Political Communication
Sign In
Overview
Political communication is a program that focuses on human and media communication in the political process and that prepares individuals to function as members of political and public affairs organizations, political campaign staffs, and related government and media entities. includes instruction in media effects, political speaking and debating, political advertising and marketing, image management, political journalism, opinion polling, and aspects of print and broadcast media related to the production and distribution of media messages in political settings.
Current award levels
Hover over the bars below to see how many people across the country completed a degree in political communication at each level last year.
0501001500-1 Year CertificateBachelor's DegreePostbaccalaureate CertMaster's Degree
Race/origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all political communication graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 66% of other programs.
Race/Origin
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Not Reported
International
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a lower percentage of graduates than in 75% of other programs.
Gender
Of all people with any degree in political communication earned in the last academic year, 58% were women.
Gender
Men
Women
Context: Percentage women
This is a lower percentage of women than 45% of other programs.
Salary
The Census Bureau provides salary data for people with bachelor's degrees in advertising and public relations, which includes political communication and 9 other programs.
Context: Median Salary
People with a degree in advertising and public relations have a median salary of $53,365.
Context: Benefit of a master's
About 17% of these bachelor's graduates also have a graduate degree, perhaps in a different field. Salaries improved by approximately 15% over those holding only the bachelor's degree for those with subsequent graduate degrees.
Employment
As with our salary data, this data applies to all who earned a bachelor's degree in advertising and public relations, which consists of 10 programs.
Context: Unemployment Rate
With an unemployment rate of 3.5%, this degree's majors who are in the workforce are less likely than the bachelor's graduates of 23% other fields to be employed.
Context: Self Employed Workers
About 7% of workers who earned a bachelor's in advertising and public relations are self-employed.
Top careers
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Advertising and Public Relations (which combines 10 programs), perhaps followed by additional education in any field. There is a fun exploration of related degrees and careers under Explore Careers below.
Completions History
Salary and Employment for Majors
Understanding this data
This section's data is for bachelor's recipients of several programs including political communication

This section is informed by household surveys collected for the American Community Survey (ACS). For each person in the households surveyed, we learn about their college major (if applicable), final educational attainment, age, occupation, salary, and more. Using the ACS data lets us share something about what financial and career outcomes people can expect after majoring in a particular field in college.

Within our program pages, Ididio details over 1700 programs. However, the ACS surveys only report on 170 college major degrees. There is no published crosswalk between the programs and degrees. Some of the programs we describe are mostly offered as certificates or graduate programs, and don't make sense as college majors. For the remaining programs, we created a mapping to the best-fitting ACS degree designation.

We placed political communication within the ACS advertising and public relations degree designation, which contains a total of 10 programs.

All of the data that follows is for individuals who earned a bachelor's degree with a major in the degree advertising and public relations. While we compile data on those who also received graduate education, unfortunately ACS does not record the subject area for graduate degrees.

Programs included in the ACS advertising and public relations degree
Political Communication
Health Communication
Sports Communication
Public Relations/Image Management
Technical and Scientific Communication
Specialized Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication
Advertising
Organizational Communication
International and Intercultural Communication
Employment overview
Percentage of advertising and public relations bachelor's graduates who are working

Does getting a bachelor's degree in advertising and public relations lead to a secure job? The donut chart shows the percentage advertising and public relations majors who are working along with a broad view of where they work. We note:

  • Self-employed workers include those working in a family-owned business.
  • Government workers can be in local, state or federal governments.

Technically, about 15.5% of advertising and public relations graduates are currently not working. However, only 3.5% are classified as "unemployed," while 12.0% are "not in the workforce." Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether people are out of the workforce for personal reasons or because they have been unable to find work for an extended period.

85%
Percentage working by type of employer
Government
Federal government
State government
Local government
Self-employed
Self Emp. Incoporated
Self Emp. Not Incorp.
Private not-for-profit
Private for-profit
total
Context: Unemployment rates

This chart lets you see whether advertising and public relations majors have better unemployment rates than bachelor's graduates from other fields. In the shaded box plot, the percentage of unemployed with this degree is shown in blue, along with the distribution of the percentage of unemployed graduates for each bachelor's degree field.

