The University of Washington offers a unique opportunity for current and prospective Ph.D. students who wish to study political communication. Faculty in the Department of Communication and Political Science have integrated their teaching and research to provide an opportunity to offer students an additional interdisciplinary award in political communication. This is not a formal certificate or degree program. But students who complete a set of courses with faculty working in the area of political communication will be given an additional interdisciplinary award upon graduation in recognition of their expertise in this domian of research.

Prospective students must apply to the graduate program of one of the participating departments. Those accepted for graduate study in one of the departments will then complete this program within the degree requirements of that home department. Financial support is also tied to the student's home department, although some research and teaching assistant positions may become available in other departments. Faculty supervisory committees may include members from different departments, and students are required to do coursework that crosses departmental boundaries.

Students working for the interdisciplinary award in political communication concentration will interact with multiple faculty across departments. Our ability to collaborate across traditional departmental boundaries with a rich offering of courses from prominent faculty mentors will enhance the intellectual program and career opportunities of our graduate students.

Recent awardees include Dr. Deen Freelon (now at American University), Dr. Verena Hess (now at Microsoft), Dr. Penny Sheets (now at the University of Amsterdam), Dr. Christopher Wells (now at the University of Madison-Wisconsin), and Dr. Michael Xenos (now at the University of Madison-Wisconsin).

PhD committee chairs will screen students who petition for this and then recommend approval from the community of political communication faculty on campus. The award is conferred upon completion of the PhD. The award does not appear on the transcript but is awarded by the home department, and can be acknowledged on the student's resume and in job reference letters written by faculty mentors on a student's behalf.