Panorama of the US capitol building from the water



Washington, D.C., offers unrivaled resources for political science research, with dozens of institutions, think tanks and archives providing opportunities to assemble unique data sets. Our master's and doctoral programs train students to become outstanding researchers, and our undergraduate curriculum empowers students to learn the foundations of scholarly research while honing their individual interests.

Department faculty are prolific authors in their fields, with a diverse range of specialties across all the major disciplines within political science. Our scholars also collaborate on the interdisciplinary research being conducted at GW’s centers and institutes, and others pair up with colleagues from other universities on projects like the Monkey Cage blog.


Core Focus Areas         Student Research       Facilities and Institutes


Core Focus Areas


"After working as a research assistant for about a year, Professor Lupu asked if I needed help finding something to do over the summer. ... That internship eventually turned into the full-time job I have at the Klein/Johnson Group, a bipartisan public policy and lobbying firm."

Jeremy Marsh

BA ‘19

Student Research

An undergraduate student sitting at a table reading and marking a research document


Undergraduate research and scholarly writing are fundamental to the political science discipline’s theoretical and empirical work. Undergraduate students across the department learn to be well-rounded researchers through writing-intensive coursework and opportunities that include participation in the Politics and Values Programinternships and conferences hosted by the Pi Sigma Alpha Honors Society. Students are encouraged to reach out to professors and graduate teaching assistants for research support and guidance on how to leverage their projects into fellowship and job applications.

Three minute thesis competition winner Elizabeth Pertner


Our graduate students are actively engaged in all professional aspects of the political science field, frequently winning prestigious awards and grants from GW as well as external sources like the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association. Graduate student research has appeared in journals including The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Law & Society Review, Foreign Affairs and American Politics Research. Alumni of the graduate program have secured jobs with research organizations including the Global Governance Institute, the Congressional Research Service and more.


Facilities and Institutes

Political Science Department faculty work with a variety of esteemed research centers and institutes, both within the George Washington University and throughout Washington, D.C.


In the Spotlight

Senior Gavin Derleth

Undergraduate Researcher Aims to Map Gentrification in D.C.

Senior Gavin Derleth, who is double-majoring in political science and geography, plans to quantify and analyze the impact of gentrification on neighborhoods and members of the local community.
Mackenzie White

Medieval Astrologists as Weather Forecasters?

Mackenzie White’s undergraduate thesis unearthed methods of Medieval weather forecasting. White, BA '19, studied the ways Medieval meteorologists combined science, religion and astrology to predict the weather.

Josh Balk headshot

Alumni Unicorns Spell Business Magic

Two Political Science Department alumni were featured alongside fellow business wizards whose startups topped $1 billion in valuation — and earned them a spot as “Unicorn” entrepreneurs.

Sally Nuamah is the author of “How Girls Achieve” (Harvard University Press).

Alumna Advocates for the Equal Education of Girls in New Book

An accomplished scholar, advocate and now published author, Sally Nuamah, BA ‘11, sheds light on the inequitable realities girls face throughout their education in her new book, How Girls Achieve.
Isaac Fitzgerald

By the Book: Alumnus’ Must-Reads

Whether you’re keeping up with politics or escaping with a page-turner, BuzzFeed Founding Book Editor Isaac Fitzgerald, BA ‘05, has a recommendation to satisfy your bookworm.