President Lyndon B. Johnson dominated Washington politics and policy for more than 20 years. From civil rights and voting rights to clean water legislation and immigration reform, and from the arts and education to Medicare and Medicaid, he left a lasting legacy of getting things done. The LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin is bringing the LBJ way back to Washington DC by empowering a new “get it done” generation of professionals in the nation’s capital.
The LBJ Washington Center, through its DC Concentration academic program, provides master’s students the extraordinary opportunity of working and earning a graduate degree simultaneously.
The goal of our unique 18-month public affairs degree program is to transition our graduate students (LBJ DC Fellows) into the DC policy workforce a full semester earlier than traditional public policy programs and to better prepare them for the unique DC federal policy environment. Unlike their counterparts at other national public policy schools, the LBJ DC Fellows will graduate in December of their second year of studies, rather than the following May, with two degree options: a Master of Public Affairs (DC Concentration) or a Master of Global Policy Studies (DC Concentration.)
I came to the LBJ School so I could be part of change agents—folks that thought like me, that were just as passionate as I was, that could feed my passion, but also give me some direction as to how I could do the most good for the most people back in my community. Johnie Jones – Deputy Chief of Staff, Rural Development, USDA, MPAff 2011
One-year in Austin
Students will begin the program at the LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin for the first phase of the program, receiving a rigorous analytical and theoretical foundation in public policy as well as an understanding of policy issues at the local, state and national levels. During their first year in Austin, students will enroll in the regular first-year curriculum in the MPAff or MGPS programs, with some special programs to provide DC-bound students with additional background on policy making at the federal level.
Due to its size and demographics, Texas is a laboratory where new policy ideas are being incubated for the rest of the nation and Austin is at the heart of that political process. Austin is also a city with booming non-profit and technology sectors and is home to one of the nation’s top public universities, The University of Texas at Austin.
Six Months in Washington:
The program in Washington, D.C., will include 1) a 6-month Monday-to-Thursday apprenticeship with a public agency, Congressional staff, non-profit agency or other institution engaged in public policy and 2) core courses conducted on Fridays and Saturdays geared toward the essentials of policymaking at the federal level, including such topics as the roles of Congress and the Executive Branch, federal budgeting, and the role of foundations, think tanks, and advocacy groups in the policy ecosystem.
The Washington experience will also include a speaker series, to give students an opportunity to meet with senior policy makers in a small-group setting, and a mentorship program that pairs each student with a distinguished LBJ School graduate working in the student’s field of interest. Students will graduate in Washington, D.C. in December upon the completion of the 18-month program.