Master of Professional Studies in the Field of Political Management

The master of professional studies in the field of political management degree program teaches students how to win campaigns, advocate effectively on issues, and formulate sophisticated communication strategies for candidates, causes, and corporations. Instructors are political and communications professionals who are passionate about educating students in their areas of expertise. Graduates of the program are prepared to assume decision-making positions as communications directors, digital directors, campaign managers, media consultants, chiefs of staff, and office-holders.

Concentration in Global Politics

Students who choose the concentration in global politics develop an understanding of the complexities of language, culture, politics, and economics involved in promoting and defending companies, countries, causes, and candidates. The concentration allows students to learn to assess a region or nation­-state political environment, develop a strategy to achieve specified goals within that environment, and act to carry out that strategy through a campaign.

Specific admission requirements can be found on the Graduate Program Finder. 

Visit the program website for additional information.

Non-thesis and thesis options are available.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: Non-thesis option—36 credits, including 15 credits in required courses and 21 credits in elective courses; thesis option—36 credits, including 18 credits in required courses and 18 credits in elective courses.

Required
PMGT 6401Fundamentals of Political Management
PMGT 6402Applied Political Communications
PMGT 6403Political Data and Analytics
PMGT 6404Principled Political Leadership
Electives
Six courses from the following:
PMGT 6410Grassroots Engagement
PMGT 6412Issues Management
PMGT 6422State and Intergovernmental Politics
PMGT 6430Campaign Strategy
PMGT 6432Managing Campaigns
PMGT 6434Running for Office
PMGT 6436National Campaign Dynamics
PMGT 6438State and Local Campaigns
PMGT 6440Targeting and Voter Contact
PMGT 6442Campaigns Around the World
PMGT 6450Rules, Laws, and Strategy
PMGT 6452Digital Strategy
PMGT 6454Fundraising and Budgeting
PMGT 6456Speechcraft
PMGT 6458Crisis Management
PMGT 6460Audience Research
PMGT 6462Opposition Research
PMGT 6464Influencing the Media
PMGT 6466Political Advertising
PMGT 6468Digital Advertising and Action
PMGT 6470Digital Content Creation
PMGT 6472Maximizing Social Media
PMGT 6474Stereotypes and Political Strategy
PMGT 6476Political Consulting
PMGT 6490Special Topics
PMGT 6496Independent Study
PMGT 6497Graduate Internship
Non-thesis option
Students who select the non-thesis option take the capstone course, PMGT 6495, and one additional elective in either their penultimate or final semester.
PMGT 6495Political Power and Practice
Thesis option
Students who select the thesis option take PMGT 6498 and PMGT 6499 over the course of their final two terms.
PMGT 6498Thesis I
PMGT 6499Thesis II
Distance learning
Distance learning students take PMGT 6480 or PMGT 6482 as part of their program of study.
PMGT 6480Washington Residency
PMGT 6482Applied Research Project

Optional concentration in Global Politics

In addition to the required curriculum, students who choose to pursue the global politics concentration take at least one global perspective residency (PSAD 6200), at least four of the following elective courses, and two other elective courses of their choosing.
PMGT 6416International Lobbying
PMGT 6442Campaigns Around the World
PMGT 6428Cultural Aspects of Global Engagement
PMGT 6424Comparative Political Management Environments
PMGT 6490Special Topics ( Political Risk Assessment)
PMGT 6490Special Topics (Strategic Governance Consulting)
PSPR 6224Global Public Relations and Public Affairs: Strategy and Practice

Director M. Kennedy

Professor F.C. Arterton

Associate Professors S. Billet (Program Director), L. Brown (Program Director), M. Cornfield (Research), D. Niven, L. Matos, L. Parnell (Program Director), S. Wiley

Assistant Professors M. Dallek, G. Lebel, D. Rehr (Program Director)

Professorial Lecturers J. Babb, T. Bawidamann, P. Bell, N. Bocksor, M. Braden, S. Bush, M. Crannell , B. Carr, D. Cantor, J. Chandler, J. Dube, M. Edwards, L. Ellenbogen, W. Feltus, P. Fenn, K. Gage, S. Gagen, C. Giddins, E. Grefe, J. Halls, S. Herness, J. Hobson, R. Johnson, M. Kline, D. McGroarty, M. Meissner, G. Nordlinger, D. Payne, B. DiResta, R. Schriefer, C. Shank, E. Tracey, B. Tringali, M. Ward

Explanation of Course Numbers

  • Courses in the 1000s are primarily introductory undergraduate courses
  • Those in the 2000–4000s are upper-division undergraduate courses that can also be taken for graduate credit with permission and additional work
  • Those in the 6000s and 8000s are for master’s, doctoral, and professional-level students
  • The 6000s are open to advanced undergraduate students with approval of the instructor and the dean or advising office

PMGT 1000. Dean's Seminar. 3 Credits.

