Master of Applied Politics

THE MASTER OF APPLIED POLITICS (MAP), in cooperation with the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and The University of Akron Political Science Department, is one of only a handful of graduate programs in the United States focusing on practical politics and experiential learning. It is designed for students interested in election campaigns, digital strategy and messaging, fundraising, managing organizations, and other political activities. All applied politics classes are delivered synchronously or asynchronously online making residency in Northeast Ohio optional.

Potential careers for applied politics graduates include:

  • Campaign Management & Communications
  • Candidate for Office/Elected Office Holder
  • Community Organizing
  • Digital Strategy
  • Fundraising
  • Government Relations & Lobbying
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Party/Group Leadership
  • Policy Analysis
  • Political Consulting

Degree Information:

  • 30 credits
  • No GRE required
  • No residency requirement
  • Full-time or Part-time
  • Online classes available
  • Rolling admissions
  • Limited number of paid assistantships available
  • Use My Degree Progress Report (My DPR) to review your academic progress to graduation
  • Contact: Dr. David Cohen, Director of Applied Politics,

Degree Requirements:

  • Required Core: 21 credits
    • 3700:570: Fundamentals of Political Strategy (3 credits)
    • 3700:571: Fundamentals of Electoral Messaging (3 credits)
    • 3700:572: Campaign Finance, Fundraising, and Budgeting (3 credits)
    • 3700:573: Voter Contact and Elections (3 credits)
    • 3700:578: Fundamentals of the Digital Campaign (3 credits)
    • 3700:600: Scope and Theories of Political Science (3 credits)
    • 3700:601: Research Methods in Political Science (3 credits)
    • Required Internship: 3 credits 
      • 3700:695: Internships in Government & Politics (3 credits)
        • Any internship credits over the 3 required will be applied towards electives
    • Electives: 6 credits minimum
      • 3700:502: Politics and the Media (3 credits)
      • 3700:572: Campaign Battleground (3 credits)
      • 3700:528: Ohio Politics (3 credits)
      • 3700:540: Survey Research Methods (3 credits)
      • 3700:563: Human Rights in World Politics (3 credits)
      • 3700:574: Political Opinion, Behavior & Electoral Politics (3 credits)
      • 3700:575: American Interest Groups (3 credits)
      • 3700:576: American Political Parties (3 credits)
      • 3700:577: Government Relations and Lobbying (3 credits)
      • 3700:630: Seminar in National Politics (3 credits)
      • 3700:655: Campaign and Election Law (3 credits)
      • 3700:672: Seminar: Political Influence and Organizations (3 credits)
      • 3700:695: Internship in Government & Politics (3 credits)
      • In addition to Political Science, courses may be taken in other departments (must be preapproved by the Director of Applied Politics)
      • MAP Capstone Project: All students are required to construct and defend a capstone project which demonstrates knowledge and skills earned while in the MAP program.

      Descriptions for Political Science graduate courses.

      Admission Requirements

      Apply at

      • Students must fulfill the admission requirements of the UA Graduate School (no specific undergraduate major in required)
      • Students must submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of personal goals, and official transcripts from all universities attended
      • International students must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
      • Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year

      Graduate Assistantships

      A limited number of assistantships are available that include a tuition waiver and stipend.  The graduate assistants work 15 hours each week as a teaching assistant in undergraduate classes, as a research assistant, and/or in the Bliss Institute office.

      • Assistantships are competitive and the deadline is May 1
      • To apply for an assistantship, please email a letter detailing your interest and qualifications to the Director of Applied Politics at (limit 1 single-spaced page)


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      • Dr. David Cohen, Director of Applied Politics Program and Academic Advisor,