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 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.

Resources and Opportunities

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.

Graduate Student Publications


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


In Video: Democracy's Shifting Attitude

CCAS Dean Paul Wahlbeck and Political Science Professor Andrew Thompson discuss the impact of threat and anxiety on American Democracy.


Popular GW Course Examines Political Visions in Movies

Students of Elisabeth Anker, Professor of American Studies and Political Science, relate political readings to films.

vidya muthupillai and gw alumna michelle rubin

GW Junior Vidya Muthupillai's Icelandic Journey of Climate Hope

The Storyfest winner, Vidya Muthupillai, and GW alumna Michelle Rubin’s expedition to Iceland focused on the country’s work to tackle the climate crisis.

Adam Dean talking about his research in an interview.

Study: Unionized Nursing Homes Report Workplace Safety Data

Nursing homes with unions are 78% more likely to report workplace Injury and illness data to OSHA, GW researchers revealed.

Martha Finnemore speaking at a podium

Martha Finnemore Wins ‘Nobel Prize’ of Political Science

The political science and international affairs professor was recognized for her groundbreaking work on areas including global governance.