PMGT 4101. Electoral&LegislativeProcesses. 3,4 Credits.

PMGT 4107. Practicum in Political Mgt. 3,4 Credits.

PMGT 4187. Professional Internship. 3-4 Credits.

PMGT 4192. Tutorial-Amer Elect& PolMvmnts. 3-4 Credits.

PMGT 6401. Fundamentals of Political Management. 3 Credits.

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. (Professors M. Cornfield and TBD.).

PMGT 6402. Applied Political Communications. 3 Credits.

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. Core requirement; Must be completed before a student reaches 18 credit hours.

PMGT 6403. Political Data and Analytics. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the uses of quantitative data and statistics in politics. Learn to evaluate research designs, statistical associations, causal reasoning, methods for hypothesis testing, multivariate regression analyses, and data analytics. Consume and critique data and statistics for strategic purposes. Students to enroll by their sixth course in the program. Core requirement. Must be completed before a student reaches 18 credit hours.

PMGT 6404. Principled Political Leadership. 3 Credits.

Theory and practice of ethically grounded political leadership. Consideration of the recurrent dilemmas, philosophical principles, management techniques, codes of conduct, and professional norms in the political management field. Application through self-assessment exercises, case study analysis, and individual and group simulations. Students to enroll by their sixth course in the program. Core requirement. Must be completed before a student reaches 18 credit hours.

PMGT 6410. Grassroots Engagement. 3 Credits.

Strategies and techniques to build advocacy support among and across general civic populations. Identification of potential supporters through database targeting and individual outreach. Motivation and training of interested supporters for grassroots action in campaigns, at public forums, and before decision-makers. Coalition and protest options; analytics of ongoing efforts. (Professors E. Grefe, S. Gagen).

PMGT 6412. Issues Management. 3 Credits.

Track, influence, and alter politically significant issue-related discourses and policy developments. Legislative, executive, and judicial venues and processes for policymaking; state referendum, initiative, and recall ballot opportunities; organizational structures, including digital procedures, for issue management. (Professors M. Edwards, E. Grefe).

PMGT 6414. Lobbying. 3 Credits.

Survey of and training for lobbying in the U.S. federal system. Students design a detailed lobbying plan for implementation and practice a variety of influence techniques, including those associated with digital media and communications technologies. Legal compliance, organizational and public accountability, professional standards and practices. (Professor J. Hobson).

PMGT 6416. International Lobbying. 3 Credits.

Survey of international lobbying practices, analysis of strategic models and best practices in a variety of different countries and political systems (e.g., EU, China, Brazil, and Turkey). Trends and innovations in lobbying techniques and communications technologies. Investigation and application of appropriate research to improve practice. (Professor TBD by AGE program) (Same as PSAD 6240).

PMGT 6418. Budget Politics. 3 Credits.

Politics of the budget process, including formal and informal mechanisms of appropriating U.S. federal funds. Lobbying strategies and tactics employed by private and public organizations seeking to influence budgetary agenda-setting in the White House; decision-making in Congress; and funding negotiations within and between executive agencies. (Professor M. Edwards).

PMGT 6420. Corporate Public Affairs. 3 Credits.

Exploration of major functional areas in corporate public affairs with a focus on the political and policy dynamics operating in the United States and other democracies. Development and deployment of appropriate strategies, research, and tactics for corporations managing the complexities related to a global economy and shifting political alliances.

PMGT 6422. State and Intergovernmental Politics. 3 Credits.

Examination of the electoral pressures on state and local legislators. Methods and techniques for advocacy in various state capitals. The governing responsibilities of constitutionally-delegated to states and the ever-changing historical relationship between states and the federal government. (Professors C. Shank).

PMGT 6424. Comparative Political Management Environments. 3 Credits.

The operating rules, customs, and processes by which laws are enacted and regulations written in countries around the world; governance systems and the realm of influencers; systems within which legislators, administrators, bureaucracies, and stakeholder’s work. Restricted to graduate students.

PMGT 6428. Cultural Aspects of Global Engagement. 3 Credits.

