Welcome to Political Science
Our leadership team: Ms. Debra Holley, Dr. Joseph Robbins, Dr. Gerald Merwin, and Ms. Lee Yarbrough
Welcome to the Department of Political Science at Valdosta State University!
Our faculty and students are engaged in research examining the most pressing puzzles of today at the local, national, and international levels. VSU Political Science majors can participate in our award-winning, nationally-competitive Model United Nations (MUN) team, have a life-changing experience traveling abroad with our Czech Republic study abroad program, publish research with one of our prolific faculty members, gain valuable practice experience with a local or national internship, or get involved with community service.
VSU Political Science students graduate with strong analytical and writing skills that will not only help them throughout their time at VSU but throughout their careers. Our students’ success is enhanced by our program’s long-running commitment to experiential learning opportunities (such as those described above) and outstanding teaching. This powerful combination has played a major role in our Department’s impressive job and graduate school placement.
VSU’s Department of Political Science is home to high-quality undergraduate programs in Political Science, Organizational Leadership, and Legal Studies as well as M.A. and D.P.A. programs in Public Administration.
The Political Science program offers courses on political behavior, comparative politics, American government, Constitutional law, global affairs, foreign policy, and more. Our wide-range of faculty backgrounds can provide many different options for all students. This also offers students many opportunities to either specialize in one area or focus on multiple subject areas.
Faculty expertise Our faculty are passionate about teaching and devoted to ensuring student success. Further, our faculty members are prolific scholars publishing books, articles, and editorials with many of the political science discipline’s prominent publishers.
Beyond the classroom
There are many extracurricular opportunities for our students. Our students can find valuable and exciting ways to continue to learn about our world through first-hand experiences such as:
* Model United Nations (MUN): VSU’s MUN program is one of the top teams in the country and have won many awards and recognitions under MUN Advisor and Coach Dr. Carol Glen.
* Study Abroad: Our Department has a long-standing partnership with Palacký University Olomouc in the Czech Republic and Dr. Michael Baun regularly leads students on study abroad trips there. Our students also often participate in study abroad trips to Costa Rica, Greece, Ireland, Russia, and many other countries. In programs like these our students have the opportunity to learn about other governments, laws, political organizations, cultures, and societies in different settings. These trips give students the chance to hear from other students and professors as they discuss their cultures, to improve their communication skills, enhance critical thinking abilities, all while realizing how interconnected we all are.
* Student research: whether publishing their own work or presenting a conference paper with one of our faculty members, many of our students have been recognized for their research endeavors. In fact, many VSU Political Science majors have received awards and recognitions for their research. Not only is this a great way to build your reputation, but working on these projects can also help deepen students understanding of our world (locally, nationally, or globally) and can help one sharpen the skills needed in the workplace, in graduate school, or in a law school.
* Internships: Many of our students go on to participate in legal internships with area attorneys or other law-minded organizations. Other students pursue national (e.g., interning with one of Georgia’s senators or representatives) or local political internships (e.g., working on a campaign, at a chamber of commerce, or with a local government official). Students have also been admitted to prestigious national leadership internships such as the Henry Clay Fellowship program. Our faculty are eager to help our students with internship opportunities. Many of these placements can lead to full-time jobs upon graduation.
* Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP): For Political Science majors more interested in local politics there is the GLIP. This program has been a very popular one among VSU Political Science majors!
Whether you are interested in local politics or global matters, VSU’s Department of Political Science has much to offer. The combination of our devoted and talented faculty and the many available extracurricular opportunities provide our students with an education that sharpens their skills through a blend of practical- and theory-based learning.
Whether you are a current VSU student considering a degree in our department, or you are a prospective student wanting to learn more about what we have to offer, please contact our office to setup an appointment so we may discuss these opportunities with you more in-depth. Once you do, you’ll know why “It’s a Great Day to be a Blazer!”
Joseph W. Robbins