Fellowships and Scholarships at PRGS

It would be fabulous if more schools could match what the Pardee RAND Graduate School offers: All students receive a fellowship that covers tuition, plus a stipend for living expenses. U.S. and international students graduate with a professionally oriented Ph.D. in policy analysis and the equivalent of two years of work experience.

Foreign Policy magazine, July/August 2012

PRGS's mission is to train future leaders, especially those who will serve in the public sector. For this reason, the program is designed to enable students to graduate with little or no debt if they meet the work requirements of their fellowships.


students studying in library

Thanks to generous funding from our donors, beginning in 2013-14 the Pardee RAND Graduate School is offering a full tuition scholarship for the first year to every incoming student, plus a research-based fellowship to all students. The entering level for research fellowships (which come with a work requirement) is $20,500 per year. PRGS also pays the full cost of the student's health insurance coverage. Dependents may be included in this subsidized health insurance coverage at the student's expense.

PRGS fellowships are based on students' participation in RAND research projects. This on-the-job training (OJT) is valuable both educationally and financially. (For more on OJT, please see On-the-Job Training). PRGS students learn policy analysis by doing it, as part of interdisciplinary RAND research teams working on problems that range from the inner city to outer space. Students thereby accumulate unique, practical experience that employers in academia, government, business, and non-profit organizations value highly.

At the same time, by doing policy research, students are able to support themselves at levels that equal or exceed most Ph.D. programs. To receive their full research fellowships, students must perform different minimum amounts of OJT as their careers at RAND progress: 65 days (or 480 hours) in the first year, 155 days in subsequent years.

If a student works more than the minimum number of research days in the first year, that number of days is subtracted from the required minimum in subsequent years. If a student works more than the minimum number of research days in year two and thereafter, the student may be able to earn a larger fellowship.

In the first year of the program students are required to work only 65 days.


General Scholarships

All students will receive a full tuition scholarship in their first year and will be eligible for partial tuition scholarships in their second year. PRGS strives to award as many second year scholarships as possible. Scholarships are awarded during the admissions process and except in rare instances do not require application.

In addition to general scholarships for which all students are eligible, we offer a few specifically designated scholarships:

Diversity Scholarship

The Pardee RAND Graduate School “Diversity Scholarship” seeks to support and strengthen the work of outstanding and diverse students admitted to the PRGS Ph.D. program in Policy Analysis. Interested applicants should mark the appropriate checkbox when filling out the graduate school application and follow instructions about demonstrating commitment to and experience with diverse communities in their essays. This scholarship provides a full tuition scholarship in Year 1 and a partial tuition scholarship in Year 2.

“I came to the Pardee RAND Graduate School because I wanted to get to the root causes of homelessness and of poverty and really make a bigger impact—nationally and maybe even internationally—and I wanted more skills, more analytical tools and to be able to think about it from multiple perspectives. Pardee RAND is a wonderful place to get these particular skill sets while working with researchers to develop very comprehensive projects…I’ve been able to utilize skills developed working in affordable housing finance and community development towards improving the quality of life of homeless youth and other vulnerable populations.”

— Leslie Mullins, a recipient of the Diversity Scholarship in 2012

Jeremy R. Azrael Scholarship

The Azrael Scholarship is given in honor of Dr. Jeremy Azrael, who devoted his career to promoting better understanding between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union, to support and strengthen the work of a qualified applicant admitted to the PRGS Ph.D. program in Policy Analysis. Applicants must be a citizen of one of 15 independent post-Soviet states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or higher and receive a score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL exam. Applicants do not need to submit anything additional in their application to be considered.

“It is an honor for me to be the first Azerbaijani recipient of the Jeremy Azrael Scholarship. I hope to gain both practical and theoretical knowledge from professional policy analysts who specialize in various policy issues. Possibilities to work with professionals from different fields on a wide range of policy problems are abundant at RAND. I see this program as a chance to improve my research and analytical skills and to develop my ability to devise creative solutions to policy problems.”

— Gursel Aliyev, a recipient of the Azrael Scholarship in 2013

Dissertation Awards

The Pardee RAND Graduate School promotes the research and writing of innovative and exceptional dissertations through its annual Dissertation Award Competition. Thanks to the support of many generous donors, the Pardee School is able to provide funding ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to students on dissertation status each year across a wide range of topics. Students also apply for and receive dissertation support from outside organizations including from the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency.

All PRGS dissertation fellowship awards are designed to catalyze superb policy research on some of the most challenging issues, and are awarded through a competitive process. In 2013-2014 over $360,000 of dissertation funding was awarded. Learn more about the dissertation awards available at Pardee RAND.


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