The interdisciplinary minor in political communication is offered jointly by the Schar School of Policy and Government and the CHSS Department of Communication.

Political communication explores the interaction among members of the public, the media, advocacy groups, and politicians in democratic society. This minor uses a diverse approach to questions of how mass and interpersonal communication influence democratic functioning, including

  1. how political actors use strategic messaging to persuade and mobilize the public
  2. how citizens make sense of these messages and their impact on engagement, deliberation, efficacy, knowledge, and participation
  3. the role of the mass media in facilitating or hindering this relationship

Political communication includes explicitly political activities like voting and political campaigns. It also encompasses any issue of public debate or deliberation, including culture and social movements.

Faculty

Daigle (minor advisor for Schar)

Admissions

This minor is available to all Mason undergraduate students with the exception of communication majors pursuing a concentration in political communication. 

Policies

For policies governing all minors, see AP.5.3.4 Minors.

Banner Code: PCOM

Minor Requirements

Total credits: 18

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Coursework

COMM 327Political Communication3
COMM 412Politics and the Mass Media3
or GOVT 412 Politics and the Mass Media
Total Credits6

Communication and Political Process

Select one course from the following: 13
Rhetoric of Social Movements and Political Controversy (Mason Core)
Political Journalism
New Media and Democracy
Free Speech and Ethics (Mason Core)
Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior
Total Credits3

Persuasion Theory

Select one course from the following: 13
Case Studies in Persuasion
Theories of Argumentation
Argument and Public Policy (Mason Core)
Persuasion
Political Psychology
Diplomacy
Total Credits3

Political Process

Select one course from the following: 13
The American Presidency
Political Parties and Campaigns
Interest Groups, Lobbying, and the Political Process
Social Entrepreneurship
Public Policy Making
Comparative Political Leadership
Human Rights
Revolution and International Politics
Total Credits3

Cultural Politics

Select one course from the following: 13
Media Criticism
Environmental Communication
Topics in Communication and Gender
Introduction to Environmental Policy
Politics of Race and Gender
Feminist Political Thought
Surveillance and Privacy in Contemporary Society
Total Credits3
1

COMM 386 Special Topics in Political Communication may be substituted for any other COMM course with the permission of the minor director, depending on the specific topic.

GOVT 319 Issues in Government and Politics may be substituted for any other GOVT course with the permission of the minor director, depending on the specific topic. Courses from the Schar School of Policy and Government may be substituted in the cultural politics, persuasion theory, or political process categories, with the permission of the minor director.