What is Political Communication Really?
In theory what is it?
A political communication major studies both political science and communication, especially media.
What is it used for?
This is a unique program for students interested in media and politics and in public policy.
What does the major actually entail - work-wise?
The communication portion of the degree is a lot narrower in focus than a general program in communication. The classes are very focused; students don't have few choices for communication electives. On the political science end, however, they have several electives based upon their interest.
The "capstone courses" in the program are Media & Politics, which explores the role and impact of the media in developing and implementing public policy; and Persuasive Communication, which studies the theories and practices of persuasion within a variety of contexts.
What kind of jobs do you get with it?
This is only a small sample!
Government Official (elected or appointed)
Journalist (particularly in a political capacity, such as a statehouse correspondent)
Public Relations Manager
Spokesperson (for a university, organization, etc.)
What are the fellow students like (personalitywise) in it?
I see the students in my program as people not wanting to be "stuck" in one job or career path for the rest of their lives. They enjoy the flexibility of the degree and know that they can change careers or go back to school at any time.
We are highly driven people, but few have a concrete final destination in mind. A lot of graduates consider law school, graduate school, and immediate employment. We change our minds and plans a lot; as I said, flexibility is key. And most importantly, we're competitive. There are only a few A's handed out in any political science course at my school; you can bet it's the political communication students who put up the toughest battle.
Once they hear the details of this program, a lot of people think we're lazy (why not just double major—it only takes a few more classes?) or indecisive (can't you make up your mind on a career?). This couldn't be farther from the truth.
True, a political communication major could become a political science-communication double major with only 3-4 more classes. But having one major lets you take more electives or pursue additional interests. I'm getting minors in public relations and English; I couldn't have done both with a double-major. One of my classmates is minoring in Japanese; another, in environmental studies.
And as far as indecision goes, we enjoy the flexibility few other degrees can provide. Hundreds of degrees become obsolete every day thanks to technology and globalization. We have a strong background in the liberal arts, which never go out of style, plus we can adapt into so many different fields.