3.5%0.0%1.0%2.0%3.0%4.0%5.0%
Salary overview
Typical salaries for advertising and public relations majors

How does the median (middle) salary for advertising and public relations majors compare to the median salaries for other majors? The chart below compares the median salaries for all bachelor's graduates by major. Here and everywhere that we discuss salary, we limit the population to those with bachelor's degrees who report working at least 35 hours a week and are aged 65 and younger.

Context: median salaries
$53,365$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000
Distribution: Salaries by Employer

Above we compared the median salaries earned across college majors. Now we'll view the full salary range for advertising and public relations majors. The charts below show the full distribution of salaries for this degree alone, with a look at how the type of employer might affect that salary. This salary includes all people who may also have received graduate education in this or any field. You can tease out the importance of graduate education in the last tab in the section.

$56K$48K$47K$51K$70K$41K$62K$53K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KPrivate for-profit (69.7% )State government (4.6% )Local government (5.2% )Private not-for-profit (10.9% )Federal government (2.3% )Self Emp. Not Incorp. (3.5% )Self Emp. Incoporated (3.8% )Overall (100%)

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

The battle of the sexes
Gender and success for advertising and public relations majors

The donut chart shows the gender balance for all people with a bachelor's degree in advertising and public relations. In the graphs that follow, we'll explore how these percentages compare to other bachelor's holders, and we'll also investigate the impact of gender on pay.

Gender
Men (36%)
Women (64%)
Context: Gender representation

How does the gender balance change according to college major? In the chart below, we see that advertising and public relations has more women than most other degrees.

64%36%0%20%40%60%80%100%WomenMen
Distribution: salaries by gender

The chart below shows the distribution of salaries by gender of advertising and public relations majors who are working 35 or more hours and are 65 or younger. If salaries are balanced for men and women, the blue and pink bars will be about the same. Many programs' graduates struggle with men's wages higher at all points of the salary distribution, including significantly higher top salaries.

$51K$62K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KWomenMen
Context: Salary inequity

For advertising and public relations graduates, men generally earn 23% more than women. This is near the middle of salary differentials within each program's graduates.

23%23%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Age and Advancement
Insights from the ages of advertising and public relations bachelor's-holders

The ages of people in the US with a bachelor's degree in advertising and public relations can give us a hint about whether this degree is in-fashion or out-of-fashion. A higher percentage of older people with a degree suggests that newer degree options have edged out this degree for recent graduates. Likewise, a higher percentage of younger people with a degree may suggest that this degree has become more popular in recent years.

Careeer Advancement

What entry-level pay should you expect in your first job, and is the mid-level pay significantly higher? Below we see salary distributions by age group for advertising and public relations graduates who are working 35 or more hours weekly. Is there room for advancement in careers that stem from this degree?

$68K$57K$47K$64K$60K$67K$31K$61K$66K$0$50K$100K$150KSalaries by age20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
010K20K30K40K50KNumber with major20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Need for higher degrees
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?

Can advertising and public relations majors earn a high salary without obtaining a graduate degree? Below, we dive into the prevalence of graduate degrees for advertising and public relations majors, and we explore how much a graduate degree can be expected to increase salaries. Among all political communication completions reported last year, 95% were at the bachelor's level or higher, including 27% at the graduate level.

Most recent completions in political communication
0-1 Year Certificate
1-2 Year Certificate
2-4 Year Certificate
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Master's Degree
Post-master's Cert
Professional Deg/Doct
Research Doctorate
Other Doctorate
Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree

The donut shows the degree levels awarded in political communication today. Now we'll use American Community Survey (ACS) data and look at all workers in the US who majored in advertising and public relations when in college.

