Pardee RAND History

RAND Graduate Institute seal

Pardee RAND Graduate School is unique in American higher education. It was founded in 1970 as one of the original eight graduate programs in public policy analysis, and the only program specializing in the Ph.D. It is also the only one based at a public policy research institute—the Santa Monica, California-based RAND Corporation—which invented many of the analytical tools of public policy analysis.

Students of the (then-)RAND Graduate Institute, with founding dean Charles Wolf, in 1978

Students of the (then-)RAND Graduate Institute, with founding dean Charles Wolf, in 1978

  • 1970: RAND Graduate Institute (RGI) is founded at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA; first cohort has 11 students
  • 1970: Charles Wolf Jr. becomes Dean (1970-1998)
  • 1974: The first doctorate degree is awarded
  • 1975: The school receives its first accreditation (WASC)
  • Late 1970s: RGI is a founding member of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM)
  • 1985: Accreditation is reaffirmed
  • 1987: RGI becomes the RAND Graduate School (RGS); entering cohort has 12 students, total enrollment is 81
  • 1990: Accreditation is reaffirmed
  • 1998: RAND Corporation celebrates its 50th anniversary
  • 1998: Robert Klitgaard becomes Dean (1998-2005); interim Dean Rae Archibald (2005-2006)
  • 2000: Accreditation is reaffirmed
  • 2004: RGS becomes the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School (PRGS) to honor the vision and contributions of Frederick S. Pardee, a former RAND researcher and philanthropist; entering cohort has 25 students; total enrollment is 92
  • 2004: Pardee RAND and the RAND Corporation move down the street into a new, state-of-the-art LEED certified building (U.S. Green Building Council's "Gold" designation) at 1776 Main Street
  • 2006: John Graham becomes Dean (2006-2008); interim Dean Molly Selvin (2008)
  • 2008: RAND Corporation celebrates its 60th anniversary; total enrollment is 100+
  • 2009: Susan L. Marquis becomes Dean (2009-present)
  • 2010: Pardee RAND celebrates its 40th anniversary with a gala celebration including students, alumni, current and former staff members, and many other guests
  • 2010: Pardee RAND partners with Southwestern Law School to offer matriculated students a Certificate in Legal Studies and, for Southwestern students, a Certificate in Public Policy
  • 2011: Accreditation is reaffirmed (until 2020)
  • 2013: A generous gift from Frederick S. Pardee begins the Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress, a multi-year program to improving the future human condition with a focus on Asia and Africa
  • 2014: A legacy gift establishes the John and Carol Cazier Environmental and Energy Sustainability Initiative