Apply to Pardee RAND

Make a strategic decision

Our application season will open in September.

If you are interested in applying for Fall 2022, visit our Application page to learn more about the application process.

Learn more

Not sure whether you're ready? Submit a pre-application and we will provide individualized feedback on your qualifications.

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, nonpartisan research institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis.

Our students come from diverse personal and academic backgrounds, and about a third of our students come from outside the U.S. All of them are supported by a combination of fellowships and scholarships that cover tuition, include a living stipend, and can enable them to graduate debt-free.

Meet our students

  • Rachel Perera

    Rachel Perera

    Cohort '16

    Using quantitative methods to understand and address opportunity gaps and inequities in K-12 education

  • Jalal Awan

    Jalal Awan

    Cohort '17

    Autonomous transport, climate change, infrastructure resilience, future of work, the smart grid

  • Luke Irwin

    J. Luke Irwin

    Cohort '16

    Complex social systems, emerging technologies, and social change in a wide array of substantive areas

  • Krystyna Marcinek

    Krystyna Marcinek

    Cohort '17

    International security and cooperation, NATO and Eurasian affairs, asymmetric and information warfare

View all students »

Choose your policy engagement stream

Policy analysts need not only mastery in one area but also the ability to work with and understand colleagues across a range of areas of expertise. Pardee RAND offers three different streams of policy engagement. In your application, you will choose the stream that best fits your interests:

  1. Research, Analysis, and Design: mastering analytic tools and methods for addressing complex policy problems
  2. Community-Partnered Policy and Action: partnering with and working in communities to effect real and sustainable change
  3. Technology Applications and Implications: creating technology-focused solutions to policy problems and understanding the societal implications of changing technology
Learn more about our academic program »

Receive a financial package that's fully funded

  • A full-tuition scholarship for the first year, partial scholarship in the second year, and reduced tuition thereafter
  • A research fellowship earned by working on RAND projects of the student's choice that covers remaining tuition and provides a stipend to cover living expenses
  • Generous health insurance and other benefits, including paid parental leave
  • Use of a laptop computer
  • Support for conference attendance and travel to other RAND offices
  • Opportunity for subsidized housing in West L.A., a short commute to campus
  • Competitively awarded internal dissertation funding
  • Paid visit to Pardee RAND for preview weekend in March after acceptance

Pardee RAND's fully funded program enables students to cover their tuition while receiving a consistent stipend for living expenses each year and graduate debt-free.

Learn more about our generous financial aid »

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must:

  • be available to participate in our full-time combined research-and-study program at RAND’s headquarters in Santa Monica, California
  • have completed a bachelor’s degree; an advanced degree and/or some work experience is desired
  • demonstrate strong quantitative skills, although all majors and disciplines welcome

Our students are driven to change the world. Does that describe you?

Learn more about what we look for in an ideal candidate »

Application elements

  • An online application
  • Resume or CV
  • Three essays to understand your motivations to work in the field of policy analysis
  • Test scores on the GRE or GMAT; TOEFL or English proficiency test for some international students
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • School transcripts
Learn more about our admissions process »

Receive early feedback on your candidacy

If you are interested in receiving preliminary feedback on your candidacy prior to investing your time in the 2022 admissions process, please consider submitting a pre-application.

Submit a pre-application »

Contact us

If you have any questions or wish to be in touch, please contact us at