Fellowships and Scholarships at Pardee RAND Graduate School

The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

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PHD Fellowship & Research

Location (s):

  • United States of America
Santa Monica, CA


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.


Pardee RAND's mission is to train future leaders, many of whom will serve in the public sector. We keep our Ph.D. program affordable thanks to our generous donors and alumni.

Students can graduate with little or no debt if they meet the requirements of their research fellowship.

Funding the Ph.D. is achieved through a combination of

  • a generous scholarship and
  • a research fellowship earned by working on RAND projects of the student's choice.

Pardee RAND's program enables students to cover their tuition while receiving a consistent stipend for living expenses each year.

Year 1: Every student receives a full-tuition scholarship for their first year. They also earn their research fellowship by conducting research at RAND—what we call on-the-job training, or "OJT."

Year 2: Students receive a partial-tuition scholarship for their second year. To cover the remaining tuition, they work an increasing number of OJT days and earn a larger research fellowship.

Years 3-5: In the third year, tuition is reduced and students’ research fellowship (and target number of OJT days) increases for the final time. This allows the net stipend to increase significantly.

Once students begin their dissertation, they can apply for dissertation awards to reduce the OJT requirement. These awards allow students to focus on their dissertation.

General Scholarship

General scholarships are awarded during the admissions process and do not require a separate application. They remain in place as long as a student remains in good academic standing. General scholarships are available because of the generosity of donors who support our exceptional incoming students.

Diversity Scholarship

The two-year Pardee RAND Graduate School Diversity Scholarship is an honor awarded to one incoming student each year. This scholarship seeks to support and strengthen the work of outstanding and diverse students admitted to the Pardee RAND Ph.D. program. Interested applicants should mark the appropriate checkbox when filling out the graduate school application and follow instructions about demonstrating commitment to and experience with diverse communities in their essays.

Jeremy R. Azrael Scholarship

The two-year Azrael Scholarship is given in memory of Dr. Jeremy Azrael, who devoted his career to promoting better understanding between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. This scholarship is available to citizens from these independent post-Soviet states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. To be considered for this honor, students must hold a bachelor's degree or higher and receive a score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL exam. No additional application is required.

Research Fellowships

Pardee RAND research fellowships provide funds to cover tuition and living expenses. Each student receives the research fellowship by working an increasing number of days each year on RAND projects of their choice. This on-the-job training (OJT) is valuable both educationally and financially. OJT is an important requirement of the academic degree.


Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Students with advanced degrees: 65%

Average GRE quantitative score: 750 (160)

Average GRE verbal score: 620 (160)

In addition to meeting the standard admission requirements, international applicants must possess a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 100 on the internet-based exam. International applicants are exempted from the TOEFL requirement if they hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university in the United States or in another country in which English is the spoken language and the medium of instruction, or if they have completed at least two years of full-time study at an English-language instruction institution.


Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

Cost/funding for participants:

Thanks to generous funding from our donors, all incoming students receive a two-year scholarship totaling $33,250. In their first year students receive a full-tuition scholarship of $26,500. In the second year, they receive a partial-tuition scholarship of $6,750.


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