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Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and the Pratt School of Engineering are bringing together the two fields’ complementary areas of expertise for a forward-looking master’s degree education.

A new dual degree developed by the schools merges the Master of Engineering (MEng) with a Master of Public Policy (MPP). The three-year MEng/MPP dual-degree program combines rigorous engineering, science and evidence-based policy to prepare students to become solutions-oriented leaders in all sectors.

This program is an additional exemplification of Duke’s ability to transform teaching and learning for the future, said the deans of both schools.

“This program will help to meet the growing demand for people who have combined skills in the areas of engineering, science, technology and management, with the capacity for analytic public decision-making. It aims to train those persons with the requisite talent to be leaders in the development and implementation of engineering, science and management policy,” said Dean Judith Kelley of the Sanford School of Public Policy.

“Even the best technical solutions to societal challenges face strong headwinds to actually being adopted if policy and market forces are not just right,” said Jerome Lynch, the Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering. “Hence, public policy is essential for unleashing the full potential of engineered solutions to challenges like climate change, global security and equitable access to technology’s benefits. The joint master’s program with our incredible colleagues at Sanford is another brilliant example of how Duke breaks through traditional academic silos to provide our students with a broad skill set that positions them to maximize the benefits of their solutions to tomorrow’s global challenges.”

Those interested in the program apply to the programs separately and, if they are accepted to both, become dual-degree students. Alternatively, students who are already in either program may apply to the other during their first year and begin the dual degree in their second year, moving to the other program. The third year will be blended between the two programs.

Students who apply to the MEng/MPP dual-degree program at both schools and are accepted will begin the program at Sanford. Once accepted, students defer enrollment at Duke Engineering for one year and begin the public policy component of the degree at the Sanford School in the fall semester of their first year. Then, after completing one year of MPP curriculum (fall and spring semesters) and the MPP summer internship requirement, they do the first year of the MEng program in the second year. Alternatively, students who instead start at Duke Engineering and then apply to the MPP program at Sanford will complete one full year at Duke Engineering and one full year at Sanford.

During one year, students will focus on the MPP at the Sanford School. The top-ranked program cultivates ethical and inclusive leaders committed to solving public policy challenges and strengthening society through public service. Students have the opportunity to choose from seven policy-area concentrations. At Sanford, MEng/MPP students will have the opportunity to refine their analytical skills. They will gain unique experience in bringing together engineering and public policy insight to address complex societal issues. Duke is ranked No. 6 in public policy analysis among graduate programs nationwide by US News & World Report.

For another year, participants will continue their studies at the Pratt School of Engineering, deepening their understanding of technology and developing increasing business leadership and management expertise. Duke's MEng program will sharpen critical thinking and communications skills that are directly applicable to today's high-tech careers.

“We are delighted to launch the new MEng/MPP dual degree program with our close colleagues at the Pratt School of Engineering,” says Ken Rogerson, director of graduate studies for the MPP program. “The program combines public policy and engineering to prepare our students to work in an increasingly high-tech world. We have been working toward this powerful moment and I am thrilled to see the next generation of policy leaders bring these new skills to the table.”

“Duke Engineering’s portfolio of graduate programs has exploded in recent years to include a diverse array of emerging technologies with complex societal implementation challenges,” said Brad Fox, associate dean for the master’s program at the Pratt School of Engineering. “This partnership with the Sanford will position students to work in both the public and private sectors, providing extremely valuable expertise to regulatory agencies, policy advocacy teams and compliance departments, just for a few examples.”

The dual-degree program is open to candidates in both programs. Admission is highly competitive, focusing on academic excellence and a strong commitment to public policy and engineering.