Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate research skills (quantitative and qualitative research methods, survey research, interviews, focus groups) used in understanding and developing political communication.
2. Demonstrate the ability to think analytically, write strategically and present findings confidently and persuasively in oral form.
3. Develop an understanding of the strategic components essential to political communication, such as researching audiences, creating messages, targeting constituencies, and building outreach campaigns through media and other channels of communication.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of communication theories and concepts and the ability to synthesize these into a coherent argument.
5. Apply theories and concepts in political communication to an instance of actual politics, in a campaign, the executive or legislative branch, during a political scandal or a national emergency.
6. Design an effective and persuasive campaign or lobbying plan for an actual political candidate or a piece of legislation before Congress.
Applied Political Writing
This course provides students with the writing skills necessary for success in political fields, from campaign politics to political journalism to Congressional offices and issue advocacy organizations. Each student develops a portfolio of writing samples that can be used in applying for positions and/or demonstrating skills, and becomes familiar with the tools and techniques of expository and persuasive writing needed in the world of politics. The course emphasizes clarity and precision as well as the forms, substantive knowledge, and creativity important in political writing.
Voting Behavior, Elections, and Campaigns
Political participation and behavior in U.S. primaries and elections, management of campaigns, mass media, and political organizations.
Women, Politics, and Public Policy
A wide variety of issues of concern to women, including healthcare, welfare, educational equity, employment discrimination, and reproductive rights are examined through the lens of the formal policy-making process.
Principles of Strategic Communication
Examines the elements and principles of strategic communication, with focus on analyzing and developing communication campaigns, public opinion, the media, the role of research, audience identification and targeting, message development, and communicating to various stakeholders and publics. Explores the role of strategic communication in society, politics, culture, business, and various other institutions. Also examines the ethics of strategic communication.
Survey of relevant theories of public communication, including theories of interpersonal communication, persuasion, public relations, public opinion, mass communication, and traditional and new media. Students learn how theory informs communication research and practice, review relevant scholarly literature, and apply these lessons to their own areas of interest.