Campaigns and Elections

Program Dates: June 28, 2020 - July 11, 2020

The American political landscape is in constant change, driven by the demands of voters and public opinion, shifts in the major political parties and interest groups, and changes in campaign finance and election law. In recent years significant changes in technology and new media have brought fundamental change to how candidates and political parties campaign and win elections.

Set in the shadow of the 2020 Presidential Election – as well as elections for a broad variety of representatives at the national, state, district, and local level – this program will familiarize students with the history of political parties, campaigns, and elections in the American context. We'll start by delving into the history of campaigns and elections in the U.S. and how they've shaped our world. We'll investigate the reasons candidates run for public office and probe the logistics behind candidate selection and the effect of the American party system on the structure of elections. Finally, we'll work toward determining how modern campaigns develop plans to win elections.

The program will provide an immersive experience in the modern world of campaigns and elections, including lectures, small-group work, guest speakers, and dynamic field trips. Participants will have the opportunity to meet local elected representatives and their staff members and hear from campaign consultants working on the cutting edge of political data visualization and analysis.


In Your Words

Hear from former campaigns and elections students and faculty about their experience with the program.

    • Gain an understanding of the history of campaigns and political parties in the American context
    • Think critically about how the current party system operates in the United States and the positive and negative consequences of that system
    • Understand the campaign setup and technology that is used to determine a successful run for office 
  • Application Fee: $60

    2020 Program Cost: $4,800

    The program cost includes:

    • Tuition for two-week, non-credit course
    • Housing for 2 weeks
    • All meals
    • Course materials
    • Use of campus recreation facilities
    • Class field trips
    • A trip to Disneyland
    • An additional weekend day trip off campus

    The cost does not include transportation to and from the program itself, personal spending money, or other incidentals.

    For additional information about program tuition and fees and payment options, please visit our Tuition and Fees page

  • This class is open to rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. 


    • Online Application
    • Personal Essay: Read the Prompt Now
    • Letter of Recommendation from a teacher or counselor
    • High School Transcripts
    • $60 Application Fee
    • TOEFL Scores (for International applicants whose primary language is not English)


Summer 2020 applications are now available!