Minor in Political Communication (CHSS)

Catalog Year: 2020-2021

This interdisciplinary minor is offered jointly by the Schar School of Policy and Government and the Department of Communication.

Political communication explores the interaction among members of the public, the media, advocacy groups, and politicians in a democratic society. This minor uses a diverse approach to questions of how mass and interpersonal communication influence democratic functioning, including:

  1. how political actors use strategic messaging to persuade and mobilize the public;
  2. how citizens make sense of these messages and their impact on engagement, deliberation, efficacy, knowledge, and participation;
  3. the role of the mass media in facilitating or hindering this relationship;

Political communication includes explicitly political activities like voting and political campaigns. It also encompasses any issue of public debate or deliberation, including culture and social movements.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Minor Requirements

Total credits: 18

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.


COMM 327 Political Communication 3
COMM 412 Politics and the Mass Media 3
or GOVT 412 Politics and the Mass Media
Total Credits 6

Communication and Political Process

Select one course from the following: 1 3
Rhetoric of Social Movements and Political Controversy (Mason Core)
Political Journalism
New Media and Democracy
Free Speech and Ethics (Mason Core)
GOVT 311
Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior
Total Credits 3

Persuasion Theory

Select one course from the following: 1 3
Case Studies in Persuasion
Theories of Argumentation
Argument and Public Policy (Mason Core)
GOVT 313
Political Psychology
GOVT 342
Total Credits 3

Political Process

Select one course from the following: 1 3
GOVT 308
The American Presidency
GOVT 312
Political Parties and Campaigns
GOVT 318
Interest Groups, Lobbying, and the Political Process
GOVT 353
Social Entrepreneurship
GOVT 364
Public Policy Making
GOVT 430
Comparative Political Leadership
GOVT 445
Human Rights
GOVT 447
Revolution and International Politics
Total Credits 3

Cultural Politics

Select one course from the following: 1 3
Media Criticism
Environmental Communication
Topics in Communication and Gender
GOVT 361
Introduction to Environmental Policy
GOVT 414
Politics of Race and Gender
GOVT 427
Feminist Political Thought
GOVT 460
Surveillance and Privacy in Contemporary Society
Total Credits 3