Bachelor of Arts in Political Communication

Students in class

Students in this innovative, interdisciplinary major explore the nature and political effects of our rapidly evolving media environment. They learn how mass media, the internet and new information and communication technologies are changing the way politics work in the US and around the world.

Political communication can make the difference in getting a candidate elected to office, a bill passed, a policy implemented or a war ended. Our curriculum blends theory and practice to develop students' insights and skills in this vital process. Students learn how to use media and the latest information technologies to create and deliver the right information to the right audience at the right time in the political process. Our faculty are accomplished academics and practitioners with expertise in global communication, framing theory, the role of new communication technology in organizing and collective action, strategic communications, public affairs and public diplomacy.

Employers need leaders who understand how to think analytically, listen carefully and communicate persuasively. Political communication teaches the analytical, critical thinking and leadership skills that allow our graduates to be successful from the office and boardroom, to the campaign trail and the US Congress.

Degree Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

Required courses (30 credits):
PSC 1001Introduction to Comparative Politics
or PSC 1003 Introduction to International Politics
PSC 1002Introduction to American Politics and Government
STAT 1053Introduction to Statistics in Social Science
SMPA 2102Introduction to Political Communication (which requires a minimum grade of C to remain in the major)
SMPA 2110WIntroduction to News Writing and Reporting
SMPA 2112Digital Media I: Introduction to Video Production
SMPA 2113Digital Media II: Introduction to Web Production and Social Media
SMPA 2151Research Methods
SMPA 2152Data Analysis for Journalism and Political Communication
SMPA 4199Senior Seminar
Seven courses (21 credits) from the following:
SMPA 2173Media Law
SMPA 3194Selected Topics in Political Communication (May be repeated once for credit)
SMPA 3196Independent Study
SMPA 3197Internship (only one, 3-credit internship may be taken for credit toward the major)
SMPA 3245WEditorial and Persuasive Writing
SMPA 3240WWashington Reporting
SMPA 3241WCampaign Reporting
SMPA 3350Public Diplomacy
SMPA 3352Principles of Public Relations
SMPA 3353Strategic Political Communication
SMPA 3354Political Campaign Communication
SMPA 3355Campaign Advertising
SMPA 3357Political Speech Writing
SMPA 3358Strategic Practicum
SMPA 3428Media, Politics, and Government
SMPA 3450Social Media
SMPA 3459Language and Politics
SMPA 3460Race, Media, and Politics
SMPA 3461Campaigns and Elections
SMPA 3463Media Bias
SMPA 3469International Communication
SMPA 3470Comparative Media Systems
SMPA 3471Media in the Developing World
SMPA 3472Media and Foreign Policy
SMPA 3476Media, Technology, and Culture
SMPA 3477Information Technology and Politics
SMPA 4198Special Honors Research Seminar
Two political science (PSC) courses (6 credits) numbered 2000 or above

Students must achieve specified grades in some courses. Consult the School of Media and Public Affairs for particular grade and course sequencing requirements.

Reporting with the POLITICO Journalism Institute

Marianna Sotomayer at the POLITICO Journalism Institute

Marianna Sotomayor, Political Communication Major '15, was chosen out of a pool of about 200 applicants for the inaugural POLITICO Journalism Institute. She worked with journalists, editors, and executives from POLITICO and other news bureaus to report on heated political issue, which was then published on POLITICO's print and online edition. Read more about her experience here.

Curriculum Worksheets

Students enrolled Spring 2015 and earlier, use this worksheet.

Students enrolled Fall 2015 and later, use this worksheet.