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For more information about the political communication area, contact:

photo: Martin Johnson

Dr. Martin Johnson
Area head
(225) 578-7381

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Political Communication

Political communication is more than just politics. Practitioners in this field think critically and quickly, become leaders in their communities and understand the importance of effective communication in shaping the policies of the world. Politication communication graduates work in political campaigns; run for elective office; cover politics as journalists; handle press relations for public officials or government agencies; analyze and evaluate policy proposals for government agencies, think tanks, and community foundations; and lobby government and policy makers on behalf of corporations, interest groups, and nonprofits.  

If you can’t wait to see the next round of political ads, love to discuss the State of the Union speech, think you could eventually handle the media better than the current press secretary or simply want to improve the quality of political dialogue, then political communication is the major for you. Students in this concentration develop skills that allow them to effectively interpret and communicate information to both mass media professionals and other individuals involved in political and governmental processes. Critical thinking, public speaking, concise writing and good use of media are the core elements of this degree.  

Political communication graduates are highly desirable, whether you want to be a political journalist, campaign manager, political consultant, speechwriter, make political ads or work on public diplomacy. Graduates of our program are now working on Capitol Hill as press secretaries to members of Congress, at major news networks, and throughout Louisiana politics and government. Additionally, the political communication concentration is one of the best pre-law programs in Louisiana. There is never a shortage of career opportunities for young people with skills in political communication.

Political campaigns today are incorporating more and more digital technology, but practitioners are still figuring out what the true role of digital and analytics is in the field of political communication. With that in mind, it is more important than ever to have the foundational skills necessary to adapt in the ever-changing political media landscape.

The Manship School offers a unique learning environment with the Louisiana State Capitol just a few miles down the road. Whether state legislators come in as lecturers or students have one-on-one interactions with them, the Manship School provides its students a live, hands-on look at the political activity in the state.

Learn more about Manship's Political Communication concentration. The Manship School also offers a minor in Political Communication. Hear from alum Bryan Jones to learn how a political communication degree or minor can open up dynamic, flexible career paths. 

 

In the Political Communication concentration, it is vital for students to gain real world experience through a variety of channels. This is accomplished in several ways:

Internships

We encourage students to pursue multiple internships that match their chosen concentration with their personal interests. We have an extensive database of local and national companies that offer invaluable work experience to enhance our students’ classroom education. Our students have worked for:

  • Cook Political Report
  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy
  • U.S. Rep. Garret Graves
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards
  • AARP of Louisiana
  • Project Vote Smart
  • NBC’s “Meet the Press”
  • MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”
  • CBS “Evening News”

Statehouse Bureau 

The Manship School's partnership with the Louisiana State Capitol began in 2016. Our Manship News Service Statehouse Bureau puts students at the Capitol, covering real-world stories for those who need our expertise. In the Statehouse program, Manship students cover the activities of the Louisiana state legislature. 

Society of Politics, Communication, and Law

The Society of Politics, Communication and Law (SPCL) is an on-campus organization dedicated to providing networking, internships, and political discussion opportunities to students interested in politics, communication or law in order to give them chances to learn outside of the classroom. 

 

Special Events

Throughout the academic year, the Manship School hosts a variety of events that cater to each major and interest of its students. We aim to engage our students with the annual Breaux Symposium and the Sports Communication Summit, as well as election watch parties and hosting debates, like the 2014 U.S. Senate debate, and the 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial debate.

 

Recent Graduates

  • The Advisory Board Company (Washington, D.C.)
  • Politico.com
  • Baton Rouge Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Washington Post (Washington, D.C.)
  • Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
  • MSNBC (New York)
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies (Houston)
  • The Urban Institute
  • Kean Miller
  • Hillary for President

Curriculum

The political communications curriculum is subject to change each semester. Please refer to the LSU Catalog for the latest listings, or schedule a meeting with a Manship School counselor by calling 225-578-1899.

  • MC 2010 or 2011 (Media Writing)
  • MC 2015 or 2016 (Visual Communication)
  • MC 2035 (Digital Brands)
  • MC 3080 or 3081 (Mass Media Law)
  • MC 4090 or 4091 (Media Ethics and Social Responsibility)
  • MC 3504 (Introduction to Political Communication)
  • MC 3505 (Media and Policy Processes)
  • MC 3510 (Political Communication Research)
  • MC 3520 (Political Communication Writing)
  • MC 4520 (Advanced Seminar in Political Communication)
  • MC electives (6 hours)
  • EXST 2201 (Introduction to Statistical Analysis)
  • POLI 2051 (American Government) or 2053 (Introduction to Comparative Politics) or 2057 (Introduction to International Politics)

To see all of the courses a political communication student would take in his or her time with the Manship School at LSU, check out the 8-semester plan.

 3+3 Pre-Law Option

The Manship School of Mass Communication partners with the Paul M. Hebert Law School to offer the 3+3 Pre-Law Program to students interested in both mass communication and law. This program is open to all mass communication students, no matter their chosen concentration. These students are, however, still required to complete coursework for one of Manship's four concentrations. To view all of the courses a 3+3 political communication student would take with the Manship School at LSU, check out this additional 3+3 8-Semester Plan. For more information about the program, click here