Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Government and Politics (GVPT) at the University of Maryland.  With more than 35 tenured and tenure-track faculty, 900 undergraduate majors, and 100 graduate students, we are one of the largest departments in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS). 

Our faculty teach and conduct research in all of the major fields in our discipline including:  American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, political economy, and formal theory and methods.  Realizing that many of the key problems we face have a significant political component, our faculty and students study a variety of issues with real-world policy implications ranging from civil wars and ethnic conflict to environmental politics, partisan polarization, and inequality.  Our faculty do field work around the world, field surveys (sometimes with the Washington Post), run simulations, and conduct experiments.  We house two major centers, the Center for International Development and Conflict Management and the Center for American Politics and Citizenship.  GVPT is also the home for the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development and the ICONS Project. 

Our undergraduate program is designed to provide students with the substantive knowledge, the analytical skills, and the professional experience necessary to go into the world and address organizational and societal problems at the local, national, and international levels.  We consistently foster a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving, and our majors often double major (or minor) in other departments in BSOS and across the campus.  Our commitment to interdisciplinary study and problem solving extends to support for the largest undergraduate minor in BSOS (the Minor in International Development and Conflict Management) and one of the largest concentrations in the Environmental Science and Policy (ENSP) major.  We offer an increasing number of courses focused on methodological skills, and we have an array of internship and undergraduate research programs, including the fast-growing Maryland Internship Program.

We consistently produce some of the most outstanding graduates at the university.  They regularly win prestigious scholarships and fellowships such as Critical Language Scholarships and Boren Fellowships.  Recent GVPT undergraduate alumni have gone on to positions at Ernst & Young, Amazon, Deloitte Consulting, the Department of Defense, Teach for America, the FDA, the Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Army, and the White House.  Many of our graduates pursue law degrees, masters degrees in public policy or international affairs, MBAs, or Ph.D.s in political science; in recent years we have placed our students at some of the most prestigious graduate programs in the country.

Recent PhD alumni from GVPT have taken tenure-track positions at Michigan State University, West Virginia University, the University of Washington, the University of Utah, Eastern Kentucky University, the University of California at Riverside, Sam Houston State University, Iowa University, Old Dominion, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.  They have also taken positions at a variety of government agencies and non-profit organizations such as the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Government Accountability Office.  

For a world facing an array of serious policy problems, we prepare our students to “be the solution”.  Please consider joining us. 

Sincerely,
Irwin Morris