Students participating in the Crisis Simulation as part of the Master of Global Policy Studies curriculum

Readiness to Transform a World Beyond Borders

The Master of Global Policy Studies is a degree program designed for the globalized world, offering an interdisciplinary and practical command of international policymaking.

Through the combination of a rigorous, interdisciplinary core and a wide array of customizable specializations, we prepare our graduates for a variety of policy jobs in areas including national security, intelligence and diplomacy, international development, global governance and international law, energy, trade and global environmental policy. 

Students can earn the Master of Global Policy Studies one of two ways: through a two-year, full time residential program in Austin or a 15-month track that includes living and working in Washington DC during the final semester. 

 

MGPS by the Numbers - Fall 2022 Entering Cohort

26
Average age of an MGPS student
3
Average years worked before enrolling at LBJ
11
Countries represented

MGPS Options

Register for an information session.

Learn more

Connect With Us


Office of Student Affairs and Admissions

Location
SRH 3.104

Phone
512-471-4292

Email
lbjstudentaffairs@austin.utexas.edu

Master of Global Policy Studies Details

The core curriculum in global policy provides students with an interdisciplinary understanding of global policy issues, as well as a grounding in analytical and professional communication skills.

Analytical Methods for Global Policy Studies

Students are exposed to the core quantitative and qualitative techniques of research design and analysis widely used by professionals in the global policy environment..

Microeconomics for Global Policy Studies

Using contemporary examples, students learn about the principles of markets and market failure relevant to global policy studies and gain basic tools of economic analysis.

The Nature of the International System

Students are introduced to the systematic analysis of global affairs from the perspective of international relations theory and through the study of contemporary international problems.

International Economics

Students are exposed to frameworks for understanding the contemporary global economy, including the costs and benefits of trade in goods and services, technology diffusion and exchange rates.

Policymaking in a Global Age

Students learn to both analyze and implement policy through an exploration of the constraints and dilemmas faced by decision makers, from both a theoretical and practical viewpoint.

Writing and Communication for Global Policy

Students develop the written and oral communication skills necessary for policy professionals by focusing on various genres of writing and presenting that students may encounter in their careers.

Global Policy Crisis Simulation

Students role-play a set of global actors in a simulation of an international crisis, offering hands-on experience in negotiation, teamwork and crisis management. This is a one-credit course.

Policy Research Project

Students work in groups on a real-world problem under a faculty mentor, delivering a final research product to a client (topics vary year to year). This is a six-credit course.

Internship Requirement

All students are required to complete a 400-hour internship at a global policy-relevant organization of their own choosing. The LBJ School offers stipends to offset unpaid internships.

Foreign Language Requirement

All students are required to show advanced intermediate proficiency in a foreign language in order to graduate. This can be done via proof of four semesters of college-level language study, or by passing a placement exam at one of UT Austin's foreign language departments.

Each student in the Master of Global Policy Studies program must select a specialization, which consists of 15 credits (usually five three-credit courses) that fit together to give the student a depth of knowledge in a particular area of global affairs. All specialization courses must be taken for a letter grade and must be approved by the graduate advisor. Students can pick from any of the specializations listed below, or create their own specialization, subject to approval by the graduate adviser.

 

Security, Law and Diplomacy

Security, Law and Diplomacy emphasizes the study of conflict and the conditions under which the rule of law and diplomatic negotiations may supplant or alter organized violence.

International Trade and Finance

International Trade and Finance emphasizes the intersection between policy and global economic activity, including the effects of private and public actors on the global economy.

International Development

International Development explains the dynamics of economic, political and social change within the less-developed countries of the world and how these can be improved by policy.

Global Governance and International Law

Global Governance and International Law describes the development of international rules and norms by governments, firms and international and nongovernmental organizations.

International Energy, Environment and Technology

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

Regional International Policy

Regional International Policy allows students to develop a deep understanding of a region of their choice, including its particular history, culture and politics. The areas available for such a specialization correspond with the area centers present at UT: Africa; East Asia; Europe; Latin America; Middle East; Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia; and South Asia.

Custom Specialization

All students can suggest a custom specialization if their policy interests are not adequately represented in the list above. Custom specializations — and which courses will count toward it — must be approved by the graduate adviser. Some examples of previous custom specializations include Gender and Development, Biological and Chemical Proliferation and Global Water Policy.

Asian Studies

The LBJ School of Public Affairs and the College of Liberal Arts offer a dual degree program leading to the Master of Public Affairs and the Master of Arts in Asian Studies. The program combines advanced policy studies with interdisciplinary area studies, responding to an increased need in both public and private sectors for policy specialists with a thorough understanding of Asian politics and cultures.

