Get Involved

There are lots of ways for Sanford students to get involved in our community. Browse student organizations below, and join us!


The Sanford MPP Student Council seeks to address student questions and concerns about their experiences in the MPP Program.  It facilitates student involvement in Sanford School planning in partnership with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Director of MPP Student Services. The Council manages an annual student activities budget, through which all Sanford student organizations receive funding to sponsor events.


The Sanford MIDP Student Council represents and advocates on behalf MIDP fellows, seeking to address student questions and concerns about their experiences in the MIDP Program. Serving as a liaison with administration, it facilitates student involvement in MIDP and Sanford School planning in partnership with the MIDP Program.


The Majors Union is the official organization representing undergraduates at the Sanford School. Led by PPS students, the Majors Union engages students in the life of the Sanford School and provides opportunities to learn and network outside of the classroom.


The PhD Executive Committee is the official organization representing PhD candidates at the Sanford School.


Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators (DISI) is a graduate and professional student group that contributes its talents at the intersection of business principles, technology innovation and effective policy. DISI project teams help local, domestic, and international nonprofits, government organizations, and social businesses better achieve their missions. 

Duke Sanford Africa Policy Group

Duke SAPG’s mission is to fully bring Africa to life at Sanford by leading and supporting diverse policy discourse, academic enquiry, career development, knowledge exchange, cultural exhibition, and networking related to Africa within the Sanford community and across Duke.  

Duke Technology Policy

The Duke Technology Policy Club’s mission is to bring together graduate and professional students from across Duke to explore their common interests in technology policy. The Duke Technology Policy Club will provide opportunities for graduate students across Duke to hear from guest speakers working in the tech space, engage in policy discourse with professors and students on current tech policy issues, and participate in career development events.  


The Graduate and Professional Student Council of Duke University is the umbrella student government organization for Duke’s eight graduate and professional schools.

Policy for the People

Policy for the People aims to provide an inclusive space to explore leftist ideology and identify ways to deconstruct the institutional inequalities present in academia and policy practice. We take an active role in bridging the knowledge gap between policy in academia and policy in action with a focus on community organizing, power building, and exploring ways to apply our academic skills in a strategic and meaningful way. 

Public Policy in Living Color (PiLC)

Policy in Living Color (PiLC) is a Sanford based student-organization that focuses on advancing the interests of communities of color. Through teach-ins, movie screenings, and advocacy opportunities, PiLC provides education to the Sanford community and spaces for students to engage in meaningful discussion. Outside of Sanford, PiLC aims to connect with long-term Durham community members and to continuously uplift their interests through advocacy, policy, and organizing. Further, PiLC prioritizes creating and holding communal spaces for students of color to engage with one another in a trusted and secure environment.  

Sanford Energy and Environment Club (SEEC)

SEEC provides a space for students interested in energy/environmental policy to share knowledge and ideas with each other, as well as network with industry professionals. SEEC hosts social events to facilitate conversations about climate change, the energy transition, and much more. Our goal is to connect students with fresh ideas, job opportunities, and leaders in the energy and environment community. 

Sanford Journal of Public Policy (SJPP)

The Sanford Journal of Public Policy was created in 2009 as a forum for public policy students and professionals to contribute to the current policy discourse through insightful analysis and innovative solutions. Produced by graduate students at the Sanford School, the online journal is published on an ongoing basis.  

Sanford Latin American & Carribean Student Group (SLAC)

Sanford LAC’s mission is to lead and support academic, career, outreach, cultural, and social efforts of the Sanford community focused on Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in order to strengthen collaboration and engagement between LAC and Sanford. 

Students in rainbow colors pose with Sanford Pride flag in front of Duke statue
Members of Sanford Pride heading to Durham's Pride event.

Sanford Pride

Sanford Pride aims to make the LGBT community more visible and active. It provides support, community and visibility to LGBT students and allies to create a supportive and inclusive environment.  

Sanford Social Committee

The Sanford Social Committee fosters connections and relationships and adds value to the social life of graduate and professional students. The Committee facilitates popularly conceived events that are fun, inclusive, and feasible within the Committee’s budget constraints, as well as the time constraints of its volunteer members. Membership on the Committee entails serving as a voice for classmates, generating event ideas, and basic administrative/logistical work associated with hosting events. 

Sanford Urban Policy (SUP)

Sanford Urban Policy (SUP) is a group of graduate students that have come together to discuss and engage with urban issues within our local community of Durham and across the world. SUP promotes opportunities for formal and informal engagement with students, faculty, and guest experts to understand best practices and current challenges for policy decisions in urban spheres.  

Sanford Veterans Association

The Sanford Veterans Association (SVA) is a student-veteran led organization that fosters a supportive community for active duty, national guard, reserve, retired, and separated service members at the Sanford School of Public Policy.  The SVA supports prospective, current, and alumni members in admissions, academics, career development, and life in Durham.  Culture, growth, and service guide our actions within our organization, the institutions of Sanford and Duke, and greater society. 

Sanford Women in Policy (SWP)

Sanford Women in Policy provides a forum to discuss and address challenges and opportunities for women. As a substantial and institutionalized organization, we seek to use this platform to support any groups that face oppression within the Duke community. SWP serves as a space to support, cultivate, empower, and promote unity and fellowship for those who identify as women and their allies. 



Sanford Board Leadership Initiative (SBLI) places Duke MPP students as non-voting members on local nonprofit leadership boards for one calendar year. A competitive application process determines which graduate students can participate. This partnership offers nonprofits strategic support from graduate students with policy-specific knowledge and the opportunity for students to learn about nonprofit governance.


Student Wellness

Mackenzie Phillips is Sanford's Student Wellness and Engagement Coordinator. She coordinates events related to wellness and is available for one on one sessions with MPP and MIDP graduate students.



Featured Video

Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators (DISI)

Many Sanford students participate in DISI, a group that brings together interdisciplinary graduate student teams to provide pro bono consulting services to social organizations in Durham, NC and beyond.