Apply to the Pardee RAND Graduate School
Thank you for your interest in the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The application period for the entering class of fall 2014 will begin August 30, 2013. All applications and components must be received on or before January 9, 2014. Applications are carefully reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Notification of acceptance or rejection is usually sent to applicants within 8-10 weeks after the admission deadline.
The Application Process
The PRGS application consists of four parts:
- the online application
- test scores
- letters of recommendation
- additional content you must collect and submit to the Pardee RAND Graduate School
The tabs below detail the materials you are required to submit for each part. Contact Stefanie Stern at Stefanie_Stern@rand.org if you have questions.
All applications are carefully reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Notification of acceptance or rejection is usually sent to applicants within 8-10 weeks of the admission deadline.
The Online Application
You will be submitting the majority of your application electronically, including your resume or CV and essays. Before you begin to fill out the application, we strongly urge you to compose your essays and collect the information you will be asked to provide.
This information will include:
Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) highlighting the following components.
- Your academic background, including your major, degree and field of study for all institutions you have attended since finishing high school.
- Your work history, including your title, organization, dates of employment, principal responsibilities and reason for leaving for all full-time and relevant part-time jobs you have held.
- Any publications, reports, presentations, honors and awards, professional affiliations, and languages and other skills.
Three essays to help the Admissions Committee to become acquainted with you as an individual and understand your interest in PRGS. Limit each essay response to a maximum of 1,000 words.
- What policy question or questions are you most interested in answering while at PRGS? Be sure to explain how these questions relate to your academic and professional experience.
- On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a significant component of the PRGS degree requirement; we expect all students to seek out and contribute to a variety of projects across multiple research areas. Using the descriptions of RAND Corporation's Research Areas, explain which units sound most interesting to you, relative to your interests, and how you will utilize your skills and experience to benefit the research teams.
- What about PRGS and a Ph.D. in policy analysis, specifically, is most appealing to you as a prospective Ph.D. candidate?
2: Test Scores
GRE, GMAT, and TOEFL Test Scores
Contact the test companies to have them send your scores directly to PRGS.
GRE or GMAT exam. All applicants must submit valid test scores from either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). To be valid, the test must have been taken after September 1, 2008 (within the past 5 years). Official score reports should be sent directly from the administering testing agencies for the GRE (PRGS institution code 4648) and GMAT (PRGS institution code M9X-GD-45). Original score reports are required.
NOTE: The GRE exam underwent revisions in August 2011. We will accept both the old and the revised test formats as long as the tests are valid. For more information about the revised format, discounted fees, and free practice materials go to www.gre.org.
Please allow several weeks for test scores to be received at PRGS. Applicants should take the GRE or GMAT tests before December 15, 2013, to ensure scores are received at PRGS by the admissions deadline of January 9, 2014. The admissions office will update your online application checklist when scores are received. Please do not contact our office.
TOEFL (if applicable). English language test scores on the TOEFL exam are required for all international applicants whose native language is not English. To be valid, the test must have been taken after September 1, 2011 (within the past 2 years). Official score reports should be sent directly from the administering testing agency (PRGS institution code 4648). Original score reports are required.
International applicants are exempted from the TOEFL requirement if they hold a bachelor's or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is the spoken language and the medium of instruction, or if they have completed at least two years of full-time study at an English-language instruction institution.
PRGS requires applicants to receive a score of at least 100 on the TOEFL Internet-based test.
Letters of Recommendation
Three (3) Letters of Recommendation (online process)
Each applicant is asked to submit three letters of recommendation, which may be from either academic or professional sources, and should address the following topics, to the extent to which the recommender has been able to observe the candidate's:
- Interest in Policy Analysis as a career/field of advanced study
- Prospects for success as a policy analyst
- Intellectual ability and potential for future intellectual growth
- Quantitative preparation and aptitude
- Ability to handle the demands of a highly rigorous doctoral program
The letter of recommendation process is entirely online. You will be asked to provide the name, job title, organization/company, and work email address for three individuals. Once you submit this information, our online system will generate a request to each of your recommenders by email, instructing them to upload a PDF of their letter of recommendation through a secure portal. Please note it is the applicant's responsibility to notify the recommenders in advance that they will be contacted by the Pardee RAND Graduate School and to ask them to complete their letter before the deadline.
Applicants are advised to check the status of their letters of recommendation by logging in to the Populi application system. A green check will indicate if your letter for that recommender has been received. Please do not contact the PRGS admissions office.
4: Additional Content
Additional Content to Be Collected and Submitted by the Applicant
Official undergraduate and graduate school transcripts from all institutions you have attended since completing high school. Transcripts should show a record of all courses completed, along with degree confirmation. Request the schools to send these copies to you in sealed envelopes.
$50 application processing fee (not required for PPIA alumni or for international students living outside the United States).
Please obtain and send the above application materials together to:
Pardee RAND Graduate School
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138