Quick Facts
  • 74%

    of 2016 POL/IR graduates had internships or practicum experiences at Calvin.

  • 100%

    of 2016 POL/IR graduates were employed or in graduate school one year after graduation.

  • 3

    Concentrations available for students to pursue different career paths.

The study of politics and government is one of the oldest and most universal of human activities. Yet it is as current as today's headlines. Politics takes its most dramatic form in clashes over paramount issues: military engagements, environmental protection, civil rights, criminal justice, taxation and the economy. However, politics also takes the important but less dramatic form of people overcoming their differences and working together to find solutions to common problems.

Calvin's political science department offers:

  • Seven customizable academic programs
  • Experiential learning opportunities including a variety of study abroad options and global internships
  • Individual attention from outstanding teachers and scholars in the political science department

Why political science?

Political science at Calvin College goes beyond red and blue, Republican and Democrat, to give you a new way of seeing how systems of power work—and how they should work. The department seeks to give students the knowledge and ability to analyze and effectively participate in the political world. We want our students to use their intellectual knowledge and practical skills, together with a vibrant Christian faith, to promote justice in the political world in the light of Christ-centered principles and values.

Professors work to integrate faith and learning in the classroom in a way that doesn't simply defend Christian faith and values from secular perspectives. You will also be challenged to encounter the complex world of politics as a whole, carefully considering how faith can impact institutions and policy in a way that promotes justice throughout society.

An undergraduate political science major prepares students for a variety of careers in both the public and private sectors. Calvin political science alumni work in several fields, including:

  • Law
  • Teaching
  • Political consulting
  • Journalism
  • Public administration and city management
  • Law enforcement
  • Elected office (or staff for elected officials)
  • Non-profit organizations, domestically and internationally


Calvin's six full-time political science professors all have doctorates and extensive teaching and research backgrounds. In addition, the executive director of the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics teaches courses in the department. The department is large enough to offer a broad range of courses, but small enough to give students close, personal attention.