We know that about 17% advertising and public relations majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (but we do not know the graduate field of study). The percentage of advertising and public relations majors also earned a graduate degree is near the middle in comparison to other fields.

17%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: advertising and public relations majors' salaries by education level

We saw above that 17% earned a graduate degree after earning a bachelor's in advertising and public relations, but was this necessary for earning a good salary? We can see this answer in two ways. First, we can see the salary distribution for people with a bachelor's in advertising and public relations by their highest education attained. Remember, we only know the field for the bachelor's degree; the graduate degree can be in any field.

$52K$60K$79K$80K$0$50K$100K$150KBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeResearch DoctorateProfessional Deg/Doct

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Context: Percentage boost obtained with a graduate degree

The second way that we can explore the impact of higher education on salary is to compare median salaries for workers with each level of education. We measure the percentage increase over the bachelor's salary that each higher degree achieved, and contrast that with similar measurements for other fields.

Sure, we think a higher degree would almost always help salary, but are there some majors that "need" a higher degree (in either the same or a new field) more than others in order to reach their earnings potential?

15%55%52%0%50%100%150%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to Research DoctorateBachelor's to Professional Doctorate
Explore Careers
Careers for advertising and public relations majors
Careers for advertising and public relations majors

As we explained at the start of the previous section "Salary and Employment for Majors", the career data in all of these tabs is supported by the American Community Survey (ACS), which provides career information based on the broad degree advertising and public relations. For of the career statistics we report here, we consider all bachelor-holders in political communication and 9 other programs to fall under the ACS data we aggregated for the advertising and public relations degree.

Here we look at ACS survey respondents across the US with a bachelor's degree in advertising and public relations, and we see their top careers. You can explore the salary distributions for all people in those careers, as well as the typical education help by workers in that job. If you see ** before the job name, that tells you that the Department of Education recommends this job for people with a degree in political communication. We did not find always find a strong correlation between that advice and where people were working.

Career
Select any column header to sort by that column, and select any row to explore that career.
Salary
Salary distribution 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Percentage with degree who are in job
Marketing and sales managers
$0$200K$74K
6.5%
Managers (specialized areas)
$0$200K$72K
6.4%
**Public Relations Specialists
$0$200K$60K
3.3%
Customer service representatives
$0$200K$32K
3.1%
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
$0$200K$61K
2.9%
Secretaries and administrative assistants
$0$200K$36K
2.8%
Elementary and middle school teachers
$0$200K$51K
2.5%
Human resources workers
$0$200K$54K
2.4%
Market research analysts and marketing specialists
$0$200K$63K
2.4%
Chief executives and legislators
$0$200K$96K
2.3%
Designers
$0$200K$51K
2.1%
Advertising sales agents
$0$200K$53K
2.1%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
$0$200K$39K
2.0%
Service sales representatives
$0$200K$57K
1.8%
Advertising and promotions managers
$0$200K$60K
1.8%
Retail salespersons
$0$200K$31K
1.7%
Lawyers, judges, and magistrates
$0$200K$93K
1.6%
Accountants and auditors
$0$200K$60K
1.4%
Education administrators
$0$200K$68K
1.3%
Writers and authors
$0$200K$53K
1.3%
Other routes to the top ten careers
Other majors that are hired by the top ten advertising and public relations careers

Take a minute with this sankey diagram, and use your mouse/touch to explore. You can follow the top ten jobs held by advertising and public relations graduates, and then, in turn, you can see the largest 10 degrees hired by each of those careers. We hope this gives you a glimpse at where you can most realistically hope to get a job with this degree, but also see alternatives for the same employment options. It's worth noting that for many degrees, the top ten jobs don't account for even half of the graduates. The data warns us / encourages us that a degree is only one piece of the puzzle that determines where we land.

