Law and Policy

  • Professional Doctorate
Location: Boston
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Why Law and Policy?

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.

Today's professionals operate in an increasingly complex and global environment. Northeastern's Doctor of Law and Policy program empowers leaders working in government, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors to advance in their careers with a deeper understanding of public policy. Our Doctor of Law and Policy engages students in advanced coursework that develops legal reasoning, research, and policy analysis skills. By examining the intersection of three key themes—law, research, and policy—within their professional fields, the program prepares leaders to tackle practical challenges with a multidisciplinary approach.

The Doctor of Law and Policy program offers two different learning formats based on professional experience and need for flexibility: the Doctor of Law and Policy–Executive Program format with residencies taking place every other month in Boston, and the more flexible Doctor of Law and Policy Program format with quarterly residencies in Seattle.

In the Doctor of Law Policy–Executive Program, expert faculty members guide working professionals through a hybrid program that combines the flexibility of online learning with the depth of immersive residencies. One weekend every other month, Executive Doctor of Law and Policy students gather with their cohort of peers in Boston. Through this approach, students have the opportunity to complete their course work and doctoral thesis in 24 months. Since its launch in 2005, the Doctor of Law and Policy program has helped working professionals become change agents in industries such as government, human services, and higher education. 

More Details 

Unique Features

  • Our executive program is designed for working professionals with 10 years of experience and can be completed in two years
  • Hybrid format with classes meeting every other month on ground, and online learning throughout the rest of the year
  • Cohort learning model allows students to cultivate a network of friends and colleagues from a myriad of industries, ages, and experiences
  • Residencies every other month offer students the advantages of interactive learning without the restrictions of a traditional doctoral program
  • In addition to the residencies in Boston, students participate in one three-day residency in Washington, D.C., in their first year and one international four-day residency in their second year. Students participate in a mixture of sessions that include guest lecturers from various elected officials and public policy advocates, as well as excursions to places that play key roles in policy-making
  • Past guest speakers have included Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas; congressional journalists from CNN, NPR, Buzzfeed, and Politico; Marty Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post; Representative Joseph Kennedy III; Lonnie Bunch, director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Mason Dunn, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition; and Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine
  • Learn from faculty with decades of experience as international consultants, higher education consulting experts, legal experts, and experts in development policy

Program Objectives 

  • Develop new leadership and strategic-thinking skills
  • Utilize law as a way to be a better policy maker and change agent
  • Interpret research and use it to further policy-related goals
  • Be able to negotiate with stakeholders in courts, legislatures, and agencies in the corporate and nonprofit environments 

Graduates Share Their Story

View the video below to hear Doctor of Law and Policy graduates share why they chose the program, what they learned, and their area of focus.

What Program Format is Right for Me?

  Executive DLP DLP
Location Boston Seattle
Length of program 2 years; 69 credits 3-6 years; 69 credits
Modality Accelerated, cohort, hybrid model More flexible, hybrid model
Classes per quarter 3 courses 1-2 courses
In-person intensive weekends Meets every other month Meets quarterly
Professional experience required 10 years 3 years (education accepted in lieu of professional experience)
Cost $91,149 $62,376
Financial aid Available Available
Other diffentiating factors Includes registration, textbook purchase and distribution, and catering for all intensive weekends
Intensive weekend in Washington, D.C.
Intensive weekend in London, UK

What you'll study

General Requirements

Doctor of Law and Policy Required Courses

LWP 6118 - Historical Foundations of American Law
LWP 6119 - Current Law and Policy Debates: Our Nation’s Capital and Beyond
LWP 6120 - Law and Legal Reasoning 1
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6401 - Law and Policy Concepts 1: The Policymaking Process
LWP 6424 - Research Methods
LWP 6121 - Law and Legal Reasoning 2
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6402 - Law and Policy Concepts 2: Strategizing for Public Policy
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6423 - Qualitative Methods
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6122 - Law and Legal Reasoning 3
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6403 - Law and Policy Concepts 3: Policy Case Studies
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6420 - Quantitative Methods
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6123 - Law and Legal Reasoning 4
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6410 - Economics for Policy Analysis
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6404 - Evaluation Research
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6431 - Political and Moral Ethics and Dilemmas
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6500 - Doctoral Research Design 1
3.00 - 3.00
LWP 6450 - Public Policy Theory and Practice 1
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6501 - Doctoral Research Design 2
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6451 - Public Policy Theory and Practice 2
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6502 - Doctoral Research Design 3
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6452 - Public Policy Theory and Practice 3
2.00 - 3.00
LWP 6503 - Doctoral Research Design 4
2.00 - 6.00

This program requires successful completion of a minimum of 69 credit hours that meet the degree requirements.

Thinking about pursuing a graduate degree?

Explore seven reasons to attend graduate school.

Did You Know?

The estimated average annual salary difference for professionals with a doctorate versus a master's degree is $28,990 (2014 CPS Analysis of PayScale Data).

Average Time to Completion

2 Years



Entry Terms


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