Major Requirements

There are no prerequisites in order to declare the Public Policy Studies major. However, there is a flow to the major requirements and advance planning is important in order to complete the major. 

All courses, with the exception of PUBPOL 155, must be taken on a letter grade basis in order to qualify the the major.

PUBPOL 155D Introduction to Policy Analysis -- This course is a prerequisite for all of the core courses except STATS 199L and PUBPOL 303.  This course is the gateway course for the major.  Effective Fall 2023, PUBPOL 155D will be offered as a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) course.

PUBPOL 301 Political Analysis for Public Policy 

PUBPOL 302 Policy Choice as Value Conflict or PUBPOL 330/GLHLTH 210 Global Health Ethics

PUBPOL 303 Microeconomic Policy Tools or ECON 201D Intermediate Microeconomics -- Note: students who have taken Econ 201D cannot take PUBPOL 303

STA 199L Introduction to Data Science and Statistical Thinking -- STA 198L, STA 101L, STA 102L, STA 104L, STA 111L, STA 130L, or ECON 104 may substitute for STA 199L.

PUBPOL 304 Economics of the Public Sector

History Elective – Choose an elective from this list. -- Note: the history elective must be taken on campus at Duke; it cannot be a transfer or study abroad course.

4 PUBPOL Electives at the 160-699 level (one of which MUST be a 401-699 level course). Note: the upper-level elective must be taken on campus at Duke; it cannot be a transfer or study abroad course.

UPDATE: Effective Summer 2024, public policy majors will not be required to register for PUBPOL 120 Internship course.

Students must register for PUBPOL 120 in Summer Session 2 of the summer they are participating in the internship experience.  This is a non-credit course so there is no tuition fee. See the Student Handbook for more detailed information on the internship requirement.

Public Policy Classes and Majors Worksheet

The public policy majors worksheet helps you plan your classes. 

Download the Public Policy Major Worksheet.

Explore classes. 


Student Handbook

Get all the information you need about the major. Download the undergraduate student handbook.

Questions? Contact Us!


Suzanne Pierce

Student Services Coordinator

Suzanne Pierce is the Student Services Coordinator for the Public Policy Undergraduate Program.  She has over 24 years of experience at Duke University working with undergraduate students. 

Featured Video

Is Public Policy a Flexible Major?

Ysanne Spence PPS'22 talks about the flexibility of the courses in the public policy major.

Featured Video

What is Public Policy Studies?

What does it mean to study Public Policy at Duke's Sanford School? Dean Judith Kelley and some students give you a 50-second explanation.