What Pardee RAND Looks for in an Ideal Candidate

Cohort 2022

Cohort 2022

Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

Each year, the Pardee RAND Graduate School welcomes about 23-25 M.Phil. and Ph.D. students driven to help solve the world's most pressing policy challenges.

We value diverse perspectives among our students, and no two Pardee RAND students are alike. But we do look for certain criteria to ensure each cohort of students excels and goes on to thrive as working professionals.

The ideal Pardee RAND candidate
…thinks about policy differently.

Interest in a particular policy issue area is a must for Pardee RAND students, but curiosity about the broader context of policy problems is just as important. Our students examine policy using the lenses of multiple disciplines, resulting in policy solutions that are appropriate to the diverse challenges they solve.

…is available for full-time study.

Pardee RAND limits admission to students who can participate full-time in our combined research-and-study program. Because the courses are taught in sequence, students must begin their study in the fall quarter.

…has completed a bachelor’s degree.

All applicants must have completed at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. They must also possess superior communication, logical reasoning and quantitative skills. An advanced degree and/or work experience is highly recommended for our Ph.D. program.

…has strong quantitative reasoning skills.

No preference is given to any particular undergraduate major. However, students must have a strong command of univariate calculus and, preferably, multivariate calculus by the time they enroll. It is common for applicants to undertake introductory or review classes in calculus to prepare for the course of study. Coursework in statistics, economics, linear matrix algebra, and more advanced calculus is helpful but not required.

…values a diverse and inclusive environment.

We seek students who are ready to contribute their personal and professional background and experience to meaningful dialogue, research and policy. Pardee RAND recognizes that unique and atypical paths to policy analysis often yield some of the most insightful candidates.

…is driven to change the world.

Each Pardee RAND student is driven by a deep and abiding passion to help change the world for the better. They also have a demonstrated discipline to master the intellectual tools that will help them do so.

Are you an ideal candidate for our M.Phil. or Ph.D. program?

Take the first step to find out!

Fill out a brief pre-application and we'll reply with individualized feedback on your potential fit with our program. We look forward to hearing from you!

Submit a pre-application

Pardee RAND Graduate School is committed to ensuring an equal opportunity workplace for all. For more information, please refer to RAND Corporation's Equal Employment Opportunity Policy.