Jul 25, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Political Science, B.A., Political Communications: Media and Public Relations in Government, Politics, and Advocacy Concentration


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Department Contact:

Chair: Dr. Denise Holladay Damico
Coordinator: Dr. Mark C. Gentry

Program Description:

Political Science has been defined as the study of “who gets what, when, and how.” It involves the study of government and public policy, as well as the study of the behavior of individuals and groups in the pursuit of their interests. The BA in Political Science with a concentration in Political Communications: Media and Public Relations in Government, Politics, and Advocacy is designed for students who wish to specialize in media-related careers in the fields of politics, government, government relations, and journalism. In addition to training and experiences identified in the Political Science Major, the program enables students to significantly improve both their personal communications skills in writing and public speaking but also allows them to acquire expertise in developing and implementing communications strategies, using the latest communications technologies.

 

Political communications professionals work to influence elected officials, government agencies, election outcomes, and public opinion to shape the content of government laws, regulations, and policies on behalf of elected officials, political parties, government agencies, private and public interest groups.

 

Political communications professionals have a variety of job titles: strategists; public affairs specialists; public relations assistants, managers, and directors; community relations coordinators and directors; media relations specialists and managers; communications specialists and coordinators; media coordinators and directors; events planners, coordinators, and managers; marketing communications managers and directors; publicists; crisis managers; copywriters; content writers; spokespersons; reputation managers; promotions directors; speechwriters; social media specialists,

 

Duties of political communications professionals can include: writing press releases; answering inquiries from the media; contacting and responding to the media; arranging meetings and interviews with journalists; overseeing an organization’s relations with the media, clients, and the public; managing the organization’s social media accounts; updating social media platforms with pertinent information; creating organization newsletters; raising awareness through print and digital media; coordinating events for an organization; conducting public opinion research; creating marketing campaigns; speaking at public events such as fundraisers; communicating an organization’s financial information to clients and the public; responding to unfavorable situations; addressing potential issues with a person’s or organization’s reputation; developing crisis responses plans; drafting speeches for organizational representatives; acting as a spokesperson for an organization or office.

 

Students are encouraged to complete a minor or second major in Communications, Marketing, or Professional Writing.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Critical Thinking: Students will develop the ability to think critically about information (e.g., data or texts), theories, concepts, problems, issues, institutions and processes of American Politics and Government, World Politics and Political Theory before accepting or formulating a position or conclusion or proposing a solution to a problem.
  2. Citizenship: Students will develop a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes, acquiring a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in their lives as citizens.
  3. Research Methods: Students will be able to use and explain research methods used in the discipline of political science and evaluate conclusions derived from these methods. Students will develop skills that include the ability to identify, locate and access sources of information, the ability to critically evaluate information, the ability to organize information to present a sound central idea in a logical order, and the ability to use the work of others accurately and ethically.
  4. Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate the necessary oral and written skills (English and Public Speaking) to convey their knowledge to others about political science or other appropriate topics.
  5. Ethics: Students will demonstrate familiarity with theorists and ethical frameworks that can help them make hard decisions, evaluate the policy decisions that public officials make on their behalf, and recognize the implications of these choices; Knowledge of reliable frameworks of principles will help students evaluate ambiguous facts and define behavior as “right” or “good.”

 

Capstone Requirement:

Students in the Bachelor of Arts in the Political Science program, Political Communications: Media and Public Relations in Government, Politics, and Advocacy Concentration, are required to complete the following two course sequence to graduate from this program:

  • PLSC 330 - Political Science Research Methods (3 cr)
  • PLSC 494 - Political Science Research (1 cr)

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 4 years of full-time study

Total Credits Required:

128 credits

Courses Required for the Major: (49 credits)


Additional requirements:


  • At least 21 PLSC credits must be at the 300 or 400 level, excluding 398/399, 487, and 494.

Free Electives (10 credits)


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