Paul Freedman headshot

Paul Freedman

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Politics
Office location and address
S491 Gibson Hall
1540 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Ph.D. University of Michigan, Political Science

Paul Freedman (Ph.D. University of Michigan) is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he serves as Associate Department Chair. Freedman teaches courses in public opinion, media and politics, voting behavior, research methods and the politics of food. He is a founding member of the UVA Food Collaborative, the recipient of the University of Virginia Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award, and served as the first Edward L. Ayers Advising Fellow. Freedman is co-author of Campaign Advertising and American Democracy (Temple University Press), and his work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Communication, Campaigns and Elections, Hedgehog Review, and Slate. Freedman served as research director for the Pew Project on Campaign Conduct at the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, and was a senior scholar at the Pew Partnership for Civic Change. Freedman currently serves as Academic Director of the Morven Summer Institute, is on the board of the Jefferson Institute, and is a senior scholar at the UVA Center for Politics. Since 2000, Freedman has been an election analyst for ABC News in New York.

PLAP 150: Special Topics in American Politics
Special Topics in American Politics.
COLA 1500: College Advising Seminars
Credits: 1
COLA courses are 1-credit seminars capped at 18 first-year students, all of whom are assigned to the instructor as advisees. They are topically focused on an area identified by the faculty member; they also include a significant advising component centered on undergraduate issues (e.g., choosing a major, study abroad opportunities, undergraduate research, etc.). For detailed descriptions see
FORU 1500: Introduction to the Forums
Credits: 3
This course will introduce first-year students to their forum topic. Students should enroll in the section associated with the forum to which they were accepted. (See for information on the forums.)
FORU 1510: Continuing the Forum
Credits: 1
This course follows the first-semester introductory forum class and keeps students engaged in the content of their forum. Students should enroll in the section associated with the forum to which they were accepted. (See for information on the forums.)
INST 1550: Interdisciplinary Studies-Student Initiated Courses
Credits: 1–3
With sponsorship and supervision by a faculty member and approval of the Dean's Office, acting for the Committee on Educational Programs and the Curriculum, students may initiate a course in which they provide the instruction. The grade is determined by the faculty member. These courses count as "outside the College." Students in the College may offer no more than 3.0 credits for the B.A. or B.S. Consult the INST course web page at (copy and paste Web address into browser) for specific descriptions.
PLAP 2030: Politics, Science and Values: An Introduction to Environmental Policy
Credits: 3
Introduces a wide variety of domestic and international environmental policy issues.  Explores how political processes, scientific evidence, ideas, and values affect environmental policymaking. 
ETP 2030: Politics, Science, & Values: Intro to Environmental Thought and Practice
Credits: 3
What is our relationship to the environment? Physical, chemical, or biological phenomena can be described by environmental scientists but "problems" are defined by our response to them, contingent on culture, history and values more than measurements. Solving environmental problems lies in the political sphere, but our debates draw on discourses from philosophy, economics and ethics. Explore the basis for environmental thought and practice.
FORU 2500: Forum Capstone Experience
Credits: 3
This course is the capstone course for forum students. It is to be taken in the fourth semester by forum students only. Students should enroll in the section associated with the forum to which they were accepted. (See for information on the forums).
ENGL 2559: New Course in Introduction to English Literature
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject of English Literature. For more details on this class, please visit the department website at
PLAP 3140: Mass Media and American Politics
Credits: 3
Examines the role of mass media in the political process including such topics as print and broadcast news, media and election campaigns, political advertising, and media effects on public opinion and political participation.
PLAP 3160: Politics of Food
Credits: 3
This course looks at the production and consumption of food in a political context. We will explore legislation, regulation, and other policies that affect the food system and examine their implications for the environment, public health and democratic politics. We will look closely at controversies over agricultural subsidies, labeling requirements, farming practices, food safety, advertising and education.
GSVS 3160: The Politics of Food
Credits: 3
How and what we eat is basic to who we are as individuals, as a culture, and as a polity. This course looks at the production and consumption of food in a political context, focusing on controversies over agricultural subsidies, labeling requirements, taxation, farming practices, food safety, advertising and education.
PLAP 4180: Political Advertising and American Democracy
Credits: 3
Explores the role of political advertising in American democracy. Examines ad messages as strategic political communications, analyzing both classic and contemporary ads. Explores the effects (if any) of political advertising on citizens' attitudes and behavior.
GSVS 4993: Independent Study in Environments and Sustainability
Credits: 1–6
This course is an independent study to be arranged by student in consultation with faculty.
PLAP 5993: Selected Problems in American Politics
Credits: 1–3
Independent study under faculty supervision, for students who are preparing for intensive research on a specific topic. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
PLAP 7110: American Political Behavior
Credits: 3
Introduces the fields of public opinion, mass media, political psychology, voting behavior, and other forms of political participation. Focuses primarily but not exclusively on research conducted in the United States.
PLAP 7500: Special Topics in American Politics
Credits: 3
Intensive analysis of selected issues and concepts in American politics.