Program Structure

The dual degree program allows students to earn both master's degrees simultaneously in three academic years. Some students, particularly those who enter the program with a language deficiency, may find it necessary to enroll for an additional semester or summer session in order to complete all the requirements of the program. Degrees are awarded when the required coursework in both areas is completed.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours in public affairs and 33 semester hours in Asian studies, including a master's professional report. Although the program is flexible, students will generally take courses in both public affairs and Asian studies every semester and take the required internship in the summer between the second and third years. Curriculum requirements include: 

Public Affairs

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 LBJ elective hours
    • Summer internship (in or related to Asia) 

Asian Studies

Business

Offered in conjunction with UT's McCombs School of Business, the dual program in business and public affairs is designed to train qualified students in a coordinated program of coursework in public affairs and an advanced business field. Graduates should be prepared to move into careers at any level of government and various business/government-related areas of the private sector, responding to the growing needs for a combination of policy-related skills and one or more business administration specializations.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn the MBA and MPAff degrees simultaneously in three years and one summer rather than the four years and two summers the two degrees would otherwise require. Dual degree students, who become part of the entering class cohort in each school, spend their time in the program as follows:

  • Year 1: Two full semesters in the LBJ School
  • Year 2: Two full semesters in the McCombs School of Business
  • Year 3: Courses in both the LBJ School and the McCombs School, and completion of the professional report

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 80 semester hours of coursework.

Public Affairs

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 LBJ elective hours 
    • Summer internship with a government agency or publicly oriented organization

Business

Please note that a minimum of two years of full-time work experience is required for admission to the MBA program.

Communications

Offered in conjunction with UT's Moody College of Communication, the dual program in communication and public affairs is designed to train qualified students in a coordinated program of coursework in any of four areas of communication:

  • Advertising
  • Communication Studies
  • Journalism
  • Radio-Television-Film

Interdisciplinary in nature, the program was created in response to an increased need in both public and private sectors for public policy analysts who have a theoretical understanding of one of the disciplines of communication.

Program Structure

The dual degree program is structured so that students can earn both master's degrees in three years. Although the program is flexible, students are advised to concentrate on the first-year core course requirements in each school during the first two years and then complete remaining requirements and electives in both schools in the third year. Students will usually take their internship after the second year, when most core requirements in both schools have been completed.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 69 semester hours of coursework, which includes a master’s professional report. The curriculum includes:

Public Affairs 

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 hours public affairs electives
    • Summer internship

Communication 

  • 30 hours of coursework in one of four areas: advertising, communication studies, journalism or radio-television-film
  • 3 hours professional report
Community and Regional Planning

The MPAff dual degree option with the School of Architecture's Community and Regional Planning program prepares students for leadership positions in government and the nonprofit sector requiring knowledge of substantive community and regional planning issues and innovative approaches to policy analysis development and public management.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students earn both master's degrees simultaneously in three years instead of four by eliminating duplicative coursework in certain analytic areas and in general electives.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 69 credit hours of work in Public Affairs and Community and Regional Planning. The curriculum includes:

Public Affairs

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 LBJ elective hours
    • Summer internship

Community and Regional Planning

Three credit hours of a master's professional report is required in either the LBJ School or the CRP department in the final semester of study.

Energy & Earth Resources

The MPAff dual degree option with the Jackson School of Geosciences' Energy and Earth Resources program combines advanced policy studies with the study of geosciences and natural resources. The dual degree program responds to an increased need in both the public and private sectors for specialists with an advanced understanding of the science, engineering, management and policy aspects of energy, mineral and water resources.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn both degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. Degrees are awarded when the required coursework in both areas is completed.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of work in Public Affairs, which includes a summer public service experience, and 30 hours in Energy and Earth Resources, including a 6-hour thesis based on original research. The curriculum includes:

Public Affairs 

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 LBJ elective house
    • Internship in a field related to the dual degree program

Energy and Earth Resources 

Engineering

The MPAff dual degree option with the Cockrell School of Engineering is designed to prepare qualified engineering and public affairs students for careers at any level of government and in public policy related areas of the engineering profession. Alumni currently hold positions in the offices of local, state and national government agencies, engineering consulting firms, universities and industries.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn the MPAff and the Master of Science simultaneously. In general, a minimum of two full years is required to complete this program.

