As a political science or international affairs major, not only do you get to learn from our highly esteemed professors but you get to work with them. Students may do honors theses, research projects, and/or coauthor articles with a professor. These opportunities develop skills that are highly sought after by employers and graduate schools. Thanks to the small class size at UMW, our students get to know the faculty and get a chance to explore their own interests by digging deeper into topics. Faculty regularly employ assessment methods that require research: students write research papers, policy memos and put together podcasts, research posters and political advertisements. Additionally, students have the opportunity to engage in semester-long research projects with professors in a variety of ways.
Innovative research-based assessment: The faculty require students to write blogs, research papers, policy memos and produce podcasts, posters and political campaign ads. Here we showcase some of the excellent work they have done.
Undergraduate Research or URES: The University of Mary Washington and the Department of Political Science and International Affairs encourages students to participate in research. Students can work on faculty research projects and receive academic credits while doing so.
Individual Study: Students also engage in research by pursuing an faculty-directed Individual Study, that allows a student to pursue an academic topic in greater detail than they do in regular classroom settings. Students receive academic credit for this and also credit toward their experiential learning requirement. Students who meet honors requirements may write an honors thesis. Writing one is part of the requirements to graduate with departmental honors in the major. If you’re interested, check out past honors theses and information on earning honors! Students who write individual studies often present their work at conferences. They can apply to receive research grants from the CAS Dean’s office if their work requires travel or other funding.
If you are a current student who is interested in participating in research, reach out to your advisor and/or the professor you are interested in working with!