Undergraduate Programs

The Sanford School of Public Policy educates the next generation of policy professionals in a time when the skill set needed to succeed is changing and government needs professionals more than ever. Its mission is to improve lives and communities by researching the most pressing public policy issues and preparing students for lives of leadership, civic engagement, and public service.

Information about undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates is available here:

Service Opportunities in Leadership

Duke undergraduate students may also participate in special experiential opportunities at home and abroad through the Hart Leadership Program’s Service Opportunity in Leadership (SOL) program. SOL is an intensive 12-month leadership program for Duke undergraduates that combines academic study, research service learning, mentoring, and leadership training. SOL’s three-stage structure includes a preparation (gateway) course in the spring, a collaboratively-designed community bases research (CBR) project with an organization in the summer, and a follow-up (capstone) seminar in the fall. Students have taught writing to township youth in South Africa; conducted oral history interviews with farmers in Honduras; worked with homeless mothers in transitional housing in Chicago; created an HIV/AIDS resource library for a university in Namibia; and helped Asian immigrants through a micro-lending program in New Mexico. Public Policy majors who participate in SOL may receive credit for completing their required PPS internship if they complete the policy paper and obtain the necessary evaluation forms from their sponsors and with the approval of the Public Policy Internship office.

More information about the Service Opportunities in Leadership can be found at hart.sanford.duke.edu/programs/sol.

Duke in DC—Policy, Leadership & Innovation

Based in the nation’s capital city, the Duke in DC program provides students with the unique and exciting opportunity to live, work, and study in Washington, DC.  The program is offered in the spring semester and has a pre-professional tilt, connecting classroom study to experiential learning oriented around policy innovation and public leadership. Students will have real-world policy experiences through a combination of coursework, independent research, small group work, an internship, interaction with Duke alumni working in the DC area, and a group living experience. Students will connect with leaders in public policy, government, and business and participate in a variety of cultural, professional, and social opportunities unique to Washington.

More information about the Duke in DC program can be found at sanford.duke.edu/academics/special-programs/duke-dc.

Duke in Glasgow

The public policy study abroad program with the University of Glasgow was initiated in 1982 by founding director Joel Fleishman. It is a unique and highly popular feature of the public policy major.

Each fall, a seminar-size contingent of students travels to Scotland to study policy issues at a university historically esteemed for its contributions to political economy and moral philosophy. Adam Smith, a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economics, called Glasgow home. He is best known for two classic works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. More recently, the university has also become noted in such applied areas as social administration, international law, and urban planning.

Special Features of the Program

  • Students participate in a trip to London that includes special visits to important cultural and political institutions and meetings with members of Parliament.

  • Students take a specially designed course on current British public policy issues (Public Policy 450AS, which qualifies for 401-699 level elective public policy credit). Lecture topics have included: “The Irish Problem,” “Juvenile Justice in Scotland,” and “The Monarchy.”

  • Students choose up to three other courses from the departments at the University of Glasgow.

Apply online at globaled.duke.edu.