Law and Public Policy, PhD


Alan Clayton-Matthews, PhD
Graduate Program Director
310 Renaissance Park

Jenn Mocarski 
Graduate Program Administrator
310 Renaissance Park

CSSH Graduate Programs General Regulations

This is an interdisciplinary social science program that combines several social science and legal theoretical perspectives with both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. The wide-ranging faculty in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs can support students’ research and dissertations in many fields—urban policy and regional economic development; sustainability and climate change; health policy; crime, social justice, and inequality; and the intersection of law and policy. Students work with faculty members to formulate a plan of study within their field of concentration by choosing courses from graduate programs offered in the policy school, the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and in other colleges and schools at Northeastern University. Students also study a common body of knowledge developed in core courses on policy, research methods, and law. The school’s research centers and faculty members’ research projects provide opportunities for students to develop insight, experience, and synergies to help with their own research goals. The college and school offer a high level of support allowing all students to be devoted full-time to their studies and research.

Doctoral Degree Candidacy 

Complete all required course work with a minimum 3.500 grade-point average (GPA) in the core courses and pass the comprehensive examinations. Students entering with a bachelor's degree must complete 42 semester hours.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.


Comprehensive examination
Annual review
PhD candidacy
Dissertation committee
Dissertation proposal
Dissertation defense

Major Requirements

Research and Statistical Methods
A grade of B+ or higher is required:
LPSC 7305Research and Statistical Methods3
or POLS 7202 Quantitative Techniques
ECON 7270Economics of Law and Regulation4
Policy Course
A grade of B+ or higher is required:
LPSC 7311Strategizing Public Policy3
Research Design
A grade of B+ or higher is required:
LPSC 7310Research Design and Analysis3
or PPUA 6205 Research Design and Methodology in Urban and Regional Policy


General Electives
Complete 6 semester hours from the following:6
Economic Analysis for Law, Policy, and Planning
The 21st-Century City: Urban Opportunities and Challenges in a Global Context
Techniques of Policy Analysis
Techniques of Program Evaluation
Institutions and Public Policy
Public Policy Elective
Complete 3 semester hours of PPUA 6000-series (or higher) course or any 6000-series (or higher) course or LPSC 7976 Directed Study with program approval.3
Methodology Elective
Complete 3 semester hours from the following:3
Advanced Quantitative Techniques
Advanced Topics in Methods
Qualitative Methods in Health and Illness
Any 6000-series (or higher) course or LPSC 7976 Directed Study with program approval
Law Elective
Complete 2 semester hours of LW course work.2
Economics Elective
Complete 3 semester hours of ECON 6000-series (or higher) course or any 6000-series (or higher) course or LPSC 7976 Directed Study with program approval.3
Open Electives
Complete 12 semester hours of 6000-series (or higher) courses in subject area PPUA or any 6000-series (or higher) courses or LPSC 7976 Directed Study with program approval.12

Exam and Dissertation

Exam Prep
Exam Preparation—Doctoral
Complete the following (repeatable) course twice:

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

42 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.500 GPA required