Colleges and Schools > Hobby School of Public Affairs
4104 Martin Luther King Boulevard
Houston, Texas 77204-5021
Dean: Dr. Jim Granato
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies: Dr. Alan Witt
From a foundation of leadership, integrity and collaboration, the Hobby School of Public Affairs puts creative, solutions-oriented public policy to work for the world through:
Education: Preparing graduates to rethink the way government, business and communities work
Research: Driving evidence-based research and analyzing data to produce innovative answers to difficult policy questions
Relevance: Working with and listening to communities to develop solutions that address their practical needs
Action: Implementing policies in real-world environments through empathy, partnerships and communication
About the Hobby School
The Hobby School is focused on putting creative, solutions-oriented public policy to work for the world through education, research, support and service. For us, the world is all-encompassing, local, regional, national and international, as the challenges communities face and the answers we can help deliver are universal.
The Hobby School offers a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree, as well as several graduate dual degree programs and accelerated pathway programs (4+1 undergraduate/graduate programs), and Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science undergraduate programs. The dual degrees provide enhanced interdisciplinary study, combining public policy with such areas as economics, law, social work, psychology, business and a UH Honors College option. Additionally, the Hobby School offers six graduate certificate programs in data analytics, energy policy, ethics, health care policy, public policy and public administration.
The Hobby School extends its education mission by offering various summer institutes, most notably the Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) Institute and the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research. The EITM program started in 2012 with funding provided by the National Science Foundation. The ICPSR workshops are offered by a selective group of academic institutions across the U.S. as part of a national initiative to train social scientists in research methods.
The research portfolio of the Hobby School encompasses study and analysis of local, national and global public policy issues. The school is known for advanced expertise in creative quantitative and data analytics across a variety of disciplines. Our team of faculty and student researchers often collaborate with colleagues across UH, with other universities, research institutes and public and private partners. Recent reports and studies have focused on impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, the opioid epidemic in Texas, energy policy and electoral and voting trends. The Hobby School is home to various research centers such as the Center for Public Policy andthe Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership.
Public service and community engagement are also vital components of the Hobby School’s mission, providing critical experiential learning opportunities for our students, while also offering valuable service and support to public and private partners. Our flagship internship programs include the Hobby Fellows, Leland Fellows, Harris Fellows and Civic Houston Internship Program. Additionally, the school offers the nationally-accredited Certified Public Manager program and the Civic Engagement Boot Camp.
The Hobby School’s Master of Public Policy is a Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) accredited degree program, and ranks among the top 100 public policy programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The Hobby School is a Full Member of NASPAA and an Institutional Member of the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM). The Hobby School also maintains a Pi Alpha Alpha chapter, the global honors society for public affairs and administration.
The Hobby School offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA)/Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Policy and a Public Leadership Minor for students seeking a mission-oriented profession. Our degrees encompass coursework that is interdisciplinary, blending social sciences, critical thinking and qualitative and quantitative analysis to support positive public policy.
We seek students eager to develop leadership and life skills, along with training in ethics, communication and writing. Our degree programs incorporate opportunities for experiential learning, including paid internships and fellowships. Graduates of our programs will hit the ground running in their future careers, given their mastery of both the technical and humanistic aspects of public policy.
In addition to the Hobby School’s undergraduate programs, the Hobby School also has partnerships with other UH colleges offering accelerated pathway programs that allow an undergraduate student to complete selected undergraduate degrees (Bauer College of Business, Economics, Honors College, Philosophy, and Psychology) and the Master of Public Policy in five years.
The Hobby School’s graduate programs offer interdisciplinary coursework, blending social sciences, critical thinking and qualitative and quantitative analysis to support creative, solutions-oriented public policy to work for the world. The Hobby School is one of 16 colleges and schools at UH offering graduate-level degrees and programs.
The Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree, graduate dual degree programs and accelerated pathway programs (4+1 undergraduate/graduate programs) educate students in advanced quantitative and qualitative analyses for placement in many areas of the public, private and nonprofit sectors leading to higher level analytic and decision-making positions. In addition, graduates are also prepared to enter a Ph.D. program with a quantitative emphasis.
The dual degrees provide enhanced interdisciplinary study, combining public policy with such areas as economics, law, social work, psychology, business and a UH Honors College option.
The six graduate certificate programs in data analytics, energy policy, ethics, health care policy, public policy and public administration address professional development opportunities to add credible academic credentials to your qualifications, increase your marketability and increase your career options.
Center for Public Policy
Established in 1981, the Center for Public Policy (CPP) serves the Houston community as a non-partisan research organization within the Hobby School at the University of Houston.
The CPP is dedicated to providing scientific, non-biased data and analysis to public officials, business professionals, community leaders and others through an interdisciplinary approach with particular emphasis on unifying case-study, formal/mathematical modeling, and applied statistics and experiments. Research work teams include faculty from a variety of disciplines and universities as well as staff and students. These research teams focus on a diverse array of important public policy and academic issues while archiving data, conducting statistical analysis, using experiments and computer simulations, and developing working papers. The issue may be transportation, energy, elections, or a myriad of others but the approach will always use objective methods of analysis.
The Hobby School’s Survey Research Institute (SRI) conducts ongoing public opinion polling. Since its inception within the Center for Public Policy in 1981, SRI has provided polling data for local media such as the Houston Chronicle, KHOU, and KUHF as well as for local, regional, and state public and private sector entities.
The EITM Summer Institute
The Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) Summer Institute at UH was established in 2012. The two-week institute teaches the three-step EITM framework inspired by the National Science Foundation to establish a transparent relation between theory and test.
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership
The Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership links the analytical rigor of the social sciences with the philosophical, historical, and normative richness of the liberal arts to inform public understanding of the principles and policies of civic life. The center restores the traditional role of the social sciences and liberal arts-the “human sciences”-as the source of moral, cultural, and political renewal and as the core of the education of citizens.
Public Service Internship Programs
In an effort to introduce students to the inner-workings of public service, the Hobby School manages various internship programs for undergraduates including Hobby Fellows-Austin, Leland Fellows-Washington, and the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP). Intern alumni are now working from Houston City Hall to Capitol Hill.
Certified Public Manager Program
The Hobby School’s Certified Public Manager (CPM) program is designed for government and non-profit staff and managers who are interested in enhancing their skills and abilities needed to deal with “real-world” problems and situations. CPM graduates apply best practices and theory to their management behaviors and strategies using prescribed sets of professional standards.
Civic Engagement Boot Camp
The Hobby School’s Civic Engagement Boot Camp (CEBC) is a series of one day interactive sessions designed to teach the skills necessary to create positive change. Each workshop will develop and enhance the abilities required to lead effectively within any environment.
The Hobby School partners with several Houston organizations including BakerRipley, the Greater Houston Partnership, Global Unisource, and the League of Women Voters to promote civic engagement, scientific policy analysis, and professional training.