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.

Spotlights

Thomas Bell

Thomas Bell

Higher Education Consultant

Emily Brown

Emily Brown

Master's Student Working for State Department

Natalie Cleary

Natalie Cleary

Teach for America

Selma Tucker

Selma Tucker

Grad Works for City of Grand Rapids

View More Spotlights

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.

News

Myott ('09) Represents Couple in Gay Marriage Suit

Myott ('09) Represents Couple in Gay Marriage Suit

June 25, 2014

Attorney Stephanie Myott ('09) recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of her clients who want the State of Michigan to recognize their out-of-state marriage

GVSU Team Wins World Quest 2014

GVSU Team Wins World Quest 2014

May 09, 2014

PIC Corp Team wins the 2014 World Quest competition hosted by the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan

PLS 339 Comparative Democratization

PLS 339 Comparative Democratization

May 07, 2014

PLS 339 offered this fall semester, Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:30-5:45 p.m.

PLS Students Present at Student Scholars Day 2014

PLS Students Present at Student Scholars Day 2014

May 07, 2014

Samuel Hannah, Marc Plooster, and Marissa Swartz participate in Student Scholars Day

Mork Wins PLS/IR Outstanding Paper Award

Mork Wins PLS/IR Outstanding Paper Award

April 14, 2014

Quinlyn Mork's paper, "Democracy in Ghana: A Product of Elite Construction?" has been selected as the Outstanding Paper written in 2013.

View More News

Events

Miller Johnson Paid Pre-law Diversity Internship

Miller Johnson Paid Pre-law Diversity Internship

August 11, 2014 All Day

Miller Johnson Pre-Law Student Intern Program Description Miller Johnson partners with Grand Valley State University to provide an academic semester-long internship opportunity (two opportunities...

View all Events