  • Year 1: Full academic year in the LBJ School, followed by a required summer internship with a governmental agency or other organization with a substantial public policy interest
  • Year 2: Full academic year in the School of Engineering, followed by thesis research in the summer after the academic year
  • Year 3: Remaining LBJ School courses (if needed) and completion of a master’s thesis in Engineering

Degree Requirements

Public Affairs

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 LBJ elective hours
    • Summer internship related to the dual degree
Information Studies

The MPAff dual degree option with the UT School of Information combines advanced studies of government, non-profit agencies, and policy with a focus on knowledge and practice needed to make meaningful contributions in information organizations such as government agencies, libraries, archives, schools, museums and beyond. There is an increased need in both the public and private sectors for specialists with that combination of backgrounds, particularly with regard to advanced digital, networked information and communication technologies.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn the degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. The two degrees are awarded when the required course work in both areas including the professional report is completed.

Degree Requirements

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 39
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 3 hours Professional Report
    • 12 LBJ elective hours
    • Summer internship

Information Studies

Law

In conjunction with Texas Law, students may pursue a four-year dual degree program leading to the degrees of Master of Public Affairs (MPAff) and Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.). The program is designed to prepare students for careers at any level of government and in public policy-related areas of the private sector or legal profession.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn the MPAff and JD degrees simultaneously in four years rather than the five years the two degrees would otherwise require. Degrees are awarded when the required coursework in both schools is completed. In general, dual degree program students progress through the curriculum as follows:

  • Year 1: Full academic year in either school
  • Year 2: Full academic year in the school not attended in Year I, followed by a required summer internship with a governmental agency or other organization with a substantial public policy interest 
  • Year 3: Coursework in both schools 
  • Year 4: Coursework in both schools

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 33 LBJ School credit hours and 70 credit hours in Law, including all the first-year core courses in each school. The 3-hour master's professional report is written under the supervision of both schools.

Public Affairs 

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 33
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 6 LBJ elective hours
    • Internship in field related to the dual degree

Law

Middle Eastern Studies

In conjunction with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies students may pursue a dual degree program leading to the MPAff and the Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies. The program combines advanced policy studies with interdisciplinary area studies, responding to an increased need in both public and private sectors for policy specialists with a thorough understanding of Middle East politics and cultures.

Program Structure

The dual degree program is structured so that students can earn both master's degrees simultaneously in two and a half academic years. Some students, particularly those who enter the program with a language deficiency, may find it necessary to enroll for an additional semester or summer session in order to complete all the requirements of the program. Degrees are awarded when the required course work in both areas is completed.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours in public affairs and 30 semester hours in Middle Eastern studies, plus a master's professional report and summer internship. Although the program is flexible, students will generally take courses in both public affairs and Middle Eastern studies every semester and take the internship in the summer between the second and third years. The curriculum includes:

Public Affairs 

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 LBJ elective hours
    • Summer internship (in or related to the Middle East)

Middle Eastern Studies

Public Health

The LBJ School and the School of Public Health offer a dual degree program leading to the MPAff degree and the Master of Public Health (MPH). The program combines advanced studies of government, nonprofit agencies and policy with a focus on the issues, organizations and skills needed to make meaningful contributions in the growing field of public health. There is an increased need in both the public and private sectors for specialists with that combination of backgrounds.

The School of Public Health is part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and has regional campuses in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Brownsville and San Antonio. It is anticipated that the vast majority of Public Health students who opt for the dual degree will be from the Austin campus and that the majority of LBJ students who opt for the degree will take their courses at the Austin Regional Campus.

Program Structure

The program allows students to earn both degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. The MPAff degree will be awarded when the required course work in both areas including the thesis is completed. The MPH degree will be awarded when the School of Public Health degree requirements have been completed.

Degree Requirements

The MPAff/MPH dual degree program is designed so that students can earn both degrees in three years rather than the four years generally required to complete the two degrees independently. To satisfy program requirements, students must complete 36 credit hours at the LBJ School and 33 credit hours at the School of Public Health, including the first-year core curriculum in each school.

The MPH degree program normally requires 45 hours to complete, and the MPAff degree normally requires 48 hours. The School of Public Health will count up to 12 approved credit hours obtained at the LBJ School or elsewhere at UT Austin that will apply toward the MPH degree, and the LBJ School of will waive up to 12 credit hours obtained at the School of Public Health. 

Public Affairs

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 LBJ elective hours
    • Summer internship in an office or location where activity is related to the dual degree program. The internship will also serve as the practicum for the School of Public Health.

Public Health

Latin American Studies

In conjunction with the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, the LBJ School offers a dual degree with MPAff that combines policy studies with interdisciplinary area studies. The dual degree option responds to an increased need in both public and private sectors for policy specialists with a thorough understanding of Latin American politics, cultures, geography and history.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn the degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. Some students, particularly those who enter the program with a language deficiency, may find it necessary to enroll for an additional semester or summer session. The two degrees are awarded when the required course work in both areas is completed.

Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete a minimum of 36 hours in public affairs and 30 hours in Latin American Studies, plus a master’s professional report (3 hours) and summer internship. Although the program is flexible, students will generally take courses in both public affairs and Latin American studies every semester and take the internship between the second and third years. The curriculum includes:

Public Affairs

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 LBJ elective hours
    • Summer internship in or related to Latin America

Latin American Studies

Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

In conjunction with the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, students may pursue a dual degree program leading to the MPAff and Master of Arts in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. The program combines advanced policy studies with interdisciplinary area studies and language. It responds to an increased need in both the public and private sectors for specialists with a thorough understanding of the culture, economics, geography, history and politics of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn both master's degrees simultaneously in approximately two and a half academic years. Some students, particularly those who enter the program with a language deficiency, may find it necessary to enroll for an additional semester or summer session in order to complete all requirements of the program. Degrees are awarded when the required coursework in both areas is completed.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours of work in public affairs and 30 hours in Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, including a 6-hour thesis based on original research. A required internship is generally taken in the summer between the second and third years. The thesis is supervised by a faculty member from the LBJ School and a faculty member from the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. The curriculum includes:

Public Affairs

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 LBJ elective hours
    • Summer internship (in or related to the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe)

Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Social Work

In conjunction with the School of Social Work, students may pursue a dual degree designed to prepare qualified students for a career in social welfare policy development and human service management. The core knowledge of social work and public affairs are a compelling combination for students who want to pursue a professional career in human service management, social welfare policy development and analysis, program planning and implementation and program evaluation.

Students completing the dual MSSW/MPAff program will be uniquely prepared to design and manage effective and client-responsive human service delivery systems and pursue careers in social policy analysis.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn both master's degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. Degrees are awarded when the required coursework in both areas is completed.

  • Year 1: Full academic year in the LBJ School
  • Year 2: Full academic year in the School of Social Work
  • Year 3: Coursework in both schools

Degree Requirements

Public Affairs

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 33
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 6 LBJ elective hours
    • Internship in field related to the dual degree

Students must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours of work in public affairs and 42 hours in Social Work.

Social Work

Women's and Gender Study

In conjunction with the Center for Women's and Gender Studies (CWGS), students may pursue a Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies and an MPAff. This program responds to an increased need in the public, nonprofit and private sectors for specialists who have advanced training in policy analysis and leadership and management skills, as well a comprehensive understanding of women's and gender issues.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn both master's degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years, including summers. Degrees are awarded when the required coursework in both areas is completed.

Degree Requirements

Public Affairs

  • Total LBJ credit hours: 36
    • 27 LBJ core hours
    • 6 hours Policy Research Project
    • 9 LBJ elective hours
    • Summer internship related to the dual degree

Women's and Gender Studies

Students can earn a Master of Global Policy Studies in two ways: Through the traditional 2-years of study in Austin or through our 15-month Washington DC track. Students spend their first year in Austin and their final semester living, working and studying in Washington DC.

Core Courses in Austin

PA 397G: Analytical Methods for Global Policy Studies (3 credits)

PA 393G: Microeconomics for Global Policy Studies (3 credits)

PA 387G: The Nature of the International System (3 credits)

PA 393H: International Economics (3 credits)

PA 383G: Policy Making in a Global Age (3 credits)

PA 388K: Writing and Communication for Global Policy (3 credits)

Total Austin Core Course Credit Hours:  18

Courses taken in DC in the Summer and Fall 

PA 381W:  How Washington Works: Overview of Federal Ecosystem (3 credits) 

PA 381W:  How the U.S. Congress Works (3 credits) 

PA 384C:  Public Management (3 credits) 

PA 381W:  Federal Budget and Government Finance (3 credits)  

PA 680WA/680WB:  Policy Apprenticeship (6 credits) 

PA 188G/188W:  Exemplars in Policymaking (2 credits) 

Total DC Core Course Credit Hours:  20

Electives

Students must choose two electives (6 credits)

Total Elective Credit Hours:  6

Total degree credit hours: 44 credit hours

Total time to completion: 4 semesters (15 months)

Career Outcomes

MGPS graduates work at:

  • Democracy for the Arab World Now 
  • Global Partnership for Sustainable Development 
  • Meta 
  • Refugee Services of Texas  
  • US Senate 
  • US Government Accountability Office  
  • US State Department  
  • US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants 
  • Norton Rose Fulbright 

MGPS graduates work as:

  • Foreign Service Officers 
  • Policy Managers, Analysts and Fellows  
  • Directors 
  • Senior Consultants 
  • Chiefs of Staff 
  • Legislative Correspondents  
  • International specialists