Office of Admissions
The Pardee RAND Graduate School is a selective, multidisciplinary doctoral program with a focus on policy analysis and the ways it can shape our world. We offer a full-time Ph.D. program in policy analysis—the first and largest of its kind in the country. And we’re backed by the brainpower and resources of the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, non-partisan research institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. Our students are not only PhD candidates at Pardee RAND but also assistant policy researchers at RAND Corporation, earning their fellowship to fund their PhD.
Ph.D. in Policy Analysis
Fields of Specialization/Study Tracks
Child / Family Policy
Criminal Justice Policy Management
Healthcare Policy / Management
Housing / Economic Development
Human Rights / Humanitarian Affairs
Information & Technology Policy / Management
Organizational Theory / Management
Public Finance / Budgeting
Security Studies (National or International)
Social Policy / Poverty
Urban Studies / Regional Planning
Graduate Program Overview
Each year, the Pardee RAND Graduate School welcomes up to 25 students driven to help solve the most pressing policy challenges. We offer the Ph.D. in Policy Analysis.
We value diverse perspectives among our students, and no two Pardee RAND students are alike. We look for certain criteria to ensure our cohorts excel as students and go on to thrive as working professionals.
The ideal Pardee RAND candidate
…thinks about policy differently.
Interest in policy is a must for Pardee RAND students, but curiosity in other topics is just as important. Our students examine policy at the intersection of multiple disciplines, where policy solutions are as diverse as the challenges they solve.
…is available for full-time study.
Pardee RAND limits admission to students who can participate full-time in our combined research-and-study program. Because the courses are taught in sequence, students must begin their study in the fall quarter.
…has completed a bachelor’s degree.
All applicants must have completed at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. They must also possess superior communication, logical reasoning and quantitative skills. An advanced degree and/or work experience is highly recommended.
…has strong quantitative reasoning skills.
No preference is given to any particular undergraduate major. However, students must have a strong command of univariable calculus and, preferably, multivariate calculus. Coursework in statistics, economics, and more advanced calculus is helpful but not required.
…is driven to change the world.
Each Pardee RAND student is driven by a palpable passion to help change the world for the better. They also have a demonstrated discipline to master the intellectual tools that will help them do so.
All students receive a generous scholarship and a research fellowship earned by working on RAND projects of the student's choice.
Additionally, each year, a number of Diversity Scholarships are awarded to entering and continuing Pardee RAND graduate students. These comprehensive funding packages offer recipients the opportunity to acquire and develop advanced research skills through faculty mentoring relationships, professional development, and tuition assistance.
Application materials required for Pardee RAND Graduate School: web-based application, current résumé/CV, three essays, GRE or GMAT scores (TOEFL for international students), three letters of recommendation, and school transcripts.
Pardee RAND is committed to waiving application fees for all PPIA alumni who apply for admission.
If you are interested in receiving preliminary feedback on your candidacy, prior to investing your time into the admissions process, please consider submitting a pre-application.
Pardee RAND Graduate School, 1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA