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University Bulletin: Graduate Programs The George Washington University  



Director M. Kennedy

Professors F.C. Arterton, D.W. Johnson

Associate Professors L. Matos (Research), S. Billet, S. Wiley, L. Parnell

Assistant Professor G. Lebel

Professorial Lecturers M. Edwards, J. Hobson, M. Cornfield, P. Fenn, M. Braden, R. Faucheux, W. Greener, E. Grefe, B. Tringali, D. McGroarty, D. Cantor, J. Weinberg, R. Whitlock, C. Veillette, B. Pomper, M. Meissner, G. Nordlinger

The Graduate School of Political Management, through the College of Professional Studies, offers the Master of Professional Studies in the fields of political management, legislative affairs, and strategic public relations. Each program has a prerequisite of a bachelor’s degree with a B average from an accredited college or university and is subject to the CPS regulations that appear under the respective programs at In addition, graduate certificate programs are offered in campaign strategy, online politics, community advocacy, public relations, and in PACs and political management. Graduate certificates in political management and strategic governance and in strategic communications campaigns and the Master of Professional Studies in political communication and governance are offered in Spanish to closed cohorts of students in Latin America and in Spain.

Master of Professional Studies in the field of political management—The 36-credit program requires PMgt 6201, 6202, 6203, 6204, 6205, and 6206 (which must be completed in the first eight courses taken), plus three PMgt courses in the chosen area of focus—advocacy politics (PMgt 6230 plus two from PMgt 6231-45); electoral politics (PMgt 6250 and 6251 plus one from PMgt 6228 and 6252-60); and advanced political skills (any three from PMgt 6211-29). All students complete a 400-hour internship of supervised political management activity. Those in the thesis program take PMgt 6998-99; those in the nonthesis program take PMgt 6295.

Master of Professional Studies in the field of legislative affairs—The 33-credit program requires LgAf 6201, 6202, 6203, and 6204, plus at least two courses chosen from each of the following groups: American political process—LgAf 6217, 6218, 6219, 6222, 6223, 6224, 6228, 6233, 6234; public policy analysis—LgAf 6246, 6249, 6251, 6260, 6270. The program may be  completed with or without a thesis (LgAf 6998-99). With prior approval of the academic advisor, students may take up to three courses in related disciplines. All students must pass a Master’s Comprehensive Examination.

Master of Professional Studies in the field of strategic public relations—The 33-credit degree program consists of PSPR 6201 through 6208, PMgt 6202, LgAf 6223, two courses chosen from designated PSPR and PMgt courses, plus either CPS 6298 or 6300.



