College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Political Communication (Interdisciplinary Specialization)

Students majoring in communication and/or political science may select political communication as a specialization. The School of Communication and the Department of Political Science jointly administer the program, which provides students with a systematic and comprehensive orientation to political communication. This orientation will enable students to understand the role of communication in the political process.

Communication processes have always been critical to the evolution of American political institutions. Specific communication practices have helped to create support for a basic set of democratic norms and values, arouse interest and participation by various groups in the election of officeholders at all levels of government, facilitate involvement in and commitment to choices of solutions for social problems, and create support for a particular government regime and its programs.

Professionals operating in the American political process must be prepared to shape their personal impact and the impact of their decisions. It is to facilitate such an objective that this program was developed. The program should especially suit students planning careers in public administration; law; journalism; public information; or as political party organizers, elected officials, and campaign specialists.

Required Courses:

Students interested in this program need to obtain prior written approval from an adviser in the department of their major. Completion of the political communication sequence and the major requirements in one of the two departments involves a minimum of 40 to 44 semester credit hours. A 2.25 GPA must be maintained across all required courses. The specific requirements in addition to those for a major in one of the two departments are:

Communication Majors

  1. Required introductory courses
  2. Required advanced core courses

Political Science Majors

  1. Required introductory core courses
  2. Required advanced core courses

Electives

Students must complete the introductory core courses in these curricula before they may enroll in the internship program (PSC 402). Courses in the advanced core may be taken during the internship, though it is recommended that students complete PSC 319 and COM 347 before the fieldwork. In addition to the required courses, students must take at least one elective in communication and one in political science. Lists of recommended courses follow:

  1. Recommended electives in Political Science:
  2. Recommended electives in Communication:

The two departments will periodically schedule seminars at which faculty members and outside speakers will discuss relevant topics. Students focusing on political communication will be informed of the seminars and will be expected to attend.

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