Government and Politics

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
3140 Tydings Hall
Phone: 301-405-4156

The Department of Government and Politics emphasizes such broad areas as political development, policy analysis, social justice, political economy, conflict, and human rights. These broad conceptual areas are integral components of study in the discipline. The areas are commonly referred to as American government and politics; comparative government; international relations; political theory; political methodology; and public law.

Chair: A. Banks (Chair & Prof)

Directors: I. Alcaniz (Assoc Chair & Prof), E. Calvo (Co-Graduate Director & Prof), K. Cunningham (Co-Graduate Director & Prof), S. Kastner (Honors Program Director & Prof), J. McCauley (MIDCM Director & Assoc Prof), P. Wohlfarth (Director of Undergraduate Studies & Prof)

Professors: I. Alcaniz, A. Banks, J. Birnir, E. Calvo, S. Croco, D. Cunningham, K. Cunningham, J. Gimpel, M. Hanmer, P. Huth, S. Kastner, M. Pearson, W. Reed, S. Telhami, V. Tismaneanu, P. Wohlfarth, J. Wong

Associate Professors: T. Allee, J. Hadden, V. Haufler, C. Jones, D. Karol, C. Laird, J. McCauley, K. Miler, P. Swistak 

Assistant Professors: S. Carcelli, B. Gray, M. Johnson, F. Shen-Bayh

Professional Track Faculty: J. Aronson, A. Berland, D. Cil, R. Engstrom, C. Kazungu, H. Kim, S. Kosko, S. Kumar, N. Lund, M. Spivey, C. Turitto, J. Wallace

Lecturer: M. Kobren

Professors Emeriti: C. Alford, C. Butterworth, S. Elkin, M. Franda, J. Glass, F. Lee, M. Lichbach, V. Marando, W. McIntosh, J. Oppenheimer, W. Phillips, D. Piper, C. Stone, R. Terchek, E. Uslaner, L. Vietri, J. Wilkenfeld

Academic advisors are available to assist students with degree planning. Students are encouraged to see an advisor each semester to ensure understanding of major requirements and to review students' progress within the major. All students are required to meet with a GVPT advisor before they register for their senior year of classes (at the 90 cumulative credit mark).

Academic advising is available by appointment or drop-in the GVPT Undergraduate Advising Office located in 3104 Tydings Hall. Drop-in schedules are posted online at

Combined Bachelor's/Master's Programs

The Department of Government and Politics offers two combined bachelor's/master's degree program options. Students may select to pursue a combined bachelor's/master's degree with our Master of Arts in International Relations or Master of Science in Applied Political Analytics programs. Detailed information about our masters programs is available at the following links:

Undergraduate Research Experience

Undergraduate GVPT majors are strongly encouraged to participate in independent research with GVPT faculty members. The independent study option provides students opportunities to work one-on-one with a faculty member doing research on a topic of the student's choosing. Students should expect to devote approximately 12 hours per week for 16 weeks to the independent study. Students should also expect to write a final research paper no less than 40 pages in length. GVPT Advisors are available to assist students in identifying appropriate research topics and in selecting the GVPT faculty mentor.

Only six hours of graded GVPT independent study credit will apply toward the 36 hours needed in the major. Independent study opportunities are generally open only to GVPT majors with junior standing and a 3.0 GPA.


Undergraduate GVPT majors are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the university's close proximity to Washington D.C. and Annapolis by completing at least one internship experience. The GVPT Advising Office advertises internship opportunities weekly on the undergraduate blog, and advisors can assist students in identifying other internship opportunities.

The department offers academic credit for approved internships. Detailed information is available on the GVPT website,

Only six hours of graded GVPT internship credit will apply toward the 36 hours needed in the major. Internship credit graded on a pass/fail basis may not be used to satisfy the GVPT major requirements. In no cases may more than 12 internship credits be counted towards the 120 credits needed to graduate. Internship credit is generally open only to GVPT majors with junior standing and a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

Honors Program

The aim of the Government and Politics Honors Program is to encourage students with outstanding abilities to accelerate their development and intellectual growth under conditions of greater freedom, greater responsibility, and more individual supervision from their instructors. The program also seeks to provide a community within which students can meet one another and further develop their interests in political science and public affairs.

All students majoring in government and politics may apply for admission to the GVPT Honors Program once they have completed the first semester of their sophomore year. Additional information concerning the Honors Program may be obtained online at

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, is the only honor society for college students of political science and government in the United States. The Alpha Zeta chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha was founded in 1938 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Since then, the chapter has hosted a variety of activities and worked closely with the Department of Government & Politics. For more information, please visit

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

GVPT students are encouraged to apply for Government and Politics Departmental Scholarships and outside scholarship opportunities. For more information on these scholarships, please visit

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, please visit

Awards and Recognition

Government and Politics students have had great success in winning campus and national awards. Our students have been chosen as university commencement speaker and university medal winner. Many students are regularly selected for national undergraduate conferences and have won national scholarships for graduate and law school. The Undergraduate Director nominates deserving students for departmental and university awards and recognition, and students are informed through the advising office of new opportunities to apply.