Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School

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Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School (Pardee RAND)
students outside the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School
Former name
RAND Graduate School, RAND Graduate Institute
Motto Be The Answer
Type Private, not-for-profit
Established 1970
Affiliation RAND Corporation
Dean Susan L. Marquis
Students 2015-2016: 110
Location Santa Monica, California, USA
Colours           Purple and gold

The Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School (Pardee RAND) is a private, higher-education institution that offers doctoral studies in policy analysis and practical experience working on RAND research projects to solve current public policy problems. Its campus is co-located with the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research institution in Santa Monica, California, United States. Most of the faculty is drawn from the 950 researchers at RAND.[1] The 2015-16 student body included 110 men and women from 22 countries around the world.[2]


The school was founded in 1970 as the RAND Graduate Institute (RGI).[3] The name of the school has been changed twice. In 1987, RGI became the RAND Graduate School. In 2004, the present name was adopted to honor the contributions of Frederick S. Pardee, a former RAND researcher and philanthropist.[4] Charles Wolf, Jr served as founding dean from 1970 to 1997 and remained a professor at the school until his death in 2016.

In 2013, Pardee RAND launched the Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress[5] focusing on international development. The John and Carol Cazier Environmental and Energy Sustainability Initiative[6] was started in 2014. Pardee RAND has developed partnerships with UCLA.


Pardee RAND offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in policy analysis. The Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degree is awarded to students after two years of coursework and partial completion of the Ph.D. requirements. The first doctorate was awarded in 1974. As of April 2017, Pardee RAND has awarded 377 Ph.D. degrees and is the largest policy Ph.D. program in the United States.

The Pardee RAND curriculum includes courses in economics, statistics, operations research, political science, and the behavioral and social sciences. Public policy courses focus on issues such as social determinants of health, education, civil and criminal justice, national security, population and demographics, and international development.

On-the-job training[edit]

Pardee RAND students gain practical experience and earn their fellowships through on-the-job training as members of RAND's interdisciplinary research teams, initially as apprentices and later in roles of increasing responsibility and independence. Students can apply to work on current projects with clients in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.[7] RAND's research areas include children and families, education and the arts, energy and environment, health and health care, infrastructure and transportation, international affairs, law and business, national security, population and aging, public safety, science and technology, and terrorism and homeland security.[8]


Pardee RAND is highly selective and admits a maximum of 25 doctoral fellows each year to participate in its combined research-and-study program. Because the courses are taught in sequence, students must begin their study in the fall quarter. All applicants must have completed at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and possess superior communication, logical reasoning, and quantitative skills. An advanced degree is not required, but is highly desirable. The application period for entering fall classes is September 1 through early January. The school receives more than 500 applications and pre-applications every year.


Pardee RAND is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The school received its first accreditation in 1975 and was reaccredited in 2011 for 10 years (until 2020).[9]

Dissertations and job market[edit]

Dissertations of Pardee RAND fellows are published online.[10] Career choices of Pardee RAND graduates include academia, U.S. and foreign government offices, international institutions, private sector employers and non-profit institutions. Graduates possess strong quantitative, linguistic, programming and modelling skills and gain 2–3 years of full-time work experience on RAND projects during their PhD studies.

Noted people[edit]


Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]