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 4-8 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


    The certificate us designed to:

    • Educate students in evidence-based health policy analysis, development, and implementation so they are prepared to address complex challenges in health and health care at local, state, national, and global levels


    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.


    Truly Unforgettable

    "My experience at Duke and Sanford was truly unforgettable. I met the most amazing people, like my brilliant classmates and professors who never hesitated to share their experiences and expertise with me. I‘ve made the fondest memories, from my semester in Washington D.C. to the conversations I had before class in the Fleishman Commons. I’ve really just loved it here.” - Zachary Steinhauser PPS'23


    A Formative Experience

    "My experience at Duke was definitely formative. I’ve definitely learned to change the world here.” – Naima Turbes PPS’23. Naima double majored in Public Policy and Neuroscience and plans to pursue a career in medicine. She competed on Duke’s Track & Field Team and was a Chronicle columnist among many other roles on campus.