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Admissions Questions

If I am interested in this program, what should my next steps be?

Great, we are excited to hear that you are interested!  Please explore our program site and read more about the admissions process here.  If you have any questions that aren't answered online, please feel free to contact us by email (

What are the application deadlines?

We are currently accepting applications for the 2016-17 cohort through ApplyTexas. The deadline to apply is November 16, 2015. All materials, including letters of recommendation and personal statement, must be in the system by this date. Full instructions on how to apply can be found on our admissions information page.

Do I have to take the GRE to be admitted into the program?

No, the GRE is not a requirement for admission to the EMPL program.

Does the program require a minimum GPA for admission?

The University of Texas Graduate School requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 for admission; however, the LBJ School can request a conditional waiver of that requirement based on a number of criteria that indicate a good fit for the program.

How many years of work experience do I need to qualify for this program?

We ask that all students applying for the EMPL program have at least seven years of work experience in your field of expertise.

Do you conduct admissions interviews?

Yes, applicants who meet our acceptance criteria will be selected for a program interview.  These interviews are conducted by invitation only.

If I have been admitted, may I defer admittance?

Deferrals will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.  Students may be allowed to defer their attendance for the next year's cohort class.

Is this the same degree as the one offered through the Master of Public Affairs (MPAff) program?

The EMPL degree is a separate track within the MPAff program, leading to a Master of Public Affairs degree.  Students enrolled in the EMPL program will have a completely different curriculum than offered by our other degree programs.

What degree will I graduate with upon completion of the program?

Students who complete the EMPL program will be awarded a Master of Public Affairs degree.

May I place out of classes if I have previous experience in a particular area?

No, the classes have been designed for persons en route to executive leadership, so it is unlikely that any applicant will have studied in a comparable course.

May I transfer course credit from other universities?

No, the EMPL program does not allow transfer credits.


Course & Curriculum Questions

What will the class size be?

Our estimated class size for the 2016-17 school year is approximately 20-25 students.

What is a cohort system?

In the EMPL program, students enter the year as part of a cohort class.  All members of a cohort will enroll in the same courses and complete their degree plan together.  You should expect to take all of your classes during your time at the LBJ School with the same group of people.

What is a 2016-17 cohort class schedule?

The Gateway course will be held in late May of 2016. Classes will be held every other Friday/Saturday throughout the semester. There will be several weeks during which classes will be held back-to-back, and several back-to-back weeks with no scheduled classes. An anticipated schedule of class dates can be downloaded from our Courses & Curriculum page.

How much time should I expect to spend doing work for the program outside of class?

You should expect to dedicate around 20-25 hours each week to work outside of class.  This should include the time required to study, prepare for class, and meet with your colleagues to work together on group projects.

Can I take a course pass/fail?

No, the pass/fail option is not available for EMPL courses.  All courses offered through the EMPL program will be taken for a letter grade.

Where will classes be held?

Classes will be held in the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Sid Richardson Hall. The physical address is 2315 Red River Street, Austin, TX, 78712.

Can I take a course in the EMPL curriculum without being enrolled in the program?

No, only actively enrolled EMPL students may take a course in this program.

What happens if I have to miss a semester of the program?

The EMPL program at The University of Texas at Austin has very strict attendance and withdrawal policies.  Students who miss a semester are required to re-apply with the next year's cohort. 

What is your attendance policy?

Undertaking a graduate degree requires a serious commitment of time. It is expected that students in the EMPL program will attend all class meetings. Because this is a fast-paced program, the goal is not to fall behind. Attendance will also be part of a course grade, depending on the professor's requirements.

What is the EMPL Mentor Program?

The EMPL Mentor Program supports our focus on preparing people for senior leadership roles by pairing students with current and former CEOs of government, not-for-profit, and private sector agencies for one-on-one mentor sessions near the start and conclusion of the EMPL program. These mentor sessions are designed to enrich the student's executive perspective, provide input on critical skills for executive-level leadership, and help provide direction on career development.


Financial Questions

What is the cost for the EMPL program?

The cost for tuition and fees is $37,000.  Details are available on the financial information section of this website.

Can I apply for federal student financial aid?

Yes, you may be eligible for federal student aid.  You can learn more about applying via FAFSA at the University's Financial Aid Office.