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Northeastern's Doctor of Law and Policy Program (DLP) empowers leaders working in government, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors to advance in their careers with a deeper understanding of public policy. Our DLP 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.
Through the program, you will complete a doctoral thesis that examines a compelling policy change. Graduates establish themselves as experts on topics where they want to see change, help solve new and emerging issues, or explore an area they are passionate about.
Northeastern's DLP programs offer the majority of the coursework online, although there are two different learning formats based on professional experience and one's need for flexibility:
- Doctor of Law and Policy (includes quarterly residencies in Charlotte or Seattle)
- Doctor of Law and Policy–Executive Program (includes residencies every other month in Boston)
- Our flexible program format with residencies in Charlotte and Seattle allows you to earn your degree in 3-6 years. Professionals can alternatively complete their doctorate in as little as two years through our Executive DLP format with residencies in Boston.
- Advance your current career by learning the skills and knowledge needed to move into policy and management positions in government, nonprofit agencies, research organizations, consulting firms, and more.
- Earn your doctorate online, with in-person residencies. Designed for working professionals, the DLP program combines the flexibility of online learning with immersive residencies.
- Network with your accomplished classmates, who are fellow driven individuals in a wide range of fields.
- Past students have come from all over the country and worked for various employers such as Amazon, the FDA, the Department of Justice, Harvard University and other higher education institutions, the U.S. State Department, and more.
- Learn from faculty that are industry leaders. They are distinguished policymakers, foreign service officers, international consultants, international education consulting experts, and experts in development policy with considerable domestic and global experiences.
- Utilize law to be a better policy maker and change agent.
- Develop new leadership and strategic thinking skills.
- Interpret research and use it to further policy-related goals.
- Negotiate with stakeholders in courts, legislatures, and agencies in corporate and non-profit 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
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.
Upon completion of the DLP… Amazon reached out to me and offered me my dream job as a senior EHS manager with exposure across the globe… I strongly feel anyone with a desire to expand within their field should use the DLP program as the final step into scholarly research and career dominance.Scott Smith Doctor of Law & Policy Graduate, 2020
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.
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
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:
Domestic Application Guidelines
International Application Guidelines*
*International deadlines are only applicable if the program is F1 compliant.