Graduate Certificate in Applied Politics

Earn the certificate online or in person

The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and The University of Akron Department of Political Science offer a Certificate in Applied Politics (CAP) to graduate students focusing on practical politics and experiential learning. It is designed for students interested in election campaigns, digital strategy and messaging, fundraising, managing organizations, and other political activities. All applied politics classes are delivered synchronously or asynchronously online making residency in Northeast Ohio optional.

What is applied politics?

Applied politics is a comprehensive study of American politics with a focus on tangible, practical skills like networking and experiential learning opportunities.

Potential Careers in Applied Politics

  • Campaign Management & Communications
  • Candidate for Office/Elected Office Holder
  • Community Organizing
  • Digital Strategy
  • Fundraising
  • Government Relations & Lobbying
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Party/Group Leadership
  • Policy Analysis
  • Political Consulting

Certificate in Applied Politics: Information

  • 18 credits
  • No GRE required
  • No Residency requirement
  • Open to ANY major
  • Full-time or Part-time
  • Online classes available
  • Real-world experience with internships
  • Design course work around career interests
  • Use My Degree Progress Report (My DPR) to review your academic progress to graduation
  • Contact: Dr. David Cohen, Director of Applied Politics,

Certificate Requirements

  • Required Core: 12 credits minimum
    • POLIT:570: Fundamentals of Political Strategy (3 credits)
    • POLIT:571: Fundamentals of Electoral Messaging (3 credits)
    • POLIT:572: Campaign Finance, Fundraising, and Budgeting (3 credits)
    • POLIT:573: Voter Contact and Elections (3 credits)
    • POLIT:578: Fundamentals of the Digital Campaign (3 credits)
    • POLIT:600: Scope and Theories of Political Science (3 credits)
    • POLIT:601: Research Methods in Political Science (3 credits)
    • Required Internship: 3 credits 
      • POLIT:695: Internship in Government & Politics (3 credits)
        • Any internship credits over the 3 required will be applied toward electives
    • Electives: 3 credits maximum
      • POLIT:502: Politics and the Media (3 credits)
      • POLIT:527: Campaign Battleground (3 credits)
      • POLIT:528: Ohio Politics (3 credits)
      • POLIT:540: Survey Research methods (3 credits)
      • POLIT:541: The Policy Process (3 credits
      • POLIT:542: Methods of Policy Analysis (3 credits)
      • POLIT:563: Human Rights in World Politics (3 credits)
      • POLIT:574: Political Opinion, Behavior & Electoral Politics (3 credits)
      • POLIT:575: American Interest Groups (3 credits)
      • POLIT:576: American Political Parties (3 credits)
      • POLIT:577: Government Relations and Lobbying (3 credits)
      • POLIT:630: Seminar in National Politics (3 credits)
      • POLIT:655: Campaign and Election Law (3 credits)
      • POLIT:672: Seminar: Political Influence and Organizations (3 credits)
      • POLIT:695: Internship in Government & Politics (3 credits)

    Descriptions for Political Science graduate classes.

    How to Enroll

    Current UA students:

    • Fill out the Program Change Form and email it to 
    • Program to be Changed: Certificate
    • BCAS Program to ADD
      • The academic plan number is: 370005GC
      • The academic plan name is: Applied Politics
    • Once the form has been registered, you will see the program in your DPR.

    Students and professionals not enrolled at UA:

    • Apply online to The University of Akron Graduate School.
      • Students must fulfill the admission requirements of the UA Graduate School (no specific undergraduate major in required)
      • Students must submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of personal goals, and official transcripts from all universities attended
      • International students must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
      • Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year
    • Fill out the Program Change Form and email it to (see instruction for current UA students)

    Questions about the Certificate in Applied Politics?

    If you have further questions about earning a Certificate in Applied Politics, please contact us.  We are happy to hear from you.  Submit your questions below, and let us know how we can help.

    Submit questions


    • Dr. David Cohen, Director of Applied Politics Program and Academic Advisor,