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#2022APPAM Spotlight: Duke University, Sanford School of Public Policy


The #2022APPAM Fall Research Conference will feature some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on Duke University, Sanford School of Public Policy​.

What programs does your school offer?

Sanford houses an undergraduate major (the third largest major at Duke University), a Master’s in Public Policy, and Master’s in International Development Policy, a Master’s in National Security Policy, an International Master’s in Environmental Policy (shared with Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Duke Kunshan University), and our PhD in Public Policy program. We also host certificate programs in Journalism (undergrad), Health (undergrad), and International Development (graduate).

What would you list as your school's greatest accomplishments in the last 5-10 years?

In the past 10 years, Sanford has grown exponentially; it has developed new graduate programs, added additional areas of policy specialty while maintaining a depth of expertise in its previous policy areas, robustly increased the size of our student population, and has attracted more and more world class faculty. Amid this growth, Sanford has continued to prioritize its sense of community, its commitment public service, and its high-touch education model that sees each student as an individual with their own personal needs, potential, and professional and academic trajectories.

Why should potential students choose your school or program?

Sanford brings together students from all walks of life, who share the common bond of service to others. Sanford is highly intersectional, where students can pursue a large range of policy areas, and can choose to either concentrate in specific fields of policy, or focus instead on how different areas of policy fit together and influence one another. Sanford is a close community, that encourages collaboration, but the school also understands that each individual has their own personal goals, and through a high touch model of education, will work with students to promote their growth and development, as they become future policy makers.

If you are hiring, what makes your school a great place to work?

Sanford is an amazing place to work because of its strong sense of community and a collaboration, where everyone has a vested interest in the training, support, and preparation of future policy makers.

What is your graduate/undergraduate divide?

Undergrad population: 336 Graduate population: 393

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Prospective students are encouraged to bring their full selves to the discipline. Policy is inherently intersectional, and everyone has something invaluable to add to policy making, ranging from their lived experiences, their academic and professional backgrounds, their goals, drive, and ambition, and their commitment to the improvement of society in service to others. Finding a way to build a narrative that connects who they are with policy making would be beneficial, not just for admission to Sanford, but also for orienting themselves in the current policy world.



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