Undergraduate Research

The Department of Political Science at Virginia Commonwealth University is proud to present our students with a number of different opportunities to develop their skills conducting research as novice political scientists.

The ability to craft well-articulated arguments, supported by well-reasoned evidence and analysis, is vital to selling yourself as a quality applicant to graduate schools, and to differentiating yourself from other applicants in jobs across the political science spectrum.

Our students regularly participate in undergraduate research in the following ways:

The Ramerican Political Science Review

Cover of volume 3 of RamericanThe Ramerican Political Science Review accepts work from all of political science’s disciplines, including American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, Political Theory and Public Policy. We look for research that addresses pressing political issues and that, therefore, carry substantial normative importance. We also look for research that approaches research questions from theoretically grounded avenues, and for research that seeks to answer the research question in a novel, yet compelling, methodological fashion.

Students who are interested in serving as an editor for The Ramerican Political Science Review should complete this Google form.

Students who are interested in submitting their research for consideration should look in their inbox for the Call of Papers that goes out, typically, in April. Students can also contact the journal’s faculty adviser, Dr. Reckendorf, at anreckendorf@vcu.edu.

VCU Political Science Student Research Conference

A student gives a presentation at a conferenceUndergraduate and junior graduate students are invited to submit proposals to present completed research papers/projects, research in progress or roundtable discussions on any topic related to the general fields of government, international and public affairs. Students from colleges and universities in and around Virginia, as well as national and overseas colleagues, are also invited to submit proposals. The conference occurs during spring semester, annually.

Students who are interested in presenting their research should look in their inbox for the Call for Papers that goes out, typically, in January. Students can also contact the conference assistant directly at cjsaladino@vcu.edu.

Virginia Social Science Association Conference

A group of students pose together at a conferenceThe VSSA is the oldest association of academics in the state of Virginia. The organization is comprised of scholars from a variety of social science fields, and welcomes undergraduate students to present their research in a formal, yet non-intimidating, setting at their annual VSSA Conference. The conference’s location rotates across universities within the state of Virginia, and is typically held during the spring semester.

The 2017 and 2018 VSSA Conferences were held right here at Virginia Commonwealth University!

Students who are interested in presenting their research should visit the VSSA website and contact their leadership directly.

Funding for Student Research

The VCU Office of Research and Innovation at VCU also provides students with the opportunity to apply for funding to conduct original research projects. Visit the VCU Office of Research and Innovation's website for more information.

Students are also encouraged to review the College of Humanities and Sciences’ scholarship webpage for information on the more than 100 scholarship opportunities available to current students annually.