Communication and Public Advocacy

COMS public advocacy alumni–Laura Myers, Erin Gallagher-Barnhart, Maria Castro, and Kyle Gallenstein–lead a discussion about careers in the legal field

Students concentrating their studies in Communication and Public Advocacy focus on the integration of political and legal communication theory and practice. Coursework emphasizes the role of communication in argument, debate, and politics, including the ethical and rhetorical implications of constitutional guarantees and persuasive strategies characteristic of contemporary political communication. Learning about communication and public advocacy is inspired by questions including:

How does one advocate as, or on behalf of, public servants?
How does one advocate for changes in the social, political, and/or cultural structures of society?
How does one advocate on behalf of environmental causes?
How does one advocate as a participant in the political process?

Recent graduates are attending nationally-ranked law schools, working as state legislative staff, lobbying in Washington, D.C., and managing political campaigns.

Career Pathways

Pre-Law (Legal Advocacy)

You might consider a career in Legal Advocacy if you find these questions compelling:

What roles does communication play in negotiating legal issues (e.g., in pre-trial conferences)?
What skills must advocates possess to communicate effectively in legal settings (e.g., oral arguments in courtrooms, written arguments in legal briefs)?
What laws influence our public communication?

Suggested Tier I Quantitative Course
PHIL 1200

Suggested COMS Core Course
COMS 2150

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

2020 Persuasion
2040 Interviewing
3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management
3600 Introduction to Communication & Public Advocacy
3601 Courtroom Rhetoric
3610 Advanced Argumentation & Debate
4030 Advanced Presentations
4604 Responsibilities & Freedom of Speech

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

Suggested Foundational Courses

POLS 1010 Politics in the United States OR POLS 1600 – Engaging Politics
POLS 2200 The Politics of Law
POLS 4010 American Constitutional Law

Possible Specialization Courses

POLS 4040 Civil Liberties
POLS 4770 Legal Theory and Social Problems
GEOG 3460 Environmental Law
BUSL 2000 Law and Society
AAS 1900 Difficult Dialogues: Race, Law, and Religion in America
AAS 3691 U.S. Constitutional Law: Pre-Civil Rights Movements
ECON 3160 Economics and the Law
HLTH 4445 Health Care Law and Ethics
MDIA 2100 Entertainment Media Law and Finance
SW 3243 Social Welfare Law

Certificate in Law, Justice, & Culture
Political Science Minor

Social & Cultural Advocacy

You might consider a career in Social and Cultural Advocacy if you find these questions compelling:

What social and cultural biases and expectations constrain our ability to understand one another?
What skills must advocates possess to advocate on behalf of and/or for those whose opportunities are limited because of these biases and expectations?
What avenues are available for such advocacy (e.g., nonprofit advocacy groups, social movements)?

Suggested Tier I Quantitative Course
PHIL 1200

Suggested COMS Core Course
COMS 2150

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

2020 Persuasion
3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management
3500 Introduction to Organizational Communication
3600 Introduction to Communication & Public Advocacy
3602 Political Rhetoric
3603 Contemporary Culture & Rhetoric
3610 Advanced Argumentation & Debate
4030 Advanced Presentations
4110 Communicating with People with Disabilities
4530 Communication & the Campaign

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

Suggested Foundational Courses

POLS 1010 – Politics in the United States
AND/OR (depending upon interest in specialization courses)
POLS 1600 – Engaging Politics

WGS 1000 – Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies

GEOG 3270 – Social Geographies

Possible Specialization Courses

POLS 3060 – Politics of Appalachia
POLS 4067 – Women and Politics
POLS 4705 – The Politics of Rights
POLS 4739 – Politics of Race
POLS 4770 – Legal Theory and Social Problems
POLS 4780 – Feminist Political Theories and Movements
POLS 4190 – Gay and Lesbian Politics
POLS 4210 – The Politics of Law and Sexuality
POLS 4710 – Contemporary Radical and Critical Theories
POLS 4720 – Resistance, Reform, and Revolution
POLS 4753 – American Whiteness
POLS 4754 – Black Political Thought
POLS 4755 – Latinos and Politics
POLS 4756 – The Politics of Visibility
GEOG 3400 – Geography of Development
GEOG 3410 – Geography of Hunger and Food Security
GEOG 4450 – Gender, Environment, and Development
AAS 1900 – Difficult Dialogues: Race, Law, and Religion in America
LPA 4590 – Measuring Outcomes in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
LPA 4680 – Nonprofit Fundraising
LPA 4710 – Social Entrepreneurship
LPA 4810 – Public Private Partnerships
LPA 4890 – Nonprofit Management
ENG 3980—Critical Theory for Multi-Ethnic/Cross-Cultural Studies

Women’s Studies Certificate
Global Leadership Certificate
Political Communication Certificate
Diversity Studies Certificate
War and Peace Studies Certificate
Asian Studies Certificate
Latin American Studies Certificate
African Studies Certificate
East Asian Studies Certificate
Southeast Asia Studies Certificate
Social Work Minor
Afro-American Studies Minor

Environmental Advocacy

You might consider a career in Environmental Advocacy if you find these questions compelling:

What roles does communication play in generating awareness, commitment, and action about the environment?
What challenges must be met to generate awareness, commitment, and action about the environment?
What skills must advocates possess to communicate effectively about environmental issues?

