Sanford School of Public Policy

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Sanford School of Public Policy
Parent institution
Duke University
Named forTerry Sanford
ProgramsGovernment, leadership, ethics, journalism, international development
Sanford School of Public Policy building
Sanford schoolpub.jpg
General information
Architectural styleModern Gothic
LocationWest Campus, Duke University
Named forTerry Sanford
Design and construction
ArchitectArchitectural Resources Cambridge, Inc.

The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University is named after former Duke president and Governor of North Carolina Terry Sanford, who established the university's Institute for Policy Sciences and Public Affairs in 1971 as an interdisciplinary program geared toward training future leaders. When the School's current building on Duke's West Campus opened in 1994, the structure was named—and the Institute renamed—in honor of Sanford. The Sanford School offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in Public Policy.

A second building, named for principal benefactor David Rubenstein, opened in August 2005. The building houses several of the school's centers including the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy and the Duke Center for International Development. Rubenstein Hall had its formal dedication, which included a speech by former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on November 4, 2005.

The Institute officially became Duke's tenth school on July 1, 2009, when it was renamed the Sanford School of Public Policy.[1] The current dean of the Sanford School is Judith Kelley.[2]

Academic programs[edit]


Sanford offers an undergraduate major in Public Policy Studies. The undergraduate program was slightly altered starting with the class of 2009. The department also recently instituted several "pathways", or groups of classes focused on one aspect of public policy. One aspect of the program that is unique among Duke's undergraduate majors is the requirement of a public policy-related summer internship.

The Institute also offers two undergraduate certificates: the Health Policy Certificate and the Policy Journalism and Media Studies Certificate.

Sanford also runs a study-abroad program at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. One notable aspect of the fall semester program is a four-day tour of London and its important cultural and political institutions and meetings with members of Parliament.


At the graduate level, the School currently offers Master of Public Policy and Master of International Development Policy[3] degrees.

The program offers graduate level concentrations[4] in three major areas: Global Policy, Social Policy, and Health Policy.

The Ph.D program started in the fall of 2007.

Centers and Programs[edit]

The following centers and programs are affiliated with the Institute and/or operated by the Institute's faculty and staff.[5]

  • The Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy
  • The Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society
  • The Duke Center for International Development
  • Duke University Program on History, Public Policy and Social Change
  • The DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy
  • The Hart Leadership Program
  • The Population, Policy and Aging Research Center (PPARC)
  • The Program on Global Health and Technology Access
  • The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center for Ethics
  • Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Triangle Institute for Security Studies
  • The Center for the Study of Philanthropy and Voluntarism
  • The United States – Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values
  • The Program on Civil Society (Fleishman Civil Society Fellows)


Top ten specialities and overall graduate level public affairs program as ranked by US News & World Report in 2019:

  • 3rd in Environmental Policy & Management
  • 5th in Public-Policy Analysis
  • 6th in Health Policy & Management
  • 7th in Social Policy
  • 27th in Public Finance & Budgeting
  • 25th in overall graduate level public affairs program


  1. ^ "Dean Talks About Transformation to Sanford School of Public Polcy". Duke University. Archived from the original on 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  2. ^ "Judith Kelley", Faculty, Duke Sanford School of Public Policy, accessed August 18, 2018
  3. ^ "MIDP Replaces PIDP". Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  4. ^ "Concentration Areas". Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2001-11-19. Retrieved 2005-11-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]