Public policy is a call to service that requires commitment, compassion, creativity, courage and a passion to help shape the world and make it better. The LBJ School, a top 10 public policy school, has a unique combination of spirit, purpose and will that will give you opportunities and show you how to make a difference.
Why Public Policy at the LBJ School?
Students come to the LBJ School with a particular course of study in mind. They're motivated by exploring paths to justice, equality, improving education, environmental and energy policy and health care. They want to impact national security and foreign policy. But they all share a drive to delve into problems and find solutions, a desire to lead and an ambition to serve.
The options within the LBJ School's degree programs allow you to customize your academic experience and focus on how you want to make a difference. Both the Master of Public Affairs and the Master of Global Policy Studies programs have dual degree programs and specializations, and through the required Policy Research Projects, students gain access to policymakers to apply to real-world issues what they’ve learned in the classroom. The DC Concentration puts students in the center of the federal policy world with Policy Apprenticeships that put them into the workforce ahead of their counterparts at other nationally ranked public policy schools.
Explore the LBJ School's programs, and then take a good look at the faculty — a collection of nationally and internationally recognized scholars and experts who bring their extensive experience to the classroom and their own studies. See what they teach and learn about their research. Small class sizes mean LBJ students get to know faculty and create additional possibilities, as do the research centers that focus on a variety of policy issues.
The LBJ School of Public Affairs is a true government learning laboratory — the only public policy school that is part of a Tier I research university, a presidential library and a state capital, due north of the longest foreign border in the U.S. Combined with its connections, alumni and other opportunities, we offer a truly distinctive educational experience.
One of the best ways to get a feel for the LBJ School is to follow us: on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, on Flickr, on YouTube and on LinkedIn. See what we're doing, the events that we're hosting and participating in, what our faculty are doing and saying, who we're following and what our students are posting about.
Fill out a Request for Information (RFI), found on our How to Apply page. Our Office of Student Affairs and Admissions will contact you, and you can set up in-person one-on-one meetings with graduate coordinators, virtual meetings or online chats with admissions staff. They can help connect you with current student ambassadors who can tell you about their experience at the LBJ School, and answer any additional questions not covered on our FAQ.
Schedule a Visit
Come to Austin and experience the LBJ School for yourself. Register for an information session, check out the course schedule to sit in on some classes, attend an event, meet a few students and get their perspective — and SAVE THE DATE for the LBJ School Open House Nov. 14–15 in Austin. If traveling to Austin is too big a trek for you right now, learn more about us from alumni and our admissions staff at graduate school fairs and coffee chats around Texas and the country. You can also take a virtual tour.
Paying for School
The LBJ School has several options to help you fund your graduate education. As part of a public state school, this is one of the most affordable programs of its kind. Every applicant is automatically considered for a fellowship upon applying; there is no separate fellowship application process. However, fellowships are awarded as long as the funding remains available, so if you aren't funded and you'd like to be, apply as soon as possible. In addition, a variety of jobs are available, from graduate research assistant, teaching assistant and assistant instructor positions to other work across campus.
Time to Apply
Ready to start your future? As you go through the application process, remember a couple of things:
- Consider everything a writing sample. All of your written communications with us — your application, your resume, your personal statement and even your emails with questions — give you a chance to practice writing. The more thought and effort you put into even your casual communications, the more it will become second nature to apply that kind of care and attention to everything you write. View it all as an opportunity.
- Therefore, be careful in crafting your personal statement of purpose. Have more than one other person read it, checking for style, grammar, punctuation and those missing words that your eye might skip over. This is your chance to show us who you are, and our chance to learn about you. Make sure nothing — especially minor, preventable errors, distracts from that.
- Finally, if you've been out of the academic world and in the workforce for a while, use a work reference who can speak to your abilities — particularly as they relate to you as a student and how you would do in the program.
Here's your application checklist:
- Create an account and complete the ApplyTexas application
- Application fee
- Official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions
- GRE scores
- TOEFL scores (for international applicants)
- Three letters of recommendation
- Current résumé
- Personal statement of purpose