Understanding multicultural communities and diverse institutions, customs, and practices; effective and ethical public engagement on behalf of global organizations; communicating issues and commitments to diverse audiences and the general market; engagement strategies and techniques. Restricted to graduate Students.

PMGT 6430. Campaign Strategy. 3 Credits.

Orientation to the basic systems and technologies that must be created and managed to produce electoral victory. The campaign plan and campaign budget as the foundation for management of campaigns. Focus on development of a campaign plan. (Professor M. Meissner).

PMGT 6432. Managing Campaigns. 3 Credits.

Understanding the role of a campaign manager in staffing and running a campaign, while executing the campaign plan. Candidate handling, fundraising, website and technology, geographic and demographic targeting, field organization, canvassing, get-out-the-vote, press operations, budget control, and liaison with the party and interest groups. (Professors TBD) Prerequisites: PMGT 6430.

PMGT 6434. Running for Office. 3 Credits.

Electoral politics from the perspective of the candidate, strategic and personal factors involved in the decision to run and the consequences of victory or defeat. (Professor R. Faucheux).

PMGT 6436. National Campaign Dynamics. 3 Credits.

Examination of the historical and systematic patterns in national elections. Differences between presidential and midterm elections; House and Senate contests; party nomination races and general elections; primaries and caucuses; Democratic and Republican party delegate selection rules; causes for “wave” elections; effect of the economy on election outcomes; and standard vice presidential selection models. The political and partisan structural conditions that exist before any of the candidates or the campaigns get involved.

PMGT 6438. State and Local Campaigns. 3 Credits.

Application of campaign strategy and management principles to electoral races at the state and local levels. Staffing, budgeting, and strategic challenges for what are typically lower-visibility contests that involve state and local candidates. Coordinated campaigns and the impact of the national party's reputation on these down-ballot races. (Professor TBD).

PMGT 6440. Targeting and Voter Contact. 3 Credits.

How to find voters for electoral and advocacy campaigns and tailor communications to them. Database analytics, list management, questionnaire design, target weighting, predictive modeling. Review of randomized and natural experiments in light of theoretic principles and findings from public opinion research. Skill development in use of spreadsheets and basic statistical packages. Lab fee. (Professors B. Russell, A. Strauss) Prerequisites: PMGT 6403.

PMGT 6442. Campaigns Around the World. 3 Credits.

Comparative examination of national-level campaigns in democratic countries outside of the United States. Strategies, techniques, and practices used in multi-party and/or parliamentary systems. Professional conduct, consulting rules and norms.

PMGT 6450. Rules, Laws, and Strategy. 3 Credits.

U.S. federal and state laws and regulations governing recognition of political parties and political organizations, campaign finance, political broadcasting and cablecasting, lobbying registration. Ballot access and voter registration. Ethical and strategic considerations (opportunities and constraints; benefits and drawbacks) related to rule construction. (Professor M. Braden).

PMGT 6452. Digital Strategy. 3 Credits.

Development of an integrated digital strategy for use in advocacy and electoral campaigns. Introduction to the theoretical concepts, distinctive technologies, applied skills, and managerial challenges associated with digital campaigning. Search engine optimization, GPS, online payment systems, customizing back- and front-end systems to meet strategic goals and budget parameters, working with IT vendors and distance volunteers, legal and cultural considerations in US and other regimes, site rollout and scaling, security and privacy. (Professor TBD).

PMGT 6454. Fundraising and Budgeting. 3 Credits.

Raising and spending money in political campaigns, referenda contests, issue advocacy, and lobbying efforts. Budgeting process, standard controls to check expenditures, accounting procedures, and general strategies for use in effective fundraising. (Professor N. Bocskor).

PMGT 6456. Speechcraft. 3 Credits.

Analysis and techniques used in speechwriting and presentations for public officials and candidates. Managing the political optics and understanding a speech's visual context and non-verbal communication capabilities (Rose Garden, Oval Office, campaign stump speech, ceremonial occasion, congressional testimony). Modulating speaker style, tone, and pacing, and staging the speech for effect. (Professors D. McGroarty, R. Lehrman).

PMGT 6458. Crisis Management. 3 Credits.

Management of crisis situations and defining moments in electoral, legislative, and public policy campaigns. Exploration of the causes and consequences of political scandals. Professional responsibilities and ethical considerations of crisis management and rapid response decisions. (Professor M. Edwards).

PMGT 6460. Audience Research. 3 Credits.

