Feb 01, 2023
J. Kevin Corder, Chair
Main Office: 3308 Friedman
Telephone: (269) 387-5680
Fax: (269) 387-5354
James M. Butterfield
John A. Clark
Gunther M. Hega
David G. Houghton
Courses in the department are designed to prepare a student to: (1) become a well-informed citizen; (2) become a teacher of government or civics; (3) become a governmental employee or officer; (4) understand the part government plays in everyday business or other activities; (5) develop sound methods of investigation and reflection as well as the ability to evaluate political information critically; (6) understand the role that individuals and organized groups can play in the political process; and (7) appreciate the relationship of the study of government and public affairs to other social sciences. Students who wish to major or minor in political science should come to the department office as soon as possible to complete the appropriate declaration form and to consult with a departmental advisor.
Institute of Government and Politics
The Department of Political Science houses and administers the Institute of Government and Politics (IGP). The mission of the IGP is to introduce students, faculty and the greater Kalamazoo community to scholars of politics and political actors from outside the university and to the current research of departmental faculty and students. The IGP hosts events that feature experts on international and comparative politics, American politics and government, and political theory, as well as state and local elected officials, diplomatic and consular officials, and federal policymakers. The IGP teams with student groups and other academic units throughout the university to arrange these campus visits.
Study abroad is encouraged by the Political Science Department. University funds are available to assist students who would like to spend a semester studying abroad. Credit toward any of the majors in political science can be obtained while studying in other countries. To explore these opportunities, talk with one of the faculty in the Political Science Department or contact the Study Abroad Director or Coordinator, B-2425 Ellsworth Hall.
Students have the opportunity to earn the bachelor’s degree with honors in political science. To be eligible a student must have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above, a GPA of 3.5 or above for courses in the major, prepare an original research paper with a department faculty member and pass an oral examination of the thesis with two additional faculty members. Students interested in the program should consult the departmental honors advisor, Dr. Ashlyn Kuersten.
Programs of Study
Programs of study offered by the department include: (1) a standard major and minor in political science; (2) a major in political science with an international and comparative politics concentration; (3) a major in political science with a public law concentration; (4) a major in political science with an American public policy concentration; and (5) a teaching major and minor in political science.