Make a Difference

A major in public policy studies teaches students how to make a difference in the complex policy issues of today. Coursework provides 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 teaches students to read critically, think analytically, and write concisely. A policy-oriented internship is required.

Learn more about a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy.

Students Learn To:


Think analytically


Lead people and organizations


Engage in solving social problems

Students in the Major Will:

  • Enhance skills in political and economic analysis
  • Articulate more concisely and clearly through critical analyzations
  • Consider the implications of actions to make strong and ethical decisions
  • Participate in a policy-oriented internship


Additional Program Options

We offer two undergraduate certificate programs, which consists of 5-8 courses that span multiple disciplines or departments. 

You do not need to be a Public Policy student to enroll in the certificate programs.



This certificate is designed to teach students how to:

  • Analyze issues facing children, families, and society
  • Learn the necessary analytical skills to study these issues with empirical rigor
  • Engage in research that informs policy and practice



This certificate is designed to teach students how to: 

  • Prepare for careers in media policy, journalism, or associated professions 
  • Refine skillsets as global communications enter into a period of rapid and profound change  


Learn more about Sanford Certificate Programs.


The 4+1 Accelerated Master of Public Policy is an opportunity for Duke undergraduate Public Policy majors to complete both an undergraduate and master’s degree in five years. Majors who are able to pursue graduate-level coursework during their senior year are eligible to apply in the spring of their junior year. Students will complete the entire 51 graduate credits required for traditional 2-year MPP students.  


Learn more about the 4+1 Accelerated Master of Public Policy.


Student Experience

"I think Pub Pol is the most real-world-oriented major at Duke. Public policy focuses on solutions to real-world problems, in a way that other majors don’t. A lot of the social science majors are very theoretical, while the goal of public policy is to actually implement solutions and policies and programs to solve problems." - Curtis Scarpignato PPS'20