Resources for International Students

Students celebrate after a Pardee RAND dinner, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

Students at an evening reception

Diane Baldwin/RAND

Our students come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, creating a dynamic and inclusive community—and our international students are vital to making this a reality.

Pardee RAND helps our international students adjust to academic life in the United States and prepares them for careers in the United States and beyond.

International students come from two dozen across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, making up approximately one-third of our student population.

International Student Opportunities

International students receive an F1 visa and are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week while school is in regular session and full-time during school breaks and during the summer period. Students are also eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) which can increase the number of hours you are able to work during the school year. Pardee RAND is not a program sponsor of the J-1 visa.

Many projects at RAND will be candidates for students’ on-the-job training; however, projects that require a U.S. clearance and/or "fitness" are not open to international students. This includes all RAND projects for the Department of Homeland Security.

Some international students have found work on national and international security projects, but we advise all international students to plan to do substantial project work in the areas without any restrictions for international students, including RAND Health Care, RAND Social and Economic Well-being, and RAND Education and Labor.

Opportunities After Graduation

Pavan Katkar (cohort '14) presents research on Blockchain to the Pardee RAND Board of Governors

Pavan Katkar presents to the Board of Governors

Diane Baldwin/RAND

International students who receive an M.Phil. or Ph.D. from Pardee RAND Graduate School may be able to stay in the United States for up to three years after they graduate.

All international students have the option of working for one year in the United States as part of a federal program known as Optional Practical Training (OPT), and F-1 Visa students who receive degrees from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-designated programs may apply for a 24-month extension of their visa through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recognized the Pardee RAND Ph.D. as a STEM-designated program, and the M.Phil. is also STEM designated.

This designation expands our international graduates’ opportunities and makes them more competitive for jobs in the tech industry. Firms such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon have a strong interest in hiring international students from STEM-designated schools, as it gives the employers three years to evaluate candidates and complete the paperwork to sponsor them for H-1B Visas.

For more information about the U.S. government's STEM OPT program, visit their website. U.S. News and World Report offers a series of articles with additional information on studying in the United States.