Applied Political Communication, Certificate

Certificate in Applied Political Communication (370019C)

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, or aides in public affairs organizations.

Requirements for Admission

This certificate program is open to all students who have been admitted to undergraduate study at the University of Akron.

Program Contact
Dr. David Cohen
Professor, Political Science

The following information has official approval of The Buchtel College of Arts & Sciences, but is intended only as a guide. Completion of this certificate is contingent upon many factors, including but not limited to: class availability, total number of required credits, work schedule, finances, family, course drops/withdrawals, successfully passing courses, prerequisites, among others.

The following courses constitute a “Certificate in Applied Political Communication” and must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall for the certificate to be noted on the student’s record. 


Required Core6
Required Internship3
Total Hours18

Required Core

POLIT:470Fundamentals of Political Strategy3
COMM:475Political Communication3
Total Hours6

Required Internship

Complete 3 credits:3
POLIT:395Internship in Government & Politics
or COMM:480 Communication Internship
Total Hours3


Complete a total of 9 credits:9
Political Science Courses (minimum 3 credits)
POLIT:402Politics and the Media
POLIT:427Campaign Battleground
POLIT:440Survey Research Methods
POLIT:471Fundamentals of Electoral Messaging
POLIT:472Campaign Finance, Fundraising, and Budgeting
POLIT:473Voter Contact & Elections
POLIT:474Political Opinion, Behavior & Electorial Politics
POLIT:475American Interest Groups
POLIT:406Comparative Constitutional Law
POLIT:477Government Relations and Lobbying
POLIT:478Fundamentals of the Digital Campaign
POLIT:395Internship in Government & Politics
Communication Courses (minimum 3 credits)
COMM:307Principles of Social Media
COMM:219Introduction to Public Relations
COMM:303Public Relations Writing
COMM:309Public Relations Publications
COMM:368Basic Audio & Video Editing
COMM:472Video Production
COMM:405Media Copywriting
COMM:406Public Relations Theory
COMM:409Public Relations Strategic Campaigns
COMM:429Advanced Strategic Social Media
COMM:435Organizational Communication
COMM:436Analyzing Organizational Communication
COMM:459Leadership and Communication
COMM:468Advanced Audio and Video Editing
COMM:480Communication Internship 1
Total Hours9

If taken instead of COMM:475 or for additional credit beyond the 3 credits needed to fulfill the Required Internship