“GSPM transforms students into leaders.” Mellor Willie, Current Student
THE GR ADUATE SCHOOL OF POLITICAL MANAGEMENT
TURN YOUR PASSION FOR POLITICS INTO A POWERFUL OPPORTUNIT Y. You’re young, ambitious and want to change the world, so where do you start? Maybe you have contemplated going to law school or getting a master’s degree in public policy or public administration, but you want to do politics and these programs don’t exactly deliver a practical political education. Students at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) share your passion – for politics, for making a difference, for taking their careers to the next level. They know that positive change comes from active engagement. No matter where you stand on the issues, GSPM prepares the next generation of professionals to make a difference in politics, advocacy, non-profit management and public affairs. You’ll learn from leading practitioners in the field who will go beyond theories and bring you face-to-face with the real-world practice of politics. Because we know your work is as important as your classroom experience, we’ve designed our programs to accommodate working professionals, offering classes Monday through Thursday evenings. Grow professionally and personally without interrupting your life. Gain fundamental skills. Expand your network. Turn your passion for politics into a powerful opportunity.
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“As executive director of a national political organization, I needed a program that would allow me to remain involved in professional and political activities outside of the classroom. GSPM afforded me the opportunity to make connections, build relationships and learn from exceptionally talented people from across the nation and the world. Not only does the school focus on helping students understand how to effectively achieve results in their career and profession, it transforms them into leaders.” Mellor Willie, Current Student, Executive Director, National American Indian Housing Council
MISSION: The Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) at The
George Washington University
seeks to improve politics by educating students and professionals in the tools, principles and values of participatory democracy, preparing them for careers as ethical and effective advocates and leaders at the international, national and local levels â€” in a non-partisan environment.
On the front cover: GSPM current student Mellor Willie, executive director of the National American Indian Housing Coucil, works to further the cause of American Indians before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. All portrait photography by Chris Greenberg, except photo, page 8, by Jessica McConnell
WHY GSPM? A Unique Experience In todayâ€™s fast-paced political environment, what you know has become as important as who you know. As the first school of its kind in the nation, GSPM sets the standard for the teaching of practical and ethical politics. Whether you envision yourself working behind the scenes or at the forefront of the political arena, a practical education focused on real-world experience will provide you with the tools you need to change the face of politics. Practitioner Faculty We rely on a talented, highly regarded cadre of full-time professors and part-time adjunct faculty who bring the best
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practices of the field into the classroom, exposing students to the most current techniques in the field, as well as the full spectrum of political views and beliefs. Our faculty is recognized for their expertise across the entire range of political activities, including legislating, lobbying, campaigning, advocacy, polling and communications. Many head their own political management firms, while others serve as full-time campaign managers, consultants and advisors to government officials.
Nancy Bocskor, faculty member and prominent Republican fundraiser, mentors a student at Washington, DC landmark Old Ebbitt Grill, situated on 14th Street, a block from the White House. 2
“Teaching at GSPM provides me with the opportunity to do what I love best: mentoring the next generation of political leaders. My students learn real-life, practical knowledge from fundraising experts who graciously volunteer their time to guest lecture. Students walk in to class with ideas and walk out with achievable plans — both for life and a career in politics.” Nancy Bocskor, President, The Nancy Bocskor Company, GSPM Professor 3
POLITICAL MANAGEMENT Political Management is not another name for political science. The 12-course, 36-credit-hour program will prepare you to be a political leader and to take your place in the emerging profession of politics. Gain the knowledge, techniques and ethical principles necessary to successfully influence the process and make a positive difference in your community â€” whether you want to work on the local, state, national or international stage. Courses incorporate such topics as lobbying, polling, political advertising, grassroots mobilization, fundraising, new media communications, non-profit advocacy, speechwriting and international political consulting. The degree may be tailored to your specific career goals. Choose to focus in one of three areas or work with your faculty advisor to select courses from several areas that meet your individual aspirations. Fieldwork Requirement If you have not had substantial professional political experience, you will be required
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to complete a term of fieldwork. The 400hour requirement does not carry academic credit. If you have had one or more years of professional experience in politics you may apply for a waiver. CeCe Grant, a current student in the Legislative Affairs program, speaks with a Department of Transportation official about nationwide highspeed rail implementation.
LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS Capitol Hill has long been a magnet for people interested in a career in politics and public life. ”The Hill” experience offers professionals opportunities to develop critical knowledge and networks that will serve them throughout their careers. To succeed, professionals working in the legislative arena need a comprehensive understanding of how Congress operates, how decisions are made, how legislative procedures shape outcomes, and how other entities like the Executive Branch, lobbyists and constituents influence the work of a legislature. Most importantly, they need to know how to influence and use legislative decisions to accomplish specific objectives within the legislative process. The Legislative Affairs faculty features many instructors with long careers on and around Capitol Hill. For over 30 years, students in the program have used the master’s degree to launch and enhance their careers on the Hill, in the advocacy world and in a multitude of other fields related to the Congressional world, such as lobbying and government relations. The 11-course, 33-credit-hour program is the only master’s degree exclusively devoted to the study of applied
“I was drawn to GSPM because of its strong reputa-
politics in the legislative arena.
tion for preparing young professionals for careers in politics. You receive an inside education from experts in the field who have been there, done that.” CeCe Grant, Current Student, Writer, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Secretary 5
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â€œAt GSPM, I am fortunate enough to work with and learn from a talented group of students and professionals that not only love the art of politics, but live and breathe its benefits as well. The students create an environment where no idea is a bad idea and where their thirst of learning pushes me to give my all when I enter the classroom.â€? Robert Traynham, Washington Bureau Chief, The Comcast Network, GSPM Professor 6
GR ADUATE CERTIFICATES Campaign Strategy Today, the campaign never ends. To be successful, you need to know the tricks of the trade. This 18-credit-hour certificate provides you with a comprehensive yet quick tactical package that will prepare you to run and manage any campaign. The program’s six courses will give you a broad understanding of the political process. Community Advocacy Designed to meet the needs of future community leaders and public policy change agents, this 18-credit-hour certificate focuses on strengthening communities and organizing to bring about change for the public good. It responds to a specific need stated by leaders of several non-profit organizations—to challenge and build community awareness, a need made more acute with the re-emergence of grassroots mobilization as a key component to community advocacy. Online Politics Since the first serious use of online campaigning by John McCain in 2000, tools such as web advertising, interactive websites, complex social networking and virtual fundraising have become central to success in politics, especially in campaigns. This 18-credit-hour certificate will teach you how to master the world of online communications, new media tools, networking and fundraising. PACs and Political Management The challenges of political action and campaign finance make it more important than ever that professionally trained and savvy leaders manage political action committees (PACs). Acquire fundamentals skills required to effectively run an organization’s PAC and successfully tackle the Robert Traynham, GSPM professor and Washington Bureau Chief at CN8, The Comcast Network, tapes his weekly television program, Roll Call TV with Robert Traynham.
daunting realities of political finance and action. Developed in close consultation with leading experts in PAC management, political action and campaign finance, this 15-credit-hour certificate teaches key skills in issue advocacy, solicitation, fundraising, grassroots campaigns, budgeting and candidate selection. 7
Aaron Pickering, an alumnus of the Strategic Public Relations Master’s Degree and director of communications for a national nonprofit, pitches a story to a journalist.
PUBLIC RELATIONS You want to capture public attention, shape public policy and earn the public’s trust as a successful strategic public relations professional. Yet you know the field is changing—you need to employ more than traditional methods in a new media world to get the desired results. The public relations profession finds itself converging with practices that used to be separate disciplines—PR practitioners often fulfill public affairs and marketing roles in addition to traditional internal and external communications functions. We can help you stand out and succeed. The 33-credit-hour program follows an innovative approach to building your professional credentials and will position you to excel in this challenging, fast growing profession. You’ll master core public relations skills and the practical application of strategic planning to communications. You can choose to enter as a master’s degree
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or graduate certificate candidate. After completing the certificate, you can apply the core public relations curriculum completed in the certificate program to the master’s degree.The program takes advantage of GW’s connections in the Nation’s Capital, focusing on the intersection of public policy, business and media here and the key role played by PR professionals in agencies, corporations and non-profit
“As a student at GSPM, I created communications
associations. GSPM taps into experts in
and advocacy campaigns for my employer and
both the PR and political arenas to build
learned how to leverage the strategic value of
our curriculum.Plus, you’ll graduate prepared
public relations in business and politics.”
for professional advancement in the field.
Aaron Pickering ’09, Director of Communications, Direct Care Alliance
A FLEXIBLE CURRICULUM
No two politicos are alike and neither should their master’s degrees. Our flexible curriculum allows you to tailor the degree program to meet your specific interests. Choose courses that will benefit your career development. With departmental approval, you can take electives offered by other GW schools and DC area universities.
If you have three or more years of full-time (35 or more hours per week), professional, managementlevel experience you may apply to waive the GRE requirement.“Relevant work experience” does not include internships, volunteering, receptionist duties or clerical responsibilities.
Non-Degree Status Visit Us We strongly encourage you to visit campus Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. To schedule an appointment for a tour and/or class visit, contact the Admissions Office, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.994.6000.
Did you miss the application deadline? Would you like to try a class before applying? Those not yet accepted to the university may register for up to three courses or nine credits on a non-degree basis prior to admission. You must be formally admitted to a degree or certificate program prior to enrolling in a fourth course.
How to Apply You must submit your application electronically through the office of Graduate Student Enrollment Management. Please submit: A completed online application with non-refundable application fee
A 250-500 word personal statement
or certified copies of academic records from all the colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Note: Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.) with at least a B average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or equivalent from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher learning or an international institution that is accredited by the country's minister of education or comparable government agency
Transfer Credit With program director approval, you may receive up to nine credit hours of coursework as transfer credit. Such coursework must have been taken within the past two years, must be related in subject matter, must not have been applied toward another degree and must have been completed successfully with a grade of B or better.
GRE scores (taken within the last five years) or a waiver request form (see below) Note: GRE scores are not required for the graduate certificate programs in Campaign Strategy, Online Politics and PACs and Political Management.
resume with education and work history
letters of recommendation (at least one academic and one professional reference)
results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for applicants who are from countries where English is not an official language and those who do not hold a degree from an accredited American institution of higher learning. The Test of Written English (TWE) is also recommended.
Deadlines We accept applications on a rolling basis until the following deadlines: Fall admission – June 15 Spring admission – November 15 Summer admission – April 15 International students should submit their complete application and accompanying paperwork six months in advance of their intended start date.
FINANCIAL AID Detailed information about applying for need-based grants, federal student loans and private loans is available from GW’s Office of Financial Assistance, email@example.com or 202.994.6620.
Scholarships and Grants The GSPM has a limited number of small student aid packages available each semester. Aid is distributed on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply early in the admissions cycle. Several university-wide scholarships and grants are available through GW’s Office of Financial Assistance.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT Preparing the Next Generation of Professionals to Make a Difference “I have hired several individuals who have completed the GSPM program. They are extremely intelligent and arrive fully prepared to work hard.I have found that these individuals have a strong work ethic, are confident, and demonstrate strong leadership skills; all essential competencies in a professional environment.” — Maureen Benitz Branch Chief, Federal Election Commission Reports Analysis Division One of the reasons students choose GSPM is because of our focus on practical, applied politics. A GSPM education doesn’t end in the classroom. It extends into the workplace. We offer students and alumni a variety of resources to aid their professional development. From workshops and training sessions focused on skill-building and career advancement to “Meet and Greet” sessions with potential employers, you will receive an insider’s look at Washington’s various professions. If you are seeking more personalized assistance, our career services director offers career counseling sessions tailored to each individual’s needs. Whether you need assistance with goal setting, jobrelated research, networking, resume and cover letter development, interview skills or general employment strategies, we can help you grow professionally and build successful opportunities in politics.
Jillian Martin, a GSPM alumna and legislative assistant in the House of Representatives, advises a junior staffer on a developing policy issue in her Capitol Hill office.
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“At GSPM, I gained a thorough understanding of the entire political process — from the decision to run for office through the passage of a bill. Through the program, I have met top political operatives — on both sides of the aisle. GSPM gave me the tools I needed to launch my political career; I cannot imagine a better starting point. ” Jillian Martin ‘09, Legislative Assistant, Congressman Dan Maffei 11
ALUMNI RELATIONS Washington, DC is a town built on interpersonal connections. We recognize that what you know and who you know are important to your professional success. With over 1,800 graduates internationally, GSPM provides a robust network that will allow you to hit the ground running. GSPM graduates serve in varied positions at every level in U.S. politics. Our alumni work in Congressional offices, public affairs, political and issue campaigns, trade associations, lobbying shops and consulting firms. Graduates also serve in key positions on presidential campaigns in field operations, on state teams and as communications professionals.
COUNCIL ON AMERICAN POLITICS The Council on American Politics brings together leaders from across the nation to
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address issues facing the growth and enrichment of The Graduate School of Political Management. It is the only entity of its kind with the mission of affecting positive change in politics through education. Among its members are former Congressmen and administration officials, campaign managers for Presidents, Washingtonâ€™s power lobbyists and public relations elite.
David Rehr, recognized by Washington Life magazine as one of DCâ€™s 100 most powerful individuals outside the federal government, speaks with a colleague on the steps of the United States Capitol.
“Those who are serious about their career in politics attend GSPM. The professors and guest lecturers are on the cutting edge of strategies, tactics, and technologies drawn from their real world experiences. This distinction alone helps the graduates be successful. There is no other school like it. And this uniqueness gives GSPM graduates an edge in hiring, promotion and gaining more on the job responsibility. It’s the must place to be for future political ‘power players.’” David Rehr, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Leading Authorities; Member, GW Council on American Politics
The George Washington University The Graduate School of Political Management 805 21st Street, NW, Suite 401 Washington DC 20052
202.994.6000 800.FOR.GSPM (800.367.4776) 202.994.6006 fax firstname.lastname@example.org www.gspm.gwu.edu
ÂŠ 2010 The George Washington University