Master's Professional Report

Master's Professional Report and Timelines

The Professional Report (PR) is the capstone experience in the LBJ School of Public Affairs Masters degree programs. It is an individual-based written project in policy analysis completed in the final semester of the program and counts as your thesis. Each student selects his or her own topic and obtains the consent of two faculty members to serve on the supervising committee. 

MPAff students completing a specialization are required to complete a PR. Dual degree MPAff students must complete either a PR or a thesis, according to the non-LBJ degree requirements (excepting Business, Law and Social Work dual degree students, who must complete a PR at the LBJ School in the final semester of study).

Academic Requirements

The PR counts as three credit hours towards the master's degree requirement in the department/program for which the PR is listed (e.g. LAS 398R, PA 398R, etc.) on a credit/no credit basis. The thesis counts as six credit hours towards the master's degree requirement in the department/program for which the PR is listed (e.g. REE 698A/B, MES 698A/B, etc.) on a credit/no credit basis.

You must be registered for the Professional Report (or "thesis," as appropriate) in the semester in which you graduate. Dual degree students in Communication, Community and Regional Planning, Engineering, Energy and Earth Resources, and Area Studies should register for the PR course in the non-LBJ School department in the final semester of study (or, as appropriate, the thesis in the final two semesters of study). Business, Law and Social Work dual degree students should register for the PR course at the LBJ School (PA 398R) in the final semester of study.

Human Subject Review

Research involving human subjects such as surveys and interviews must meet UT requirements

Associated Forms & Procedures

As part of the graduation application and PR/thesis submission process, the following forms need to be submitted to either the LBJ School Graduate Program Coordinator or OGS at various times over the course of your last two semesters:

  • PR Committee Selection and Registration Approval Form (for Professional Report registration at the LBJ School).
  • Non Remuneration Form (when applicable).
  • Application for Graduation in the final semester of study.
  • PR hard copy documents due to OGS no later than 5:00 PM on the last class day of the final semester including: title page, original signed signature page, abstract, and a Statement on Research with Human Participants (the latter is required regardless of whether or not you used human research subjects).
  • Electronic PR submission to the Texas Digital Library (TDL) is required. Upload the pdf file of your report or thesis to the TDL no later than 5:00 PM on the last class day of your final semester. Submission instructions are available on the TDL site. Note that your PDF file name must include the following information in lower case letters, seperated by an underscore: last name_document type_year of graduation_semester.

Specific due dates

The LBJ School requires that students follow a specific PR timeline and meet internal LBJ School PR timelines. Additionally, the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) website explains Graduate School PR submission instructions, procedures and deadlines.

Examples of PRs

Check the PCL Library for bound copies of Professional Reports. According to the Librarian, the reports are requested from all over the world.

Supervising Committee

For MPAff and MGPS students, the first reader on the supervising committee must be an LBJ School tenured or tenure-track faculty member. The second reader may be any member of the UT-Austin teaching faculty. For dual degree students, one supervisor should be selected from each department according to following requirements:

Communication, Community and Regional Planning, Engineering, Energy and Earth Resources, Liberal Arts Area Studies:

  • The first reader must come from the non-LBJ School department where the student registers for the PR or thesis (for example: dual PA/LAS students will select the first reader from ILAS and register for the LAS 398R Professional Report course).
  • The second reader must come from the LBJ School.

Law, Business and Social Work:

  • The first reader must be from the LBJ School Faculty.
  • The second reader should come from the non-LBJ School unit (Law, Business or Social Work.

Non UT Committee Member?

The Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) and the appropriate LBJ School program Graduate Adviser must approve. A non-remuneration letter is required from your prospective 2nd reader stating their willingness to serve at no expense to you or the University. Both the letter and a curriculum vita should be attached to the PR Committee Selection and Registration Approval Form submitted to the graduate program coordinator prior to pre-registration for the semester in which you intend to graduate.

Format Requirements

The Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) requires you to arrange and format your PR in a particular way. Meeting OGS submission deadlines and format requirements involves four steps:

  1. Review OGS' Master's Graduation Guidelines and Deadlines informational page at the beginning of the final semester of study.
  2. Read the Format Guidelines for Master's Theses and Reports to learn about Graduate Studies' PR formatting requirements.
  3. Use the OGS Thesis Template.
  4. Obtain formal formatting approval from an in Main Building, 101 prior to completing your PR. To do so, submit a PDF of your PR complete with front matter and a generated table of contents to a Degree Evaluator in OGS by e-mail or in person to obtain approval.

PR Timelines

While students may register for the PR course in the spring semester only, to successfully complete the PR in a timely manner, students are expected to work on the PR in both the fall and spring semesters.

