Specializations in MPAff | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Specializations in MPAff

Specializations in the Master of Public Affairs Degree

Students may choose to declare a formal specialization either by focusing the scope of their second-year studies in one of seven organized policy areas or by pursuing, with approval, an individually tailored specialization. Students who opt for a formal specialization are required to write a Professional Report.

International Affairs

The International Affairs Specialization provides LBJ School students the tools and expert knowledge to prepare them for public policy careers in our increasingly globalized world, helping them understand the inter-governmental, cross-cultural and global nongovernmental aspects of policy problems.
Faculty Coordinator: Kenneth Flamm

Natural Resources and the Environment

Coursework in this specialization encourages students to use technical, economic and political information to be effective in policy analysis and policymaking related to air, water or land management; energy policy; or minerals policy in the government, nonprofit or for-profit sectors. Courses typically address the relation among humans, other living creatures and the Earth and its chemical, physical and geological processes.
Faculty Coordinator: Varun Rai

Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies

This specialization aims to prepare graduates of the LBJ School for leadership positions in nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. Students will acquire skills and knowledge in the three pillars of civil society studies: nonprofit studies, philanthropy, and volunteerism and community service.
Faculty Coordinator: Francie Ostrower

Public Management and Leadership

For those who intend to pursue managerial or staff positions in public organizations, this specialization aims to enhance graduates’ ability to manage and lead ethically and effectively. Students gain an understanding of the key characteristics of both formal and informal organizations, the nature of bureaucracies and the role of the individuals in organizations.
Faculty Coordinator: Kevin Bacon

Social and Economic Policy

The specialization in Social and Economic Policy encompasses substantive areas of inquiry related to the intersection between social and economic policy. The program is intended for LBJ School master’s students who have central interests in problems of health, education and welfare as they relate to inequality, segregation, security, justice, population aging, immigration processes, gender and labor market segmentation in the United States.
Faculty Coordinator: Cynthia Osborne

Technology, Innovation and Information Policy

Policy areas covered include research and development; the application of technology to economic and social needs; innovation; high-tech industrial development; technology-oriented development strategies; intellectual property, information and information security; distribution of digital information and cultural content; technology as a tool in governance; community and regional development; and effects of technology on social, economic and political outcomes.
Faculty Coordinator: Kenneth Flamm

Urban and State Affairs

This specialization focuses on public policy and governance issues in the cities and regions of Texas, the U.S. and abroad, preparing students for professional careers in the public and nongovernmental sectors. Coursework through the Community and Regional Planning Program as well as the Department of Geography can enhance this coursework. In addition, several research units at the LBJ School and across campus conduct research on urban and state affairs.
Faculty Coordinator: Sherri Greenberg