president lyndon johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs' mission is to develop leaders and ideas that will help the nation and the international community address critical public policy challenges in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. Drawing upon a world-renown, multidisciplinary faculty, a diverse and talented group of masters and Ph.D. students and the resources of the University of Texas at Austin, one of the world's leading research universities, the LBJ School is well-placed to help shape public policy for the 21st century.


In February 1965, University of Texas Board of Regents proposed to President Lyndon Johnson and Mrs. Johnson that the university build two different but complementary facilities. One would be a presidential library for Johnson's papers, the other a school of public affairs. Agreement between the President and the Board of Regents was reached in August 1965.

Five years later—in September 1970—the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs began classes, although its building—and the adjacent LBJ Library building—would not be completed until the following spring. President Johnson, who had left office in 1969, chose not to be part of the new School's faculty or administration, but he interacted with early students through occasional visits to campus and through informal gatherings at his ranch in Johnson City. The development of the LBJ School's academic program was left in the hands of a visionary group of administrators and faculty headed by John Gronouski, a former Johnson Cabinet member.

The LBJ School originally offered only a two-year Master of Public Affairs (M.P.Aff.) program, adding a mid-career M.P.Aff. program and dual degree master's programs in law and engineering during the 1970s. Over the next three decades, eleven additional dual degree programs were established, offering students an increasingly wider range of study options. A Ph.D. in Public Policy was also introduced in 1992, and a Master of Global Policy Studies (MGPS) degree was added for the fall 2008 semester.

Degree Programs

The LBJ School offers three degree programs:

Master of Public Affairs (M.P.Aff)

The LBJ School offers a Master of Public Affairs program in public policy analysis and administration that prepares graduates to assume leadership positions in government, business, and nonprofit organizations. In addition, thirteen masters level dual degree programs blend public affairs study with specialized professions or area studies and are structured so that students can earn the Master of Public Affairs degree and a second degree in less time than it would take to earn them separately.

The program is organized so that formal coursework in theory and skills is reinforced by opportunities for practical application. For students who enter without substantial public service or administrative work experience, a required internship between the first and second years provides direct contact with the operating realities of government, non-profits, and advocacy organizations. Students may follow a general program of study or may specialize in one of seven policy areas. The regular program requires a total of 48 semester hours of credit.

In both the full-time and part-time regular program options, students may choose to specialize in any of seven policy areas:

Each specialization requires 15 credit hours of approved coursework, including a 3-hour professional Report in the second year.

Degree Requirements
All students enrolled either full-time or part-time in the regular program must complete the following requirements:

27 hours of common and flexible core courses:

21 hours of electives, selected from among the following:

  • Advanced Topics in Public Policy
  • Advanced Topics in Management
  • Approved elective courses in other UT Austin departments
  • Professional Report (Students pursuing a general program of study may take the 3-hour Professional Report course as an elective; students pursuing a specialization or dual degree are required to take the full course)

Internship Requirement:

  • 0-3 hours Internship (The Internship requirement can be waived if a student can provide documentation of comparable professional experience. The Internship can be taken either on a noncredit basis or for 3 hours credit as an elective.)

Dual Degree Programs
The LBJ School has joined with several other departments to create dual degree programs. All of these programs are structured so that students can earn the Master of Public Affairs degree and a second degree in less time than it would take to earn them separately. The LBJ School has developed the following dual degree programs with other University of Texas departments and schools:

Master of Global Policy Studies (MGPS)

The Master of Global Policy Studies (MGPS) degree is a path-breaking program designed to equip professionals with the tools and knowledge necessary to be leaders in an increasingly interdependent world. The MGPS degree goes beyond traditional international affairs programs to offer a multidisciplinary approach to the complex economic, political, technological, and social issues of the 21st century. Graduates will become leaders in government, business, and international organizations by acquiring core professional skills and expertise tailored to the contemporary global environment.

The MGPS degree program builds on a core curriculum which includes:

  • Policy making in a global age
  • The Nature of the International System
  • Analytical Methods for Global Policy Studies
  • Microeconomics for Global Policy Studies
  • International Economics
  • Crisis Management
  • Policy research Projects

Students in the MGPS program specialize in one of six areas to add in-depth knowledge and skills tailored to different substantive areas of global policy practice:

  • Security, Law, and Diplomacy
  • International Trade and Finance
  • Development
  • Global Governance and International Law
  • Energy, Environment, and Technology
  • Regional International Policy

Alternatively, students may also custom design their academic program within the core philosophy and skills embedded in the MGPS degree All MGPS students have the opportunity to take traditional professional school courses as electives. The LBJ School is currently pursuing dual degree opportunities for MGPS students with a variety of departments across the UT campus, including the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geoscience, the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS), and the School of Law.

Ph.D. in Public Policy

The Ph.D. in Public Policy at the LBJ School is a research-oriented doctorate that emphasizes the use of interdisciplinary theoretical and research paradigms in analyzing public policies. Each Ph.D. student follows a program of coursework tailored to his or her individual needs and aims. Students are expected to participate full time in the program for at least the first two years. During that time they take courses in the LBJ School Ph.D. core sequence and in their area of specialization and complete qualifying exams. After successfully completing these requirements, students form supervising committees for their Ph.D. dissertations and devote the remainder of their time in the program to conducting research and writing the dissertation.

Research Centers

The LBJ School prides itself on the quality of research that is produced by it faculty. Most faculty members are associated with one or more of the research center LBJ hosts, each of which was given its charge on the request of Lyndon Johnson when the school was founded more than thirty years ago.

Notable Faculty Members

The LBJ School hosts a number of noteworthy faculty members on both a permanent and visiting basis:

Alumni chapters

These are the school's alumni chapters:

  • Austin Alumni Chapter
  • Washington, D.C., Alumni Chapter (WALSAC)

Commencement speakers 1972-2008


The LBJ School is currently ranked 14th by U.S. News & World Report in its March 2008 rankings of public affairs schools, down from 9th in 2004, 7th in 2002 and 5th in 1998.

Notable alumni


External links

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