6201 Fundamentals of Political Management (3)
  Introduction to theory, practice, and development of political management. Political developments since 1945 and their impact on the development of political management as a field and profession. Public policy roles of political managers. Political strategy for the political manager. (Fall and spring)
6202 Research Methods for Political Managers (3)
  Use of quantitative information in politics. Research design, statistical association and causal reasoning, types of variables, hypothesis testing and confidence, and introduction to regression analysis. How to be an informed user of quantitative data for political management and policymaking issues. (Fall and spring)
6203 Communications Elements (3)
  The basic political communications model, including communications strategy, political research (targeted audiences, polling, and candidate research), and message discipline. Internet usage, press releases, issue briefs, direct mail letters, fact sheets, talking points, congressional testimony, public addresses, and television and radio commercials. (Fall and spring)
6204 Communications Strategy (3)
  Formulation of political communications strategies. Elements necessary to create, introduce, and maintain an effective political profile in issue advocacy campaigns, candidate elections, and legislative advocacy campaigns. Application of principles of research, advertising, and marketing to the political landscape. Prerequisite: PMgt 6203. (Spring and summer)
6205 Ethics for Political Managers (3)
  Professional responsibilities of political managers. Introduction to political leadership as ethics in action, starting with concrete situations and reasoning back to constitutional and philosophical principles. Laws and regulations that affect political activity (conflict of interest, disclosure, lobbying registration, campaign finance, fraud) (Fall, spring, and summer)
6206 Political Leadership (3)
  Theory and practice of political leadership. Introduction to leadership theory. Application through self-assessment of leadership skills and potential. Communications practices for exercising political leadership. (Fall, spring, and summer)
6211 Polling (3)
  Survey research uses in campaigns. Major objectives of surveys, designing and drawing samples, constructing and pretesting questionnaires, modes of interviewing, financial implications, practical problems in selecting and monitoring polling organizations, and interpretation of survey data. (Summer)
6212 Qualitative Research (3)
  Uses and usefulness of focus groups and small-sample interviews; procedures involved in these techniques; implications of psychological and sociological theory; relationship of qualitative and quantitative research. (Spring)
6214 Public Opinion Dynamics (3)
  Processes by which citizens make decisions about political issues and consider the range of methods for influencing those decisions. Public opinion polling, voter behavior studies, communications, media studies, and attitudinal change. (Summer)
6215 Managing Online Campaigns (3)
  Building and managing a web campaign in electoral or advocacy arena; overseeing outreach in online communities. Topics include the technical (building a backend system, designing a budget, blogging, social networking) and the practical (working with web vendors, online fundraising, get-out-the-vote, issues management). Studio fee. (Spring)
6216 Speechwriting (3)
  Analysis and techniques of effective speechwriting and presentations for public officials and candidates; emphasis on speechwriting for campaigns and public policy forums. (Fall and summer)
6217 Political Management and Media (3)
  Organization, practices, and norms of the major media; media coverage of public officials, political campaigns, legislative battles, interest groups, and issues of public policy. Formulation of strategies for getting favorable news coverage for the issue or candidate and for ending a media crisis. Studio fee. (Spring)
6218 Videography and Political Marketing (3)
  Political marketing and messaging online, including technical projects, such as online banner ads and web videos; practical projects, such as search-engine marketing plan and blogger outreach; and analytic projects, such as web metrics, cost-per-click, reach, and persuasion. Studio fee. (Fall)
6219 Microtargeting (3)
  Use of technology for microtargeting and analytics. The theory, mathematics, and behavioral science behind microtargeting. Data collection and analysis; database construction; practical sources and uses of data in mobilization, messaging, and fundraising; privacy and security. Studio fee. Prerequisite: PMgt 6202. (Summer)
6220 Fundraising (3)
  The raising and spending of money in political campaigns, referenda contests, issue politics, and lobbying efforts. Budgeting, control of expenditures, accounting procedures, and general strategies for fundraising. (Summer)
6221 Fundraising for Organizations (3)
  Advanced business and techniques of fundraising for charitable, trade association, semiprivate, and public institutions. Topics include long-range financial stability for organizations, including membership strategies, new technology (Internet and mobile), direct mail, telemarketing, and special events. (Spring)
6227 Women in Politics (3)
  Application of political management principles for women in the political arena. Topics include institutional and interpersonal opportunities and barriers for women, impact of politically active women on public policy; gender gap in voting behavior and public opinion; media portrayal of women candidates and public officials. (Fall)
6228 Law and the Political Process (3)
  Federal and state laws and regulations governing recognition of political parties and political organizations, campaign finance, political broadcasting and cablecasting, lobbying registration. Ballot access and voter registration. Ethics in public service. (Summer)
6229 Managing Political Organizations (3)
