For aspiring leaders and seekers of justice, studying political science and international relations at Calvin University allows you to dig into and debate ideas that motivate political movements and knit societies together, from the local, to the national, to the global. At Calvin, you will learn new ways of understanding the complexities of justice and power, while dwelling in community with fellow students and working closely with professors both inside and outside the classroom. You will be able to take advantage of small class sizes, student research positions, internship opportunities, and off-campus programs (including the Washington D.C. semester or study abroad), as you explore your calling, pursue your passion, and develop knowledge and skills that are applicable to a wide range of careers, including politics and government, public and non-profit administration, law, diplomacy, international business and finance, education, and journalism.
Political science major
Politics need not be loud, confusing, or difficult. Discover the many ways to be a faithful follower of Christ while exploring political ideas and navigating politicial systems. Dig even deeper with a concentration in policy studies and civic leadership.
International relations major
Discover the interworkings of global politics with an international relations major. Choose from two concentrations: comparative politics, governments, and globalization or international cooperation and conflict.
Explore political science at Calvin
Majors, minors and concentrations
Explore the department’s majors, minors and concentrations, and see just how deep and broad the study of politics can be.
Semester in Washington, D.C.
Plan your semester in Washington, D.C., where you can build relationships and develop knowledge and experience relevant to your career in our nation’s capital.
Explore the many ways to get involved on Calvin’s campus, including those specifically oriented towards political science and international relations majors.
Worldwide Connections: International Relations group for Korean Students
Our Korean graduates and students are featured in an article by the Chimes. It is a great story about mentoring new students and making life long connections.
Political Science Department Contributes to Civic Engagement
The Just Citizenship events came out of the "Challenges for the Next President" series that were organized by Kevin den Dulk and Micah Watson. Most Just Citizenship events met in the Chapel on Monday afternoons through the semester. The topics covered included democracy, fake news, refugees and health care policy. While most were panel discussions, three were special lectures.
International Relations Alumnus Profile: Daniel Kim '15
“I wanted to attend a Christian liberal arts college because I knew that every subject is connected to another and seeing the big picture is necessary for international work,” he said. “Calvin was very intentional about this.”
Political Science alumnus profile Jim Ligtenberg
“Working with the Supreme Court structure is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said. “It is humbling, intellectually energizing and challenging. The best part was getting to know Justice Alito personally.”
Saving the Michigan Tuition Grant
In October 2019, a line-item veto by Governor Gretchen Whitmer included cutting the $2,400 per year Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG). The response of the Calvin community? Take action.
News & Stories, December 20, 2019
Transforming neighborhoods in Grand Rapids
Kyama Kitavi '06 is the economic development manager for Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
Spark, April 01, 2019
Calvin student opens classic Christian work to Turkey
Debora Haede, a student at Calvin College, is doing something that's never been done before: translating Dietrich Bonhoeffer's classic works into Turkish.
News & Stories, February 27, 2019
Seeing Detroit differently
Calvin students recently studied the shifts in urban politics toward the latter half of the 20th century, applying literature they were reading to the unfolding story of Detroit.
News & Stories, February 27, 2019
Exploring the intersection of Faith and Democracy
At Calvin College, experts will dig deeper into the national discussion of the relationship between Christianity and American politics.
News & Stories, December 3, 2018
Defending the least of these
Anne Venhuizen '05 has spent her entire career fighting for the rights of parents accused by the state of neglect and abuse.
Spark, September 01, 2018
New online app empowers returning citizens transitioning out of prison
The Calvin Prison Initiative and the Henry Institute have created the Returning Citizens Resources online application to empower returning citizens in their transition out of prison and into society.
News & Stories, January 26, 2018
Calvin students debate whether free speech is worth the cost
The debate, “The Constitution and Free Speech: Is It Worth the Cost?,” was the third and final event in the department’s Constitution debate series and grappled with issues of free speech.
News & Stories, November 28, 2017
Calvin student contributes to reforming Oklahoma's death penalty protocol
In Spring 2017, senior Andrew Oppong pursued his passion of criminal justice reform through the college's Semester in D.C. program.
News & Stories, October 19, 2017
Walking Boldly: Brooke Bonnema
Through a semester program in Honduras, Brooke Bonnema '17 discovered her passion for immigration law. Every step of her Calvin journey brought her closer to that pursuit.
News & Stories, July 3, 2017
Calvin grads renewing our city
VERGE, Winter 2014
Faculty Profile: Becca McBride
VERGE, Fall 2014
From Calvin to Harvard Law School
How a political science grad's passion for social justice led her to Harvard Law School
VERGE, Winter 2012