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Overview

You memorized the names of all the U.S. presidents when you were five. Your idea of TV is limited to CNN, and you check the Drudge Report at least twice a day. You are destined to become a political communication major. But what is political communication, exactly? According to George Washington University, political communication is “the study of the flow of information through political processes: the study of who knows what, when, where and how; and how people use their information to further political goals.”

In this program, you’ll receive instruction in the practice and theory of contemporary political communication. On the practical side, you’ll learn skills like social science research techniques, journalistic methods, electronic media production, and political speaking and debating, as well as do political fieldwork to acquire hands-on experience. Abstract thinking, however, is also a component; the political communication major, like political science, involves heady political analysis through historical, psychological, and philosophical perspectives.

An undergraduate degree in political communication is very marketable; students pursue jobs in political consulting, public affairs, political journalism, public diplomacy, speechwriting, and political advertising. Other students choose to continue on to law or graduate school.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • Campaign Reporting

  • Information, Media, and National Security

  • Introduction to Political Communication

  • Media and Foreign Policy

  • Media, Politics and Government

  • Principles of Public Relations

  • Public Affairs and Government Information

  • Public Diplomacy

  • Public Opinion, Media, and Democracy

  • Strategic Political Communication

  • The Psychology of Attitudes and Public Opinion


HIGH SCHOOl PREPARATION

English and history classes are an essential prep for this major. If your school offers courses in government, journalism, or public speaking, take them. If not, another great way to get a background (and stay on top of current events) is through extracurricular activities like debate club, Model UN, and the school newspaper.