Why this graduate degree program may be for you
The PhD in Law and Public Policy (LPP) offers an innovative, rigorous and empirically based law and public policy curriculum that prepares graduates to enter careers in academia, research, and government service. The program focuses on the full scope of law and public policy from an interdisciplinary social science and legal perspective.
You will acquire an understanding of how law and public policy is created, modified, and studied at all levels of government, and develop the skills to choose and implement the right approaches and tools to do theoretically based policy analysis.
Our interdisciplinary focus means that students come from a variety of backgrounds. And our students typically have several years of work experience. You will find that engaging in a classroom with other students who hold degrees such as the MBA, JD, MPH, or other social science degrees is quite an intellectually stimulating experience. Our students engage in public policy analysis and research in several areas including health policy; sustainability, climate change and environmental policy; crime, law and justice; and urban policy.
Many graduates have found tenure track academic positions, some are well placed in the court system, and others work for government or non-profit policy research organizations.
What can you expect from the program
We distinguish LPP from other public policy programs in two ways. First, while many public policy programs are mostly applied economics, economics is only one part of our curriculum. Our hallmark course, Strategizing Public Policy, illustrates our approach to the discipline. We use a case study method to analyze how policy is made at the local, state, and federal level through legislation, litigation, the ballot box, and civil action. Second, students interested in developing a more theoretical and empirical understanding of the law will appreciate our law and society focus.
Course of Study
Information accurate as of October 2012. Requirements and policies subject to change. For up-to-date information, contact Kathie Simmons or visit the official graduate catalogue at http://www.northeastern.edu/registrar/catgrad1213.pdf.
Another unique aspect of the program is that students design their own interdisciplinary curriculum. After taking core courses in theory, research methodology and economics, students develop their own plan of study in their chosen policy field. Students take courses in the School of Law and other colleges at Northeastern. The law courses in the curriculum provide students with the foundation to conduct legal research, understand the legal aspects of their policy focus area, and understand how courts make policy.
Core Courses and Sample Syllabi
- Interdisciplinary Approaches to Policy and Advocacy
- Economics of Law and Regulation
- Law and Legal Reasoning
- Research and Statistical Methods
- Research Design and Analysis
- Strategizing Public Policy
- Ethics and Public Policy
- Advanced Methodology Elective
- Research Tool Kits
Methodology Course Offerings in other Departments
Policy Focus Areas
- Crime, Law, and Justice
- Health Policy
- Sustainability, Climate Change and Environmental Policy
- Urban Policy
If you are primarily interested in a policy focus area that is not listed above, we invite you to have a conversation with us. In many cases, doctoral students are able to carve out a distinct area of policy focus by identifying key faculty with expertise in that issue area.
- Len Albright
- Judith Barr
- Barry Bluestone
- Chris Bosso
- Ballard Campbell
- Alan Clayton-Matthews
- James Connolly
- Richard Daynard
- Joan Fitzgerald
- James Alan Fox
- Greg Goodale
- Thomas Koenig
- Steve Nathanson
- Stephanie Pollack
- Matthias Ruth
- Gavin Shatkin
- Michael Tolley
- Gregory Wassall
Financial Aid and Scholarships
In addition to needs-based financial aid, a limited number of tuition discounts and scholarships are available. We urge you to complete your application for admission as early as possible. Applications for financial aid are processed after students have been admitted into the program. For complete details, go to Tuition and Financial Aid.
Admissions to the PhD in the Law & Public Policy program are for the fall semester only. All applications must be submitted online.
Application Deadline: February 1st
How to Apply
To apply to the Law & Public Policy program, please submit:
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended
- GRE scores (The code for Northeastern University for the GRE is R3682.)
- Personal statement
- Current resume
- Three letters of recommendation
- Application fee