The online Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a specialization in Political Communication includes 36 credit hours: 33 hours of coursework plus three final credits in the capstone course. The program curriculum is guided by an Advisory Council of top industry experts, with courses taught by industry professionals and University of Florida faculty.
Unique Learning Experience
Introduction to Digital Political Campaigning (3 credits)
This class will serve as an introduction to the cutting edge and growing field of digital political campaigning. Students will be provided with a foundation on which to build as they move through the Master’s in Political Communication curriculum. The class will present an overview of the skills and tactics necessary to develop and implement digital strategies for success in today’s political environment.
Introduction to Digital Political Organizing (3 credits)
This course will teach the students the necessary skills and best practices of political organizing online. They will learn how to implement campaign style tactics across email, social media, website, voter targeting, advertising and field. The students will have a fundamental understanding of how to engage voters online based on self-identified and publicly available data points.
Fundamentals of Political Engagement (3 credits)
This course will teach students how to utilize email and other channels to engage potential voters, volunteers, and donors. After completing this course, students will know how to reach voters organically through a variety of ways. Students will learn about voter messaging and how to ask potential donors for contributions. They will also learn about email deliverability, A/B testing, and the proper use of web analytics.
Fundamentals of Digital Political Advertising (3 credits)
This course will cover the mechanics of digital advertising with a specific focus on political campaigning. Topics will include processes for creating political advertisements, techniques for maximizing engagement, and measurement of digital environments including digital publications, social networks, and digital video. Students will use top industry software to have an advanced understanding of how to use paid communications on the internet to mobilize and persuade voters.
MMC 5277 Web Design Principles (4 credits)
By the end of this course you will be comfortable creating, coding and posting basic HTML and CSS files to the Internet. Students will start the semester by being introduced to a historical understanding of the web’s evolution and key industry-standard design guidelines to ensure strong, and successful online presentations. Students will also gain a foundational knowledge of website creation (concentrating on HTML5 and CSS3) to be able to apply the knowledge into the different planning, design, and development stages when it comes to creating their own websites. Critical thinking will also be encouraged through class interactions, quizzes, homework assignments, and a semester-long project.
VIC 5325 Digital Imagery in Web Design (4 credits)
This course will familiarize students with the development and impact of imagery in interactive media. Students will learn how visual ‘language’ is the basis for developing contextual symbolic meanings that are shared throughout a culture. Semiotics, information design and persuasive communication will be explored in this course. Students will develop communicative images using their knowledge gained through lectures, discussions and Photoshop training.
MMC 6936 Video Storytelling (4 credits)
Corporate messaging, branding, news and information, even self-published stories and opinions are more visible, shareable and potentially influential than ever before. Students will review and analyze traditions in storytelling and its evolution from traditional to modern-day structures. Students will examine narrative structures including character, arc, master plots and framing, and apply such elements to communication contexts relevant to our age of rapid communication and ubiquitous information. Students will assess and create video content that forges an emotional connection and tells a story in a memorable way without sacrificing accuracy or message.
Students will examine how organizations and brands are leveraging trans-media storytelling to reach key audiences through compelling video narratives. Students will apply storytelling techniques in authentic communication contexts relevant to today’s professional, digitized world. Building on students’ foundation in video gathering and editing, the course requires students to storyboard, develop characters and critically evaluate elements suitable for video stories. At the end of the semester, students will create a full video to showcase the skills they learned during the semester.
Mass Communication Theory (3 credits)
This course demonstrates the value of broad theories of mass communication. Students review mass communication theory from its inception as a field of study, to past trends, current applications, and new currents of thought. Throughout the class, students will apply their understanding of abstract theory to contemporary practice.
MMC 6936 Capstone (3 credits)
The capstone class is the culmination of the program and students’ opportunity to work on a project that can be used as a portfolio piece for a job interview. The capstone project will require students to use their knowledge gained during the program to demonstrate knowledge of skills like driving offline action via digital activity, email fundraising pitching, and digital advertising. The capstone project will be individual to each student and will be supervised by an industry expert who will use real-world examples to help build applied experience for the student.