Combined Degree Program Admissions

The School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) offers two combined degree programs that allow undergraduate students to continue their education with an accelerated master's degree. Students can earn an M.A. in Media and Strategic Communication or an M.P.S. in Political Management from the Graduate School of Political Management.

Brechner Graduate Scholarship in Media and Public Affairs

The Brechner Graduate Scholarship in Media and Public Affairs is a merit-based tuition award specifically for combined degree students pursuing the B.A./M.A. in Media and Strategic Communication. The Brechner Graduate Scholarship will provide $20,000 toward graduate tuition for up to two students in the program.

Mollie Bowman

Mollie Bowman

Political Communication, B.A. 2016
Media and Strategic Communication, M.A. 2017

“This allowed me to finish the master’s degree in a more condensed amount of time, but it also let me go a little bit further in my political communication studies.”

Requirements and Application Process

The School of Media and Public Affairs offers a combined degree for students who wish to pursue the study of strategic political communication in greater depth and attain a higher level of skill and credentials before entering the job market.

The M.A. in Media and Strategic Communication is designed for students interested in media and strategic political communication. Students gain a full understanding of how political actors use communication, as well as the history and theory behind how various forms of communication affect the operation of both governmental and non-governmental organizations.

SMPA majors with at least a 3.5 overall GPA in the second semester of junior year are eligible to apply to the accelerated program and double count nine credits towards their undergraduate and graduate degrees. After completing their undergraduate degree, students complete seven additional three-credit classes plus six credits towards a capstone project or thesis as a full-time graduate student.

Interested students should consult with their advisor and the graduate program staff ([email protected]).

About the Media & Strategic Communication Program

SMPA undergraduate students in their third year of study are eligible to apply to the Political Management dual degree program. Admission to the dual degree program allows students to substitute two Political Management courses in place of their SMPA requirements.

Accepted students must take two courses in Political Management during their senior year that count toward their elective courses for the major.

Students must take

  • PMGT 6401 Fundamentals of Political Management

and one of the following courses:

  • PMGT 6402 Applied Political Communications

  • PMGT 6456 Speechcraft

  • PMGT 6430 Campaign Strategy

About the Political Management Program

Journalism and Mass Communication and Political Communication majors can apply to the combined programs three semesters before their expected date of graduation, typically the second semester of junior year.


  • Applicants must have at least a 3.5 overall GPA
  • GRE scores are not required
  • Spring term applications are due by October 1
  • Fall term applications are due by April 1
Application Materials and Procedure


  • Students with a GPA below 3.0 are required to take the GRE
  • GRE scores are optional for students with a GPA above 3.0
  • Applications are due by June 15 before senior year

GSPM Admissions Process