Doctor of Law and Policy — Boston

The Doctor of Law and Policy program is designed for experienced professionals seeking to effect change through a deeper understanding of the origins, development, implementation and analysis of legal and public policy decisions in government and related institutions.

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We’re committed to creating an education as unique as your career path. So, whether your goal is a new career or moving up in your field, our innovative programs will get you going your way.


Customize your plan

We work with you to map your path to your goal.


Learn from experience

From real-world case studies to employer-based projects, we prepare you to manage what comes next.


Choose your focus

Whatever you’re passionate about, you’ll find the classes to sharpen your specialty.


Study anywhere, on your time

Part-time or full-time, we move at your speed, to get you where you’re going.



Entry Terms


Completion Time

2 Years

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.

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 DLPDLP
Length of program2 years; 69 credits3-6 years; 69 credits
ModalityAccelerated, cohort, hybrid modelMore flexible, hybrid model
Classes per quarter3 courses1-2 courses
In-person intensive weekendsMeets every other monthMeets quarterly
Professional experience required10 years3 years (education accepted in lieu of professional experience)
Financial aidAvailableAvailable
Other diffentiating factorsIncludes 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

Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018


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.

Learn About Getting Real World Experience

Get Set with a Custom Course Plan


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

Golnoosh Hakimdavar

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JD LaRock

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Kevin Brannon

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Megan Kennedy

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Ted Johnson

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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.
    1. Discuss your career trajectory and your professional goals. How will earning this degree help you achieve those goals? (500 words)
    2. 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.

Finance Your Education We offer a variety of resources, including scholarships and assistantships.

How to Apply Learn more about the application process and requirements.

Cost and Tuition

Application Deadlines

Summer 2021 (Boston)

Admissions Deadline
Priority deadline: May 1, 2021
Final deadline: May 15, 2021

Fall 2021 (Seattle)

Admissions Deadline
Priority deadline (September 20, 2021 start date): August 1, 2021
Final deadline (September 20, 2021 start date): August 15, 2021

Winter 2022 (Seattle)

Priority deadline (January 10, 2022 start date): December 1, 2021
Final deadline (January 10, 2022 start date): December 15, 2021

Summer 2022 (Boston)

Priority deadline (July 11, 2022 start date): June 1, 2022
Final deadline (July 11, 2022 start date): June 15, 2022

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
    • IBM
    • Deloitte
    • State Board of Education
    • U.S. Army
    • FDA
  • What They Do

    • Legal
    • Business Development
    • Education
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Community and Social Services
  • What They're Skilled At

    • Policy Analysis
    • Legal Writing
    • Research
    • Public Speaking
    • Legal Analysis


Learn more about Northeastern Alumni on Linkedin.