Doctor of Law and Policy
|Also available 100% Online||No|
|Credits Required for Graduation||48|
|Entry Terms||Summer Quarter|
|Meets International Visa Requirements||No|
Early Acceptance Application Deadline: November 1, 2013
Next Start Date: July 1, 2014
Public servants, executives, and managers operate in an increasingly complex global environment. A doctoral education provides the policy, analytic, and research skills necessary to advance one’s career.
Developed jointly by the College of Professional Studies and Northeastern's Law and Public Policy program, the Doctor of Law and Policy program (DLP) is designed for experienced professionals who are interested in the origins, development, implementation, and analysis of legal and public policy decisions in government and related institutions. The program prepares students to advance their careers within a variety of fields while focusing their thesis research on a precise law and policy topic.
Students undertake the DLP in order to understand the ways in which public and related institutions formulate and execute policy. Students have the opportunity to develop the ability to interpret and assess the research of others, to acquire skills as researchers, and to communicate their knowledge to a wide range of audiences. Those who successfully complete the degree are equipped to bring their skills and knowledge to senior policy and management positions in government, nonprofit agencies, research organizations, consulting firms, and corporations.
The DLP program is structured so coursework and the doctoral thesis can be completed in two years. Classes meet one weekend per month in Boston, and the learning continues online throughout the rest of the month.
Interested in learning more?
The Doctor of Law and Policy not only offers rigorous curriculum, but also focuses on applying knowledge to real-world problems. It involves an interdisciplinary course of study, including qualitative and quantitative research methods. The curriculum follows an accelerated format, allowing you to complete your coursework in two years.
Sample Course Sequence
Please note, the below course sequence may vary depending upon your start date.
Year One, First Quarter (6 q.h.)
|n/a||Orientation and Introduction to Law and Policy Doctoral Research Workshop||0 q.h.|
|LWP 6120||Law and Legal Reasoning 1||2 q.h.|
|LWP 6401||Law and Policy Concepts 1||2 q.h.|
|LWP 6424||Research Methods||2 q.h.|
Year One, Second Quarter (6 q.h.)
|LWP 6121||Law and Legal Reasoning 2||2 q.h.|
|LWP 6402||Law and Policy Concepts 2||2 q.h.|
|LWP 6420||Quantitative Methods||2 q.h.|
Year One, Third Quarter (6 q.h.)
|LWP 6122||Law and Legal Reasoning 3||2 q.h.|
|LWP 6403||Law and Policy Concepts 3||2 q.h.|
|LWP 6423||Qualitative Methods||2 q.h.|
Year One, Fourth Quarter (6 q.h.)
|LWP 6123||Law and Legal Reasoning 4||2 q.h.|
|LWP 6410||Economics for Policy Analysis||2 q.h.|
|LWP 6404||Evaluation Research||2 q.h.|
Year Two, First Quarter (6 q.h)
|LWP 6431||Political and Moral Ethics and Dilemmas||2 q.h.|
|LWP 6425||Methods and Theory as Applied to Doctoral Research||2 q.h.|
|LWP 6500||Doctoral Research Design 1||2 q.h.|
Year Two, Second Quarter (6 q.h)
|LWP 6450||Public Policy Theory and Practice 1||4 q.h.|
|LWP 6501||Doctoral Research Design 2||2 q.h.|
Year Two, Third Quarter (6 q.h)
|LWP 6451||Public Policy Theory and Practice 2||4 q.h.|
|LWP 6502||Doctoral Research Design 3||2 q.h.|
Year Two, Fourth Quarter (6 q.h)
|LWP 6452||Public Policy Theory and Practice 3||4 q.h.|
|LWP 6503||Doctoral Research Design 4||2 q.h.|
Additional Quarters (If Needed)
|LWP 7994||Thesis Continuation||0 q.h.|
Total Quarter Hours: 48
Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.
- Online application
- Academic transcripts: Official undergraduate and graduate degree documentation
- Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
- Professional resume: current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
- Three letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
- Interview: applicants may be requested to participate in an interview as part of the admissions process, if this is determined we will reach out to you directly
- Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.
All requirements must be received prior to review.
Estimated total tuition for this program is $72,192.00.
Tuition includes textbooks, meals during intensive sessions, and other program materials.
Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.
Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.
Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2013-14 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.
*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.
This accelerated, intensive program is designed for working professionals with demanding careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Applicants are engaged in the most important issues of our time impacting a wide range of dynamic, influential industries and professions. They are accomplished leaders with the talent and ambition to make a difference. They are driven to effect substantive changes in law and policy. The Law and Policy Doctorate program provides students the necessary skill set for professional advancement. Our alumni have gone on to distinguished careers in government, consulting, law, and higher education. Recent graduates have held titles including:
Director of the Office of Title I, New Jersey Department of Education
About the curriculum: “DLP faculty members hold students to very high academic standards. During the program, I have developed a core set of intellectual skills and have been able to apply those skills to a policy problem within my profession.”
