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Master of Public Affairs Curriculum - Elective Courses

P A 188S - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

1 credit hour

Three hour a week for five weeks, or as required by the topic. Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, transportation policy, science policy, regulatory policy, international affairs, national security, labor and human relations policy, social welfare policy, urban and regional growth policy, intergovernmental relations, and public sector ethics and values.

P A 195C - Supervised Policy Research

1 credit hour

P A 196C - Supervised Public Service

1 credit hour

P A 388D - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

3 credit hours

Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, transportation policy, science policy, regulatory policy, international affairs, national security, labor and human relations policy, social welfare policy, urban and regional growth policy, intergovernmental relations, and public sector ethics and values.

P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

3 credit hours

Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, social welfare policy, transportation policy, science and technology policy, international affairs, national security, urban and regional growth policy, and political campaigns.

P A 388L - Advanced Topics in Management

3 credit hours

Students desiring additional exposure to public management issues may select from seminars on such topics as managing diversity, principles and practices of effective leadership, and social entrepreneurship.

P A 389 - Conference Course in Policy Analysis

3 credit hours

A student may arrange for individual instruction, with permission from a faculty member and the approval of the Graduate Adviser, by enrolling in this course. It provides an opportunity to do supervised reading and research on a specific aspect of professional theory or practice related to public service. The student must submit a written proposal for the conference course outlining the topic(s) to be studied, resources to be used, and academic product to be submitted for evaluation. The student/instructor contact hours in a conference course must equal or exceed the contact hours required in a graduate-level, three-hour organized course. This course may substitute for an elective seminar or, with approval of the Graduate Adviser, for a core course under certain circumstances.

P A 396K - Internship in Public Policy

3 credit hours

All students must satisfy the LBJ School?s experiential requirement in order to graduate. That requirement can be met by taking a 12-week summer internship for no credit, enrolling in the internship course for credit (as an elective), or providing written documentation of prior public service or administrative work experience equivalent to the internship experience.

The internship, usually taken in the summer, provides a student with the opportunity to participate in and observe, as a full-time working member of the staff, the daily policy-related activities of a local, state, or federal government agency, or a nongovernmental agency which is concerned with the public sector. Internships are also available in a variety of international settings, including U.S. embassies abroad, United Nations organizations, and agencies of foreign governments.

The internship is a structured learning situation involving the intern, the agency supervisor, and the LBJ School faculty supervisor. It provides (1) an opportunity for a student to use the skills and experience gained during the first year of his or her academic program in a way that is mutually beneficial to the student and the agency, and (2) a learning experience for the student which will enhance his or her academic work during the second year of the program. Adequate supervision, educational assignments, and practical benefit to the agency and student are the ingredients of a successful internship.

P A 398R - Professional Report

3 credit hours

The Professional Report course is an elective for students who follow a general course of study rather than pursuing a specialization. Those in a specialization are required to enroll in the course and complete the report.

Students enroll in the Professional Report course in the second year of the program. Graduate School rules stipulate students must enroll in the Professional Report in the semester in which they graduate. Completing the requirement provides students with the opportunity to do supervised individual research on a policy issue and to prepare a formal report. The Professional Report should contribute to understanding a policy issue and include more substantial research and analysis than a term paper in a graduate seminar course. Each report is supervised by a first reader--an LBJ School faculty member who advises the student in all stages of the research and evaluates the final product, assigning the grade for the course. Students must also work with a second reader on the report, who may be from the LBJ School or another University department.

Students participating in the Engineering dual program generally write a thesis for their Engineering department, which fulfills the Professional Report requirement. Students in the Law and Business dual programs register for the Professional Report in the LBJ School. Students in the dual program in Communication or in Middle Eastern, Asian, Latin American Studies, or Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies must register for the Professional Report in those programs and must have one reader from each program. Generally the first reader is from the program in which the student is registered.

Each student must receive prior written approval from his or her first reader before formally beginning work on the Professional Report. It is the responsibility of the student to discuss with the first and second readers and have approved the proposed topic, methodology, and work schedule for the report. While students may develop their topics and collect data for their reports in internships and other classes, the report must be completed independently, under supervision of faculty readers. A student may not receive credit for the Professional Report unless he or she has received faculty approval for and supervision of the work.