  How to manage a candidate, campaign, team, and other stakeholders. Philosophy and framework for organizational management in the political arena. (Fall and spring)
6230 Issues Management (3)
  Management of public policy issues, rise of referenda and citizen initiatives, proliferation of issue-oriented campaigns directed at the grassroots. How individuals and interest groups participate in the issue advocacy process. The evolving role of political and campaign managers in issue campaigns. (Fall and spring)
6231 Lobbying (3)
  How lobbying and organized advocacy fit into the American political process. Development and implementation of advocacy strategies. Lobbying by business, labor, public interest groups, and other nonprofit organizations. Lobbying within and among various branches of government. (Fall and spring)
6232 Lobbying the Budget Process (3)
  Politics of the budget process, using case studies from recent federal budget cycles. Formal and informal mechanisms of budgeting; lobbying strategies employed by private and public organizations seeking to influence budgetary decision making; negotiations within and between executive agencies. Prerequisite: PMgt 6231. (Summer)
6233 Grassroots Politics (3)
  Use of microtargeting and database-layering technology to identify potential advocates. Motivational techniques to mobilize volunteers for political campaigns, lobbying efforts, and community advocacy. Techniques used by grassroots organizers to help corporations, unions, civic and nonprofit organizations, and special interest groups achieve strategic goals. (Spring)
6234 International Lobbying (3)
  Examination of the current state of international lobbying and analysis of strategic models. (Spring)
6235 Strategic Management of Issues (3)
  Case studies of advocacy efforts in major current policy questions. Development of strategy and message, integrating research and technology for advocacy campaigns. (Fall and summer)
6236 Corporate Public Affairs (3)
  Exploration of major functional areas in corporate public affairs, with focus on political and policy dynamics. (Fall)
6241 Crisis Management (3)
  Management of crisis situations and defining moments in electoral, legislative, and public policy campaigns. Simulation exercises and recent case studies illustrate both theoretical and practical aspects of crisis management. (Fall)
6244-45 Lobbying the European Union I–II (3-3)
  PMgt 6244: Intensive six-week program exploring the rules, tactics, and techniques of lobbying in the European Union. PMgt 6245: Intensive two-week practicum applying lessons learned in PMgt 6244; held at the College of Europe and EU headquarters in Belgium. (Summer)
6250 Campaign Strategy (3)
  Orientation to the basic systems that must be managed to produce electoral victory. The campaign plan and campaign budget as the foundation for management of campaigns. Focus on development of a campaign plan. (Fall, spring, and summer)
6251 Campaign Organization and Execution (3)
  Choices facing the campaign manager in staffing a campaign and executing the campaign plan: candidate assessment, fundraising, geographic and demographic targeting, field organization, canvassing, phone banks and get-out-the-vote, press operations, financial control, and relations with the party and interest groups. Prerequisite: PMgt 6250. (Fall and spring)
6252 Campaign Advertising and Promotion (3)
  Strategies and techniques for using the various media in political campaigns, with emphasis on the use of television. Impact and potential uses of various media; development of campaign messages; production, timing, and placement of television advertising. Students design print ads and brochures and produce a 30-second television spot. Studio fee. Prerequisite: PMgt 6251. (Spring)
6253 Presidential Campaigns (3)
  Trends and innovations in presidential campaign strategy: use of new technology, campaign organization, fundraising, primaries and caucuses, delegation selection rules, party conventions, national and state party organizations, and the general election. (Summer)
6256 International Political Consulting (3)
  How consultants help to professionalize elections and campaign techniques around the world. Techniques and practices for the international consulting business. (Spring)
6257 State Government and Politics (3)
  Intersection of legislating and campaigning at the state and local levels. Methods and techniques for advocacy in state capitals. (Spring)
6258 State and Local Campaigns (3)
  Application of campaign strategy and management principles to electoral races at the state/local levels. Particular attention to staffing, budgeting, and strategic challenges for state/local candidates. (Spring)
6260 Running for Office (3)
  Electoral politics from the perspective of the candidate, strategic and personal factors involved in the decision to run, consequences of victory or defeat. (Summer)
6265 Special Topics (3)
  Topic to be announced in the Schedule of Classes.
6290 Independent Study (3 to 6)
6291 Online Political Strategy (3)
  Building and managing an online strategy in electoral or advocacy arenas.
6295 Advanced Problems and Strategy (3)
  Capstone seminar that integrates research skills and political techniques required to define political objectives and develop the appropriate strategies to accomplish such objectives. Students enroll in this course toward the end of their program. (Fall, spring, and summer)
6298 Graduate Internship in Political Management (0)
6998-99 Thesis Research (3-3)
  Master’s degree candidates must apply to the program committee for thesis approval and have completed 24 credit hours with a 3.3 GPA.

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© 2013 University Bulletin
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Information in this bulletin is generally accurate as of fall 2012. The University reserves the right to change courses, programs, fees, and the academic calendar, or to make other changes deemed necessary or desirable, giving advance notice of change when possible.