Panorama of the US capitol building from the water

Research

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

 


"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

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

Graduate

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

Neil Johnson sitting at a desk with papers in front of him

Cross-Disciplinary Research to Quantify Evolution, Spread of Misinformation

Yonatan Lupu, associate professor of political science, is collaborating with Neil Johnson, physics professor, to study how misinformation spreads between groups and across social media platforms. They were recently awarded a three-year, $1.86 million grant from the Department of Defense.
Josh Douglas sits at a desk talking in front of a whiteboard

Election Outlook: Alumnus Highlights ‘Good News’

A contentious presidential contest has voters anxious about going to the polls and trusting the results. But election law expert Joshua Douglas, BA ’02, says the voting horizon is not all “doom and gloom.” Douglas offers a reassuring message for anxious voters.
Leisha Mahajan

Students Step Up During COVID Crisis

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, many found ways to help out in a time of need. Political science major Leisha Mahajan formed a group called FightCV, which has already made and delivered more than 1,000 masks for health care workers at Johns Hopkins and Howard County General hospitals.
Suffragettes at the U.S. Capitol, 1914 (Photo Courtesy Library of Congress)

A Century of Suffrage

As the 19th Amendment celebrates its 100th anniversary, political science’s Corrine McConnaughy examines the legacy of the women’s voting rights revolution.
Sally Nuamah

Alumna’s Global Mission: Better Schools for Girls

From her efforts in Ghana to reforming American schools, Sally A. Nuamah, BA ’11, is a fierce advocate for helping girls obtain equal education around the world.