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Master of Public Affairs Dual Degree Programs - Public Health

The Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and the The University of Texas School of Public Health offer a dual degree program leading to two graduate degrees, the Master of Public Affairs (MPAff) degree and the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. The dual degree program will combine advanced studies of government, nonprofit agencies and policy with a focus on the issues, organizations and skills needed to make meaningful contributions in the growing field of public health. There is an increased need in both the public and private sectors for specialists with that combination of backgrounds. The program will be structured so that students can earn both degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. The MPaff Degree will be awarded when the required course work in both areas including the thesis is completed. The MPH degree will be awarded when the School of Public Health degree requirements have been completed.

The University of Texas School of Public Health is part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).The UT School of Public Health has regional campuses in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Brownsville , and San Antonio. It is anticipated that the vast majority of Public Health students who opt for the dual degree will be from the Austin campus and that the majority of LBJ students who opt for the degree will take their courses in the School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus.

Admission Requirements

  1. Application to the Dual Degree Program: Applicants will be admitted to the  UT-Austin’s LBJ School Masters in Public Affairs and the UT School of Public Health Masters in Public Health graduate degree programs according to the admission schedule and policies of each school. Although admission forms for the two schools will acknowledge the dual degree program, applicants must submit admission materials to each school’s admission office independently and on time. Admission materials will not be shared between admission offices, and admission to one program does not assure admission to the other Institution or its degree program.  
  2. Admission to the Dual Degree Program: A student may apply to the Dual Degree Program after having been admitted to either the LBJ School’s MPAff or the School of Public Health program, as long as the student has not yet completed more than half the coursework for either program.  Students can be admitted to the Dual Degree program only if approved by both the LBJ School and UT School of Public Health.

Degree Requirements

  1. Credit for Program Work: The MPAff/MPH dual degree program will be designed so that students can earn an MPAff and MPH degree in three years rather than the four years generally required to complete the two degrees independently. To satisfy the program requirements, students must complete 36 credit hours at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and 33 credit hours at the School of Public Health, including the first-year core curriculum in each school. This means that a total of 69 credit hours are required to complete the MPAff/MPH dual degree program.

    The MPH degree program normally requires 45 hours to complete, and the MPAff degree normally requires 48 hours. The School of Public Health will count up to 12 approved credit hours obtained at the School of Public Affairs or elsewhere at UT Austin that will apply toward the MPH degree. The LBJ School of Public Affairs will waive up to 12 credit hours obtained at the School of Public Health.

Public Affairs

  • Twenty-one (21) hours of required Public Affairs core courses (Introduction to Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis, Advanced Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis, Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis, Advanced Policy Economics, Public Management, Public Financial Management, Politics and Process)
  • Six (6) hours of a Policy Research Project (two 3-hour courses)
  • Nine (9) hours of general or specialization elective courses in Public Affairs.
  • Summer internship in an office or location where activity is related to the dual degree program. The internship will also serve as the practicum for the School of Public Health and earn credit as PHA 9997.

UT School of Public Health

  • A minimum of forty-five (45) semester credit hours are required to earn the MPH degree, including the completion of a practicum/ internship experience and a culminating experience/thesis on a topic related to public health.
  • In the dual degree program, students are required to earn thirty-three (33) of the forty-five (45) semester credit hour minimum from courses that originate in the UTSPH.
  • The MPH degree program requires that students acquire skills and knowledge in five core public health disciplines: social and behavioral sciences, biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, and health services management, policy administration. 
  • The remaining elective courses are chosen to reflect the career interests of the student and the dual nature of the degree program.
  1. Completion of the Dual Program: The student will be responsible for completing the work in both degree programs. The UT School of Public Health will award the MPH degree as soon as all of the requirements for the degree are completed.Both degrees must be completed for the student to receive the MPAff degree, unless the student has previously requested a change of program major from the dual degree to the MPAff program and that change has been approved. Students who exercise this option may not reenter the Dual Degree Program.


Advising in the dual degree program will be structured to allow students flexibility and guidance within a well defined program. Before enrolling for the first semester's course work, each new student will meet with the Academic Adviser in the School of Public Health and the Graduate Adviser from the LBJ School. These advisers consult with the student, who prepares a plan of course work suitable to her/his needs and objectives. This initial plan of study may undergo some revision after the student begins taking courses. By the end of the second semester in the program the student must submit an official plan of study for approval by both the advisers. Each student should stay in regular contact with both of his/her advisers during the course of study. Each student is held personally responsible for knowing the degree requirements and meeting deadlines.

Sample Program Tables

UT School of Public Health - UT Science Center Houston

UT School of Public Health - Austin Regional Campus

Master of Public Affairs Program