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Master of Applied Politics (MAP) degree

A MAP degree, what is it?

The Master of Applied Politics, in cooperation with the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and the University of Akron Political Science Department, is one of the few graduate programs in the United States focusing on practical politics, and the only one in the Midwest.

It is designed for students interested in election campaigns, managing organizations, and other political activities.

Potential careers for MAP graduates include, but are not limited to:

  • Campaign management
  • Fundraising
  • Lobbying
  • Nonprofit management
  • Political consultant
  • Party/group leadership
  • Political candidate/elected official
  • Policy analyst

Admission requirements

Admission is open to students who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree and who fulfill the admission requirements of the Graduate School. No specific field of undergraduate major is required for admission to the MAP degree—all that is needed is an interest in practical politics. Students need to submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of personal goals, and official transcripts from all universities attended with their application. For international students only, official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required. The GRE is not required. The program is also designed to accommodate students taking course work on a part-time basis. To apply, please visit The University of Akron Graduate School.


The Bliss Institute will award a limited number of assistantships that include tuition and a stipend. Graduate assistants spend 20 hours each week as a teaching assistant in undergraduate classes and/or working as research assistants. Since assistantships are competitive, early application for these positions is encouraged. Students should send a separate letter of interest to Dr. David Cohen at as soon as possible for fall semester consideration.

Degree requirements

Students must complete a total of 39 credits of graduate work composed of core and elective classes, at least one internship, and a portfolio.

Core courses - 18 credits:

3700:570 Campaign Management I 3cr

3700:571 Campaign Management II 3cr

3700:600 Scope and Theory of Political Science 3cr

3700:601 Research Methods in Political Science 3cr

3700:672 Seminar: Political Influence and Organizations 3cr

3700:695 Internship in Government & Politics 3cr *

* Three Internship credits required: additional credits will be counted towards elective credits

Elective courses - 6 credits selected from the following:

3700:540 Survey Research Methods 3cr

3700:572 Campaign Finance 3cr

3700:574 Political Behavior & Electoral Politics 3cr

3700:577 Lobbying 3cr

3700:655 Campaign & Election Law 3cr

7600:575 Political Communication 3cr

15 additional credits from Approved List of MAP Electives. In addition to Political Science, courses may be in 7600 Communication, 3980 Public Administration, 6600 Marketing, or other departments. Note: a minimum of 6 credits from the total 21 elective credits must be at the 600-level.

All students are required to construct and defend a portfolio containing:

  • Minimum two major papers prepared for required courses
  • An applied politics capstone project overseen by the student's portfolio advisor

MAP alumni career placements

  • National presidential, state, and local campaigns
  • National, state, and local political parties
  • National, state, and local government
  • State and local legislative office
  • PACs and super PACs
  • Data analysis firms
  • Lobbying firms
  • Nonprofit organizations


If you have any questions or want additional information about the about the MAP program, please email Dr. David Cohen at or call him at 330-972-6045.