The Professional Degree for PoliticsCURRICULUM

The GSPM curriculum advances you beyond theory to the study of practical politics anchored in political reality. Students are challenged to develop the real-world skills required to responsibly achieve their desired political outcomes, whether they be winning elections, advancing legislation or prevailing in the battle for public opinion.


6401 | Fundamentals of Political Management
Main concepts, arenas, developments, roles and practices in the field of political management. Assess rhetorical situations, write strategy memos, create and critique campaign messages, and engage citizens, professional colleagues and decision-makers. Taken in first semester of program. (3 credits)

6402 | Applied Political Communications
Models and methods by which professionals plan, produce and adjust strategic communication messages in democratic politics. Use a variety of communication forms and media, such as fact sheets, blog posts, video releases and public addresses, under typical constraints of time, money, information, reputation, talent, audience attentiveness and institutional procedure. Students to enroll by their sixth course in the program. (3 credits)

6403 | Political Data and Analytics
Basic political communications model, including such topics as communications strategy, political research (targeted audiences, polling and candidate research) and message discipline. Elements of communications relevant to politics: Internet usage (websites, social networking and mobile technologies), plus press releases, issue briefs, direct mail letters, fact sheets, talking points, congressional testimony, public addresses, and television and radio commercials. Connection between strategic focus and each communications effort. (3 credits)

6404 | Principled Political Leadership
Formulation of political communications strategies as foundation from which to design and develop political advocacy communications. Strategic elements necessary to create, introduce and maintain an effective political profile in issue advocacy campaigns, candidate elections and legislative advocacy campaigns. Application of important principles in research, advertising and marketing to the political landscape. Prerequisite PMGT 6203. (3 credits)

In addition to these four core courses, you will have the option to attend either the Washington Residency or participate in the Applied Research Project.

6480 | Washington Residency
Capstone experience equivalent (6495: Political Power and Practice) for online Political Management students. Exposure and interaction with political consultants, advocacy specialists, elected officials and applied researchers in Washington, D.C. Integration of program curriculum toward an understanding of the federal political ecosystem and developing a robust political network. Taken in last or penultimate term in program. Program fee. (3 credits)

6482 | Applied Research Project
Thesis I and II research equivalent for online Political Management students. Enhance capacity to conceive and execute a campaign-relevant research report and related communications on behalf of a mock political client. Describe a status quo of a political situation, analyze the factors and actors sustaining that status quo, identify what and who is potentially movable in the direction your client seeks to go, and spell out practical first steps a campaign can take in that direction. (3 credits)