Political Communication Minor
The 15-credit Political Communication minor exposes students to an array of academic skills, substantive knowledge, and professional experiences that will help them analyze, understand, and deploy political discourse in a variety of forms including campaign materials, media coverage, rhetoric, advertisements, constituent communications, persuasive writing, and more technical communication and correspondence. The minor addresses issues such as public opinion formation, strategic communication, press-state relations, communication between publics, political participation, and international relations.
Required Courses (6 credits):
- COMM 2204 Introduction to Human Communication (formerly COMM 2001)
- GOVT 2045: Public Opinion or GOVT 2526 Polls and Surveys or GOVT 3040 Politics and the Media*
*If one of these courses is selected as a Required Course it cannot also be selected as an Elective Course (below)
Elective Courses (9 Credits): (At least one course from Communication and one from Political Science from the list below)
- COMM 2443: Media Ethics
- COMM 3011: Introduction to Journalism
- COMM 3012: News writing
- COMM 3015: Political Reporting
- COMM 3016: News editing
- GOVT 1000: American Government and Politics
- GOVT 2015: Campaigns and Elections
- GOVT 2045: Public Opinion
- GOVT 2070: Women & American Politics
- GOVT 2216: Current Events in Politics
- GOVT 2300: Citizenship, Service & Civic Engagement
- GOVT 2400: Political Ethics
- GOVT 2500 Social Analysis
- GOVT 2526: Polls and Surveys
- GOVT 3040: Politics and the Media
- GOVT 3801: Current Events Seminar
- GOVT 4498 or GOVT 4499: Internship in Political Science (approval of instructor required)
COMM2001 What is communication? This is the question that drives this course. The question is deceptively simple since you can probably provide an answer with little difficulty. You may say something like ?Communication is the transmission of ideas from a source to a receiver,? or something very similar. Answers to the question, ?What is communication?? have been dominated by a very particular tradition of Northern American scholarship since the early part of the Twentieth Century. Words like ?source,? ?receiver,? ?effectiveness,? and ?transmission,? have not only formed the basis of our common sense understanding of what communication is. They have also organized communication research in both America and Europe since the 1950?s. The structure of this course reflects the fact that there are two main schools in the study of communication. The first see communication as the transmission of messages. It is concerned with how senders and receivers encode and decode and sees communication as a process by which one person affects the behavior or the state of mind of another. The second school sees communication as the production and exchange of meanings. It is concerned with how people interact with messages or texts in order to produce meaning, and examines the roles of texts in our culture. This course will examine both areas of communication study.
COMM2204 Course provides an introduction to a wide range of theories and research about effective communication in contexts such as friendship, small groups, and organizations. Special emphasis on interpersonal and intercultural communication issues.
COMM2443 Ethics in both the print and broadcast media, using current newspaper articles and news programming as resources. Students participate in the decision-making process of reviewing and selecting information for mass audiences. Emphasis on class discussions.
COMM3011 A survey course in the history of journalism in America; emphasis on development of principles of modern journalistic practice, including broadcasting.
COMM3012 Practical instruction in newswriting, feature writing and reporting and interviewing for newspapers. How to cover and write about meetings, speeches, crime, the courts and business. Standard news style and ethical and legal limitations on the press.
COMM3015 This course will give students the opportunity to write news articles and analyses about the race for the U.S. presidency. Students will work on breaking news and longer form pieces, all while examining the political process. Students also will review and critique the work of national media outlets, especially once the election is over. Articles will be submitted to The Metro for possible publication.
COMM3016 Practical instruction in editing copy and writing headlines for newspapers. Also covers standard news style, newsroom routine, newsroom technology, wire services, photo editing, typography, page makeup and design and ethical and legal limitations on the press.
GOVT1000 Structure and function of American national government: roles of interest groups and political parties, voting behavior, powers of president, Congress, bureaucracy and federal judiciary, Fall, Spring.
GOVT2015 Introduction to and survey of: election laws including ballot access regulation, campaign finance and structure of primary elections; polling; advertising; the role of parties; and media relations.
GOVT2045 Explores the nature of public opinion and its connection to survey research, mass media influence and public policy-making, as well as the psychology of opinion-holding, and the role of public opinion as a mechanism of democratic linkage.
GOVT2070 This course examines the participation of women in American political life. It will analyze the role of feminism in altering woman's public roles in historical and contemporary contexts, women participation in electoral politics, and the role of women and their influence as officials within governing institutions.
GOVT2216 This course is designed to link current events in the American and international political systems with political theory and contemporary research in political science and related disciplines. Students will make use of a variety of news media, including written, video and podcasts on a weekly basis to inform themselves about current events in the political system, then combine this with readings from scholarly research to understand what's really driving politics in the US and around the world. Students will discuss these events, and linkages to the scholarly reading, in seminar style class meetings.
GOVT2300 This interactive course will offer students the skills to participate in a democratic society through education and direct service. Students will engage in an experiential learning process whereby they work collaboratively to identify a problem, evaluate solutions and create an action plan for change. The course will address such key concepts as tracing the history of civic engagement in the United States critically analyzing the methods to effectuate change in a democratic, pluralistic society, and learning about the various levels of government. Local and state policymakers will supplement the course through in-person presentations.
GOVT2400 This course surveys and critically examines the dominant approaches to political ethics, including deontology and rights, consequentialism and utilitarianism, and contemporary critiques of liberalism. Students will explore the substance and implications of these approaches in applications to contemporary ethical and political problems and questions.
GOVT2500 Theory and method of the study of politics, research designs, theory building techniques of data collection and analysis.
GOVT2526 How to comprehend, evaluate, construct and conduct public opinion polls as well as surveys of special populations.
GOVT3040 The course will examine the relationship between the mass media and government. It will consider imperatives the media will follow in choosing to run particular stories, and how government seeks to take advantage of those imperatives to influence the media. Finally, the course will investigate how the media try to arouse public opinion in order to influence government policy.
GOVT3801 This course is designed to link current events in the America and international political systems with political theory and contemporary research in political science and related disciplines. Students will make use of a variety of news media, including written, video and podcasts on a weekly basis to inform themselves about current events in the political system, then combine this with reading from scholarly research to understand what's really driving politics in the US and around the world. Students will discuss these events and linkages to the scholarly reading, in seminar style class meetings.
GOVT4499 Integration of classroom study with specific planned periods of supervised learning in paid and relevant employment experiences. Co-op education combines learning on the job, University course work, and career development skills. Students are encouraged to complete two complementary co-op courses.