Course Descriptions

Following is a complete list of course descriptions in the online Master’s in Political Management program:


6401 Fundamentals of Political Management
Main concepts, arenas, developments, roles, and practices in the field of political management. Assess rhetorical situations, write strategy memos, create and critique campaign messages, and engage citizens, professional colleagues and decision-makers. Taken in first semester of program. (3 credits)

6402 Applied Political Communications
Models and methods by which professionals plan, produce, and adjust strategic communication messages in democratic politics. Use a variety of communication forms and media, such as, fact sheets, blog posts, video releases, and public addresses, under typical constraints of time, money, information, reputation, talent, audience attentiveness, and institutional procedure. Students to enroll by their sixth course in the program. (3 credits)

6403 Political Data and Analytics
Basic political communications model, including such topics as communications strategy, political research (targeted audiences, polling and candidate research) and message discipline. Elements of communications relevant to politics: Internet usage (websites, social networking, and mobile technologies), plus press releases, issue briefs, direct mail letters, fact sheets, talking points, Congressional testimony, public addresses and television and radio commercials. Connection between strategic focus and each communications effort. (3 credits)

6404 Principled Political Leadership
Formulation of political communications strategies as foundation from which to design and develop political advocacy communications. Strategic elements necessary to create, introduce and maintain an effective political profile in issue advocacy campaigns, candidate elections, and legislative advocacy campaigns. Application of important principles in research, advertising and marketing to the political landscape. Prerequisite PMGT 6203. (3 credits)

In addition to the 4 core courses above, you will have the option to attend either the Washington Residency or participate in the Applied Research Project

6480 Washington Residency
Capstone experience equivalent (6495: Political Power and Practice) for online Political Management students. Exposure and interaction with political consultants, advocacy specialists, elected officials, and applied researchers in Washington, D.C. Integration of program curriculum towards an understanding of the federal political ecosystem and developing a robust political network. Taken in last or penultimate term in program. Program fee. (3 credits)

6482 Applied Research Project
Thesis I and II research equivalent for online Political Management students. Enhance capacity to conceive and execute a campaign-relevant research report and related communications on behalf of a mock political client. Describe a status quo of a political situation, analyze the factors and actors sustaining that status quo, identify what and who is potentially moveable in the direction your client seeks to go, and spell out practical first steps a campaign can take in that direction. (3 credits)


6430 Campaign Strategy
Orientation to the basic systems and technologies that must be created and managed to produce electoral victory. The campaign plan and campaign budget as the foundation for management of campaigns. Focus on development of a campaign plan. (3 credits)

6438 State and Local Campaigns
Application of campaign strategy and management principles to electoral races at the state and local levels. Staffing, budgeting, and strategic challenges for what are typically lower-visibility contests that involve state and local candidates. Coordinated campaigns and the impact of the national party’s reputation on these down-ballot races. (3 credits)


6412 Issues Management
Track, influence, and alter politically significant issue-related discourses and policy developments. Legislative, executive, and judicial venues and processes for policymaking; state referendum, initiative, and recall ballot opportunities; organizational structures, including digital procedures, for issue management. (3 credits)

6410 Grassroots Engagement
Strategies and techniques to build advocacy support among and across general civic populations. Identification of potential supporters through database targeting and individual outreach. Motivation and training of interested supporters for grassroots action in campaigns, at public forums, and before decision-makers. Coalition and protest options; analytics of ongoing efforts. (3 credits)

6422 State and Intergovernmental Politics
Examination of the electoral pressures on state and local legislators. Methods and techniques for advocacy in various state capitals. The governing responsibilities of constitutionally-delegated to states and the ever-changing historical relationship between states and the federal government. (3 credits)


6450 Rules, Laws, and Strategy
U.S. federal and state laws and regulations governing recognition of political parties and political organizations, campaign finance, political broadcasting and cablecasting, lobbying registration. Ballot access and voter registration. Ethical and strategic considerations (opportunities and constraints; benefits and drawbacks) related to rule construction. (3 credits)

6452 Digital Strategy
Development of an integrated digital strategy for use in advocacy and electoral campaigns. Introduction to the theoretical concepts, distinctive technologies, applied skills, and managerial challenges associated with digital campaigning. Search engine optimization, GPS, online payment systems, customizing back- and front-end systems to meet strategic goals and budget parameters, working with IT vendors and distance volunteers, legal and cultural considerations in US and other regimes, site rollout and scaling, security and privacy. (3 credits)

6454 Fundraising and Budgeting
Raising and spending money in political campaigns, referenda contests, issue advocacy, and lobbying efforts. Budgeting process, standard controls to check expenditures, accounting procedures, and general strategies for use in effective fundraising. (3 credits)

6460 Audience Research
Processes by which citizens acquire political information and make decisions in politics. Survey research uses in electoral campaigns and issue advocacy. Designing and drawing samples, constructing and pretesting questionnaires, modes of interviewing, financial implications, practical problems in selecting and monitoring polling organizations, and interpretation of data. Focus groups and small-sample interviews; relationship between qualitative and quantitative research; reliability and validity. (3 credits)

6472 Maximizing Social Media
Social media has transformed public affairs at every level. In some cases it has enhanced what we have long done offline; in other cases it has substantively changed the way we do things. It has become a source of news, a way to connect with people and participate in communities, a tool to mobilize people to take action, and the place to listen to and influence public conversations about the issues of our day. This course will explore the impact that social media has had on elections, advocacy, governing, and news media. (3 credits)

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