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Professional Programs

Priority 2: Professional Programs

Broaden and reimagine our professional offerings to equip students for the future of public policy


The 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings, released in March 2021, ranked Sanford as 6th in Public Policy Analysis, widely viewed as the key indicator among schools of public policy. Sanford is the only school in the southern United States in the top 10 for public policy analysis. 

Learn more about Sanford’s rankings.


New Program

During summer 2021, Sanford launched its new Executive Master of National Security Policy and will welcome the first students in summer 2022.

More about the program

Robust Enrollment

In fall 2021, Sanford welcomed the largest MPP class ever – 124 enrolled students, as well as a robust new international MIDP class of 25 fellows from around the world.

MIDP Admissions

MPP Admissions

MNSP Admissions

iMEP Admissions

Master of International Development Policy

Woman, smiling
Lusine Stepanyam, MIDP’20

In the end of the September, there was a war in Armenia that started. So it was difficult for every Armenian in every part of the world, absolutely. And the only thing that was keeping you moving, and staying happy and appreciative was being part of your history and never, never forgetting that. Arevik Badalyan-Drewek, MIDP’21


woman near Duke chapel

I realized the absence of women in leadership and decision-making positions in the development of Afghanistan. So, I decided to study international development policy. – Batool Askari MIDP’21

family, parents and two children

It was not easy to be an international student, a wife, and a mother at the same time. – Merlin Yunaniar MIDP’21/Indonesia

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Romina Damini MIDP’21 was a lawyer in Albania before coming to Sanford. Her dad, an Olympic swimmer, was drawn to Duke’s prowess in sport, and he encouraged her to apply.

More graduation stories

Master of Public Policy

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The moment I sat in on my first public policy class, it was clear to me that public policy all along was what I was interested in; the ability to improve people’s lives through a multitude of avenues. – Andrea Barnes MPP’21

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Myra: We worked at the same company in Boston helping homeowners go solar. I love the community here, it’s all about friendship. Raffi: My highlight is my master’s project, trying to launch a clean energy finance initiative in North Carolina. – Myra Parsonnet MPP’21 and Raffi Wineburg MPP’21


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Ashley Hawkes MPP’21 is an Air Force veteran and founding member of the Sanford Veteran’s Association, which is focused on recruitment, networking and support for veteran students.

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Liam Miranda MPP’21 completed his undergraduate studies at Duke in 2016 and returned in 2019 for his MPP. Miranda has been active on Durham’s COVID-19 Recovery and Renewal Task Force.

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Patrick Rochelle MPP’21 worked with a Bass Connections project to explore the causes of the 2008 financial crisis

More Graduation Stories

International Master of Environmental Policy

Stories, podcasts, student voices and videos

Getting your master’s in the military” video features Marc Losito MPP ’21.

Sanford alumni Ryan Smith, Mariel Beasley and MPP candidate Mary Grace Stoneking consulted on the Durham Recovery & Renewal COVID-19 Task Force. | Policy 360 podcast

Marc Losito MPP’21 is a Carlucci Fellow in Security Studies and a Warrant Officer in the US Army. His project will help military commanders evaluate AI. | Policy 360 podcast

Alumni and students meet through the MPP Mentoring Program

See what internships students completed amidst COVID-19

What do MPP consulting projects look like in the time of COVID?

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Philile Shongwe is Rotary Peace Fellow in the MIDP program. Prior to Sanford, she spent several years working with NGOs and governments in East and West Africa. She attended a lecture on corporate social responsibility and drafted this “student voice” review.

Cyber Research Security Teams identify hundreds of coronavirus scams on internet websites on the Duke network

Student reflects on the Stand for Justice event

In Fall 2020, the Ways & Means podcast partnered with Duke Energy Week to create a live episode of the series. Producers collaborated with Duke and Sanford students on the event, which was held live on Zoom.  Environmental justice activist Hilton Kelley headlined the event. Kelley won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his environmental justice work in Port Arthur, Texas.

Fellowship Stories

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David M. Rubenstein Public Service Fellowship Fund makes an impact on MPP lives

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Charles A. and Elizabeth Ann Sanders Fund provides MPP support

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Miguel Angel Fava Fellowship Opens Doors

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Fellowships & Grants

Sanford's campus, fall leaves

Joel L. Fleishman Endowment Fund makes a difference

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Richard A. Stubbing Memorial Fellowship provides boost to MPP candidates

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Richard B. and Kathryn C. Lieb Dean’s Fellowship Fund provides support to MPPs in the military

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Kevin P. Reilly Fellowship Fund helps MPPs pursue their dreams

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Cullinan Fellowship helps dual-degree candidate pursue career goals

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Morris B. and Jane M. Abram Fellowship Fund provides crucial support