The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin is creating the LBJ School Washington Center where students will be able to earn a master's degree in 18 months with a unique focus on federal public policy.
The center, initially co-located with Politico in Arlington, VA, will also provide a platform and forum for nonpartisan policy analysis on the critical issues facing the country and the world and serve as a hub for the dissemination of faculty research.
"We are very proud to be able to say that LBJ is returning to Washington where our school's namesake dominated the political landscape for nearly 20 years," said Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School. "We want this center to be at the heart of empowering a new generation of policymakers who can get things done in government just like President Johnson did 50 years ago. Our Washington Center will offer a unique program that is focused on policymaking at the federal level and designed to launch students into their D.C. careers. The center will also serve as a vehicle for enhanced engagement of our faculty experts and their research in the national political dialogue."
The LBJ School, among the top graduate public affairs schools in the nation, will provide students the option of a Master of Public Affairs or Master of Global Policy Studies degree with a specifically tailored curriculum unique to the Washington Center.
Students will begin the program at the LBJ School at UT Austin for the first year 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.
The Washington portion of the program would include a 6-month, Monday-to-Thursday apprenticeship with a public or nonprofit agency and course work on Fridays and Saturdays geared toward the essentials of policymaking at the federal level. The LBJ School will begin accepting applications in fall 2014, with the first class set to enter in fall 2015.
In the creation of the Washington Center, the LBJ School has formed a Founding Committee, which includes Robert Allbritton, chairman of Allbritton Communications; former U.S. Rep. Bill Archer; LBJ Foundation Trustee Ben Barnes; former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle; former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; Luci Baines Johnson; Joe O'Neill, CEO of Public Strategies; and Lynda Johnson Robb.
"When LBJ founded the school in 1970, it was always with the aspiration that the school would develop a pipeline for dedicated, well-trained policy professionals to get to Washington to make a difference on the national stage," said Ben Barnes, former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and former lieutenant governor of Texas. "It is highly gratifying to see the former president's dream for his school realized."
The LBJ School of Public Affairs is a professional graduate school that draws on the legacy of its namesake to empower the next "get it done" generation to take on effective leadership roles in public service. The LBJ School offers three master's degree programs: the Master of Public Affairs, the Master of Global Policy Studies and the Executive Master in Public Leadership, as well as a Ph.D. in public policy.