The Sanford School of Public Policy is a vibrant, dynamic community of thinkers and doers who are dedicated to leaving the world a better place.

The public policy major offers many exciting opportunities. We teach courses in a broad array of areas, including education and social policy, health and population, environment and energy, international development, global governance and security, civil society, and leadership and ethics.   

Rigorous coursework provides students skills in political and economic analysis, knowledge about how to lead people and organizations, and a strong ethical foundation for decision-making. As a liberal arts major, public policy studies teaches students to read critically, think analytically, and write concisely.

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Visions of a Better Future

"'Perceive the world not as it is but what it can be.' This motto is behind my decision to choose a public policy major. Hailing from a refugee community, I often ask myself how policy recommendations can uplift my community. I hope to gain a multidisciplinary education that will allow me to support communities and futures limited only by the extent of one’s dreams."

– Thang Lian PPS’25. Thang’s family emigrated to the US from Myanmar.

Featured Centers and Initiatives

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DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy

Duke University’s hub for journalism and media studies. 

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Duke Program in American Grand Strategy

For Duke students interested in national security policymaking.

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Hart Leadership Program

Helping students discover the power of leadership for public life.

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Polis: Center for Politics

Committed to increasing our understanding of politics locally, nationally, and globally.

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Exciting Opportunities

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Duke in DC

The Duke in DC program offers a unique and exciting opportunity to live, study, and work in the nation’s capital.

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Duke in Glasgow

Study at one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Sponsored by the Sanford School and Duke's Global Education Office for Undergraduates.

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Certificate Options

CHILD & FAMILY POLICY

Sponsored by the Center for Child and Family Policy, this certificate builds students’ knowledge of child and family issues and provides academic tools to engage in research that informs policy and practice.

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POLICY JOURNALISM & MEDIA STUDIES

This certificate is for students preparing for careers in media policy, journalism, and related professions. Sponsored by the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy.

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Health Policy

Sponsored by the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, this certificate is for students interested in how policy relates to health care and its effect on the economy, society, governments, and the private sector. 

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Our public policy major teaches students how to apply policy knowledge to real-world problems.  Our community of faculty scholars, staff and students make Sanford such an exciting place to be.

Nathan Boucher, Director of Undergraduate Studies

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Nathan Boucher is the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Sanford School.

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