Strategic Political Communication

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All SJMC majors must complete the Requirements for SJMC Majors. In addition, Strategic Political Communication majors must complete the courses outlined below.

Required Strategic Political Communication Courses

  • JMC 058: Foundations of Visual Communication - Survey of visual communications, including basic page/screen design, type and typography, color, illustrations, and concepts. Each topic is approached both analytically and aesthetically. Laptop required (minimum: i3 processor, 4 gigs of ram, 200 gigs of free storage space, Wireless N.) subscription to the Creative Suite. Prereq: JMC 031
  • JMC 085 Public Relations Principles – This course explores the role of public relations in today's organizations. Students will develop an appreciation for and understanding of the critical thinking, research, planning and communication skills necessary for the effective practice of public relations. Students will acquire a solid foundation in the basic theories and concepts of communication, persuasion, motivation and learning which are integral parts in the success of public relations and in engaging people.
  • JMC 088 Introduction to Strategic Political Communication – This course will provide an introduction to the practical understanding and application of modern strategic political communication in candidate and issues campaigns. Using the current media environment as a foundation, students will learn the strategies and tools needed to successfully advocate on behalf of a client in the political context. Students will also analyze the implications of ethical political campaign communication practice in a diverse society, and will understand the different careers in which political communication skills will be required, and how those skills vary depending on audience, client, and venue. Coursework includes the original assessment of communication strategies employed in a contemporary political campaign, ballot initiative, or issue.
  • JMC 123 Public Relations Writing – Objective and persuasive writing for print, broadcast and social media and internal communication channels. Prereq: JMC 054, JMC 085, Co-req JMC 031
  • JMC 131: Political Campaign Management - Political Campaign Management will engage students in the process of electing candidates to local, state, and federal offices. Campaigns don't rest solely on the candidate themselves – they're truly collaborative efforts that rely on storytelling, strategy, messaging, targeting, and voter engagement to win elections. In other words, without a good campaign, it's pretty tough to elect even the best candidate . In this course, we will examine the strategy and implement of the four primary components of political campaigns: political, field, communications, and finance. Tactics like digital, GOTV, opposition research, and relational organizing are among the specific elements we'll discuss. The class will include expert guest lectures on a variety of topics and will provide a well-rounded overview and practical application strategies for campaigns at all levels.
  • JMC 138 Organizational Public Affairs – This course examines the key skills required for work in government relations or public affairs in corporate and nonprofit settings, at the local, state, and national levels . This includes: the fundamentals of the lobbyist/client/ legislator relationship and how professionals can effectively communicate with the many audiences involved in the process; the development and implementation of effective advocacy strategies and campaigns in the public policy arena; and ways to affect regulatory/policy changes on behalf of organizations.
  • JMC 147 Strategic Political Communication Capstone – This capstone experience will require students to put their coursework into action in a meaningful and applicable way. Students will spend a semester studying a real-world issue or client. This study will include the identification of a key public policy challenge facing the organization or issue - through interviews with policymakers, activists, and professionals - creating a full environmental scan of the challenge and its obstacles and opportunities. Students will then develop a comprehensive strategic political communication plan, including objectives for different communications channels, message development, and key audience analysis and recommendations. In cooperation with the professor, students will then present research findings and recommendations to a representative of the issue or organization. Prereq: JMC 088 and JMC 138.
  • Three JMC elective courses.

Required Courses and Credit Hours Outside Major

All strategic political communication majors must include the following in their programs:

  • One methods course from the following: POLS 095, SCSS 159, STAT 050 or STAT 071.
  • SCSR 128, PHIL 090 or PHIL 091
  • 100-level American Politics course, advisor approval required
  • POLS 116 Media & Modern Politics

See the Forms page for downloadable checksheets.