Skip Navigation

Master of Global Policy Studies

The Master of Global Policy Studies (MGPS) degree at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs is a path-breaking program designed to equip professionals with the tools and knowledge necessary to be leaders in an increasingly interdependent world. The MGPS degree goes beyond traditional international affairs programs to offer a multidisciplinary approach to the complex economic, political, technological, and social issues of the 21st century and considers the full range of influences on contemporary global policy – governments, private industry, and non-governmental organizations. Graduates will become leaders in government, business and international organizations by acquiring core professional skills and expertise tailored to the contemporary global environment.

Program Structure

Core MGPS coursework explains contemporary globalization and the global policy process and builds analytical and professional communications skills. The program reinforces the core with ongoing opportunities for practical application, including a required second year project in which groups of students work with a faculty mentor on a real-world policy research project. Students also complete a required internship that provides direct contact with the operating realities of government, multinational business, or non-governmental organizations. Students declare one of seven specializations so that the MGPS program combines a broad view of global policy with substantial depth in a particular policy area. Additionally, the LBJ School and six partners across the University have developed dual degree programs to give LBJ students the option to pair a second complementary master’s degree with the MGPS degree, completing both master’s degree programs in less time than would be required if they were pursued independently.

Degree Requirements

The MGPS degree program consists of 49 semester hours. For a detailed description of courses, visit the LBJ School website.

Core Curriculum
  •  Analytical Methods for Global Policy Studies
  • Crisis Management
  • International Economics
  • Microeconomics for Global Policy Studies
  • The Nature of the International System
  • Policymaking in a Global Age
  • Policy Research Project on Global Policy Issues
  • Writing for Global Policy Studies or, in special cases, Master Professional report

To add in-depth knowledge and skills tailored to different substantive areas of global policy practice, students in the MGPS program complete a 15-hour specialization component in one of seven areas:

  • Customized Specializations
  • Development
  • Energy, Environment, and Technology
  • Global Governance and International Law
  • International Trade and Finance
  • Regional International Policy
  • Security, Law, and Diplomacy

Nine hours of elective credit taken from LBJ School or approved non-LBJ School courses in the student's area of interest


Internships, typically pursued during the summer between the first and second years, are linked to each student's specialization and approved by the student's Specialization Faculty Coordinator.

Foreign Language Proficiency

Student must demonstrate (via coursework or exam) a level of proficiency equal to or above the completion of the fourth semester at the college level in one foreign language. International students whose native language is not English are considered to have satisfied this requirement.

Dual Degree Programs

Dual degree programs are designed for students who wish to broaden their academic experience and enhance their career preparation by pursuing two complementary master’s degree programs. Most dual master’s degree programs can be completed in three years. The dual master’s degree program with MGPS and Law is a four-year program. The blending of skills and subject matter in global policy and an allied profession or world area concentration is excellent preparation for targeted career paths. The MGPS program has dual master’s degree partnerships with the following master’s programs:

  • Asian Studies
  • Business
  • Energy and Earth Resources
  • Journalism
  • Latin American Studies
  • Law
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies