Master of Applied Politics

Earn the degree online or in person

THE MASTER OF APPLIED POLITICS (MAP), in cooperation with the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and The University of Akron Political Science Department, is one of only a handful of graduate programs in the United States focusing on practical politics and experiential learning. The MAP program 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.

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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

The Master of Applied Politics prepares students for an active career as a high-impact professional in the political field. Graduates of the program will be equipped to pursue a variety of careers, such as:

  • 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

Master's in Politics: Degree Information

  • 30 credits
  • No GRE required
  • No residency requirement
  • Full-time or Part-time
  • Online classes available
  • Rolling admissions
  • Limited number of paid assistantships available
  • Use My Degree Progress Report (My DPR) to review your academic progress to graduation
  • Contact: Dr. David Cohen, Director of Applied Politics,

Degree Requirements:

  • Required Core: 21 credits
    • POLIT:555: Civic Engagement and Political Behavior (3 credits)
    • POLIT:556: Deliberation and Political Disagreement (3 credits)
    • 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:578: Fundamentals of the Digital Campaign (3 credits)
    • POLIT:600: Scope and Theories of Political Science (3 credits)
    • Required Internship: 3 credits 
      • POLIT:695: Internships in Government & Politics (3 credits)
        • Any internship credits over the 3 required will be applied towards electives
    • Electives: 6 credits minimum
      • POLIT:500: Politics Extremism and Violence (3 credits)
      • POLIT:502: Politics and the Media (3 credits)
      • POLIT:522: Understanding Racial & Gender Conflicts (3 credits)
      • POLIT:523: Women, Gender, and Politics (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:573: Voter Contact and Elections (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:580: Policy Problems in Political Science (3 credits)
      • POLIT:590: Workshop in Political Science (3 credits)
      • POLIT:592: Select Topics in Political Science (3 credits)
      • POLIT:601: Research Methods in Political Science (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:690: Special Topics in Political Science (3 credits)
      • POLIT:695: Internship in Government & Politics (2-6 credits)
      • POLIT:697: Independent Research and Readings (3 credits)
      • POLIT: 699: Master's Thesis (3 credits)
      • In addition to Political Science, courses may be taken in other departments (must be preapproved by the Director of Applied Politics)
      • MAP Capstone Project: All students are required to construct and defend a capstone project which demonstrates knowledge and skills earned while in the MAP program.

      Explore descriptions for The University of Akron's Political Science graduate courses.

      MAP Admission Requirements

      Apply at

      • Students must fulfill the admission requirements of the UA Graduate School (no specific undergraduate major is required)
      • Students must submit two letters of recommendation, a statement of personal goals, a resume, 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

      Graduate Assistantships

      A limited number of assistantships are available.  Graduate assistants work 20 hours each week as a teaching assistant in undergraduate classes.

      • Assistantships are competitive and the deadline is March 1.
      • To apply for an assistantship, please email a letter detailing your interest and qualifications to the Director of Applied Politics at (limit 1 single-spaced page).

      Scholarship Opportunity

      The Dr. Young H. Cho Endowment for Master of Applied Politics

      Selection Criteria:

      • Open to both returning and incoming fully-admitted, unfunded MAP students
      • Demonstration of activity in the community through social engagement or political activity

      Note: Graduate students with assistantships are not eligible for the award.


      Questions about the Master of Applied Politics program?

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

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