Learn to manage a political campaign!

Learn to manage a political campaign!

Prepare to lead the political campaigns of the future.

Join the University of Richmond in preparing political campaign managers for the campaigns of the future! Channel your passion for politics at the local, state or national level while building management skills across campaign functions.

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies offers a 15-week, classroom-based Professional Certificate in Political Campaign Management to aspiring campaign managers and those seeking elected office.

From crafting a preliminary campaign plan through executing a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) operation, this intensive certificate program will teach participants the essential skills required to manage all aspects of a winning political campaign.

As a nonpartisan program featuring instructors and guest speakers from both sides of the aisle, the Political Campaign Management Professional Certificate will focus on ethical campaigning and producing professionals who raise the discourse of our politics.


Participants will gain expertise and knowledge fundamental to campaign management, including the following:

  • Conducting opposition research
  • Building political coalitions
  • Creating a relevant policy platform that resonates with voters
  • Organizing a Get Out the Vote operation

Certificate earners will leave the program with the skills needed to step into professional campaign staff roles, in any discipline.

Participants who successfully complete the program will receive a Professional Certificate in Political Campaign Management from the University of Richmond, and will earn 9 CEUs (90 hours) that can be applied to professional development goals. This program does not earn college credit.

Course of Study

The Political Campaign Management Professional Certificate consists of six modules, delivered via hybrid live and self-paced remote instruction.

  • Weekly self-paced video lectures
  • Weekly live remote sessions via Zoom: Monday & Thursday evenings, 7-8:30pm

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Political Behavior

The program opens with an active inquiry into the most influential academic theories and underlying motivations behind modern American political behavior. In this module, participants will:

  • Review prominent political theories and discuss how they have shaped and continue to influence 21st century politics
  • Compare and contrast modern takes on political theory to develop a holistic understanding of voter behavior
  • Apply political theory to real-world situations and understand how they can aid in the development of campaign strategy

Contemporary American Electoral System

Campaign management requires thorough knowledge of the laws and institutions which define the United States electoral system, including significant events and selected court cases that govern 21st century campaigning. This module covers the following topics:

  • Roles, functions, and powers of government bodies that oversee and regulate campaign activities
  • Key laws and regulations that relate to and govern campaign activities
  • Expanding influence of third party political organizations and how they impact modern campaigns

Campaign Management

Managing a campaign staff is challenging and requires understanding the responsibilities and challenges of several senior campaign positions. This module will teach participants how to:

  • Establish and execute a campaign plan
  • Create a voter targeting strategy
  • Conduct candidate and opposition research
  • Evaluate relevant quantitative data and statistics
  • Maintain efficient candidate and surrogate scheduling
  • Build powerful and diverse political coalitions
  • Develop a policy platform that is relevant and resonates

Campaign Finance & Ethics

For better or for worse, money is the lifeblood of any political campaign. This module will teach participants how to:

  • Create and execute a realistic and adaptable finance plan
  • Identify and cultivate donors
  • Coach their candidate through making “the ask”
  • Plan and execute profitable fundraising events
  • Manage direct mail fundraising campaigns
  • Utilize the internet and digital fundraising
  • Maximize their fundraising while staying within the law

Political Communications

Communication is vital to share and build coalitions around political platforms and campaign positions. This module will teach participants how to:

  • Create an effective message for the candidate and context of a race
  • Frame the debate on your terms
  • Use language that appeals to voters
  • Produce effective paid advertising
  • Utilize the internet and social media to amplify your message
  • Work with the press and use media coverage to your advantage

Direct Voter Contact & The Ground Game

The ground game is all about engaging and expanding your base. This module will teach participants how to:

  • Identify and activate your base supporters
  • Engage with local activists and community leaders
  • Build a robust and enthusiastic volunteer network
  • Use the internet and social media for grassroots organizing
  • Manage effective phone banking, canvassing & mailing programs
  • Plan supporter rallies and events
  • Execute a GOTV plan

Ready to Apply?

The online application can be started & saved. Requires resume & statement of purpose.