Suggested Tier I Quantitative Course
PHIL 1200

Suggested COMS Core Course
COMS 2150

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

2020 Persuasion
3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management
3600 Introduction to Communication & Public Advocacy
3602 Political Rhetoric
3603 Contemporary Culture & Rhetoric
3610 Advanced Argumentation & Debate
4030 Advanced Presentations
4530 Communication & the Campaign

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

Suggested Foundational Courses

GEOG 1400 – Environmental Geography
GEOG 3430 – Global Issues in Environment
POLS 4250 – Environmental and Natural Resources Politics and Policy
POLS 4260 – Politics of the Contemporary Environmental Movement

Possible Specialization Courses

POLS 4880 – Environmental and Public Policy Dispute Resolution
GEOG 3460 – Environmental Law
GEOG 4450 – Gender, Environment, and Development
GEOG 4470 – Natural Resource Conservation
GEOG 2680 – Introduction to GIS and Mapping Sciences
LPA 4710 – Social Entrepreneurship
LPA 4810 – Public Private Partnerships
LPA 4890 – Nonprofit Management
LPA 4590 – Measuring Outcomes in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
LPA 4680 – Nonprofit Fundraising
ENG 3300—Ecological Discourses in English Studies
ENG 3100J—Writing About Environmental Sustainability

Certificate in Environmental Studies
Political Communication Certificate
Geological Sciences Minor
Political Science Minor
Environmental Health Studies Minor

Government

You might consider a career in Government if you find these questions compelling:

What roles does communication play in the operation of government?
In what ways can communication be used to enhance relationships between government entities and those they serve (e.g., constituent services, lobbying)?
What skills must governmental advocates possess to communicate effectively to and for constituents?

Suggested Tier I Quantitative Course
PHIL 1200

Suggested COMS Core Course
COMS 2150

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

2020 Persuasion
2040 Interviewing
3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management
3500 Introduction to Organizational Communication
3600 Introduction to Communication & Public Advocacy
3602 Political Rhetoric
3603 Contemporary Culture & Rhetoric
3610 Advanced Argumentation & Debate
4604 Responsibilities & Freedom of Speech

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

Suggested Foundational Courses

POLS 1010 – Politics in the United States
POLS 1600 – Engaging Politics
POLS 2000 – American Politics, Policy, and Administration

Possible Specialization Courses

POLS 4015 – Constitutional Politics
POLS 4065 – American Political Behavior
POLS 4100 – Public Policy Analysis
POLS 4145 – Policy Implementation and Evaluation
POLS 4160 – Legislative Processes
POLS 4180 – Interest Groups in American Politics
POLS 4230 – Political Leadership
POLS 4240 – American Federalism and Public Policy
POLS 4065 – American Political Behavior
ECON 1040 – Principles of Macroeconomics
ECON 4250 – Government and Economic Policy
ECON 4300 – Public Finance
GEOG 3250 – Political Geography
GEOG 3500 – Land Use Planning
GEOG 3400 – Geography of Development
LPA 4120 – Public Personnel Administration
LPA 4590 – Measuring Outcomes in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
LPA 4840 – Management Skills for Public Administration
LPA 4850 – Policy Analysis for Public Affairs and Leadership
LPA 4860 – Public Budgeting
LPA 4870 – Financial Management in Government

Certificate in Political Communication
Global Leadership Certificate
Political Science Minor
Economics Minor
Political Communication Certificate

Politics & Campaigns

You might consider a career in Politics & Campaigns if you find these questions compelling:

What roles does communication play in the process of campaigning for public issues and/or as a person seeking public office?
What skills must advocates possess to communicate campaign messages clearly and effectively (e.g., speech writing, campaign promotions)?
What ethical obligations does a communicator possess as they campaign?

Suggested Tier I Quantitative Course
PHIL 1200

Suggested COMS Core Course
COMS 2150

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

2020 Persuasion
2400 Information Diffusion
3602 Political Rhetoric
3600 Introduction to Communication & Public Advocacy
3603 Contemporary Culture & Rhetoric
3610 Advanced Argumentation & Debate
4030 Advanced Presentations
4530 Communication & the Campaign
4604 Responsibilities & Freedom of Speech

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

Suggested Foundational and Specialization Courses

POLS 1010 – Politics in the United States
POLS 2000 – American Politics, Policy, and Administration
POLS 4060 – Elections and Campaigns
POLS 4062 – American Voting Behavior
POCO 2010—Introduction to Political Communication
POCO 4010—Seminar in Political Communication
POLS 3040 – State Politics
POLS 3200 – Urban Politics
POLS 4015 – Constitutional Politics
POLS 4050 – American Political Parties
POLS 4065 – American Political Behavior
POLS 4067 – Women and Politics
POLS 4180 – Interest Groups in American Politics
POLS 4230 – Political Leadership
POLS 4705 – The Politics of Rights
POLS 4739 – Politics of Race
POLS 4190 – Gay and Lesbian Politics
POLS 4210 – The Politics of Law and Sexuality
POLS 4065 – American Political Behavior

Certificate in Political Communication
Political Science Minor

Featured Alumni

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Ted Dacey
Legislative Aide
Maryland General Assembly

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