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Master of Global Policy Studies Curriculum

LBJ School curriculum and academic policies are set by the LBJ School Graduate Studies Committee which consists of all tenured and tenure-track LBJ School faculty members. 

MGPS Regular Program

Completion of the regular MGPS program requires a total of 49 graduate credit hours

Core Course Requirements 22

PA 387G - Nature of the Int’l System (fall semester only) - 3 Hours

The Nature of the International System introduces the systematic analysis of international affairs, factors that motivate foreign policies and private decisions, and instruments used in the conduct of international relations from a perspective of both theory and practice.

PA 397G - Analytical Methods for GPS (fall semester only) - 3 Hours

Analytical Methods for Global Policy Studies explains the core techniques of research design and analysis widely used by professionals in the global policy environment, including quantitative methods like multivariate regression and qualitative methods like case study process tracing.

PA 393G - Microeconomics (fall semester only) - 3 Hours

The microeconomics course discusses principles of markets and market failure relevant to global policy studies. The course introduces the basic tools of economic analysis as it engages contemporary examples of economic problems and policies.

PA 383G - Policy Making in Global Age (spring semester only) - 3 Hours

Policy Making in a Global Age addresses the history, politics and organization of how the U.S. government and other foreign governments makes and implements global policy decisions. The course will address both theory and practice.

PA 393H – International Economics (spring semester only) - 3 Hours

International Economics teaches frameworks for understanding the contemporary global economy, from the exchange of basic commodities to high-tech goods and services. It also includes discussion and analysis of the trade balance, how trade affects workers and particular industries, the diffusion of technology, exchange rates, and other key issues.

PA 682GA and PA 682GB - Policy Research Project (PRP) (two semester class) - 6 Hours

Each student will be required to take this two-semester course in his or her second year. Topics will vary. In each course, a research team of ten to twenty students, led by one or two professors, will study a contemporary policy problem of interest to a specific client. Policy research projects are both client- and product-oriented and serve as instruments for both learning and public service.

PA 195G - Crisis Management (spring semester only) - 1 Hour

In their final semester, all MGPS students take an intensive course that will involve them in role-playing exercises addressing global issues. The course integrates the various skills and substantive knowledge learned throughout the MGPS program in an applied environment. Students work closely with faculty mentors to develop leadership, staff, negotiation and decision-making skills. The course will normally include one simulation of an international crisis, with students role-playing leaders from various countries, international organizations, and other relevant actors.

Specialization Course Requirements (12 for Business & Law Dual Degrees) 15

Specialization courses must be approved by the MGPS Specialization Faculty Coordinator and completed for a letter grade.

Specialization Course 1 - 3 Hours

Specialization Course 2 - 3 Hours

Specialization Course 3 - 3 Hours

Specialization Course 4 - 3 Hours

Specialization Course 5 (May be PA 396G if taken for a letter grade) - 3 Hours

Elective Course Requirements 9

Elective Course 1 - 3 Hours

Elective Course 2 - 3 Hours

Elective Course 3 - 3 Hours

Writing Requirement 3

Students must complete ONE of the following MGPS writing sequences (MGPS dual degree students are required to complete a professional report or a thesis in their corresponding department), Choose one:

PA 388K – Writing for Global Policy Studies

Must be completed during the first year of the program unless student plans on completing a professional report

PA 398R – Professional Report

Must be completed in the final semester of study.

Internship Requirement 0-3

Supervised participation and observation as a working member of the staff in an agency of government, a nonprofit organization, or a public policy-related unit in the private sector. Students complete 400 or more hours. Internships must be approved by the MGPS Graduate Advisor prior to the first day of the internship.


Note: Law and Business dual-degree programs require completion of a 12 credit hour Specialization and a Professional Report related to the specialization at the LBJ School in the final semester of study.

All other MGPS dual-degree programs require completion of a 15 credit hour Specialization and a Professional Report or Thesis related to the specialization in the non-LBJ department in the final semester of study.