The LBJ School boosts policy leadership through experiential learning opportunities in Washington DC

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January 16, 2024
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on a bright afternoon.

LBJ Washington Center is home to new DC Foreign Policy Semester and Maymester programs  


Two new programs focused on developing effective policy leaders will kick off this spring at the LBJ Washington Center, the LBJ School’s presence in Washington DC. The DC Foreign Policy Semester and The Patman Center Maymester programs offer students unparalleled exposure to how policy is created at the federal level. The programs are designed for UT Austin students aspiring to careers in policy leadership and for public policy professionals seeking to develop effective advocacy skills.   

The DC Foreign Policy Semester is an immersive exchange program for students who want careers in global policy and international relations. Students earn up to 12 hours of course credit, take classes with DC’s top public policy professionals, and jump start their careers through a policy internship with a public, private, nonprofit, or nongovernmental organization. The inaugural class is made up of nine students, who have secured policy internships at places like the Army Cyber Institute, the China Environment Forum & Asia Program at the Wilson Center, and Edelman Global Advisory, among other global-facing organizations. The program begins January 16 and runs a total of 15 weeks. The LBJ School is now accepting applications for the Spring 2025 DC Foreign Policy Semester. You can apply now through Monday, February 12.   

In addition to the DC Foreign Policy Semester, the newly launched Patman Center for Civic and Political Engagement will offer its Maymester in DC focused on “Effective Advocacy for Influencing Federal Policymaking.” The course, which is open to all enrolled UT students and non-degree seeking professionals, will equip students with the skills to develop an effective advocacy plan, motivate decision makers, lead education campaigns and identify barriers to success. The program, which is no longer accepting applications, runs May 13 - May 18 and takes place at the LBJ Washington Center. Thirteen students are enrolled in the inaugural class.  

Jacob Burks, a recent graduate of the LBJ School’s Master of Global Policy Studies (DC-Concentration) degree, said the LBJ Washington Center helped him pursue his dream of working in the federal public service.   

I was able to get a jump start on my career in foreign policy and immediately start making an impact,” Burks said.  

The LBJ School offers three pathways to federal policy leadership through its LBJ Washington Center: a 15-month DC Concentration within the Master of Public Affairs and Master of Global Policy Studies degree programs; the immersive DC Foreign Policy Semester exchange program; and The Patman Center’s Maymester. The LBJ Washington Center will kick off its 10-year celebration in 2024.  

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