Media and democracy are cornerstones of Sanford’s work. Sanford’s mission is to improve lives and communities by researching the most pressing public policy issues and preparing students for lives of leadership, civic engagement and public service.
Through research, faculty are building knowledge about policy, democracy and journalism. In their teaching, faculty teach crucial skills for students who develop as leaders, public servants, journalists and engaged citizens.
Related Programs & Courses
The Public Policy Studies major is a perennial top major at Duke University.
Master of Public Policy (MPP)
PhD in Public Policy
Our faculty have produced thousands of research findings that contribute to the knowledge base for evidence-driven policy. They have created new fact-checking standards for journalists, trained people how to run for political office, served in all levels of government including Congress and advised presidential candidates and the White House.
Featured Research Centers
Center for Media & Democracy
DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy is Duke University’s hub for the study of journalism, including watchdog and accountability reporting and the media’s role in democracy.
POLIS: Center for Politics
POLIS is committed to increasing our understanding of politics - we aim to promote powerful politics research, to foster rich political discourse, and to help a new generation of leaders find on-ramps to public service.
Tinae Bluitt was a staffer for Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer prior to coming to Duke. “Working on the Hill is one of the reasons that led me back to graduate school," she says. "I want to work to change polices that are currently not based on data ... I want to return to Washington more prepared to help change policies.”
Bill Adair, Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy and founder of the Pulitzer Prize-winning website PolitiFact, is on a fact checking mission to stop the flow of misinformation online. With students and researchers in the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, Adair has developed a fact checking toolbox that is in use.
Interested in pursuing a policy degree with a focus on media and democracy? Great! The admissions page for each program has detailed guidelines, including our contact info. Please reach out!