Duke University and the Sanford School of Public Policy are committed to fully supporting Public Policy PhD students for five years through scholarships, fellowships, research or teaching assistantships and stipends, provided that students maintain satisfactory progress in the program.

Financial Aid Overview

During the first year of the program, most students receive a scholarship for tuition and fees and are paid a stipend via departmental or external fellowships, with no additional work obligations.

In years two and three, students are expected to work as Research or Teaching Assistants to earn part of the stipend.

In years four and five, students will be funded through a combination of research assistantships and external dissertation fellowships. To be eligible for full financial support students must be in good academic standing and meet all departmental qualifying standards.

We strongly encourage students to seek fellowships from external sources, which carry considerable prestige and offer generous multiyear support packages. Of special interest to applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships and the Jacob Javits Graduate Fellowship.


Jane Leer PhD 23 being hooded by her advisor, Anna Gassman-Pines. Jane was also advised by Sarah Gaither, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience. Jane's dissertation focused on diversity and inequality related to communities and adolescent development. After graduation, Jane took a position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Boston College, working on an NIH-funded project examining public-housing redevelopment in Boston.