Founded in 1970 as one of eight graduate programs created to train future leaders in public policy, the Pardee RAND Graduate School is the largest public policy Ph.D. program in the nation. It also has the distinction of being the only policy school based at a public policy research institute — the RAND Corporation. Pardee RAND'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.
Thanks to generous funding from our donors, since 2013 the Pardee RAND Graduate School has been able to offer 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. Pardee RAND 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.
Pardee RAND 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). Pardee RAND 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, 135 days in the second year, and 135-155 days in years 3-5.
Scholarships 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. Pardee RAND 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 Pardee RAND Ph.D. program in Policy Analysis
Jeremy R. Azrael Scholarshipn - 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.
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.