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In an increasingly complex and globally connected environment, the Doctor of Law and Policy program empowers leaders in the government, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors to establish expertise, advance their careers, and drive lasting change. In a flexible learning format, you’ll examine the intersection of three key themes—law, research, and policy—honing your professional and analytical skills as you learn to tackle practical problems with a multidisciplinary approach.
You’ll study the impact of political, economic, and social trends, crafting recommendations, strategies, and arguments to influence global and domestic law and policy. In the Executive Program, you’ll attend weekend residencies every other month in Boston, affording you the opportunity to complete your course work and doctoral thesis in 24 months. And with the guidance of our expert faculty, you’ll design and execute a personalized plan of inquiry to study and address the public policy issues you care about most.
This program is based in Boston, MA.
- 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
- 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?
|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)|
|Other differentiating factors||Includes registration, textbook purchase and distribution, and catering for all intensive weekends
Intensive weekend in Washington, D.C.
Intensive weekend in London, UK
Check Out Your Career Prospects
Beginning your journey with us is a big decision. But it's a smart one. Your field is evolving rapidly. That's why we're constantly innovating our programs to anticipate your industry's needs. So, no matter where your field goes, you can lead the way.
reported increased earnings of those with doctoral degrees vs. master's degrees
projected growth of employment in doctoral and professional-level occupations, faster than the 7% average projected for all occupations
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018
Experiential / Co-op Opportunities
Northeastern's signature experience-powered learning model has been at the heart of the university for more than a century. It combines world-class academics with professional practice, allowing you to acquire relevant, real-world skills you can immediately put into action in your current workplace.
This makes a Northeastern education a dynamic, transformative experience, giving you countless opportunities to grow as a professional and person.
Get Set With a Custom Course Plan
Please note: The following is a sample curriculum and is subject to change. Enrolled students should reference the academic catalog for current program requirements.
Follow Our Leaders
Our faculty represents a wide cross-section of professional practices and fields. They serve as mentors and advisors and collaborate alongside students to solve the most pressing global challenges facing established and emerging markets.
“As a faculty member in the program and an expert on international law and development, I want to make sure to give my students a perspective that is truly global so that they can approach their research with an inclusive, and unbiased perspective.” - Golnoosh Hakimdavar, Associate Teaching Professor in the Doctor of Law and Policy program
I had been looking for a doctoral program for several years that would not require me to move, was built specifically with the demands of a professional career in mind, allowed me to focus on a topic that was relevant, and enable me to take my career to the next level.Chrissie Noonan Doctor of Law and Policy, 2019
Now Let's Talk Admissions
You know where you are headed and you've seen how our program will lead you there. So let's get going. Here's what you need to know before you enroll.
- Online application
- Academic transcripts: Official undergraduate and graduate degree documentation
- Professional resumé: Current resumé that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
- Academic recommendation: This letter should come from a former professor or mentor who can speak to your ability to succeed in an academic environment. The recommender should address your capacity to conduct research and write at the doctoral level. If you have been out of school for a long time or are no longer acquainted with your professors, you may ask someone who has evaluated you during a professional training seminar or workshop to compose this recommendation.
- Two Professional Recommendations: One must be from your current supervisor; recommendations should not come from individuals who report to you. Recommenders are encouraged to identify specific examples that highlight your skills and abilities.
- Admission Statement: Respond to both questions separately and stay within the prescribed word limits. The ability to demonstrate clear, succinct, well-reasoned writing is essential.
- Discuss your career trajectory and your professional goals. How will earning this degree help you achieve those goals? (500 words)
- Identify an important problem or issue related to your profession. Why do you want to explore and understand this problem or issue? Be sure to articulate how this problem or issue relates to law and policy. (500 words)
- 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
- DLP Transfer Credit – Due to the cohort model of the Doctor of Law and Policy program, transfer credits from other institutions are not accepted.
Are You an International Student? Find out what additional documents are required to apply.
Admissions Details Learn more about the College of Professional Studies admissions process, policies, and required materials.
Cost and Tuition
Avg Institutional Aid
% Receiving Aid
Estimated Total Tuition
This is an estimate based on the tuition rates for Academic Year 2022-2023 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. For more detailed information, please visit Student Financial Services.
Our admissions process operates on a rolling basis; however, we do recommend the application guidelines below to ensure you can begin during your desired start term:
*International deadlines are only applicable if the program is F1 compliant.
Student Body Profile
Below is a look at where our Law & Criminology alumni work, the positions they hold, and the skills they bring to their organization.
Where They Work
- City of Boston
- State Board of Education
- U.S. Army
What They Do
- Business Development
- Community and Social Services
What They're Skilled At
- Policy Analysis
- Legal Writing
- Public Speaking
- Legal Analysis
Learn more about Northeastern Alumni on Linkedin.