Learn the core analytic and technical skills used in modern political campaigns, as well as the social scientific principles to evaluate and apply these skills appropriately.

Public policy students who want to create change need to understand political campaigns—but not just campaigns fought over who will occupy an office. Major changes in public policy rarely occur without an effort to persuade and mobilize. "Campaigns" also include persuasive efforts supporting or opposing a ballot question, a proposed legislative action, or a proposed action by a chief executive.  

Through the Project on Political Reform's Certificate in Political Campaigns, students will gain the expertise that is essential to running modern electoral and advocacy campaigns.

Application Process

The certificate is open to any Harris student. Students should contact their academic advisor to indicate intention to pursue certificate.


The Certificate in Political Campaigns will be awarded to students who complete the following:

  • PPHA 31720 The Science of Elections and Campaigns

  • And at least two of the following: 

    • CAPP 30254 Machine Learning for Public Policy

      • Requires programming proficiency in Python. Students should have 2 quarters of programming or 1 quarter of intense python for data analysis before enrolling. Students without 2 quarters of Python programming are strongly encouraged to enroll in Code Camp in as preparation for this course.

    • PPHA 38611 Political Campaigns, Persuasion, and Strategic Communications (not offered in 2016-17 but can be counted if taken in 2015-16)

    • PPHA 31730 The Strategic Uses of Survey Research in Political Campaigns

    • PPHA 32810 Winning Issue Campaigns  

  • Courses do not have to be taken in any particular order.

Recommended Policy Labs

  • BallotReady:  Investigation of User Behavior and Candidate Data

  • Metropolitan Planning Council:  Local government consolidation

Alumni and BallotReady co-founders Aviva Rosman and Alex Niemczewski
Student profile

App the Vote!

Alumni and BallotReady co-founders Aviva Rosman and Alex Niemczewski developed a nonpartisan online voter guide.