Dual Degree Program:
Engineering & Public Affairs

Table of Contents

Program Puropose

The LBJ School of Public Affairs and the College of Engineering offer a dual degree program leading to the degrees of Master of Public Affairs and Master of Science in Engineering. The program is designed to prepare qualified engineering and public affairs students for careers at any level of government and in public policy related areas of the engineering profession. Alumni currently hold positions in the offices of local, state, and national government agencies, engineering consulting firms, universities, and industries.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn the M.P.Aff. and M.S.E. degrees simultaneously. In general, a minimum of two years is required to complete this dual program. Students must complete at least 36 LBJ School credit hours and 30 credit hours in one of the majors in the College of Engineering, including all the core courses in each school. Degrees are awarded when the required work in both schools is completed. Dual degree program students usually progress through the curriculum as follows:

Year I: Full academic year in the LBJ School, followed by a required summer internship with a governmental agency or other organization with a substantial public policy interest.

Year II: Full academic year in the College of Engineering, followed by thesis research in the summer after the academic year and completion of a master's thesis.

College of Engineering Curriculum

The curriculum in the College of Engineering will vary with the degree program appropriate to the major chosen. A typical program of work requires 18 hours of courses in the student' s major area, 6 hours in a minor area, and 6 hours of thesis. Students are advised to obtain information regarding the unique degree requirements of each engineering major.

LBJ School Curriculum

The first-year curriculum in the LBJ School normally consists of the following required core courses:

Policy Development (PA684a), Fall, 3 hours. Basic dynamics of policy formation in the American governmental system.

Public Administration and Management (PA684b), Spring, 3 hours. Policy implementation and evaluation in the American governmental system.

Political Economy (PA693a and b), Fall, 3 hours; Spring, 3 hours. 693a: Seminar on microeconomics. 693b: Modules on selected topics such as macroeconomics, international trade and development, labor and economic issues, urban issues, and regulation. (693b is usually taken after the first year.)

Public Financial Management (PA391), Fall, 3 hours. Provides a basic understanding of the financial activities engaged in by governments at all levels in the United States.

Analytic Methods for Decisionmaking(PA692ai), Fall 3 hours. Quantitative techniques used for policy research and analysis.

Applied Statistics (PA692bi), Spring, 3 hours. Use o probability theory, statistical inference, correlation, and regression in policy analysis.

Policy Research Project(PA882a and b),Fall, 4 hours, Spring, 4 hours. Year-long group research on . public policy problem, often involving the preparation of an analytic report for a client governmental agency. Topics vary from year to year.

Internship (PA496K), Summer, 4 hours. Twelve week internship in an organization with a sub substantial public policy orientation.

Elective Seminar, 3 hours.


In order to be considered for the dual degree program, a student must first meet the separate admission criteria of the LBJ School of Public Affair. and the particular graduate engineering program Should a student not be accepted for admission to the dual program but be found acceptable for admission to one of the regular master's degree programs, the student may choose to enroll in that program.

  1. For applicants who have never been enrolled in the UT Austin Graduate School:
  2. For students currently enrolled in the LBJ School or the College of Engineering master's program: A student in the first year of either regular program may be considered for admission to the dual program by satisfying the admission requirements of the cosponsoring department. Anyone interested should contact the graduate adviser in the cosponsoring department. An applicant will also need to file change of major with the Graduate School. Note: the deadlines for applications must be observed.
Financial Aid

Both the College of Engineering and the LBJ School have limited funds for qualified students who merit financial assistance.

The LBJ School makes awards to students who can show need. To apply, complete the ACT Financial Aid Services Form (available from any college or university) and have the assessment sent to the UT Austin Office of Student Financial Services, Austin, TX 78712. Dual degree program students in engineering and public affairs may apply to the LBJ School for such assistance during their first full year in the LBJ School.


Questions about the dual degree program should be addressed to:

College of Engineering
Professor Howard Liljestrand
Dual Degree Program Graduate Adviser
Department of Civil Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
LBJ School of Public Affairs
Office of Student and Alumni Programs
Dual Degree Program Graduate Adviser
The University of Texas at Austin
Drawer Y, University Station
Austin, TX 78713-7450