Suggested Courses

UW-Madison has various elections-related courses for both undergraduate and graduate students, many of which are taught by faculty affiliated with the Elections Research Center. To see current and future class listings, students must log into their MyUW Student Center and use the Course Search & Enroll application.


Political Science 305: Elections and Voting Behavior
Analyzes the psychological and social components of voting behavior, current electoral trends, and the role of voters in the governing process.

Political Science 306: American Political Parties
Investigates the electoral, organizational, and governmental roles of political parties at the national and state levels in the U.S. Emphasis on changes in response to historical and contemporary circumstances.

Political Science 373: Introduction to Survey Research
Explores the theory and practice of survey research; planning, sampling, questionnaire construction, interviewing, content analysis, machine tabulation, and analysis of data. This course is cross-listed with Journalism 373 and Urban Research Planning 373.

Political Science 401: Election Law and Administration (Selected Topics in Political Science)
Examines the rules and procedures used in democratic systems to implement the principles of democratic politics and government, specifically analyzing legal principles and rulings and the complex processes of election administration.

Political Science 402: Wisconsin in Washington Internship
This course offers the opportunity to apply many things learned in the classroom to the professional world and to apply things learned in the professional world to a student’s liberal arts education. Interning will introduce students to the professional world of political organizations giving them the chance to enhance professional skills, build a network of contacts, and explore possible career choices. This class stresses active reflection, self-assessment, and the honing of critical thinking and writing.

Political Science 511: Campaign Finance
Examines campaign finance in American politics, covering topics such as the philosophical rationale behind campaign finance regulations, the history of regulatory frameworks, the influence of campaign contributions on decision making, campaign finance laws in other countries, and reform proposals.

Political Science 515: Public Opinion
Explores the formation of opinions within and among the political publics; their role in the development of governmental policy.

Political Science 537: Electoral Systems and Representation
Dissects the variety of institutions which are used to structure elections and representation around the world; voting rules, the structure of the legislature, cabinet formation, constitutional engineering and the art of political manipulation.

Political Science 601: Election Reform in America (Selected Topics in Political Science)
Analyzes U.S. election rules and administration practices and prominent reforms, drawing on empirical evidence and normative, legal, and practical concerns.

Journalism 618: Mass Communication and Political Behavior
Investigates the interrelationships of news media, political campaigning, and the electorate. Impact of media coverage and persuasive appeals on image and issue voting, political participation and socialization.

Journalism 675: Misinformation in the Age of Digital Media (Topics in Government and Mass Media)
Explores political and legal relationships between mass communication and government with emphasis on current problems and issues.


Political Science 821: Mass Political Behavior
Analyzes empirical evidence on the role of mass publics in political life and the factors which determine the formation and expression of political beliefs and attitudes.

Political Science 829: Political Communication
Examines the role of communication in American politics. Topics covered include the communication of politics (e.g., communication by politics elites, effects of mass media and interpersonal communication on political attitudes) as well as the politics of communications (regulation of political communication, policy issues, etc.). This course is cross-listed with Journalism 829.

Political Science 873: American Political Parties
Reviews major approaches to analyzing political parties and understanding their developmental changes. Examines the parties in operation and the relationship of parties to the state and society.

Political Science 904: Public Opinion (American Politics Seminar)
Explores major theories on public opinion and its role in democracies, prominent and promising research methodologies, and classic and cutting-edge research on public opinion.

Law 940: Law of Democracy
Examines the laws that structure the American democratic system. Topics include voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance, and the regulation of political parties.