Processes by which citizens acquire political information and make decisions in politics. Survey research uses in electoral campaigns and issue advocacy. Designing and drawing samples, constructing and pretesting questionnaires, modes of interviewing, financial implications, practical problems in selecting and monitoring polling organizations, and interpretation of data. Focus groups and small-sample interviews; relationship between qualitative and quantitative research; reliability and validity. (Professors R. Johnson, D. Cantor, B. Tringali, M. Ward) Prerequisites: PMGT 6403.

PMGT 6462. Opposition Research. 3 Credits.

Practices and techniques associated with investigative opposition research. Public document and website searches, candidate tracking, and methods for information dissemination. Changes in practice as a result of technological innovations and a changing media environment. Professional responsibilities and ethics expected from opposition researchers.

PMGT 6464. Influencing the Media. 3 Credits.

Organization, practices, and norms of the major media; media coverage of public officials, political campaigns, legislative battles, interest groups, and issues of public policy. Formulation of strategies for getting favorable news coverage for the issue or candidate and for ending a media crisis. (Professor L. Ellenbogen).

PMGT 6466. Political Advertising. 3 Credits.

Strategies and techniques for using the various media (print, radio, television, cable, Internet) in political and advocacy campaigns, with emphasis on the use of television. Impact and uses of paid advertising; development of campaign messages; production, timing, and placement of television advertising; explanation of media markets. Students design print ads and brochures and produce a 30-second television spot. (Professor P. Fenn).

PMGT 6468. Digital Advertising and Action. 3 Credits.

Strategies and techniques for developing and leveraging digital advertising for mobilization. Manage an effective online ad campaign from initial concept to creation and from targeting to measuring the results. Prepare, design, and launch a variety of online ad types, including search, social, display, and video. Analyze success or failure based on analytics and benchmarking. Prerequisites: PMGT 6452: Digital Strategy.

PMGT 6470. Digital Content Creation. 3 Credits.

Developing and creating effective digital content that promotes campaign narratives and furthers strategic messages. Construct portfolios of original and aggregated digital media content. Skill development in infographics, video, GPS, photo collage, page and site architecture, and texts from 140 characters to blog posts and file attachments. Versioning for different communities, functionalities, and channels including mobile applications. Prerequisites: PMGT 6452: Digital Strategy.

PMGT 6472. Maximizing Social Media. 3 Credits.

Creating and integrating owned digital platforms and social media assets for political persuasion and action. Cultivation of online political communities, moderating and curating outside-generated content, integration and alignment with campaign message; event, reputation and crisis management. Review of constraints and potentials intrinsic to specific social media sites (e.g. Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter). Prerequisites: PMGT 6452: Digital Strategy.

PMGT 6474. Stereotypes and Political Strategy. 3 Credits.

Accounting for psychological constructs, social stereotypes, media framing, and the impression formation process in developing a political strategy. Review of empirical research; investigation of effective techniques or postures for overcoming biases; self-assessment of perceptual assumptions.

PMGT 6476. Political Consulting. 3 Credits.

Management principles, technical procedures, and legal requirements for starting and running a political consulting business. Effective practices for gaining a positive reputation, sustaining profitability across the variable political environment, and engaging on the international front. Start-up funding, mergers and acquisitions, exit strategies. (Professors G. Nordlinger, L. Purpuro, M. Meissner).

PMGT 6480. Washington Residency. 3 Credits.

Capstone experience equivalent to PMGT 6495 for students in the online Political Management program. Exposure to 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 development of a robust political network. Restricted to Taken by PMGT online students in last or penultimate term, or with approval by instructor.

PMGT 6482. Applied Research Project. 3 Credits.

A research option for students in the online Political Management program. Development of a campaign-relevant research report and related communications on behalf of a mock political client. The report will describe the status quo of a political situation, analyze the factors and actors sustaining that status quo, identify what and who is potentially moveable in the direction the client seeks to go, and outline practical first steps a campaign can take in that direction. Restricted to For students in the PMGT online program; taken either in the penultimate or last term in the program.

PMGT 6490. Special Topics. 3 Credits.

Topic to be announced in the Schedule of Classes.

PMGT 6495. Political Power & Practice. 3 Credits.

Capstone seminar that develops and integrates knowledge of political strategies, tactics, and situational considerations, and applies that knowledge to advanced political problems. Topics include: gaining and wielding power, the complexity associated with making democracy work, conflict resolution, negotiation and bargaining skills, grappling with the consequences of winning and losing. Students to enroll during their last or penultimate term. (Professor L. Brown).

