The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs is housed in Sid Richardson Hall, adjacent to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. The Edie and Lew Wasserman Public Affairs Library is an interdisciplinary legal and social science collection housed in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. A special collection of the General Libraries, its focus is on material concerning the formulation, administration, and evaluation of public policies and services. The library collection includes United States and Texas government depository documents; city and county budget and financial reports; publications of the school; students' professional reports; and videotapes of speakers and events.
The school's computation center maintains a Microcomputer Laboratory and provides interactive access to the Internet and to the University's academic computing network. The laboratory is reserved for public affairs students and is available twenty-four hours a day.
Graduate study in public affairs is interdisciplinary, research oriented, and built around public policy problems. While there is no concentration requirement, students may elect to organize their study around fields such as social policy and human resources, international policy, urban and metropolitan policy, environmental and regulatory policy, and strategic management and governance. Depending on his or her qualifications, a student can pursue the Master of Public Affairs degree through the regular program, a joint program, or the executive-midcareer option. The master's degree program provides students with the skills and understanding required for effective professional performance in developing and implementing public policies. The doctoral degree program in public policy is a research-oriented program designed to give the student substantial knowledge of one or more disciplines, an understanding of the policy process, and technical mastery of advanced research skills. It is intended to develop research scholars and university teachers who can make substantive contributions to our understanding of complex public policy problems and who can conduct research in multidisciplinary settings.
The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring semester 2000-2001.
Admission decisions are made by the Admissions Committee. The committee considers an applicant's academic and employment records, his or her scores on the Graduate Record Examinations General Test, three letters of recommendation from professors or employers, and three essay questions addressing the applicant's background and interest in public policy. A resume is also required.
While there are no prescribed course prerequisites, students entering the master's degree program are expected to have completed coursework in three areas: mathematics and statistics, economics, and American government. Many students find it useful to take a review course in college algebra or calculus the summer before entering the program. Applicants to the doctoral degree program must have a graduate degree from a policy-related academic or professional program.
Additional information on degree requirements and the application process is available from the Office of Student and Alumni Programs.
Master of Public Affairs
The curriculum for the Master of Public Affairs consists of fifty-three semester hours of credit. It combines courses in policy development, political economy, quantitative research methods, and management with a practical applications sequence that includes an agency internship and client-oriented policy research projects; it also allows the student to develop an area of specialization. A typical program of study includes seven one-semester core courses, two policy research projects, a twelve-week internship completed between the first and second years, three electives, and a professional report. The student must fulfill all academic requirements within six years of his or her entrance into the Master of Public Affairs degree program.
Most students are admitted to the regular program, which they are generally expected to complete in two years of full-time study. A student who cannot attend full-time may choose to complete the regular program on a part-time basis; the applicant must submit a written request for admission on a part-time basis when he or she applies for admission to the regular program. A student enrolled in the regular program full-time may be allowed, for good reason, to change to part-time status.
Each year a small number of applicants with substantial work experience are admitted to the executive-midcareer program. In general, an applicant should have ten years of experience, including at least five years in substantive policy-level or administrative positions related to the public sector. The applicant must submit a written request for admission to the executive-midcareer program when he or she applies for admission to the school; the request must be accompanied by supporting material detailing the applicant's public service and policy-level work experience. The midcareer student must earn at least thirty-five semester hours of credit in public affairs.
In cooperation with the following divisions of the University, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs offers programs leading to both the Master of Public Affairs and another degree. Each joint program allows the student to earn two degrees simultaneously in less time than it would take to earn them separately.
Students seeking admission to a joint program must apply through the Graduate and International Admissions Center; those seeking admission to the MPAff/JD program must also apply separately to the School of Law. The student must be accepted by each individual program in order to be admitted to the joint program.
Upon admission to the joint degree program with the McCombs School of Business, the student must pay a nonrefundable enrollment deposit to indicate that he or she accepts the offer of admission. The deposit serves to confirm the student's intention of enrolling in both programs and is applied to the payment of fees when the student enrolls. Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for assistance to cover the deposit.
Doctor of Philosophy
Each doctoral degree student pursues an individual program of study approved by his or her advisory committee. A typical program consists of at least thirty semester hours of coursework beyond the master's degree (in addition to the dissertation course) and includes supporting work in courses outside public affairs. The supporting work is intended to deepen the student's understanding of a discipline and its application to public policy.
In addition to the dissertation courses, required courses include Public Affairs 390C, 391C, and 392C. This sequence is designed to move the student from a disciplinary to a multidisciplinary approach to public policy by developing his or her understanding of the theoretical and methodological contributions of individual disciplines and professions to public policy. A student without a graduate degree from a policy-related academic or professional program may be required to complete supplementary coursework in addition to the number of hours required for the doctoral degree. This coursework is intended to ensure that the student has adequate skills and knowledge before beginning doctoral degree work.
Campus address: Sid Richardson Hall (SRH) 3.107, phone (512) 471-4962, fax (512) 471-8455; campus mail code: E2700
Mailing address: Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, P O Drawer Y, Austin, Texas 78713-8925
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26 July 2001. Registrar's Web Team
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