Political Science and International Affairs


The Department of Political Science and International Affairs offers courses in domestic and international politics that are taught by experienced, innovative faculty. Our department awards two degrees – Political Science and International Affairs – as well as a minor program in Security and Conflict Studies that provide students practical knowledge of the field and prepare them for multiple career paths in public and governmental service, law, graduate school, and the private sector.

Mary Washington’s location midway between two centers of politics – Richmond and Washington, D.C. – offers students in International Affairs and Political Science amazing internship opportunities throughout the year, not just during the summer months. Many of these internships, and other news, are posted on our PSIA Facebook and PSIA Instagram page. Our students routinely intern on Capitol Hill and in the Virginia General Assembly, work on local, state, and federal election campaigns, in the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, and Education, with law firms, advocacy groups, and defense contractors. And, our extensive network of UMW Political Science and International Affairs alumni provide further professional development and internship opportunities for our current students. 

Our majors are campus and civic leaders who are active in student government, the Honor Council, and multiple student-led campus organizations, including Mock Trial and International Organizations groups. Our students have been honored as Fulbright Scholars, Peace Corps volunteers, Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference winners, and Virginia Governor’s Fellows. Our scholastic honor society, the Kappa Upsilon chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, has won more national student writing awards than any other of the more than 700 colleges or universities with Pi Sigma Alpha chapters throughout the country. Our dedicated faculty, small class sizes, and ideal location near our nation’s capital provides students with tremendous opportunities for intellectual growth and professional development.