PMGT 6496. Independent Study. 0-3 Credits.

Independent research with a Political Management faculty member. Registration must be approved in advance by the supervising faculty member and the director of the political management program.

PMGT 6497. Graduate Internship. 0 Credits.

Limited to Political Management M.P.S. degree candidates. Experience at an organization focused on applied politics.

PMGT 6498. Thesis I. 3 Credits.

Master’s degree candidates must apply to the program committee for thesis approval and have completed 24 credit hours with a 3.3 GPA.

PMGT 6499. Thesis II. 3 Credits.

Master’s degree candidates must apply to the program committee for thesis approval and have completed 24 credit hours with a 3.3 GPA. Prerequisites: PMGT 6498.

PMGT 6501. Politics and Public Policy. 3 Credits.

Examination of political processes that influence policy formulation, policy implementation, and the uses of policy analysis. Topics include political and policy decision making, actors, and process.

PMGT 6502. ConfrontManag&AllianceBldg. 3 Credits.

PMGT 6503. Communication Strategy. 3 Credits.

Formulation of political communications strategies. Elements necessary to create, introduce, and maintain an effective political profile in issue advocacy campaigns, candidate elections, and legislative advocacy campaigns. Application of principles of research, advertising, and marketing to the political landscape.

PMGT 6504. PolMgt & StrategicGovernance. 3 Credits.

PMGT 6505. Politica de bases. 3 Credits.

Use of microtargeting and database-layering technology to identify potential advocates. Motivational techniques to mobilize volunteers for political campaigns, lobbying efforts, and community advocacy. Techniques used by grassroots organizers to help corporations, unions, civic and nonprofit organizations, and special interest groups achieve strategic goals.

PMGT 6506. Practicum. 3 Credits.

PMGT 6507. Democracia y electiones en LA. 3 Credits.

This course will focus on the recent history of Latin America, underscoring the struggle to establish and consolidate democracy and the preeminence of elections as the legitimate process to select and replace authorities at the national, regional and local levels. The course will provide the student with concepts to understand the different types of democratic settings that exist in the region, that is the coexistence of fairly established and solid democracies, with low intensity democracies, and semi-authoritarian regimes, all of which utilize electoral processes to select public authorities. The main message of this course is that campaign designers need to understand and take a strategic advantage of the political context and the rules governing the political competition in order to obtain the most effective results.

PMGT 6508. Estrategia de campana LA. 3 Credits.

Organization of political campaigns. Strategic decisionmaking. Formulation of political communications strategies. Aspects necessary to introduce and maintain an effective political profile in the electoral campaigns in Latin America, including the specialized forms of communication which political professionals use to win support for their candidates. This course will be taught entirely in Spanish.

PMGT 6509. Las encuestas-America Latina. 3 Credits.

The use of survey research in campaigns. Quantitative and qualitative survey research for political management in Latin America. The proper use of polls; methodology and survey design; reviewing poll results; drawing conclusions and recommendations from polls; and the practical problems of administering and interpreting survey data of public opinion in Latin America. PMGT 6509 will be taught entirely in Spanish.

PMGT 6510. Organizacion y ejecucion-LA. 3 Credits.

Organizational choices facing campaign management teams in Latin America as they attempt to combine the resources and activities of a modern campaign into a winning effort.

PMGT 6511. Propoganda politica, La campan. 3 Credits.

The strategies, techniques, design and impact of paid political communications directed toward target audiences in Latin America, focusing upon the role of political advertising in a campaign, including radio, direct mail, print and internet, but with specific emphasis on television commercials.

PMGT 6512. Los medios, la politica-LA. 3 Credits.

The role of the media in the politics of Latin America. Who the media are, how they make their decisions, and how they influence outcomes in campaigns and other political situations. Strategic planning in dealing with the media as well as the particular dynamics that surround electronic, print, and the new media. Effective practices of media engagement. This course will be taught entirely in Spanish.

PMGT 6513. Comunicacion Politica,Gobernon. 3 Credits.

The course builds upon the Practicum course of the Certificate in Governance and integrates the two processes of politics: campaigning and governing. PMGT 6513 will be taught entirely in Spanish.

PMGT 6514. Manejo de Crisis. 3 Credits.

Manejo de Crisis. Management of crisis situations and defining moments in electoral, legislative, and public policy campaigns. Exploration of the causes and consequences of political scandals. Professional responsibilities and ethical considerations of crisis management and rapid response decisions.