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Strategic Political Communications


PROGRAM OVERVIEW: You will gain the skills to communicate effectively within and through a complex media environment, enabling you to pursue a career in advocacy, political campaigns, government relations, and related fields. Upon graduations, you can be a spokesperson; speechwriter or staff member for a political candidate; government official; or work in communications for state, local, or national government. You can work for nonprofit associations, political parties and action committees, digital and print communication organizations, and political consultants. Or you can lay the groundwork for continuing your education in public administration, business, or law.

FACULTY: Jennifer Glover Konfrst and Matthew Thornton lead the strategic political communication program. Both have extensive professional experience and connections.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION: All SJMC students take classes in communications history, law and ethics from a multicultural perspective, reporting and writing, multimedia basics, career development and financial literacy workshops, and a course in emerging and evolving media.

Strategic political communication majors also will take courses in public relations, politics, rhetoric, and specialized strategic political communication.

During your senior year, you'll complete a Capstone project encompassing work for a political candidate or a specific cause, putting your skills to work in a real-world setting and developing a powerful piece for your professional portfolio.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR: You’ll need to earn 124 credit hours for your degree, with a maximum of 44 credit hours in SJMC classes. The additional credit hours must be in non-SJMC courses, including 48 hours in liberal arts studies.

INTERNSHIPS & OPPORTUNITIES: Drake is perfectly positioned to give you maximum experience and exposure to political communication in action. You can take advantage of myriad opportunities for on-the-ground learning provided by life in a capital city, the political climate of a consistent swing state in national elections, and the unique impact the Iowa caucuses have on all races in Iowa. Every four years, the eyes of the world are on Iowa as the presidential campaign kicks off here, and SJMC students have a front-row seat as interns for political parties and candidates, media organizations, and documentary filmmakers. We’ll also help you identify internships that can jump-start your career while you’re still a student. Drake SJMC students have interned with the governor’s office, the State of Iowa, state and local governments, Iowa Senate Republicans, the Iowa Democratic Party, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Dallas Court-Appointed Special Advocates, the Animal Rescue League, and numerous presidential and congressional campaigns. With our own full-time internship coordinator, we’ll help you find the right job.

CAREER OPTIONS: SJMC graduates work or have worked on the staffs of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, and the communications director for the U.S. House of Representatives; for the National Journal and Washington Post; in public relations for the Omaha and Des Moines public schools and the Texas Medical Board; on the staffs of Iowa Gov. Chet Culver and first lady Michelle Obama; in government relations for Meredith Corporation; and for LinkStrategies political consultants, among others.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES: Drake is perfectly positioned to give you maximum experience and exposure to political communication in action. You can become a staff member of the Drake Political Review

Admission Calendar and Events

Tour Drake...

Monday-Friday - Individual Visits

Oct. 9- Campus Preview Day

Oct. 19 - Campus Preview Half-Day

Oct.20- Campus Preview Half-Day

 ...Drake on Tour


Sept. 24 -Pharmacy Tour: Chicago

Oct. 15 - Drake on the Road: Chicago


Oct. 15 - Drake on the Road: Kansas City


Oct.15 - Drake on the Road: Twin Cities


Oct.29 -Drake on the Road: Saint Louis