Political Campaign Management Professional Certificate

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies is pleased to offer our Political Campaign Management Professional Certificate. Channel your passion for politics at the local, state or national level while building management skills across campaign functions.

From crafting a preliminary campaign plan through executing a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) operation, this intensive certificate program will teach students 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.

Students will gain the expertise and knowledge fundamental to campaign management, from conducting oppositions research, to building political coalitions, to creating a relevant policy platform that resonates with voters. Certificate holders will leave the program with the skills needed to step into professional campaign staff roles, in any discipline.

Instructional Team

Course instructors will include Democratic and Republican political professionals with experience working in campaigns, government, and private consulting on the local, state, and national levels. Instructors hold advanced academic degrees in Political Science, Public Policy, and Elections and Campaign Management.

We’re also pleased to announce that former Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling will join the Political Campaign Management instructional team. Bolling is one of the few people in Virginia’s history to serve two terms as the state’s Lieutenant Governor. He also has the distinction of serving with both a Democratic Governor, Tim Kaine, and a Republican Governor, Bob McDonnell.

In addition to instructors, the program features guest lecturers and speakers from across the political spectrum. These speakers will be announced as they are confirmed. A list of speakers who have participated in previous cohorts is included at the bottom of the page.

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 and Thursday evenings, 7-8:30pm

Students who successfully complete the program will receive a Professional Certificate in Political Campaign Management from the University of Richmond, and will earn 90 professional hours (equivalent to 9 CEUs) that can be applied to professional development goals.

  • Module 1: Political Behavior

    Political Behavior

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    This module serves as an inquiry into the most influential academic theories on the underlying motivations behind modern American political behavior. This module covers the following:

    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.

  • Module 2: Electoral System

    The Contemporary American Electoral System

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    This module serves as an overview of the laws and institutions which define the United States electoral system, highlighting significant events and selected court cases which have written and rewritten the rules that govern 21st century campaigning. This module will review:

    • The roles, functions, and powers of government bodies that oversee and regulate campaign activities
    • The key laws and regulations that relate to and govern campaign activities
    • The expanding influence of third party political organizations and how they impact modern campaigns
  • Module 3: Management

    Campaign Management

    iconThis module will teach students how to manage a campaign staff and will review the responsibilities and challenges of various senior campaign positions. Students will learn 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 to a race and resonates with voters
    • Manage the roles, responsibilities, and egos of senior campaign staff
  • Module 4: Finance & Ethics

    Campaign Finance & Ethics

    iconFor 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
  • Module 5: Communications

    Political Communications

    iconThis 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
  • Module 6: Voter Contact

    Direct Voter Contact & The Ground Game

    iconThis 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
    • Utilize the internet and social media for grassroots organizing
    • Manage effective phone banking and canvassing programs
    • Schedule literature drops and mailings for maximum effect
    • Plan supporter rallies and events
    • Execute a GOTV plan