents and advocates on behalf MIDP fellows, seeking to address student questions and concerns about their experiences in the MIDP Program. Serving as a liaison with administration, it facilitates student involvement in MIDP and Sanford School planning in partnership with the MIDP Program.

Public Policy Majors Union

The Majors Union is the official organization representing undergraduates at the Sanford School. Led by PPS students, the Majors Union engages students in the life of the Sanford School and provides opportunities to learn and network outside of the classroom.

PhD Executive Committee

The PhD Executive Committee is the official organization representing PhD candidates at the Sanford School.


Academic Committee

The Academic Committee serves as a forum for student concerns about academics.

Bridging Communities

Bridging Communities strives to ensure a welcoming, inclusive community for diverse students and advance the interests of social justice at the Sanford School.  The groups aim to build stronger relationships within Sanford's professional programs, MPP, MIDP, Ph.D. and Duke's other professional schools.

Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators

Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators (DISI) is a graduate and professional student group that contributes its talents at the intersection of business principles, technology innovation and effective policy. DISI project teams help local, domestic, and international nonprofits, government organizations, and social businesses better achieve their missions. Website | Facebook

Graduate and Professional Women's Network

The Graduate and Professional Women’s Network has been providing Duke’s graduate and professional women students with personal and professional networking opportunities since 1994.

Graduate Professional Student Council

The Graduate and Professional Student Council of Duke University is the umbrella student government organization for Duke’s eight graduate and professional schools.

Policy for the People

Policy for the People (PftP) is a graduate student organization that aims to bring progressive voices and events to Sanford, challenge the status quo within the Sanford curriculum, and push for progressive policies outside of the classroom. Website

Sanford Energy and Environment Club

SEEC represents students interested in environmental policy, energy policy, water and oceans policy, and agriculture and food policy. SEEC facilitates faculty discussions and career panels, promotes attendance at local and national conferences, and sponsors outdoor adventures and eco-outings.

Sanford Journal of Public Policy

The Sanford Journal of Public Policy was created in 2009 as a forum for public policy students and professionals to contribute to the current policy discourse through insightful analysis and innovative solutions. Produced by graduate students at the Sanford School, the online journal is published twice a year. Website

Sanford Pride

Sanford Pride aims to make the LGBT community more visible and active. It provides support, community and visibility to LGBT students and allies to create a supportive and inclusive environment.

Sanford Running Club

The Sanford Running Club provides an opportunity for members of the Sanford community to exercise together, to share healthy lifestyle choices, and to network with peers via running through weekly runs, workouts, and local races. Facebook

Sanford Women in Policy

Sanford Women in Policy (SWP) provides a forum to discuss and address challenges and opportunities for women in the field of public policy. SWP also serves as a space to cultivate, empower, and promote unity and fellowship for those who identify as women and their allies. SWP hosts discussions with speakers, networking events, skills workshops, and participates in service within the Duke and Durham community.  Facebook group

Social Committees

Committees coordinate MPP and MIDP social gatherings. Events include student mentor/mentee networking, a formal holiday party, international potluck dinners and a graduation party. Often the committees work together for joint events.

Social Entrepreneurship and Policy Initiative (SEPI)

SEPI's mission is to provide opportunities for and leverage the skills of our members through ventures, leadership, and education in social entrepreneurship and policy. SEPI hosts or co-sponsors social entrepreneurship panel discussions, professional development opportunities and networking events.

Additional Opportunity For MPP students

Sanford Board Leadership Initiative

Sanford Board Leadership Initiative (SBLI) places Duke MPP students as non-voting members on local nonprofit leadership boards for one calendar year. A competitive application process determines which graduate students can participate. This partnership offers nonprofits strategic support from graduate students with policy-specific knowledge and the opportunity for students to learn about nonprofit governance.