How the program helped in her profession: “Because of the DLP program, I am more in tune to how and why organizations make certain decisions. The program has helped me understand more precisely how legislatures, political appointees and civil servants interact.”
General Counsel and Corporate Integrity Officer, Center for Discovery, Inc.
What sets the program apart: “I was attracted to both the cohort model of the DLP program and also the hybrid format. As someone trying to balance my career and family responsibilities, the combination of online learning and monthly face-to-face classes was doable for me.”
How the program helped his profession: “I am a 30-year career attorney working in health-care policy. This program has put me in a more analytical frame of mind, which has helped me in my professional life. During the DLP program, I have become a more polished and concise writer and have become more comfortable with quantitative analysis.”
Core faculty lead the program and are chosen for their experience and in applied law and policy and excellence in teaching.
Neenah Estrella-Luna, PhD, Northeastern University
Fields: Qualitative Research, Urban Issues, Applied Sociology, Race and Ethnic Relations, Environmental Justice
Joan Fitzgerald, PhD, Pennsylvania State University
Fields: Urban Economic Development, Urban Sustainability, State Renewable Energy Policy
James Alan Fox, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Fields: Serial/Mass Murder, Juvenile Violence, Capital Punishment
Thomas S. Mullikin, J.D., University of
Fields: Law and Policy, Environmental and Climate Change Policy, Government Relations,
Robert D. Pritchard, PhD, Northeastern University
Fields: Public Policy Research, Transportation Safety, Applied Microeconomics, Law and Economics
Daniel J. Urman, J.D., Harvard Law School, M.Phil., University of Oxford
Fields: Law and Policy, U.S. Foreign Policy, Judicial Processes and Behavior
Affiliated and Adjunct Faculty
Affiliated and Adjunct faculty specialize in a wide range of law and policy areas.
Barry Bluestone, PhD, Economics, University of Michigan
Fields: Business and Industrial Policy, Urban and Regional Economic Development
Christopher Bosso, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Fields: Public Policy, Environmental Policy
David Boyd, PhD, Oxford University
Fields: Organizational Behavior, Leadership
Richard Daynard, J.D., Harvard University, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Fields: Products Liability, Psychiatry and Law, LItigation Strategies
Michael Dukakis, J.D., Harvard University
Fields: Public Policy, Health Policy, Public Management
Michael Goldman, M.A., Boston University
Fields: Media and Government Relations, Communications Law and Policy
Jack Levin, PhD, Boston University
Fields: Crime and Violence, Sociology of Hate
Stephen Nathanson, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Fields: Moral and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Law
Alan Schroeder, PhD, Harvard University
Fields: Journalism, National Elections, Presidential Debates
Marian Walsh, M.Div., Harvard University, J.D., Suffolk University
Fields: Leadership, Legislative policymaking, Law & Policy of Fundamental Rights
Gregory Wassall, PhD, Rutgers University
Fields: Cultural Economics, Taxation, Public Policy
Distinguished Visiting Lecturers
Monthly intensives also feature renowned guest faculty—all top practitioners and scholars in their field.
Martin Baron, M.B.A., Lehigh University
Editor, The Washington Post (formerly The Boston Globe)
Wayne Budd, J.D., Wayne State University
Former Associate Attorney General and United States Attorney, District of Massachusetts
Tad Devine, J.D., Suffolk University
Political Consultant and Senior Advisor, Gore & Kerry Presidential Campaigns
Charles Fried, J.D., Columbia University
Former Solicitor General of the United States and Justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Beneficial Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Kate Gordon, J.D. & M.U.P, University of California-Berkeley
Vice President for Energy Policy, Center for American Progress
Scott Harshbarger, J.D., Harvard Law School
Former Attorney General of Massachusetts; Partner at Proscauer Rose law firm.
Dennis Henigan, J.D., University of Virginia Law School
Acting President, Brady Campaign and Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Roderick L. Ireland, J.D., Columbia University, LL.M., Harvard University, PhD, Northeastern University
Chief Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Juliette Kayyem, J.D., Harvard Law School
National Security & Foreign Policy Columnist, The Boston Globe
Richard D. Kahlenberg, J.D., Harvard Law School
Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
Randall L. Kennedy, J.D., Yale Law School
Michael R. Klein Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Michael Klarman, J.D., Stanford Law School, D.Phil, University of Oxford
Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Peter J. Koutoujian, J.D., New England School of Law, M.A., Harvard University
Former Massachusetts State Representative, Sheriff, Middlesex County
Robert Kuttner, M.S., Economics, London School of Economics, Harvard/Guggenheim Fellow
Founder, The American Prospect
James Kvaal, J.D., Harvard Law School
Policy Director, Obama for America 2012
Sanford Levinson, PhD, Harvard University, J.D., Stanford University
W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law
Michael G. Masters, J.D., Harvard Law School, M.A., University of Cambridge
Executive Director, Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
John E. McDonough, PhD, University of Michigan, M.P.A., Harvard University
Executive Director, Health Care for All; Former Massachusetts State Representative and Chair, Joint Committee on Health Care
John Nagl, D. Phil, University of Oxford
President, Center for New American Security
Jeffrey Rosen, J.D., Yale Law School, M. Phil, University of Oxford
Legal Affairs Editor, The New Republic, Professor, George Washington University Law School
Fields: Federal Courts, Judicial Nominations, Politics of Law.
