The Project on Political Reform


Mastering the Politics of Policymaking


Certificate in Political Campaigns

Public policy students who want to create change need to understand political campaigns -- but not just campaigns fought over who will occupy an office.  ‘Campaigns’ also include persuasive efforts supporting or opposing a ballot question, a proposed legislative action, or a proposed action by a chief executive.  Major changes in public policy rarely occur without an effort to persuade and mobilize!

To address this need, The Project on Political Reform sponsors the Certificate in Political Campaigns.  Through this certificate program, students learn the core analytic and technical skills used in modern political campaigns, as well as the social scientific principles to evaluate and apply these skills appropriately. Such expertise is essential to the running of modern electoral and advocacy campaigns.

The Certificate in Political Campaigns will be awarded to students who complete the following:

  • The Science of Elections and Campaigns (PPHA 31720, Fowler, Fall 2015)

And at least two of the following: 

  • Political Campaigns, Persuasion, and Strategic Communications (PPHA 38611)
  • The Strategic Uses of Survey Research in Political Campaigns (PPHA 31730)
  • Winning Issue Campaigns (PPHA 32810)
  • Machine Learning for Public Policy (CAPP 30524) Requires programming proficiency in Python. Students should have 2 quarters of programming or 1 quarter of intense python for data analysis before enrolling. Students without 2 quarters of Python programming are strongly encouraged to enroll in Code Camp in winter 2016 as preparation for this course. 

Courses for the Certificate in Political Campaigns do not have to be taken in any particular sequence.

There is no application or application process required for participation in the Certificate in Political Campaigns program. Harris students should contact their academic advisor to indicate intention to pursue the certificate. Students enrolled in other units of the university who are interested in being awarded the Certificate in Political Campaigns must obtain permission of their home unit. 

Courses that count toward completion of a particular Harris School certificate program may simultaneously count toward completion of other Harris School certificate programs. 

For further information about the Certificate in Political Campaigns, please contact the Harris Office of Student Affairs.