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Master of Global Policy Studies Specializations

The MGPS degree requires that a student select any one of six specializations or propose a unique specialization (subject to approval). A specialization consists of five, three-credit courses that fit together to give the student depth of knowledge in a particular area of global affairs. A specialization may require students to take one or more specific classes, and the student will select the balance of his or her specialization courses from a list of courses approved by the LBJ School faculty experts in the particular topic area. All specialization courses must be completed on a letter grade basis (except when applying a PR course towards the specialization; PRs are only offered on a credit/no credit basis). The LBJ Course Schedule contains the most up-to-date information about each semester's course offerings as well as a list of pre-approved MGPS specialization courses.

Security, Law, and Diplomacy

Faculty Coordinator: Jeremi Suri

Security, Law, and Diplomacy emphasizes the study of conflict and conflict resolution and the conditions in the global environment under which the rule of law and diplomatic negotiations may replace or supplement organized violence.

International Trade and Finance

Faculty Coordinator: Kenneth S. Flamm

International Trade and Finance emphasizes the intersection between policy and global economic activity, including the effects of government policies, international cultural differences, and business strategy and investment decisions on the structure and performance of the international economy.


Faculty Coordinator: Joshua W. Busby

Development explains the dynamics of economic, political, and social change within the less developed countries of the world and how the relationships among developing countries and between developed and developing countries affect the pace and trajectory of those changes.

Global Governance and International Law

Faculty Coordinator: Catherine E. Weaver

Global Governance and International Law describes the development of international rules and norms by governments, international organizations, firms, and nongovernmental organizations that shape global economic, political, and social relationships.

International Energy, Environment and Technology

Faculty Coordinator: Varun Rai

International Energy, Environment and Technology considers the international dimensions of natural resources, the environment, science and technology.

Regional International Policy

Faculty Coordinator: Catherine E. Weaver

Regional International Policy will allow students to develop a deep understanding of the region of their choice, including in-depth knowledge of the particular cultures, governments, resources, conflicts, and economic opportunities in that part of the world. This specialization includes eight optional tracks, one on comparative regional policy and seven corresponding to each of UT-Austin’s regional centers. The track on comparative international policy will require a student to compare policies and practices across regions in the world. The specific regional tracks that can be considered within this specialization include Latin America; South Asia; East Asia; the Middle East; Russia, Eurasia, and Central Europe; Europe; and Africa.

Each of the tracks within the Regional International Policy specialization has its own set of courses linked to a particular area of the world. Students interested in Regional International Policy should plan to meet with the MGPS graduate adviser to plan their classes for each semester. Students should come to that meeting with some ideas for courses that they would like to suggest for approval by the graduate adviser. The course listings for the various area studies programs at UT are a good place to start looking for suitable classes, as are the lists of courses offered by the government and history departments.

For lists of available courses and their descriptions in other departments, please visit the following:

Student-proposed specializations

A student may propose a unique specialization if the other six do not allow the student to achieve her or his academic goals. Students choosing this option must propose a coherent program of study that fits within the parameters of the MGPS Mission Statement. The Graduate Adviser and a standing committee of the MGPS faculty will evaluate and must approve such proposals.