About Us

About Us

VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with concentrations available in

Our faculty have expertise in a broad spectrum of subjects, including:

  • International Relations
    • 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

  • U.S. Politics
    • presidential decision-making
    • national security and foreign policy
    • Black women in politics
    • state legislatures
    • local economic development in the US
    • public opinion and political behavior
    • legislative behavior
    • redistricting and gerrymandering
    • campaign finance
    • political participation and elections
    • political communication

  • Political Theory
    • feminist political theory
    • women and politics
    • the politics of reproductive and genetic technologiess
    • religion and politics
    • modern British and American political theory

  • Comparative Politics:
    • European politics and history
    • democracy and development in Africa
    • political corruption
    • politics of developing countries; state-building and democratization
    • comparative public policy
    • immigration
    • labor politics; Latin American politics
    • political geography
    • representation and electoral systems
  • Public law and public policy
    • constitutional law
    • information politics
    • public administration
    • election law

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, DC, and around the world.

Our Mission

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 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.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Political science is the study of governance and power: who has it, who seeks it and how and why some are excluded from it. The investigation of the process and institutions by which particular groups of people have been, and continue to be disempowered is central to our profession.

As an academic department in Richmond, Virginia—the former capital of the Confederacy—we recognize the corrosive impact of white supremacy on democratic institutions and civil discourse, and as well as the pernicious effects of structural racism on power relations in our society.

As political scientists, educators and members of the VCU community, we assert the humanity and dignity of all people, and we strive to empower those from historically marginalized backgrounds. Through our teaching, research and service, we work to counter the harms posed by all forms of discrimination, including but not limited to gender, race, age, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, religion, creed, belief, political affiliation, pregnancy, ability status and veteran status, in order to achieve a truly free exchange of ideas. We are therefore committed to diversity in our faculty and staff, and creating an open, equitable, welcoming and inclusive environment for the various communities with which we interact.

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