Students, professors and alumni of Florida State University’s Masters in Applied American Politics and Public Policy (MAAPP) program gathered last Thursday at the capitol to tour the senate with Senate President Bill Galvano, and tour the house with House Speaker Jose Olivia. Students also had the chance to visit the offices of Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and Governor Ron DeSantis. The event concluded with a reception open to program alumni, current students and friends at the headquarters of the government affairs firm The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners.
“Over the last 20 years the MAAPP program has grown to be Florida’s number one developer of political talent,” said Jon Costello, a professor and alumnus of the program. “I was fortunate enough to be in one of the first classes to graduate and then later give back by teaching in the program for the last 11 years.”
FSU MAAPP at The Cap is a 36-hour non-thesis masters program that includes 12 hours of coursework and 12 credit hours of an internship/practicum. The program offers a range of courses such as Fundamentals of Political Management, The Campaign Process, Political Communication and Message Development, and Political Research.
The program is designed for those who seek active careers in the political field such as campaigns, fundraising, political communications, lobbying, legislative affairs etc. Unlike other graduate level programs focused primarily on careers in academia and research, the MAAPP program offers applied and practical experience and professors with a wide range of career experience. Many of the course are offered in the evening for students holding full-time jobs during the day, and the significant political networks available due to FSU’s location in the capital city.
“Teaching the political Communications course has allowed me to share my real world experience in campaigns, government, and lobbying and introduce students to the people in Florida that are at the top of the game in those different arenas of politics,” Costello said. “Beyond the excellent education MAAPP provides, the network of political professionals that you become a part of is unparalleled in Florida.”
Costello graduated from the MAAPP program in 2003 and has been teaching political communications and message development to current students in the program for more than a decade. He received both his bachelors and masters degrees from FSU.
Students can apply and enroll in the program during undergrad and experience the program courses and networking opportunities before graduating with their bachelors degree.