About Us

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

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

Steve Smith

Commissioned as Coast Guard Officer

James Spaanstra

Energy and Natural Resources Attorney

Nick Girimont

1L at MSU College of Law

Selma Tucker

Grad Works for City of Grand Rapids

View More Spotlights

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.

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.

CLAS

The Department of Political Science and the International Relations Program are part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Events

HRT Film Series: Good Night, and Good Luck.

September 19, 2019 6:30 PM

Pizza will be provided, and the event is Lib 101/201 approved.  This Oscar nominated film, starring George Clooney, tells the story of news reporters’ efforts to stand up to Joseph McCarthy...

Water on the Mind: A Baroque Musical Journey - LIB 100 APPROVED!

September 23, 2019 7:30 PM

Water has transfixed the imagination and creative artistry of the human race since the earliest days on earth. To the ancient Greeks, water defined life and was seen as the essential element in the...

JEFFREY ROSEN: CONSTITUTION DAY 2019

September 24, 2019 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies helps us celebrate Constitution Day by hosting Jeffrey Rosen, esteemed legal scholar and CEO of the National Constitution Center. Rosen will offer his...

HRT Film Series: Beasts of No Nation

October 15, 2019 6:30 PM

Pizza will be provided, and the event is Lib 101/201 approved.  According to international law, it is a crime to enlist children under the age of 15 to serve as soldiers in war and yet hundreds...

GVSU FALL 2019 CAREER & INTERNSHIP FAIR

October 16, 2019 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Wed. 10/16/19: Career & Internship Fair, 1-5 p.m. Thur. 10/17/19: Next-Day Interviews (by employer invitation only), 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The Career & Internship Fair is an excellent place...

View More Events

News

Beyerlein and Mattler Named Batchelder Scholars for 2019-2020

September 09, 2019

Beyerlein and Mattler Named Batchelder Scholars for 2019-2020

Bretschneider and Mendez Win Malson Memorial Scholarship

September 09, 2019

Bretschneider and Mendez Win Malson Memorial Scholarship

Professors Teach at GVSU Partner University in Germany

August 19, 2019

Professors Teach at GVSU Partner University in Germany

GVSU Students Participate in the National Security Seminar

August 14, 2019

GVSU Students Participate in the National Security Seminar

Professor Gasim Provides Expert Analysis of Developments in Yemen

July 29, 2019

Dr. Gamal Gasim, Professor of Political Science and Middle East Studies, has been quoted and interviewed in multiple news outlets recently about the UAE's announcement of a troop reduction in Yemen

View More News