Get Involved

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

Student Organizations


The MPP Student Council's mission is to support the endeavors of the MPP student body, address students' needs, champion their goals, and promote Terry Sanford's legacy of doing the right thing in a difficult moment. The MPPSC brings concerns, questions, and recommendations regarding the MPP program to the administration. The organization facilitates student involvement in the Sanford School planning in partnership with the Director of Graduate Studies and the MPP Director of Student Services.

MPP Student Council 2023-2024

MPP student Council 2023-2024


The Sanford MIDP Student Council serves and advocates for MIDP fellows, attempting to address students' needs, issues, and concerns regarding their MIDP experiences. It fosters student involvement in MIDP and Sanford School planning in collaboration with the MIDP Program by acting as a link with the administration. It fosters diversity, intercultural learning, and communication among students as an organization that works directly with and represents students from various parts of the world.

MIDP Student Council 2023-2024

MIDP Student Council 2023-2024


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 Club

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, with a focus on equity. The club provides 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 is an organization built around equity, activism, organizing, and progressive ideals. Our mission is to help teach how to successfully turn policy ideas into action by bringing organizing trainings to Duke students, providing DEIA trainings to Duke students, fostering relationships with local and communication organizations, and building skills necessary for action-oriented policy work.

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


PridePol exists to provide space and opportunities for the LGBTQIA+ community at Sanford to come together in coalition and power. The organization aims to amplify and support the efforts of queer individuals, events, and issues on the Duke campus, within the Durham community, and beyond. In addition, PridePol facilitates opportunities for Sanford students to learn about and advance policies affecting the queer community and our intersectional allies. 

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 & Caribbean 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. 

Sanford Run Club

Sanford Run Club (SRC) promotes inclusive and supportive opportunities for members of the Sanford community to achieve a healthy and active lifestyle. By establishing a variety of running events that are inclusive of all ability levels, we help students, faculty, and staff maintain positive mental health and exercise throughout the semester. We also regularly promote local and state races for members who are looking to advance their running careers. Our mission is facilitating community connections and healthy lifestyles through physical activity! 

Students dressed up, wearing funny glasses and posing for the camera.
The Sanford Social Committee offers social events, like 'Sanford Prom.'

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 country. 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.