About Us

Mission and Vision

Mission – Political Science Department

The mission of the Department of Political Science is to prepare students for citizenship, post-baccalaureate education and professional careers through a wide range of course offerings, advising, internships, and experience in local, state, national and international contexts.

Vision – Political Science Department

The Department of Political Science is committed to setting a standard of excellence in the undergraduate study of Political Science. Students gain comprehensive knowledge of American and global governance and politics through coursework in American politics, political theory, comparative politics and international relations. We prepare students to be well-informed citizens and to make meaningful contributions to local, state, national, and international communities. We foster a diverse community engaged in inquiry, expression, and rigorous scholarship.

Mission – International Relations Program

The mission of the International Relations Program, an interdisciplinary program housed in the Department of Political Science, is to prepare students for citizenship, post-baccalaureate education, and professional careers through interdisciplinary coursework in international relations, advising, and participation in internships, with an emphasis on study abroad and other international experiences.

Vision – International Relations Program

We are committed to setting a standard of excellence in the interdisciplinary undergraduate study of International Relations, including the geography, history, economics, languages and politics of global interactions. International Relations students gain comprehensive knowledge of the complex economic, social, cultural and political relationships among citizens, societies, states and international institutions. Students attain both theoretical and experiential knowledge of International Relations and critical analytic skills through study on campus and, in most cases, study abroad. We prepare students to be well-informed citizens and to make meaningful contributions to the increasingly globalized world. We foster a diverse international community engaged in inquiry, expression, and rigorous scholarship.

Contact

GVSU Political Science Department

plsdept@gvsu.edu

Phone: 616-331-2320

1121 AuSable Hall
1 Campus Dr
Allendale, MI 49401-9403

International Relations and Political Science on Facebook

Our Facebook Alumni Group

Values

Values – Political Science and International Relations

In the Department of Political Science and the International Relations Program at Grand Valley State University, we strive toward acquiring and utilizing knowledge of Political Science and International Relations in a setting of academic freedom, methodological and theoretical pluralism, while encouraging disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration.

  • We value excellence in education facilitated through
    • Active student-teacher engagement and academic achievement in a rigorous and challenging course of study that emphasizes the development of critical and analytical thinking and writing.
    • Student exposure to a variety of theoretical and political perspectives for the purpose of enhancing critical and analytical thinking and writing skills.
    • A comprehensive coverage of the disciplines and access to a wide variety of upper-level courses.
    • Emphasis on internships, co-curricular and civic education opportunities in our local, state, national and global communities.
  • Excellence in faculty scholarship.
  • Service to the discipline, unit, college, university and community.
  • Student development as well-informed, global citizens in a democratic society.
 

Why GVSU Political Science?

Faculty

  • Our courses are taught by professors, not graduate students.
  • The department is staffed with PhDs from top graduate programs.
  • Our focus is undergraduate education.
  • Multiple professors have won awards for their teaching.
  • Professors are published experts in their subfields.

Skill Development

  • Small class sizes enable skill development:
    • Critical thinking
    • Research
    • Data analysis
    • Digital literacy
    • Writing
    • Oral communication
  • Many classes feature debates, simulations and real-world problem solving.
  • Study abroad and improve your cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills.

Flexible Programs

  • Majors choose from a wide range of courses.
  • Choice of BA (language) or BS (statistics and research methods).
  • 36 credit, flexible major enables students to pursue double major if they prefer.
  • Minor options: general political science and a teachable minor for education.
  • We offer many courses for General Education.

Internships

  • Internships available locally, in Lansing, and throughout the state
  • Internships available in DC through our affiliation with the Washington Center

Careers or Graduate School

  • Many career options
  • Excellent preparation for a wide range of graduate programs

Spotlights

Maro Houhanisin

Maro Houhanisin

Attorney for Probate, Estate Planning and Domestic Relations

Toby Hutchins

Toby Hutchins

Student Wins School Board Seat

Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Commissioned as Coast Guard Officer

Ryan Meyer

Ryan Meyer

Earning Master's of Public Policy at Georgetown University

Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson

Pursuing PhD and Studying Medicare Policy

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Events

There are no upcoming Events at this time

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News

Johnston to Peace Corps

Johnston to Peace Corps

May 23, 2016

Political science graduate Jacob Johnston is joining the Peace Corps.

Zac Thiel Wins PLS/IR Outstanding Paper Award

Zac Thiel Wins PLS/IR Outstanding Paper Award

April 14, 2016

Zac Thiel's paper, "Exploring the Causes of Inequality in Developed Countries" has been selected as the Outstanding Paper written in 2015.

Spring/Summer Courses 2016

Spring/Summer Courses 2016

March 16, 2016

Check out the courses offered for this Spring and Summer!

Professor King Answers: GOP Strategy & Democratic Turnout Rates

Professor King Answers: GOP Strategy & Democratic Turnout Rates

February 23, 2016

Professor King answers looming questions about the GOP strategy and Democratic turnout rates.

The Heir Apparent Presidency

The Heir Apparent Presidency

February 22, 2016

The Political Science Department is pleased to announce the publication of Professor Donald Zinman's book: The Heir Apparent Presidency

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