Tomicah Tilleman, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Senior Advisor, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
I noticed that this program operates on the cohort model. What does that mean?
The cohort model means that all incoming students progress through identical coursework at the same pace. Students within a given cohort tend to form strong bonds with one another and, generally, such cohesiveness translates into improved student outcomes and life-long relationships.
What is the typical size of a cohort in the DLP program?
Cohorts typically range in size from 15-30 students.
What are the backgrounds of students currently in the program?
DLP students come from a variety of professional backgrounds. The most common fields represented are: government agencies, non-profit management, homeland security and defense, emergency management, health-care, and higher education administration. Most students are mid to high level managers and executives.
I have taken some graduate courses at Northeastern or another university. Can I apply transfer credits to this program?
The DLP program does not accept transfer credits. All students in a cohort proceed through the same set of courses at the same time.
How long does the program take to complete?
The DLP is structured as a 24 month program.
Can I take time off from the program once I begin?
Barring a documented family or medical emergency, students cannot take time off from the program once it begins. Because the DLP operates on a cohort model, it is not feasible for students to take leave and reenter the program.
What does my tuition cover?
Tuition includes textbooks, meals during intensive sessions, and other program materials.
What is the introductory seminar like?
The LDP program starts with a five-day introductory seminar and orientation, which covers contemporary issues in academic writing, research methods, and professional development. Orientation activities include a reception with faculty and senior Northeastern administrators and a tour of the Boston campus.
What are the monthly intensive sessions like?
After the introductory session, scholars meet for a one-weekend intensive session each month in Boston. Weekend intensive classes meet from 12:30 PM – 9:00 PM Friday, 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM Saturday, and 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM Sunday. Weekend classes may include course lectures, workshops, group and individual meetings, guest speakers, and other activities. A sample schedule of a weekend meeting is available here. Normally, at least one intensive during each year of the program is held off-site at a center of law and policy, such as Washington, D.C., Chicago, or New York City.
Before each weekend meeting session, students complete readings and preparatory assignments. Written assignments (group and individual) and presentations are assigned to be completed by the next session.
Does Northeastern University have arrangements with local hotels during the weekend sessions?
Yes. Students are strongly encouraged to reside at the Club Quarters Boston during monthly weekend sessions. Residence encourages group cohesion and facilitates knowledge exchange, growth, professional respect, and collegiality among students. It also enables students to fully concentrate on their academic studies. Students may take advantage of special discounted room rates at the Club Quarters.
161 Devonshire Street, Boston
Individuals must call Club Quarters member services during business hours at (212) 575-0006 to reserve their rooms before the cut-off date of 2 weeks prior to arrival date.
Any reservation after the cut-off date will be subject to availability. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals should identify themselves with College of Professional Studies and mention code CPSLPD.
What is the dress code during weekend intensive sessions?
Business casual attire is required during weekend intensives.
I’m apprehensive about online learning, can you elaborate on that part of the program?
Between weekend intensive sessions, students use the College of Professional Studies Blackboard online learning management system to communicate and collaborate, participate in class discussions, access course content, and complete and submit assignments. Many of students in the program have no experience with online learning, but find Blackboard to be both intuitive and user-friendly.
Do I need any specialized computer equipment for the online portion of the program?
Students will need reliable access to a computer with high speed internet connection. Students will not need to purchase specialized software for the DLP program.
What kinds of topics do students investigate for their doctoral thesis research?
The DLP program emphasizes applied policy research. As such, students investigate a practical problem directly related to their professional lives. It is an expectation that students’ professional experience will inform the research topic that they choose. Topics include, but are not limited to health policy, emergency management, K-12 and higher education, criminal justice, non-profit management, legal reform.
What if my I don’t complete my thesis after two years?
For a number of reasons, a student may not complete his or her thesis at the end of the second year. Students can enroll in continuing thesis credits after they have finished their coursework. It is highly recommended that students complete their thesis within two terms of finishing their coursework, and the coursework is built so that students are able to do so.
Does this program prepare me to take the Bar Exam and practice law?
The DLP program does not prepare students to take the Bar Exam and practice law. Students interested in practicing law should pursue a traditional Juris Doctorate.
How will this program help me advance my professional goals?
During the DLP program, students learn to how to be both consumers and producers of high level research. DLP graduates can evaluate research in a systematic way. Graduates also learn how to address policy problems from multiple angles and to communicate with a wide range of audiences. The cohort model means that students, already leaders in their fields, will leave the program with professional and personal contacts across the nation. This makes DLP graduates particularly capable of solving the complex problems they face in their professions and beyond.
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