DC Concentration (MPAff/MGPS)

LBJ DC student in front of the nation's capitol

Fast-tracking federal policy careers.

An immersive 15-month course of study and work focused on domestic and international federal policymaking.

Applications are now open!

Offered through the LBJ Washington Center, the DC Concentration gives master's students the extraordinary opportunity of simultaneously working in the nation’s capital and earning a public policy graduate degree.

The DC Concentration operates as an integrated track within the LBJ School’s traditional MPAff and MGPS degree programs. After a year of intensive policy coursework in Austin, students (LBJ DC Fellows) continue their studies at night in Washington, DC, while embarking on a six-month Policy Apprenticeship with a public, private, nonprofit or nongovernmental organization, jump-starting their Washington-based careers.

Designed to train future leaders for careers in the domestic or international policy arenas in Washington, DC, the DC Concentration aims to transition LBJ DC Fellows into the DC policy workforce a full semester earlier than traditional public policy programs. Unlike their counterparts at other nationally ranked public policy schools, LBJ DC Fellows graduate in December of their second year of studies, rather than the following May.

Da'Shon Carr Hook Em

LBJ DC bridges classroom lessons with federal policy experience

"I'm thriving," Da'Shon Carr told the LBJ School about her experience as a student in the 15-month DC Concentration. Da’Shon took classes at the LBJ Washington Center in the evening and spent her days working at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan research and policy institute that analyzes the impact of federal and state government budget policies. Today, she is a policy analyst with the Education, Opportunity, and Mobility Initiative on New America's Higher Education Team.

DC Concentration Course of Study

LBJ DC Fellows spend their first two semesters in Austin following a slightly customized version of the traditional first-year MPAff or MGPS curriculum. Students then relocate to Washington, DC, in June to pursue their Policy Apprenticeships for 32 hours per week during the summer and fall semesters of their second year. Simultaneous with their Policy Apprenticeships, students will take core academic courses at the LBJ Washington Center, focusing on the essentials of policymaking at the federal level.

The DC Concentration prepares graduates to work in the complex federal policy environment, including how to: 

  • contribute from day one to organization-critical projects 
  • translate research and ideas into effective policy
  • formulate and communicate policy positions in high-pressure, media-driven environments 
  • develop effective strategies and skills to engage with public policy professionals at the highest levels of federal policymaking

Professional networking, as well as policy, social and other events give students opportunities to meet with senior federal policymakers in diverse settings. Upon successfully completing their DC academic and Policy Apprenticeship commitments, LBJ DC Fellows graduate in December of their second year.

 View DC Concentration course descriptions.

Sarah Morningred poses in LBJ shirt

"LBJ DC has been the best choice for me."

“I didn't know that landing a job in the Executive Office of the President was a possibility until I started at the LBJ School," Sarah Morningred told the LBJ School as a student in the 15-month DC Concentration. From the time she was an undergraduate, Sarah knew she wanted to work as a public servant for the federal government. She found the right fit in the LBJ School’s hands-on, ‘learn by doing’ model and secured an internship with the Office of Management and Budget, the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

Estimated DC Program Tuition and Departmental Tuition (based on 2022–23 tuition rates)

Texas Resident (in-state)

Fall/Spring semesters in Austin (24 hours) tuition: $11,792

Summer in DC (10 hours) tuition: $4,558

Summer in DC Departmental Tuition: $8,750

Fall semester in DC (10 hours) tuition: $5,362

Fall semester in DC Departmental Tuition: $8,750

Total program tuition and fee: $39,212

Non-resident (out-of-state)

Fall/Spring semesters in Austin (24 hours): $22,664

Summer in DC (10 hours) tuition: $8,605

Summer in DC Departmental Tuition: $8,750

Fall semester in DC (10 hours) tuition: $10,124

Fall in DC Departmental Tuition: $8,750

Total program tuition and fee: $58,893

Headshot of Eric Bustos

LBJ DC enhances 10-year career in local government

“I wanted to do two things: I wanted to get my Master's after years of thinking about it, and I wanted to work and live in DC and get that federal government experience, so for me the LBJ DC Concentration seemed like the perfect fit," Eric Bustos told the LBJ School. Prior to joining the 15-month DC Concentration, Eric spent a decade working in government affairs in Austin at CapMetro, a public transportation provider in Austin. He also had experience working in the Texas Legislature and on political campaigns.

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