How to Apply

Our application deadline is 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on January 5th. This deadline includes receipt of the $80 application fee and all application materials via the online application system: GRE and TOEFL scores, LSAT or GMAT if applicable, three (3) letters of recommendation, a resume, and transcripts from all universities and/or colleges attended.

IMPORTANT: We must receive the online application materials by the January 5th deadline.

A COMPLETED APPLICATION INCLUDES:

Electronic Application

TRANSCRIPTS

You must upload your "unofficial" undergraduate transcript(s) with your degree posted, along with all other transcripts from colleges and universities, to our online application. NOTE: We require official transcripts after the applicant is admitted into the program. Applicants must have the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree; however, we will review three-year international degrees based on the European Ministers of Education, Bologna Declaration.

Click here for a GPA calculator. Click here for information regarding study abroad coursework and study abroad transcripts.

REQUIRED TESTS

GRE: We accept official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within five years of application.
TOEFL: We require all non-U.S. applicants whose native language is not English to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) even if they have attended a U.S. academic institution or participated in an ESL program.We do not waive this requirement. You must send an official record electronically; we do not accept photocopies, faxes, “attested” copies, or notarized copies, and we accept only TOEFL scores taken within two years of the application. *We do not require a TOEFL score for U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents. NOTE: Report all test (GRE/LSAT/TOEFL/GMAT) scores, via ETS, using the Duke University Institution code – 5156.

REQUIRED TEST FOR DUAL DEGREE APPLICANTS

You may submit LSAT or GMAT scores in lieu of the GRE if you are applying to either our dual MPP/JD or MPP/MBA programs, or if you are currently enrolled in the Duke or UNC Law (JD) or Duke or UNC Business (MBA) programs.

We require the GRE for MPP/MD (Duke Medicine) applicants; we do not accept the MCAT. Click here for specific dual degree information.

Duke or UNC Law School applicants: Upload a copy of your LSAT score report and indicate score and percentile on the "Grades and Tests" section of the online application. If you have taken the GRE within the past five (5) years, you must report both your GRE scores and either your LSAT or GMAT scores.

THREE (3) LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

We require both an evaluation form and letter of reference from three references; that is, each of your three references must fill out the form and write a personal letter that addresses your accomplishments and potential.  Your references should upload and complete these on-line.

For applicants with fewer than two years of work experience, we recommend two academic and one professional recommendation. For those with three or more years of experience, we suggest one academic recommendation and two from work-related professionals. Applicants with four or more years of work experience  may include three work-related references.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

In your personal statement, please describe why you are interested in obtaining a masters degree in public policy; how aspects of your professional, academic, and personal experiences have shaped you; and your professional goals upon graduation. Please limit yourself to 1500 words.

Please upload a resume, not exceeding two printed pages, with your online electronic application. 

VIDEO ESSAY (optional - strongly recommended)

Applicants are asked to prepare a short (one-minute maximum) video to inform the admissions committee who you are and what you are looking to achieve during your graduate study at the Sanford School. The video must be of the applicant (if there is more than one person in the video, please clarify which person is the applicant). What you do or say is up to you as long as you provide the information requested. You might consider sharing a unique perspective or life experience and describe how it would benefit classroom discussions at Sanford.

Upload the video to an easily accessible website (such as YouTube) and give us the URL and any required access codes in the appropriate field within the application for admission. It is the applicant’s responsibility to correctly configure the security and access settings for the video. We recommend that the applicant use the strongest privacy settings available while still allowing access to the Sanford School. If using YouTube, we suggest using the “Unlisted Video” setting so that only individuals who have the URL can view it (for written instructions on privacy settings, click here; for video instructions, click here). The applicant is also responsible for adhering to the terms and conditions of the website used to share the video essay. We are unable to watch videos that come in any form other than a URL link. We will not accept videos sent by email or on DVD through the mail.

APPLICATION FEE

The application fee is $80. We accept payment by Visa or Mastercard (debit/credit). Note: We do not review applications until we have processed the application fee. 

*We do not require application fees from qualified Pickering, PPIA, or IIPP fellows. Contact MPPadmit@duke.edu prior to submission to request your fee waiver. 

DEFERRALS

Our admission offer is only for the year specified in the letter of admission.  We do not allow applicants to defer an offer of admission to a subsequent academic term or year. You should submit your application during the academic year before your desired year of attendance (i.e. by January 5, 2011 to start in August 2011).
Dual degree applicants (JD, MEM, and MBA) begin the MPP program in the first year of academic study. Prospective candidates should coordinate in advance with their JD, MEM or MBA program to ensure that they may begin the MPP program in that first year.

APPLICATION DIRECTIONS FOR PEACE CORPS FELLOWS

If you are a Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program Applicant, you  must:

  • Indicate your Peace Corps service dates, country, and description of service on your resume.
  • Upload a copy of your Description of Service (DOS) within the online application. If you have not received the DOS, you should submit it no later than 14 business days after it is available.

To be eligible for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, volunteers need to have completed their Peace Corps service satisfactorily. Satisfactory completion means:
- You have completed the full two-year tour of Peace Corps service or the full tour minus up to 90 days if you returned home on emergency leave;
- You were granted an “Early Close of Service” or an “Interrupted Service” due to circumstances beyond your control; or
- You were medically separated.

We do not offer application fee waivers for Paul D. Coverdell Fellows applicants but do offer guaranteed tuition fellowships for accepted Peace Corps alumni.

The Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report include institutional policies concerning campus safety and security, as well as statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Duke University property and on public property adjacent to campus and fires that have occurred in residence halls. A copy of this Report can be obtained by contacting the Duke Police Department at 684-4602 or writing to 502 Oregon Street, Durham, NC 27708 or by accessing: http://www.duke.edu/police/news_stats/clery.php

Top  

 

Rob Lalka MPP '08

“The Sanford School faculty aren't just academics. Within a few moments of talking with any of your professors, you begin to realize that they are drawing on a vast wealth of actual policymaking experience.”

Rob Lalka MPP '08