This Degree
Top 10 careers
Top 10 degrees hired
MarketingBusiness Management and AdministrationGeneral BusinessCommunicationsEnglish Language and LiteratureEconomicsPsychologyPolitical Science and GovernmentFinanceJournalismAccountingElectrical EngineeringMechanical EngineeringAdvertising and Public RelationsHistoryCriminal Justice and Fire ProtectionGeneral EducationElementary EducationSociologyBiologySpecial Needs EducationEarly Childhood EducationArt and Music EducationLanguage and Drama EducationLiberal ArtsHuman Resources and Personnel ManagementMarketing and salesmanagersManagers (specializedareas)Public Relations SpecialistsCustomer servicerepresentativesSecretaries andadministrative assistantsWholesale andmanufacturing salesrepresentativesMarket research analystsand marketing specialistsElementary and middleschool teachersAdvertising sales agentsHuman resources workersAll others
Jobs that choose advertising and public relations majors
What careers hire advertising and public relations majors as one of their top 10?

What jobs are especially seeking you out? The previous section let you explore the top ten jobs for people who earn bachelor's degrees in this field. Now we turn the tables a bit. What jobs have advertising and public relations as one of the top ten majors they hire? Take this with a grain of salt, though, since some majors have more than 100,000 annual graduates and others have only a few thousand. Maybe employers would hire more of certain low-number majors if they could be found. In the bottom Sankey box, we show you the proportion of advertising and public relations majors that are accounted for by the top 10 jobs -- there are a myriad of other options for most majors.

Careers where this degree is a top 10 hire
Degrees
Public Relations SpecialistsPublic relations and fundraising managersArtists and related workersMeeting, convention, and event plannersMarket research analysts and marketing specialistsAdvertising sales agentsAdvertising and promotions managersAll other careersAdvertising and PublicRelationsAll other degrees
Where can I complete this program?
What schools offer this program?
Explore schools that offer political communication degrees and certificates

We've created a list of schools that offer this program for the level you select. We've also chosen a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually. You can filter the list by award level and by state. Clicking on any table headers will sort the table by that column, and clicking on any row sends you to Ididio's school profile.

Filter Schools
Offering this program at this level
All levels
Only schools in these states
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Only schools within
200 Miles
of
9 schools offer this program (all levels) in the selected area.
School
State
Total enrollment
Student to Full-time Faculty Ratio
Average Net Price
Repayment Rate
6-year Completion Rate
American University
DC
7,793
15.5
$32,732
86%
80%
Emerson College
MA
4,076
22.9
$42,070
90%
81%
George Washington University
DC
11,046
21.2
$37,638
89%
83%
Missouri State University - Springfield
MO
16,090
25.0
$15,173
76%
59%
Regent University
VA
2,887
44.8
$17,820
57%
41%
University of Chicago
IL
6,148
11.1
$34,834
93%
92%
University of Georgia
GA
27,029
18.4
$15,934
78%
84%
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
MN
34,926
20.1
$16,808
82%
79%
Wilmington College
OH
1,127
17.9
$22,777
78%
58%
Graduate program details
Explore political communication graduate program details

Many schools provide information to Peterson's about their graduate programs, and Ididio has licensed that data to share with you. The data is reported by program name and subject, and we have worked to match that data with the standard "CIP" titles that are the basis of these program pages. Please be aware that only a subset of all possible graduate programs share the details about financial support and admissions numbers with Peterson's. To see a complete list of schools who have graduated students with this degree, the previous section is much more reliable; however, this is a great place to look for a hint of schools that may offer financial support. You can see more details about each school's graduate programs in the Programs Offered section within that school's Ididio page.

Filter Schools
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Program
State
Total applicants
Percentage Admitted
Application Fee
Grad students with aid
George Washington University
Program in Global Communication (Master of Arts)
DC
86
67%
Explore similar programs

Political Communication is part of a larger collection of programs: Public relations, Advertising, and Applied Communications. Is there a different program that's close to Political Communication that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.

Program
Graduates
Award Levels
Less than Bachelor's
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Men
Women
Race/Origin
White
Minority
International
Ⓒ 2019 RipeData LLC. All Rights Reserved.