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Communication Studies - Political Communication Major Banner

Communication Studies - Political Communication


Political Communication is concerned with being actively engaged with local, regional, state, national, and international issues and how the power of information, persuasion, and strategic message design can be used to understand and affect outcomes at those levels, particularly in the area of governance and governmental and societal behavior. Students become knowledgeable and skilled in the use of political messages to promote causes, candidates, campaigns, etc.

Typical careers include politics and political consulting, persuasion design, media analysis, educational support, speech writing, strategic/campaign message design.

Why Study Communication Studies - Political Communication?

Communication Studies is the academic discipline which studies communication. Students discover the many strategies of how to effectively communicate with different groups of people in varying situations. Coverage includes person-to-person communication such as in counseling, peer advising, personnel management and other business and corporate positions. Students may also study persuasion and message construction strategies that are helpful in sales and management areas.

Speech communication is a broad degree that can lead to job opportunities in many different fields. Skills and experiences gained through co-curricular activities, internships, part-time jobs, and volunteering are critical in shaping a career path. Speech communication is also good preparation for graduate school in many disciplines.

Students desiring careers in training, development, fundraising and similar fields may wish to major in Communication Studies.

Related Majors


Related Skills

  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Effective writing capability
  • Creativity – using sounds, color, imagery and art
  • Reporting and computer skills
  • Ability to create influential and effective messages
  • Strong research capabilities
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Attention to detail and well organized
  • Learn to work well individually and on a team, and develop leadership skills.
  • Understanding of different cultures

Being Successful in the Field

  • Explore specializations within major and professional field. Select electives to enhance knowledge in area(s) of interest.
  • Obtain experience through part-time employment, co-op, internships, or volunteer experience.
  • Get involved in campus activities and professional organizations.
  • Get experience with public speaking by joining Toastmasters.

Related Fields


  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Management
  • Human Resources
  • Training and Development
  • Labor Relations
  • Writing/Editing
  • Office Management


  • Product and service organizations
  • Retail stores
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Manufacturers
  • Financial companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Hospitals and other healthcare organizations
  • Print and electronic media
  • Other business corporations


  • Develop strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Learn to work well on a team.
  • Join related professional associations. Get involved in other campus organizations.
  • Take business courses or earn a business minor.
  • Gain experience through internships, part-time, or summer jobs.
  • Develop computer skills in areas such as spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.

Public Relations/Advertising

  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Corporate Public Affairs
  • Development
  • Media Analysis/Planning
  • Creative Directing
  • Writing/Editing
  • Audience Analysis
  • Public Opinion Research


  • Private corporations
  • Public service organizations
  • Public opinion research firms
  • Public relations firms
  • Advertising agencies
  • Public opinion organizations
  • Radio and television companies
  • Sports and entertainment organizations
  • Hospitality and tourism industry
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Consulting firms
  • Freelance


  • Develop excellent writing skills.
  • Gain experience through internships, even if unpaid.
  • Serve as public relations officer of an organization.
  • Take additional courses in marketing, advertising, public relations, or other area of interest.
  • Develop a portfolio of writing samples, ad campaigns, and other relevant work.
  • Join related professional associations.
  • Be willing to move to locations with greater numbers of job opportunities.
  • Be prepared to start at the bottom and work to more desirable positions.


  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Copywriting
  • Publishing
  • Producing
  • Managing/Directing
  • Research
  • Media Sales


  • Publishing firms including newspaper, magazine and book
  • Internet sites
  • Television and radio stations
  • Film industry


  • Develop excellent interpersonal and presentation skills.
  • Take elective courses in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, and advertising.
  • Develop research skills.
  • Work for campus or local newspaper, radio station, or television station.
  • Get related experience through internships, even if unpaid.
  • Learn desktop publishing, webpage design, and other computer skills.


  • Administration
  • Program Coordination
  • Grant Writing
  • Writing/Editing
  • Fundraising
  • Volunteer Coordination


  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Professional associations
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Community centers
  • Philanthropies
  • Hospitals


  • Take courses in psychology, sociology, or social work to broaden perspective.
  • Volunteer with community and campus organizations.
  • Learn to work well with different types of people.
  • Develop a wide array of skills including writing, speaking, budgeting, grantwriting, and leadership.


  • Public Information
  • Campaigning
  • Programming
  • Legislative Assistance
  • Research
  • Lobbying
  • Conflict Negotiation


  • All branches of local, state and federal government
  • Political parties
  • Political action committees


  • Learn local, state, and federal government job application processes.
  • Take courses in conflict management and develop negotiation skills.
  • Volunteer to work on a local political campaign.
  • Join related student organizations and earn leadership roles.
  • Find an internship with a government organization to get a foot in the door.
  • Maintain a strong grade point average as many government programs are very competitive.


  • Law Assistance
  • Prosecution
  • Defense
  • Contractual
  • Corporate
  • Nonprofit or Public Interest
  • Government
  • Mediation
  • Lobbying


  • Law firms
  • Government agencies
  • Corporations
  • Public interest organizations
  • Private practice
  • Colleges and universities


  • Plan on attending a specialized paralegal training school or law school depending upon area of interest.
  • Participate in a debate or forensic team to hone communication skills.
  • Join pre-law organizations.
  • Obtain a part-time or summer job at a law office.
  • Take courses in and gain experience with mediation and conflict resolution.


  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Student Support Services including: Admissions, Advising, Development, Student Affairs, Recruitment, Alumni Affairs


Colleges and universities


  • Ph.D. required for teaching and research in colleges and universities.
  • Maintaina high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations.
  • Earn a master's degree in college student personnel or a related field for administrative positions.
  • Get involved in campus leadership roles in residence halls, student unions/activities, programming boards, etc.

Other Professions

  • Admission counselor
  • Advertising
  • Audio visual consultant
  • Biographer
  • Columnist
  • Commentator
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Copy Writer
  • Critic
  • Customer Relations
  • Editor
  • Entertainment Agent
  • Event Planner
  • Event Fundraiser
  • Human Resource Administrator
  • Journalist
  • Librarian
  • Lobbyist
  • Public Information Officer
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Sales Representative
  • Technical Writer

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Mark Fauble  110 Student Services Building  mbfaubl@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5825 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Tom Lamonica  456 Fell Hall  talamon@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8578 

New Freshmen

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

New Transfer

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA


Middle 50% GPA

2.87 - 3.40

Required Courses


Recommended Courses

  • Introductory-level composition (ENG 101)
  • Introductory-level speech (COM 110)
  • Interpersonal communication (COM 123)
  • Small group communication (COM 223)

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Kristen Smederovac  Fell Hall 450  kmpresl@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7080 

Illinois State Students

Middle 50% GPA

2.87 - 3.40

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

September 1 - October 1, February 1 - March 1

Major Requirements

Submission of online application form and essay.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Kristen Smederovac  Fell Hall 450  kmpresl@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7080