Dual Master’s Degree Program in Energy and Earth Resources in the Jackson School of Geosciences and Public Affairs in the LBJ School of Public Affairs.


Overview

Jackson School of Geosciences (above) and LBJ School of Public Affairs, LBJ Library and Museum (below).

Jackson School of Geosciences (above) and LBJ School of Public Affairs, LBJ Library and Museum (below).

The Jackson School of Geosciences and the Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin offers a dual degree program leading to two graduate degrees, the Master of Public Affairs (MPAff) degree and the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Energy and Earth Resources. The program combines advanced policy studies with the study of geosciences and natural resources. The dual degree program responds to an increased need in both the public and private sectors for specialists with an advanced understanding of the science, engineering, management and policy aspects of energy, mineral and water resources. The program is structured so that students can earn both degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. Degrees are awarded when the required course work in both areas is completed.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the dual program, an applicant must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, and competitive combined score (verbal and quantitative) on the Graduate Record Examinations General Test (GRE). A grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 (based on a 4.0 system) is recommended in all upper division undergraduate and graduate courses taken. Foreign applicants whose native language is not English must have a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of work in Public Affairs, including a summer public service experience, and 30 hours in Energy and Earth Resources, including a 6 hour thesis based on original research. The curriculum includes the following:

Public Affairs

  • 21 hours of required public affairs core courses
  • 6 hours Policy Research Project (a two-semester course)
  • 9 hours of public affairs relevant electives
  • Public service experience in a field related to the dual degree program

Energy and Earth Resources

  • 24 hours of core (9 hours) and concentration (module) courses (15 hours). Module courses are selected from graduate courses in EER and other departments and schools. Courses must be approved by the EER’s graduate advisor
  • 6 hours of thesis credit on a topic

Administration of the Program

The program is administered by a committee co-chaired by the Graduate Adviser from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Graduate Adviser of the Energy and Earth Resources program in the Jackson School of Geosciences. Applicants will be considered for admission to both programs individually. Students can be admitted to the dual degree program only if approved by both the LBJ School and the EER program.

Applying for Admission

Applicants are required to send materials to three separate offices: 1) The Graduate and International Admissions Center; 2) the Office of Student and Alumni Programs, LBJ School of Public Affairs; and 3) the EER program. Applicants are required to apply online to the Graduate and International Admissions Center and to submit a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation to both the LBJ School and EER Program.

The statement of purpose should (1) indicate the applicant’s reasons for applying to the joint program, (2) make specific reference to relevant academic and/or professional experience, (3) describe the applicant’s major area of interest in Public Affairs and the relationship of this area to energy, mineral, or water resources and (4) provide some general outline of the applicant’s plan of study. The letters of recommendation should be requested from three individuals who can speak authoritatively about the applicant’s academic and/or professional qualifications for the dual degree program. The statement of purpose and signed letters of recommendation are sent in parallel to both the LBJ School and the EER program.

Admission to the Dual Degree Program

Before being considered for admission to the dual degree program, students must first be accepted by both graduate programs Public Affairs and Energy and Earth Resources. All applications are then carefully reviewed by a dual degree program committee, which selects candidates for the dual degree program. In the event of non-acceptance in the dual degree program, students may choose between the regular master’s program in Public Affairs or Energy and Earth Resources.

Advising in the Program

Advising in the dual degree program is structured to allow students flexibility and guidance within a well defined program. Before enrolling for the first semester’s course work, each new student should meet with the Graduate Adviser in the Energy and Earth Resources program and the Graduate Adviser from the LBJ School. These advisers consult with the student, who prepares a plan of course work suitable to her/his needs and objectives. This initial plan of study may undergo some revision after the student begins course work. By the end of the second semester in the program the student must submit an official plan of study for approval by both the advisers. Each student should stay in regular contact with both of his/her advisers during the course of study, consulting with them on course selections prior to registration each semester or session. Each student is held personally responsible for knowing the degree requirements and meeting deadlines.

Financial Assistance

A variety of scholarships, fellowships, grants, assistantships and loans are available to students in the dual degree program. Information on this financial assistance is provided by a number of offices, as indicated below.

Scholarships and Loans

Information and applications for scholarships and loans available to all University students may be obtained from:

The Office of Student Financial Services
The University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box 7758
University Station
Austin, TX 78712

Grants

Information about research grants available to University graduate students¬ may be obtained from:

The Graduate School
MAI 101
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712

Public Affairs Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Assistantships

Financial assistance for students attending the LBJ school full time is available from a number of sources. The LBJ School has resources to provide financial assistance to students based on the need assessment made by the Student Financial Services Office. Upon admission, to the LBJ School, students are also automatically considered for merit scholarships and fellowships. For further information contact:

The Office of the Dean
LBJ School of Public Affairs
SRH 3.100
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712

Students in the joint program may apply for grants awarded to graduate students for specific research projects.

Fellowships and Assistantships in Energy and Earth Resources

The EER program offers merit-based scholarships for selected students who are enrolled in the Energy and Earth Resources Program.

Information about these opportunities may be obtained from:

The Graduate Adviser
Energy and Earth Resources Program
2275 Speedway C9000
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712