Office of Admissions

Our two-year professional Master of Public Policy (MPP) prepares students for leadership roles in various levels of government, non-profit organizations and corporations in domestic and international locations. To maximize the personal attention each student receives, we target an enrolling class of 55-65 students per year. We are committed to providing merit-based scholarships, and most of our students receive fellowships ranging from partial to full tuition.

The MPP program requires full-time enrollment, and students typically possess 2-6 years of post-undergraduate work experience prior to enrollment. Dual-degrees with Duke or UNC schools are available in law (JD) and business (MBA), as well as with Duke's school of environment (MEM) and medical school (MD).

Degrees Offered

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Fields of Specialization/Study Tracks

Energy Policy
Housing / Economic Development
Human Rights / Humanitarian Affairs
Information & Technology Policy / Management
International Development
Nonprofit Management
Urban Studies / Regional Planning

Area Studies

Eastern Europe / Russia
Latin America

Graduate Program Overview

The Sanford School of Public Policy sprang from the vision and leadership of its founder, Terry Sanford. As President of Duke University, Sanford believed a powerful measure of any great university is its capacity to make its research relevant to real-world problems.

He knew from his experience as Governor of North Carolina and, later, as a U.S. Senator, that government sorely needed people of passion and purpose. People who cared. People with sharp, analytical minds and the practical skills to transform ideas into policies.

In 1971, with the help of Professor Joel Fleishman, Sanford launched Duke's public policy program in order to educate a new kind of pragmatic, ethical leader prepared to contribute in any work sector. An equally important goal was to make it possible for scholars and policymakers to interact with, and learn from, each other.

40 years later, our public policy program continues to grow in remarkable ways. This maturation led to Sanford becoming Duke's tenth School in 2009. The change is attracting creative scholars to our faculty, which has grown by 50 percent in the last four years.

These scholars deepen our capacity to teach core analytical skills. They also expand our depth of expertise in environmental and energy policy, global governance and development policy, communications policy, child policy, social policy, and global health and population. Our leadership program, our visiting journalists program and numerous active research centers in areas such as philanthropy and civil society are bringing in fresh, outside perspectives. Students are benefiting from increased research opportunities and financial aid, and closer mentoring.

Terry Sanford urged students to set outrageous ambitions¬Ě and work diligently to achieve them. At the Sanford School, you'll find mentors and peers who will challenge you to reach your highest potential. We invite you to engage with the Sanford School of Public Policy the choice can transform your life.

Admissions Deadline

January 5

Admissions Overview

We welcome applicants from a variety of academic and professional as well as ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Our selection committee considers academic performance and standardized test scores but also takes a close look at our applicants statement of purpose, general writing skills, relevant work experience, and faculty and employer evaluations.

We prefer students with two or more years of post-undergraduate work experience, but do admit a limited number of outstanding students directly from undergraduate programs.

We don't schedule formal interviews as a part of our admissions process, but we are always happy to meet with prospective students and welcome them to our campus.

[email protected]

Contact Information

MPP Admissions, Box 90243, Duke University
Durham, NC

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