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This interdisciplinary minor is offered jointly by the Schar School of Policy and Government and the Department of Communication.

Political communication explores the interaction among members of the public, the media, advocacy groups, and politicians in a 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.


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


Eight credits of coursework must be unique to the minor and students must complete all coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.00. A minimum of 6 COMM credits and a minimum of 6 GOVT credits are required. 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.


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)
Political Psychology
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