Public Affairs

Master of Public Affairs

For More Information

Campus address: Sid Richardson Hall (SRH) 3.107, phone (512) 471-4292, fax (512) 471-8455; campus mail code: E2700

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, P O Box Y, Austin TX 78713



Facilities for Graduate Work

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs is housed in Sid Richardson Hall, adjacent to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.

The school’s computation center maintains a computer laboratory and provides access to the Internet and to the University’s computer infrastructure. The laboratory is reserved for public affairs students and is available 24 hours a day.

Areas of Study

This degree program aims to provide students with the skills and understanding required for effective professional leadership in developing and implementing public policies. Master of Public Affairs students may elect to organize their studies around certain areas of specialization. Depending on their qualifications, students can pursue the Master of Public Affairs degree through the regular program, a dual degree program, or the executive program in public leadership.

Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring 2019 semester.

Gordon B Abner
Abigail Rosemary ann Aiken
Jacqueline L Angel
Joshua W Busby
Robert M Chesney
Edwin Dorn
David J Eaton
Joshua David Eisenman
Raissa Fabregas Robles Gil
Kenneth Flamm
James K Galbraith
Michael H Granof
Sherri R Greenberg
Robert L Hutchings
William Inboden
Bobby R Inman
Peniel E Joseph
Donald Kettl
Alan J Kuperman
Erin Lentz
Martin Joseph Luby
Ji Ma
Sheila M Olmstead
Todd A Olmstead
Cynthia Osborne
Francie Ostrower
Varun Rai
Brian Richter
Victoria E Rodriguez
William G Spelman
David W Springer
Paul J Stekler
Chandler W Stolp
Jeremi Suri
Philip U Treisman
Paul Von hippel
Peter Ward
David C Warner
Andrew Waxman
Catherine Elizabeth Weaver
Robert H Wilson
Patrick P Wong

Admission Requirements

Admission decisions are made by the Admissions Committee. The committee considers applicants' academic and employment records, their scores on the Graduate Record Examinations General Test, three letters of recommendation from professors or employers, and a statement of purpose addressing the applicant’s background and interest in public policy. A résumé and transcripts for all college coursework are also required. 

While there are no prescribed course prerequisites, students entering the Master of Public Affairs program are expected to have completed coursework in three areas: mathematics and statistics, economics, and American government. Many students find it useful to take a review course in college algebra, calculus, and statistics the summer before entering the program. 

Additional information on degree requirements and the application process is available from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs website.

Degree Requirements

The curriculum for the Master of Public Affairs degree program normally consists of 48 semester hours of coursework. Up to nine hours in core courses may be waived and substituted with approved electives if a student demonstrates prior training and proficiency substantially equivalent to core courses in introductory quantitative methods, microeconomics, and public financial management. The curriculum combines courses in politics and the policy process, economic analysis, empirical methods, and management with a practical applications sequence that includes client-oriented policy research projects; it also allows the student to develop an area of specialization. A public service internship is required in the absence of relevant prior public service experience. A typical 48 semester-hour program of study includes eight one-semester core courses, at least one policy research project, a 12-week internship generally completed between the first and second years, six or seven electives, and an optional professional report.

The student must fulfill all academic requirements within six years of entering the program. Dual degree programs require additional coursework.

Full-time program. Most students are admitted to the full-time program, which they are generally expected to complete in two years of full-time study. A student who cannot attend full time may choose to complete the degree program on a part-time basis; the applicant must submit a written request for admission on a part-time basis when applying for admission to the program. A student enrolled in the full-time program may be allowed, for good reason, to change to part-time status.

DC program. The DC program option offers a student enrolled in the master's program a unique two-semester curriculum in federal policy which facilitates entry into federal careers. The track requires completion of 45 semester hours of coursework. Students attend The University of Texas at Austin their first two semesters, taking 24 semester credit hours. After the first year, students will spend the summer and fall in Washington, DC. Coursework will include a unique apprenticeship opportunity in a public or non-profit agency based on the student’s area of policy. 

Executive program. The executive program is designed for public service professionals who wish to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for public leadership. The program requires completion of 32 semester hours of coursework over four semesters. The curriculum consists of an intensive gateway course, followed by courses in strategic communications, executive analytics, executive management, and a final research capstone course.

Midcareer program. Each year a small number of applicants with substantial work experience are admitted to the midcareer program. In general, an applicant should have at least five years of experience in substantive policy-level or administrative positions related to the public sector. The applicant must submit a written request for admission to the midcareer program when applying for admission to the school; the request must be accompanied by supporting material detailing the applicant’s public service and policy-level work experience. The midcareer student must complete 27 hours of core courses, and at least nine hours of relevant electives.

Dual Degree Programs

Master of Public Affairs/Master of Public Health

The graduate program in Public Affairs offers a dual degree program with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health (UTSPH). Applicants must apply separately and be admitted to both the Master of Public Affairs program at The University of Texas at Austin and the Master of Public Health at UTSPH. Students accepted into the dual degree program complete the three-year program of work in both schools. The degrees are conferred separately by each institution. Additional information is available from the director of admissions at the LBJ School.

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs offers the following dual degree programs in cooperation with other divisions of the University. More information is available from the graduate adviser in each program.

Master of Public Affairs

Field(s) of Study Degree(s)
AdvertisingMaster of Arts
Asian studiesMaster of Arts
Business administrationMaster of Business Administration
Communication studiesMaster of Arts
Community and regional planningMaster of Science in Community and Regional Planning
Energy and earth resourcesMaster of Arts
EngineeringMaster of Science in Engineering
Information studiesMaster of Science in Information Studies
JournalismMaster of Arts
Latin American studiesMaster of Arts
Middle Eastern studiesMaster of Arts
Radio-television-filmMaster of Arts
Russian, East European, and Eurasian studiesMaster of Arts
Social WorkMaster of Science in Social Work
Women's and gender studiesMaster of Arts