Professional Report (PR) Timelines for December 2017 Graduates:

  • July 7, 2017: Deadline to submit Fall 2017 PR Committee Selection and Registration Approval Form to the Graduate Program Coordinator in OSAA (for PA 398R registration in Fall 2017 semester).
  • July 28, 2017: Fall 2017 PR plan and outline due to readers.
  • September 8, 2017: Touch base with your readers on progress.
  • October 27, 2017: First text draft of Fall 2017 PR due to readers.
  • November 3, 2017: PR text draft comments due back (to student) from readers.
  • November 21, 2017: Signature page and (final) PR copy due to readers.
  • December 8, 2017: Final PR deliverables due to the Office of Graduate Studies (Main, 101) by 3:00 PM, including PRINTED COPIES of the following materials: title page, signature page (with original signatures of your supervising committee as listed on your Master's Graduation Application Form), abstract, "Statement on Research with Human Participants" (submit this form whether you used human participants or not. If you did use human participants, you need to attach a copy of the IRB approval letter or waiver or exemption notification of the form). The Statement on Research in Restricted Regions is also required.

Upload the pdf file of your thesis/report to the Texas Digital Library (TDL) by 3:00 p.m. on December 8, 2017. Submission of your thesis/report to the Texas Digital Library is required, and instructions for submitting online can be found at the TDL Submission Site. Additional technical support is available at http://www.tdl.org/support/. Your thesis/report will be made available to the public through the Texas Digital Library.

For more information, see: https://gradschool.utexas.edu/academics/policies/key-dates.

Professional Report (PR) Timelines for May 2018 Graduates:

  • TBD: Writing Seminar: Professional Report Basics, SRH 3.124
  • October 6, 2017: Deadline to submit May 2018 PR Committee Selection and Registration Approval Form to the Graduate Program Coordinator in OSAA (for PA 398R registration in Spring 2018 semester).
  • November 3, 2017: Spring 2018 PR plan and outline due to readers.
  • January 26, 2018: Touch base with readers on your progress.
  • March 16, 2018First text draft of Spring 2018 PR due to readers.
  • March 30, 2018: PR text draft comments due back (to student) from readers.
  • April 20, 2018: Signature page and (final) PR copy due to readers.
  • May 4, 2018: Final PR deliverables due to the Office of Graduate Studies (Main, 101) by 3:00 PM, including PRINTED COPIES of the following materials: title page, signature page (with original signatures of your supervising committee as listed on your Master's Graduation Application Form), abstract, "Statement on Research with Human Participants" (submit this form whether you used human participants or not. If you did use human participants, you need to attach a copy of the IRB approval letter or waiver or exemption notification of the form). The Statement on Research in Restricted Regions is also required.

Upload the pdf file of your thesis/report to the Texas Digital Library (TDL) by 3:00 p.m. on May 4, 2018. Submission of your thesis/report to the Texas Digital Library is required, and instructions for submitting online can be found at the TDL Submission Site. Additional technical support is available at http://www.tdl.org/support/. Your thesis/report will be made available to the public through the Texas Digital Library.

Professional Report (PR) Timelines for August 2018 Graduates:

  • TBD: Writing Seminar: Professional Report Basics; SRH 3.124
  • March 2, 2018: Deadline to submit Summer 2018 PR Committee Selection and Registration Approval Form to the Graduate Program Coordinator in OSAA (for PA 398R registration in Summer 2018 semester).
  • March 30, 2018: Summer 2018 PR plan and outline due to readers.
  • June 1, 2018: Touch base with readers on your progress.
  • July 6, 2018First text draft of Summer 2018 PR due to readers.
  • July 20, 2018: PR text draft comments due back (to student) from readers.
  • August 3, 2018: Signature page and (final) PR copy due to readers.
  • August 10, 2018: Final PR deliverables due to the Office of Graduate Studies (Main, 101) by 3:00 PM, including PRINTED COPIES of the following materials: title page, signature page (with original signatures of your supervising committee as listed on your Master's Graduation Application Form), abstract, "Statement on Research with Human Participants" (submit this form whether you used human participants or not. If you did use human participants, you need to attach a copy of the IRB approval letter or waiver or exemption notification of the form). The Statement on Research in Restricted Regions is also required.

Upload the pdf file of your thesis/report to the Texas Digital Library (TDL) by 3:00 p.m. on August 10, 2018. Submission of your thesis/report to the Texas Digital Library is required, and instructions for submitting online can be found at the TDL Submission Site. Additional technical support is available at http://www.tdl.org/support/. Your thesis/report will be made available to the public through the Texas Digital Library.

For more information, see: https://gradschool.utexas.edu/academics/policies/key-dates.

The Emmette S. Redford Award

The Redford Award has been awarded to a member of the graduating class since 1976 for outstanding research. A professional report can be nominated by the faculty. The recipient receives a monetary award at the LBJ spring graduation convocation.

For the purposes of the award, "outstanding research" is defined as an "original study, by an individual, that is of practical significance to policy makers; or develops insights, ideas, or concepts of significance to the understanding of the public policy process or the solution of a public problem. Furthermore, the study must manifest a high quality of research execution and preparation."