Political science is the systematic study of institutions, behavior and ideas in order to further our understanding and explanation of government and politics at the local, state, national and international levels.
The discipline has a rich history that bridges the present with the past and future, is pluralistic in its modes of inquiry, and adopts a critical approach that makes use of qualitative and quantitative analytic methods.
VCU’s Department of Political Science offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with concentrations available in:
- U.S. government
- Civil rights
- Comparative politics
- Human security
- International relations
- Political theory and methodology
- Politics and government
- Public policy and administration
Graduates of our program have gone on to professional degree programs in law, public policy, business and medicine, while others have pursued graduate studies in political science, international affairs/international relations and public administration. In addition to finding employment in the private sector in fields including risk analysis, government relations, lobbying and consulting, our graduates have also been successful in securing public-sector jobs at the local, state and federal levels, and with non-governmental organizations in Richmond, Washington, D.C., and around the world.
Political Science Subfields
Our faculty have expertise in international relations, political theory, U.S. and comparative politics, as well as public policy, public administration, public policy and public law.
- International health
- Russian politics
- International political economy
- Non-governmental organizations
- Global environmental politic
- Climate change
- International water rights
- Political leadership
- International development and conflict
- Political violence
Professors who specialize in international relations
- Presidential decision making
- National security and foreign policy
- Black women in politics
- State legislatures
- Local economic development in the U.S.
- Public opinion and political behavior
- Legislative behavior
- Redistricting and gerrymandering
- Campaign finance
- Political participation and elections
- Political communication
Professors who specialize in U.S. politics
- European politics and history
- Democracy and development in Africa
- Political corruption
- Politics of developing countries; state-building and democratization
- Comparative public policy
- Labor politics; Latin American politics
- Political geography
- Representation and electoral systems
Professors who specialize in comparative politics
VCU Political Science uses its unique position on an urban campus located in the state capital and just a short distance from Washington, D.C., to provide our students with transformative learning experiences that promote active and engaged citizenship, domestically and globally. We integrate our teaching with cutting-edge scholarship that advances the boundaries of the discipline and meaningfully impacts public debate and policy.
The department values diversity of thought and identity, inclusive pedagogy, informal mentorships, active citizenship and the free expression of ideas through innovative scholarship, teaching and community engagement. We are dedicated to developing programs and a curriculum that prepare our graduates to be informed and inquisitive citizens who are positioned to make a difference as professionals and lifelong learners.