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Prospective Students

Welcome to GVSU Political Science

While you are here:

  • Courses taught by professors, not graduate students
  • Small class sizes enable skill development
  • Flexible major or minor
  • Excellent General Education courses
  • Internships in Michigan or Washington DC

Doors open to you:

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

More About Us

Quick links

Programs Offered

Click here for requirements for all of our programs

  • Political Science major (BA or BS)
  • Political Science minor
  • Political Science teachable minor
  • International Relations major (BA)
  • International Relations minor
  • LEAP (Legal Education Admission Program). Dual degree:
    BA or BS from GVSU political science. JD from Michigan State University College of Law.

Spotlights

Dorothy Sewe

Dorothy Sewe

Aids Refugee Relocation Efforts

Megan Koops Fisher

Megan Koops Fisher

Community Outreach Program Manager for Ready for School

Thomas Bell

Thomas Bell

Higher Education Consultant

Selma Tucker

Selma Tucker

Grad Works for City of Grand Rapids

Jeanine Anderson

Jeanine Anderson

Assistant DA in New York

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Internships, Jobs and Careers

Your career starts with you, develops in the classroom, and continues in the field. Political science is excellent preparation for a wide variety of jobs and careers. Many classes feature debates, simulations and real-world problem solving. Our small class sizes enable you to develop the skills needed to advance in your career and/or graduate school:

  • Critical thinking
  • Research
  • Data analysis
  • Digital literacy
  • Writing
  • Oral communication

We highly recommend internships for our students. Internships are available in Michigan and in DC through our affiliation with the Washington Center.

Political science is an excellent major for a wide range of graduate programs, including law school, business and public administration. 

For more information:

Internships, jobs and careers
Pre-law

Faculty

  • 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.

Meet our faculty
Contact information, fields of specialization, and faculty profiles.

General Education

The Political Science Department offers a wide range of courses in the General Education curriculum. Many students who are not political science majors find our General Education courses stimulating and provocative. Majors and minors are able to take these courses to simultaneously fulfill General Education and major/minor requirements.

Pre-law

Political science is a very popular major or minor for pre-law students (students who plan to attend law school). The Political Science Department has a pre-law faculty advisor. The Department offers a dual degree (BA or BA plus JD from MSU College of Law). For more information, visit the pre-law page.

News

PLS 325 Winter 2017

PLS 325 Winter 2017

September 19, 2016

PLS 325 Human Rights and Democracy in Russia and the Post-Communist World

Dr. Zinman and Dr. King on "To the Point"

Dr. Zinman and Dr. King on "To the Point"

September 18, 2016

Political Science professors, Dr. Donald Zinman and Dr. Erika King, discuss the presidential campaign with Rick Albin on "To the Point"

Professor Diven Researches and Teaches in Sri Lanka

Professor Diven Researches and Teaches in Sri Lanka

July 18, 2016

As part of her winter 2016 sabbatical project, Professor Polly Diven spent the month of February teaching and researching in Sri Lanka.

Political Science Summer Interns 2016

Political Science Summer Interns 2016

June 28, 2016

PLS interns are working in a variety of offices this summer.

Prof. Walhof Recognized by APSA

Prof. Walhof Recognized by APSA

June 08, 2016

Professor Darren Walhof was recognized by the American Political Science Association for his excellence in teaching.

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Events

Legal and Bioethical Dilemmas Regarding Surrogacy

Legal and Bioethical Dilemmas Regarding Surrogacy

September 28, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

In the last thirty years, the desire to become a parent has been achieved in many cases through surrogacy, a phenomenon that has become a heated issue of law and bioethics.  The change in families,...

Sri Lanka: the Influence of a Small State Among Superpowers

Sri Lanka: the Influence of a Small State Among Superpowers

October 5, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Professor Diven will present her sabbatical research on Sri Lanka, including background on the history and culture of this "Pearl of the Indian Ocean." She will summarize her research into...

Human Rights Film Series: The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon

Human Rights Film Series: The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon

October 13, 2016 6:30 PM

The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon Story of Sudanese refugees adapting to life in the US.  Poignant telling of the aftermath of genocide, immigrant rights, and the sometimes hilarious...

Human Rights Film Series: MacFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner

Human Rights Film Series: MacFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner

November 10, 2016 6:30 PM

MacFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner Costner portrays a Southern California high school coach starting a cross country team for migrant farm workers.  True story. *LIB 100 and 201 approved

Human Rights Film Series: Rango, animated film starring Johnny Depp

Human Rights Film Series: Rango, animated film starring Johnny Depp

December 1, 2016 6:30 PM

Rango, animated film starring Johnny Depp Somewhat light take on environmental rights issues, including the right to water.  Everyone needs a night of animation before final exams. *LIB...

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