Undergraduate Certificate in Applied Political Communication 

This certificate program is a joint collaboration between the Department of Political Science and the School of Communication.  Applied political communication encompasses the interaction of political figures, political interests, governmental institutions, media, and the public in their efforts to persuade and influence political power and public policy outcomes. This certificate’s interdisciplinary nature applies the fundamentals of public communication and political science to meet the specific needs and goals of political campaigns and advocacy organizations. Topics covered include campaign leadership strategies, audience analysis pertaining to specific publics, crisis communication, effective strategic messaging campaigns targeting publics through traditional communication channels, digital communication assets, and social media platforms.

The certificate is designed for students seeking preparation for careers as:

  • Legislative Aides
  • Political Consultants
  • Campaign Managers
  • Social Media or Digital Strategists
  • Political Journalists
  • Government Press Secretaries
  • Lobbyists
  • Aides in Public Affairs Organizations

Certificate Information:

  • 18 credits
  • Open to ANY major
  • Full-time or Part-time
  • Online classes available
  • No residency requirement
  • 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

Certificate Requirements:

  • Required Core: 6 Credits
    • POLIT:470 Fundamentals of Political Strategy (3 credits)
    • COMM:475 Political Communication (3 credits)
  • Required Internship: 3 credits
    • POLIT:395 Internship in Government & Politics (3 credits) OR
    • COMM:480 Communication Internship (3 credits)
  • Electives: 9 Credits Maximum 
    • Political Science Classes (minimum 3 credits)
      • POLIT:402 Politics and the Media (3 credits)
      • POLIT:427 Campaign Battleground (3 credits)
      • POLIT:440 Survey Research Methods (3 credits)
      • POLIT:471 Fundamentals of Electoral Messaging (3 credits)
      • POLIT:472 Campaign Finance, Fundraising, and Budgeting (3 credits)
      • POLIT:473 Voter Contact and Elections (3 credits)
      • POLIT:474 Political Opinion, Behavior & Electoral Politics (3 credits)
      • POLIT:475 American Interest Groups (3 credits)
      • POLIT:476 American Political Parties (3 credits)
      • POLIT:477 Government Relations and Lobbying (3 credits)
      • POLIT:478 Fundamentals of the Digital Campaign (3 credits)
      • POLIT:395 Internship in Government & Politics (3 credits)
    • Communication Classes (minimum 3 credits)
      • COMM:219 Introduction to Public Relations (3 credits)
      • COMM:303 Public Relations Writing (3 credits)
      • COMM:307 Principles of Social Media (3 credits)
      • COMM:309 Public Relations Publications (3 credits)
      • COMM:368 Basic Audio & Video Editing (3 credits)
      • COMM:372 Video Production (3 credits)
      • COMM:405 Media Copywriting (3 credits)
      • COMM:406 Public Relations Theory (3 credits)
      • COMM:409 Public Relations Strategic Campaigns (3 credits)
      • COMM:429 Advanced Strategic Social Media (3 credits)
      • COMM:435 Organizational Communication (3 credits)
      • COMM:436 Analyzing Organizational Communication (3 credits)
      • COMM:459 Leadership and Communication (3 credits)
      • COMM:468 Advanced Audio and Video Editing (3 credits)
      • COMM:480 Communication Internship (3 or 6 credits)

Descriptions for Political Science undergraduate classes.
Descriptions for Communication undergraduate classes.

How to Enroll

Current UA students:

  • Fill out the Add Certificate Form and email it to jspiker@uakron.edu.
  • Once the form has been registered, you will see the program in your DPR.
  • The academic plan number is: 370019C
  • The academic plan name is: Applied Political Communication

Students and Professionals not enrolled at UA:

  • Apply online to The University of Akron.
    • Select the Certificate-Seeking and Special Student application 
    • Select "Special" as the student type
    • Select "Certificate"
    • Select "Applied Political Communication Certificate
  • Fill out the Add Certificate Form and email it to jspiker@uakron.edu (see instructions for current UA students). 


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