Doctor of Law and Policy — Charlotte

​The Doctor of Law and Policy program (DLP) is designed for experienced professionals interested in the origins, development, implementation, and analysis of legal and public policy decisions in healthcare, 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.


Full-Time, Part-Time

Entry Terms


Completion Time

3+ Years

F1 Visa Eligible


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 twice a quarter in Boston)

More Details

Unique Features

  • Our 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.

Program Objectives

  • ​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?

Executive DLP DLP
Location Boston Charlotte
Length of program 2 years; 69 credits 3-6 years; 69 credits
Modality Accelerated, cohort, hybrid model Adjustable course load, hybrid model
Classes per quarter 3 courses 1-2 courses
In-person intensive weekends Meets twice a quarter Meets quarterly
Professional experience required 10 years 3 years (education accepted in lieu of professional experience)
Cost $102.3K $70.2K
Financial aid Available Available
Other differentiating factors Includes registration, textbook purchase, and distribution.
Intensive weekend in Washington, D.C.
Intensive weekend abroad.

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 and 43% more than those with just bachelor's degrees.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021


is the expected lifetime earnings for someone with a doctoral degree

Forbes, 2021

Get Set With a Course Plan

Please note: 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.

Seth Harris

  • Distinguished Prof of the Prac

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Fiona Creed

  • Associate Teaching Professor

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Megan Kennedy

  • Assistant Teaching Professor

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Ted Johnson

  • Senior Lecturer

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Kevin Brannon

  • Assistant Teaching Professor

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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: Unofficial undergraduate transcripts; official transcripts required at the time of admission
  • 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

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.