Skip Navigation

Master of Public Affairs Program (MPAff)

The Master of Public Affairs (MPAff) program puts students on an accelerated path to become leaders with the knowledge and skills to address critical public policy challenges in city, state, and federal government agencies; private businesses; and nonprofits.  Through a rigorous combination of academic, practical, and multidisciplinary study, students have extensive opportunities to test the ideas they learn in class against the realities on the ground, producing graduates prepared to transform future policy-making.

Program Structure

The MPAff program is organized so that formal coursework in theory and relevant analytical skills are reinforced with ongoing opportunities for practical application. In order to enroll in the quantitative core sequence, an entering student must have completed either formal undergraduate coursework in calculus and statistics or passed the validation exam. A required internship between the first and second years provides direct contact with the operating realities of government, nonprofits, and advocacy organizations. Students may follow a general program of study or may choose to declare a specialization by focusing the scope of their second-year studies in one of seven policy areas. Additionally, the LBJ School has partnered with programs and departments throughout The University of Texas to develop 17 dual degree programs. These programs give LBJ students the option to pair a second complementary master’s degree with the MPAff degree and complete both master’s degree programs in less time than would be required if they were pursued independently. A Mid-Career MPAff program is offered for students with substantial (typically 10 years) of policy-level experience in public affairs.

General Degree Requirements

The general degree program consists of 48 semester hours.

  • Advanced Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis
  • Advanced Policy Economics
  • Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis
  • Introduction to Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis
  • Policy Research Project
  • Policy Development
  • Public Finance Management
  • Public Management

Electives, selected from multiple sections in the following areas:

  • Advanced Topics in Public Policy
  • Advanced Topics in Management
  • Approved elective courses in other UT Austin departments
  • Professional Report (Students pursuing a general program of study may take the 3-hour Professional Report course as an elective; students pursuing specializations or dual degrees are required to take the course.)
  • Internship
    The internship, which is typically pursued between the first and second years, can be waived with documentation of comparable professional experience.


  • International Affairs
  • Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies
  • Public Management and Leadership
  • Social and Economic Policy
  • Technology, Innovation, and Information Policy
  • Urban and State Affairs

Dual Degree Programs

Dual degree programs are designed for students who wish to broaden their academic experience and enhance their career preparation by pursuing two complementary master’s degree programs. Most dual degree programs can be completed in three years. The dual degree program with MPAff and Law is a four-year program. The blending of subject matter in public affairs and an allied profession or world area concentration is excellent preparation for careers in specialized areas of public affairs.

  • Advertising
  • Asian Studies
  • Business
  • Communication Studies
  • Community and Regional Planning
  • Energy and Earth Resources
  • Engineering
  • Information Studies
  • Journalism
  • Latin American Studies
  • Law
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Public Health
  • Radio, Television, and Film
  • Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
  • Social Work
  • Women's and Gender Studies