Academic Programs

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Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

Pardee RAND offers a unique academic learning environment — one in which students and faculty work together to tackle some of the world’s most complex problems.

Two Degrees, One Focus

Pardee RAND students examine policy using the lenses of multiple disciplines, resulting in policy solutions that are appropriate to the diverse challenges they solve.

Whether studying for the M.Phil. or the Ph.D., Pardee RAND students have the same overarching focus: understanding the role of policy analysis to change our world.

Follow an Interdisciplinary Course of Study

Traditional graduate training is usually grounded in a single discipline, but policy problems are inevitably cross-disciplinary. The Pardee RAND curriculum reflects this reality: All students follow a rigorous core curriculum with courses in policy analysis, economics, quantitative and qualitative analysis, social and behavioral sciences, and ethics. Additionally, qualifying exams test our Ph.D. students' knowledge of this material at the end of the first year.

Both M.Phil. and Ph.D. students also take a range of electives and tutorials with Pardee RAND's 250+ faculty, who are drawn from the more than 1,000 members of RAND's research staff.

Experiential Learning: Apply Your Skills to the Real World

At Pardee RAND, experiential learning has been a graduation requirement since the School’s inception. In fact, Pardee RAND flips the traditional graduate model of “learn first, apply later.” As early as their first quarter, students integrate academic theory with real work alongside and in tandem with RAND researchers.

Project-based research (which we call on-the-job training, or OJT) enables students to acquire practical experience working as paid members of RAND research teams for client-sponsored projects in areas such as health care, education and labor, national security, social and economic well-being, and more.

The RAND Corporation offers Pardee RAND students access to more than 1,000 of the world’s foremost policy experts, who collaborate with students on projects for clients worldwide.