Apply to the MGPS DC Concentration | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

MGPS DC Concentration: How to Apply

How to Apply for a Master of Global Policy Studies: DC Concentration

Learn more about how to join a community of federal and international policy leaders with a future of making a difference.

Applications Open: Sept. 1
Priority Funding Deadline: Dec. 15
Final Deadline: March 15
Part-time Available: No
Time to Completion: 18 months

Admissions Considerations

To apply for admission to the Master of Global Policy Studies (MGPS) DC Concentration, a candidate should have completed a bachelor's degree and is preferred to have two years or more of subsequent work experience, preferably in public service (federal, state or local levels), nonprofit agencies (U.S. or international nonprofits, national volunteer organizations, etc.), or business (preferably with a strategy, finance, management or policy dimension).

Because a significant component of this program is placement in a professional, six-month Policy Apprenticeship in Washington, DC during the final two program semesters, the admissions committee will, beyond the candidate's academic qualifications, also assess the candidate's potential to successfully secure and succeed in these positions while simultaneously attending evening classes.

Appropriate work experience could include full-time employment and/or significant volunteer experience in:

  • An executive, legislative or judicial agency at the federal, state or local level
  • A policy research institute or think tank
  • Private sector commercial work with a policy or public sector dimension
  • A nonprofit organization serving a national, state or local constituency

The admissions committee will consider public sector service, such as Peace Corps or Teach for America experience, military service or other appropriate experiences in a positive light.


These are the requirements to enroll in the program. You may still apply if you have not yet met these requirements but plan to do so by one of the methods below.

  • Students will be expected to have an understanding of descriptive statistics, probability and algebra before beginning coursework.
  • Four semesters at the college level in one foreign language or equivalent (e.g., Peace Corps or military foreign language training).
    • Required before graduating from the MGPS Program (not a prerequisite for enrollment)
    • Placement tests are available at UT Austin to meet the requirement.
    • International students whose native language is not English are considered to have satisfied this requirement.

Although not required, it is recommended that entering students have six hours of undergraduate economics, and a course each in calculus and international relations.

Application Process

The ApplyTexas application opens in early September. Please review the online application instructions for more details and fee information. Some U.S. or permanent resident applicants may be eligible for an application fee waiver on the basis of documented financial need.

Note: Be sure to choose Global Policy Studies DC when you are asked to select your major in the application process.

Application Requirements

The University of Texas's instructions for submitting your transcripts.

Test Scores
For the 2020-21 application cycle (Fall 2021 entry), the LBJ School is offering a one-time, temporary waiver of the GRE, due to the unique challenges brought on by COVID-19. The GRE is optional for this cycle only and applicants may submit a GRE score if they feel it will strengthen their application. Please email the LBJ Admissions Team at to let us know if you will be submitting a score. We do not accept the IELTS. Visit UT's website for more information about test scores.

Letters of Recommendation
Three letters of recommendation are required as part of your application. We prefer one professional reference and one academic reference, while the third can be either professional or academic, depending on where you are in your career. Please review the departmental requirements section for more information about electronic submission of letters of recommendation.

After submitting your ApplyTexas application, you will receive access to your MyStatus page. You can upload your résumé directly onto your MyStatus page once you receive access. Please note that it will take at least one to two business days for you to receive access to your MyStatus page after submitting your ApplyTexas application. You are strongly encouraged to highlight any public or private sector public policy-related experience.

Statement of Purpose
After submitting your ApplyTexas application, you will receive access to your MyStatus page. You can upload your Statement of Purpose directly onto your MyStatus page once you receive access. Please note that it will take at least one to two business days for you to receive access to your MyStatus page after submitting your ApplyTexas application.

Please address the following topics in your statement:

  • Why are you interested in global policy studies, and what international or transnational policy challenge do you find most compelling?
  • What are your public policy subject matter interests (please be as specific as possible)? Ten years from now, what type of professional work do you hope to be doing in the field of federal or international public policy?
  • What meaningful international experiences have you had so far, and how did they shape your outlook about international affairs and your career?
  • What in your background do you believe has prepared you to work in the DC international policy environment?
  • Discuss one or two policy organizations in Washington DC that interest you as a place you might wish to undertake your required six-month DC Policy Apprenticeship.


What to submit:

  • Complete ApplyTexas application
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions
  • GRE scores
  • TOEFL scores (for international applicants)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Current résumé
  • Personal statement of purpose

How to Verify Submission

Verify your application submission by visiting your MyStatus page to ensure we have received all of your materials and check for additional steps to take after you've applied. The UT Graduate and International Admissions Center can assist with technical issues in submitting your application materials.

Learn More

  • Register for an upcoming information session.
  • View our archived webinars below to learn about the application process at LBJ, student life, as well as the academic experience.
  • Hear what current LBJ students have to say about their time at the school.