LBJ School Launches Bachelor of Public Affairs Degree

AUSTIN, Texas The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin is launching its first undergraduate degree program, the Bachelor of Public Affairs. Building on its world-renowned graduate program, the new program will be the school’s primary undergraduate offering, focusing on skills in leadership, policy analysis, data analysis, communications, and organizational management for careers in public service.

“The LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas has been training leaders for more than 50 years. These leaders have served in a variety of roles and industries—governors, nonprofit CEOs, university presidents, and many other pioneers—but all came to the LBJ School as graduate students.” UT President Jay Hartzell said“We are excited that we can now give our undergraduate students the opportunity to access the same kind of world-class educational experience. An LBJ education will give them earlier exposure to leadership opportunities and open up new ways to positively impact society through constructive discourse and public policy.”

Students in this major will receive a comprehensive education in public affairs and gain professional training in solving real-world public problems through innovative policy solutions. Students will study the work ethic in public affairs and why public policies are necessary; how policies are proposed, adopted, and implemented; and the economic cost-benefit calculations of policies. Students will be encouraged to specialize in a specific policy area—such as health care, the environment, national security, or foreign affairs—to distinguish themselves in the job market.

“The Public Affairs bachelor’s degree program equips students with skills that are in demand in today’s job market” said JR DeShazo, dean of the LBJ School“With a strong emphasis on data analytics, policy analysis, and organizational leadership and management, our graduates will be prepared for high-impact careers in public service and beyond.”

Key areas of the Bachelor of Public Affairs programme include:

  • Policy Analysis: Knowing when to use quantitative and when to use qualitative tools to analyze problems.
  • Data analytics:Understanding the complexities of working with different types of data.
  • Communication: Distinguishing ways to communicate concisely with specific policy audiences.
  • Leadership and organizational management:Leading, following, and collaborating effectively with others in a professional environment.

Students will be ready to pursue careers in policy-related areas such as healthcare, education, national security, energy, housing and more. The LBJ School has produced more than 4,800 alumni worldwide who hold leadership positions in government, nonprofit organizations, and the corporate sector.

Public sector job growth is on the rise, according to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The U.S. more than doubled its government job openings in 2023 compared to 2022. But there are many vacancies, prompting industry efforts to recruit and retain public service workers. Expanding public sector employment aims to improve public services such as education, health care, transportation, safety and more.

The program will begin accepting applications on August 1, 2024, for students who will begin their studies at UT in the fall of 2025. Prospective students are encouraged to visit the LBJ School website for more information about the curriculum, admission requirements, and application deadlines.