About Us


GVSU International Relations 


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 International Relations?

Students in the international relations program examine the sources of tension that create conflict among nations, interdependence among nations, and ways in which international management and diplomacy can promote cooperation.

Program Offerings at Grand Valley

International relations graduates receive a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. We also offer a minor in international relations. In addition to the general international relations curriculum, students may select emphases in:

  • Area studies such as Latin American studies, Middle East studies, African studies, and East Asian studies
  • Economics and business
  • History and geography
  • Political science


The curriculum is designed to give students a broad base of knowledge. Some of the subjects included are:

  • Emerging markets issues
  • Geography
  • International law
  • Macro and microeconomics
  • U.S. foreign policy

Career Options

Students may work in fields such as:

  • Government service
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Public policy
  • Teaching

Why Study International Relations at Grand Valley?

  • A broad curriculum that prepares students for a wide variety of careers.
  • An excellent study abroad program that gives students the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that significantly enrich their educations.
  • An active internship program where students get credits for internship experience.


Sam Stephenson

Sam Stephenson

Member of U.S. Air Force, Graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California

Joey Courtade

Joey Courtade

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad Alumni of the Year

Madeline Vander Velde

Madeline Vander Velde

2016 Graduate Working and Living in Brussels

Jillian Zirnhelt

Jillian Zirnhelt

Jillian Zirnhelt is a Research Officer at the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Mario Amaya-Velazquez

Mario Amaya-Velazquez

Amaya Appointed to Development Analyst Position with the Obama Foundation

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Mission and Vision

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 – 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.


The International Relations Program is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


French Music (With Info On Manie Musicale)

March 8, 2021 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

At this meeting, we will go through some popular French music artists and talk about our favorite French music. Here, we will also introduce the rules and information for our Manie Musicale (a...

French Art (and Film Festival) Discussion

March 22, 2021 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Come join us to talk about and view some (virtual) French art!! We will also attempt to take a virtual tour of the Louvre museum. If there is time, we will discuss the films that have shown so...

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2021 Outstanding Paper Award

2021 Outstanding Paper Award

2021 PLS and IR Outstanding Paper Award

Feb 15, 2021

Free Political Science Tutoring

Free Political Science Tutoring

Tutors can help with content questions, study strategies, and exam review.

Feb 9, 2021

International and Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities

International and Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities

International and Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities

Feb 1, 2021

Scholarship Opportunities for 2021-22 for Political Science and International Relations Students

Scholarship Opportunities for 2021-22 for Political Science and International Relations Students

Applications are being accepted for four named scholarships.

Jan 25, 2021

Mangala Wins Distinguished Contribution in a Discipline Award

Mangala Wins Distinguished Contribution in a Discipline Award

Mangala Wins Distinguished Contribution in a Discipline Award

Dec 21, 2020

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