Master's degree programs in political management, as well as closely related programs in political science, train students in both the practical and theoretical skills needed to enter local, state, or national politics. Students learn how to effectively manage a campaign, receiving instruction in strategizing, polling, fundraising, and advertising. This is relevant for students who intend to work behind the scenes or run for political office themselves. Many programs also explore the ethical issues that commonly arise in political campaigns so that graduates emerge as principled political leaders. Some programs are available online.
In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree with a high undergraduate GPA, submit GRE scores, and, in some cases, demonstrate previous professional work experience.
Master's Programs in Political Management
Master's degree programs in political management educate students in a wide range of relevant topics, from opinion poll interpretation to political lobbying. Common course titles include the following:
- Research issues for political management
- Political strategy, fundraising and advertising
- Ethical issues in political campaigning
- Campaign planning and execution
- Legal issues in political campaigning
After earning a master's degree in political management, graduates are prepared for a variety of specialized careers in the field of politics. They may choose to work directly for a campaign, influence politics as a lobbyist, or conduct research. Some popular job titles include:
- Local, state, or national candidate for political office
- Campaign manager
- Issue advocate or lobbyist
- Public opinion poll researcher
- Political advertising manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), legislators earned a median annual wage of $24,670 as of May 2018. Public relations and fundraising managers earned median salaries of $114,800, while fundraisers earned $56,950 per year, and survey researchers earned $57,700 per year. Between 2018 and 2028, employment is expected to grow by 8% for public relations and fundraising managers, 9% for fundraisers, and 1% for survey researchers.
Continuing Education Information
Students who are interested in further training can pursue advanced degrees in law, political science, or politics, including degrees at the doctoral level. Certification is not required for a career in political management.
Even though a master's degree is not required for a career in politics, political management programs provide advanced training that can help students achieve their goals in the field. They also prepare students for advanced studies in related areas.