Pardee RAND Degree Requirements

Pardee RAND professor Fabian Duarte teaches a class

A Curriculum Focused on Public Policy Analysis

Pardee RAND Graduate School offers only one degree: The Doctor of Philosophy in Policy Analysis.

The Ph.D. program consists of five elements:

  1. Interdisciplinary Core Curriculum In the first year, students complete a rigorous core curriculum (12 units), covering mathematics, statistics, economics, operations research, political science and other social sciences.
  2. Analytic Concentration (optional) In the second and third years, students complete an additional 7 units of coursework and may elect to focus their studies in one of three analytic concentrations: economics, quantitative methods, or social and behavioral sciences.
  3. Policy SpecializationStudents also specialize in at least one policy area, such as national security, health, education, energy and environment, labor and population, economic development, or civil justice and regulation.
  4. Project-Based Research Outside the classroom, students acquire practical experience as paid members of RAND research teams, which we call OJT (on-the-job training).
  5. Policy-Relevant Dissertation Finally, they write a doctoral dissertation that combines analytic rigor and practical utility under the guidance of a committee of RAND faculty and researchers.

The Pardee RAND Curriculum is under continuous review. Course offerings and requirements are therefore subject to change.