Master of Public Policy / MBA

You’ll learn to develop and deliver highly efficient and more equitable solutions to broad population concerns such as obesity, clean water, and refugee displacement. While it's possible to effect positive change and develop such solutions without an MBA, having the business fundamentals and the ability to tap into a global business network have an incalculable value. Fuqua's strong emphasis on social entrepreneurship is a natural fit for MPP students interested in starting or running socially responsible enterprises. Many Duke MPP/MBA graduates opt to run nonprofits, while others lead global NGOs or companies in highly regulated industries such as energy and finance.

Admissions Information

  • Prospective students typically apply to both schools at the same time.
  • You may also apply during your first year at the Sanford School to be considered for a dual degree.
  • If you are admitted to one but not both schools, you may reapply to the desired second school later in your academic career.
  • Admission to one school does not guarantee admission to the other.
  • For current first year Daytime Fuqua students wishing to add the MPP as a dual degree with the MBA, you must seek approval to switch your student status from Sr. Associate Dean, Russ Morgan, and Associate Dean, Steve Misuraca, prior to applying to the Sanford School.

Application Fast Facts

Duke’s MPP/MBA degree program is a 3-year interdisciplinary program. With the Sanford School, Fuqua, and the Research Triangle Park all located in Durham, you have access to some of the top influencers and business opportunities to both challenge and inspire you.

Typically, students follow the course of study below:

Year 1: Sanford School

Year 2: Fuqua

Year 3: Blended + Sanford School master’s thesis

Sanford International Programs

There are two options for those with an eye on global policy. You can either spend a summer overseas, or do research with an international focus.

1. Summer in Geneva

The Program on Global Policy and Governance in Geneva provides summer internships at organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, paired with intensive 1-week courses to prepare tomorrow's leaders working at the heart of global governance.

2. International Master's Thesis

 Working in conjunction with a Sanford School professor, you can opt to do an internationally focused master's thesis project. The Sanford School helps to fund research for such projects.

Day-to-Day Schedule

  • Fuqua courses are usually held on a Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday schedule.
  • Sanford courses are usually held on a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday schedule.
  • Sanford and Fuqua follow different academic calendars and semester schedules. Fuqua semesters are divided into two terms each. When scheduling a semester-long Sanford course, be sure to consider both of Fuqua's terms so that there will not be a conflict.

Tuition Rate

  • You'll have a special blended tuition rate, paid every semester (regardless of where courses are taken). 
  • If you start at one school and later add the second degree, you will have a one-time tuition adjustment applied in your first semester of the dual degree program.

Fuqua Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships

  • All admitted applicants are considered for scholarship, and merit scholars are selected by the Merit Scholarship Committee.
  • Scholarship selection criteria include:
    • Prior academic achievement
    • Demonstrated leadership qualities
    • Level of community involvement
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Professional accomplishments
  • Awards are made independent of eligibility for loans and work-study employment.
  • Fuqua scholarship awards will be applied in all dual degree academic years that have a blended tuition rate charge and will only pay towards Fuqua’s share of tuition.
  • If selected to be a scholarship recipient, admitted students will receive notification of the award with their admission letter.
  • Fuqua has a variety of student loan programs that are available to both domestic and international students.
  • Every applicant is eligible to apply for a combination of federal and alternative student loans to meet their cost of tuition, fees, books, and related living expenses.
  • Learn more about Fuqua's financial aid programs and scholarships.

Sanford School Financial Aid and Scholarships

  • Dual degree students receive tuition fellowships during their first year of MPP academic study (generally 30 credits).
  • U.S. citizens are eligible for federal student loans based on financial need for the remaining nine credits taken in subsequent semesters beyond the first academic year of study.
  • This dual degree program has a blended tuition rate. Sanford scholarship awards will be applied in all dual degree academic years that have a blended tuition rate charge and will only pay towards Sanford’s share of the tuition per term. You must maintain good academic standing. We reserve the right to amend tuition fellowship awards if you receive other funding or change degree programs.
  • Please see our cost of attendance page for more information on dual degree program blended tuition rates.

The MPP/MBA degree program prepares you for careers in social entrepreneurship, government, non-governmental organizations and nonprofits, and highly regulated industries such as healthcare, finance, and energy.

You have the distinct advantage of accessing career services at both schools. While Fuqua's Career Management Center opens the door to more companies and firms than the Sanford School, the Sanford School delivers personal connections to NGOs, government entities, and companies that aren't affiliated with Fuqua. Between the two, you have access to the best of both worlds.


Because you begin your first year at the Sanford School and spend 3 years completing the dual degree program, you have the opportunity to complete two summer internships. The first summer is spent interning for a nonprofit, social venture, or government entity, while the second summer is typically spent doing a more traditional MBA-focused internship. This structure not only provides you with a more varied experience, it also helps you make more informed career decisions by exposing you to real-life situations.


Joint Degrees

MPP or MBA? Both.

Student in the Fox Center at Duke's Fuqua School of Business
Business school taught me how to analyze data and make decisions quickly and how to manage an organization. Policy school taught me how to analyze data and issues thoroughly and understand the tools that are used in both business and policy.