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2017 Graduate Education | International Affairs

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The University of Texas at Austin, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

 

A vibrant campus life. The resources of a Tier One university. Well-funded internships and fellowships. And a quality education that is designed for a shifting global landscape. “I tell students, ‘What you find here, you will not find at many other leading schools,’” says Alan J. Kuperman, associate professor of public affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (LBJ School) at The University of Texas at Austin.

At the Intelligence in Defense of the Homeland Symposium co-sponsored by the LBJ School in March 2017, LBJ Associate Professor Will Inboden, executive director of the school’s Clements Center for National Security, spoke with then-FBI Director James Comey.

Kuperman, a nationally recognized expert in ethnic conflict, nuclear proliferation, and humanitarian intervention, says the LBJ School offers students unique opportunities to combine relevant research with skill-based expertise.

The Master of Global Policy Studies program (MGPS), which Kuperman helped create, combines a rigorous interdisciplinary core with a wide array of customizable specializations and dual degree offerings to prepare graduates for a variety of policy jobs. Graduates pursue a wide range of careers, from national security and intelligence, to international development and global governance, to energy and global environmental policy.

What you find here, you will not find at many other leading schools.Alan J. Kuperman, Associate Professor of Public Affairs, LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at AustinThe two-year MGPS program’s faculty-student ratio of one to seven reflects the school’s deeply ingrained culture of close interaction between students and faculty members. Students in the program work with a faculty member on a real-world policy research project for an external client. Project areas vary widely, from security in Mexico to climate change policies in China to reducing risks of nuclear terrorism worldwide. “These year-long, funded research projects give students the time to do research anywhere in the world, then come back and put it together into a policy-relevant report or book,” Kuperman says. “Our second-year students are essentially doing work they would do at a major consulting firm or a government research agency.” And that gives them a leg up in starting their career.

Students also complete a required summer internship, usually abroad, in Washington, D.C., or in New York City. Many also take advantage of the numerous opportunities for research assistant positions with the school’s distinguished faculty. The LBJ School is home to the newly announced China Policy Center at UT, and the school and a number of its faculty are affiliated with The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, as well as the Clements Center for National Security, all of which offer LBJ students a range of programs in which to participate.

In addition to the MGPS, the LBJ School offers a Master of Public Affairs (MPAff) as well as an innovative, 18-month D.C. Concentration (MGPS/MPAff) program. Students spend their first year in Austin, followed by a six-month policy apprenticeship with a public, private, nonprofit, or nongovernmental organization in Washington, D.C., where they also study at the school’s new downtown Washington Center. “It combines a full-time internship plus coursework. It’s the best of both worlds for students and lets them graduate more quickly,” Kuperman says.

In Austin, the LBJ School offers a unique campus experience in a city where the quality of life is high and affordable. Most LBJ students attend full-time, which contributes to strong bonds among classmates and a vibrant campus intellectual life. MGPS is also among the most affordable international affairs graduate programs in the U.S. Many students graduate with little or no debt.

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