Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Political Communication

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

Required courses (30 credits):
PSC 1001Introduction to Comparative Politics
or PSC 1003 Introduction to International Politics
PSC 1002Introduction to American Politics and Government
STAT 1053Introduction to Statistics in Social Science
SMPA 2102Introduction to Political Communication (which requires a minimum grade of C to remain in the major)
SMPA 2110WIntroduction to News Writing and Reporting
SMPA 2112Digital Media I: Introduction to Video Production
SMPA 2113Digital Media II: Introduction to Web Production and Social Media
SMPA 2151Research Methods
SMPA 2152Data Analysis for Journalism and Political Communication
SMPA 4199Senior Seminar
Electives
Seven courses (21 credits) from the following:
SMPA 2173Media Law
SMPA 3194Selected Topics in Political Communication (May be repeated once for credit)
SMPA 3196Independent Study
SMPA 3197Internship (only one, 3-credit internship may be taken for credit toward the major)
SMPA 3245WEditorial and Persuasive Writing
SMPA 3240WWashington Reporting
SMPA 3241WCampaign Reporting
SMPA 3350Public Diplomacy
SMPA 3352Principles of Public Relations
SMPA 3353Strategic Political Communication
SMPA 3354Political Campaign Communication
SMPA 3355Campaign Advertising
SMPA 3357Political Speech Writing
SMPA 3358Strategic Practicum
SMPA 3428Media, Politics, and Government
SMPA 3450Social Media
SMPA 3459Language and Politics
SMPA 3460Race, Media, and Politics
SMPA 3461Campaigns and Elections
SMPA 3463Media Bias
SMPA 3469International Communication
SMPA 3470Comparative Media Systems
SMPA 3471Media in the Developing World
SMPA 3472Media and Foreign Policy
SMPA 3476Media, Technology, and Culture
SMPA 3477Information Technology and Politics
SMPA 4198Special Honors Research Seminar
Two political science (PSC) courses (6 credits) numbered 2000 or above

Students must achieve specified grades in some courses. Consult the School of Media and Public Affairs for particular grade and course sequencing requirements.

In addition to the University General Education Requirement, undergraduate students in Columbian College must complete a further, College-specific general education curriculum—Perspective, Analysis, Communication, or G-PAC. Together with the University General Education Requirement, G-PAC engages students in active intellectual inquiry across the liberal arts. Students achieve a set of learning outcomes that enhance their analytical skills, develop their communication competencies, and invite them to participate as responsible citizens who are attentive to issues of culture, diversity, and privilege.

G-PAC approved courses, Dean's Seminars, and Sophomore Colloquia that may be available for registration are listed on the CCAS Advising website.

Coursework for the University General Education Requirement is distributed as follows:

  • Writing—one approved course in university writing and two approved writing in the disciplines (WID) courses.
  • Humanities—one approved course in the humanities that involves critical or creative thinking skills.
  • Mathematics or Statistics—one approved course in either mathematics or statistics.
  • Natural or Physical Science—one approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry.
  • Social Sciences—two approved courses in the social sciences.

Coursework for the Columbian College general education curriculum is distributed as follows:

  • Arts—one approved course in the arts that involves the study or creation of artwork based on an understanding or interpretation of artistic traditions or knowledge of art in a contemporary context.
  • Global or Cross-Cultural Perspective—one approved course that analyzes the ways in which institutions, practices, and problems transcend national and regional boundaries.
  • Humanities—one approved course in the humanities that involves critical thinking skills (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement).
  • Local or Civic Engagement—one approved course that develops the values, ethics, disciplines, and commitment to pursue responsible public action.
  • Natural or Physical Science—one approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement.
  • Oral Communication—one course in oral communication.

Certain courses are approved to fulfill the requirement in more than one of these categories.

Courses taken in fulfillment of G-PAC also may be counted toward majors or minors. Transfer courses taken prior to, but not after, admission to George Washington University may count toward the University General Education Requirement and G-PAC, if those transfer courses are equivalent to GW courses that have been approved by the University and the College.

In addition to the general requirements stated under University Regulations, in order to be considered for graduation with Special Honors, students with a 3.7 GPA in all courses completed at GW and in all courses required for the major may declare for Special Honors in political communication at the beginning of the senior year. Students take SMPA 4199 Senior Seminar in the first semester of the senior year and SMPA 4198 Special Honors Research Seminar in the second semester. To achieve Special Honors, the student must maintain the required GPA and present a successful oral defense of a research paper prepared for the Honors Research Seminar before a committee that includes the seminar instructor and two other faculty members nominated by the student and approved by the seminar instructor.