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Master of Public Affairs Mid-Career Program

The LBJ School of Public Affairs offers a mid-career option leading to the Master of Public Affairs degree for individuals with substantial policy-level experience in public affairs. To be eligible for the mid-career program, an applicant should generally have ten years of work experience, with at least five years in substantive policy-level or administrative positions related to the public sector.

To be eligible for the Mid-Career Program, an applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, plus ten years of experience, with at least five years in substantive policy-level or administrative positions related to the public sector. Examples of such positions include: experience as a bureau or section chief or high-level program officer; participation in decisions affecting agency-wide policy; responsibilities requiring substantial contact with the organization’s political environment, including its clientele, interest groups and relevant legislative committees or subcommittees; experience as staff to a politically appointed member of the agency or its board or commission; or experience as an elected official.

Applicants to the Mid-Career Program should ensure that their resumes and essays address the scope of their professional work. Individuals must indicate at the time of their application to the LBJ School that they wish to be considered for the mid-career program. Students are not permitted to transfer into the Mid-Career Program after enrolling in the regular program either full- or part-time

Program Structure

To qualify for an M.P.Aff. degree, mid-career students take the required core courses in the LBJ School's master's curriculum, participate in one year-long policy research project, and take three elective seminars. The coursework can be completed in three long semesters by taking a full-time courseload of four courses each semester. The part-time program takes approximately three years.

Degree Requirements

The mid-career option requires 36 hours of course credit, which can be completed through full-time study, part-time study, or a combination of the two. Certain core courses may be waived for students who can demonstrate equivalent prior education and/or experience. An elective seminar must be substituted for each waived course in order to achieve the required number of credit hours for the degree.