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.


Haley Gerlofs

Refugee Resettlement Worker with Bethany Christian Services, now working for the American Red Cross

Dorothy Sewe

International Refugee Work in Grand Rapids

Quinlyn Mork

Grand Rapids Paralegal Volunteers with Iraqi Refugee Community

Nathen Julien

2018 Graduate Joins Peace Corps in Armenia

Clair (Radyko) Scheiderer

Attorney for Freedom House Represents Asylum Seekers

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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.


Talk Back Tuesday - LIB 100/201 APPROVED!

March 10, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Join us for monthly discussions viewing and discussing current events and topics through modes of intersectionality. Held every second Tuesday of the month from 12pm to 1pm in KC 1201....

Democracy 101: The Opportunity Gap - LIB 100/201 APPROVED!

March 11, 2020 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Join us for this interactive session to explore the opportunity gap in America and how it prevents many in our country from achieving the American Dream. 

P.E.P. Talks Program - LIB 100/201 APPROVED!

March 11, 2020 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Peer Education and Prevention Talks (P.E.P. Talks) is a 90 minute program presented by Peer Educators who are GVSU students and are trained on understanding sexual assault and its impact on college...

Conversations of Color -LIB 100/201 APPROVED!

March 18, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Conversations of Color are conversations initiated and facilitated by students.  Topics and issues will vary every session. This small and open venue offers students the opportunity to share,...

Democracy 101: The Prison Industrial Complex and the American Dream - LIB 100/201 APPROVED!

March 18, 2020 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Join us for a night focused on what Prison Industrial Complex is, how it came to be, and how it contributes to the opportunity gap that is central to the myth of the American Dream. 

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Staff member's passion for advocating for undocumented students leads to securing grant

February 24, 2020

Adriana Almanza, assistant director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, also serves as chair of the Michigan Coalition for Undocumented Student Success.

Outstanding Paper Award

February 23, 2020

Outstanding Paper Award Submissions due by Thursday, March 12

Scholarship Opportunities for 2020-21 for Political Science and International Relations Students

February 10, 2020

Scholarship Opportunities for 2020-21 for Political Science and International Relations Students

Alumnus Donor and Students Connect over Coffee

February 04, 2020

Student scholarship winners meet with donor Tim Zeeb.


November 26, 2019

Dean Fred Antczak is pleased to announce that serving as commencement marshals will be Professor Polly Diven of Political Science and Jeff Kelly Lowenstein of the School of Communication.

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