Strategic Political Communication

Strategic Political Communication

“I thought I wanted to be a news reporter, but after my internship experience I found a passion for political campaigns. I have also discovered that my major allows for many different career opportunities within the field I love.”
—Lauren Selfridge, Sophomore, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Meeting face-to-face with presidential candidates at Drake is not unusual. And you’ll do more than just shake hands and get a selfie—you’ll have the chance to ask questions of candidates and work on local, regional, and national political campaigns while still a student.

The center of it all

There is no better place in the country to build your résumé for a career in advocacy, political campaigns, government relations, and related fields. When you study strategic political communication at Drake, 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 students have a front-row seat as interns for political parties and candidates, media organizations, and documentary filmmakers.

Learn while working (and vice versa)

Our internship coordinator will help you identify opportunities that can jump-start your career. SJMC students have interned with the governor’s office, the State of Iowa, state and local governments, Iowa Senate Republicans and Democrats, the Iowa political parties, national political consultants, 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.

Drake’s campus was home to more than two dozen political events, ranging from candidate Q&A sessions, to a nationally televised debate watched by millions, between February 2015 and February 2016.

In addition, Drake is home to The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Civic Engagement, which brings in nationally renowned lawmakers and political operatives for both lectures and intimate gatherings with students; and Vote Smart, a nonpartisan political research organization with ample internship opportunities.

You’ll learn 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. You’ll gain valuable skills and experiences that allow you to become a spokesperson, speechwriter or staff member for a political candidate, government official, or work in communications for state, local or national government.

Of course, you’ll benefit from the experiences that all Drake Bulldogs enjoy—mentorship from professors at the top of their field; résumé-worthy internships, research experiences, and other professional preparation; opportunities to learn while serving the community; and January Term experiences (at no additional cost) that immerse you into the fascinating topics—and locations—you choose.

Post-graduate success

Graduates 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, The Atlantic, and Washington Post; in public relations for the Omaha and Des Moines public schools and the Texas Medical Board; for local and state government agencies nationwide; on the staffs of Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, and first lady Michelle Obama, among others.

Learn more:

Looking for your admission counselor? Visit the Admission office to find a counselor or schedule a campus visit. For all other questions about the Strategic Political Communications program at Drake University, please reach out to the contact below.

Strategic Political Communications | School of Journalism & Mass Communication

Jennifer Glover Konfrst
Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Amy McCoy
Assistant Professor, Public Relations and Strategic Political Communication