Bachelor's Degree in Political Communication
The focus of a degree program in political communication is to enable students to understand how different forms of communication affect politics. By developing a clear understanding of how different forms of media shape politics and interactions, individuals who study political communication can learn to effectively assess media options and how to utilize them effectively. Ultimately, graduates should be able to provide effective, persuasive messages that they can use to impact audiences.
Admission Requirements for Political Communication Programs
The first step to being admitted into a political communications program is to be accepted to the college or university offering this degree. High school transcripts and standardized test scores are considered. Some institutions also look at things like recommendations from teachers and application essays. Once admitted, students must complete any prerequisites for the major and earn an acceptable grade.
Political Communication Program Coursework
The field of communications is closely related to journalism and public relations. Students who study political communications should develop a strong foundation in communications theory, strengthen their public speaking skills and learn about how political parties use communication.
Students will learn about different types of media coverage. As they explore forms of mass media they will develop an understanding for how these forms of media can be used to communicate with their audience. Students may go on to pursue more in-depth studies and learn about how media affects the public's perception of issues and events. Students should also learn about new types of media, such as social media.
In order to begin to understand how to effectively communicate with the public through the media it is necessary to understand the principles of communication theory. Foundational courses in communication theory provide students with insight into the history of human communication. Students will learn about how new forms of media change communication. They will also explore problems related to forms of media that can inhibit or alter the intended message.
Foundations of Political Communication Studies
In order to excel in political communications it's necessary to build a solid academic understanding of political communications. An introductory course in political communications will look at the news media and explore its history so that students can understand how the coverage of politics has changed over time. New forms of media and their role in reshaping political messages are also explored. Students will develop an in-depth understanding of the relationship between politics and the news.
Social Media and Politics
In today's society it is essential that politicians be able to effectively use social media to communicate. Courses in social media and politics help students understand how to use social media for different purposes, such as campaigning or promoting policies. Students also learn about how social media is engaging new political participants and reshaping political discussions online.
While campaigning may require an approach to communications that is, at times, aggressive, diplomacy is a necessity in the political landscape. There are times that politicians must address sensitive issues or situations and work towards a peaceful resolution. Courses in diplomacy will help students understand the philosophy behind diplomacy and how to use a diplomatic approach in their communications. Students may explore specific diplomatic incidents to gain a broader understanding of the importance of diplomacy in political communications.
How to Choose a Bachelor's Degree Program in Political Communication
A bachelor's degree in political communications can be pursued for a number of reasons. Some individuals use this as an academic foundation before studying law. Others may be more interested in working in journalism or public relations. It is important to consider whether the academic institution you choose has graduate studies in the field you're interested in if you plan to continue your education after earning a bachelor's degree. It's also important to consider the nature of the courses offered in the political communication program. Some schools have a narrow selection while others offer a wide range of studies with options to concentrate more on different communication methods, political issues and campaign strategies.
Career Options with a Political Communication Degree
Individuals with a degree in political communications can consider pursuing a career as a broadcast journalist, a fundraising manager or a public relations manager without further training. Public relations and fundraising managers enjoyed a median annual income of $107,320 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reported that these professionals would enjoy a 10% job growth rate from 2016 to 2026.