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political science professors present in community forum

Research and Engagement

Our experts are sought after for their research and insights into local and global politics, public policy, nonprofit governance and the workings of business and government.

Our Research

We examine the political process. We analyze public opinion. We delve into the far-reaching and sometimes unintended consequences of public policies. We explore the synergies between academic expertise and the nonprofit sector.

Research in the School of Public and International Affairs hones in on issues that are critical to North Carolina, our nation and around the globe. Whether it’s looking into the nuances of the U.S. social security program, analyzing the impacts of economic sanctions on foreign countries, or working to understand how government agencies can develop better working relationships among themselves, our faculty lead the way.

Our undergraduate and graduate students work alongside faculty mentors to support ongoing research or projects that explore their unique passions.

Community Engagement

We partner with government entities at all levels, with businesses and with nonprofit organizations. Our students intern in the halls of Congress, for large and small nonprofits, and in myriad other spots where they see policies hammered out and news being made. We engage daily with the people of our state and world who depend on our faculty’s expertise in public policy, in political science, in cross-cultural understanding and in leadership development.

Our Public Safety Leadership Initiative trains top law enforcement executives as proactive leaders, while our Administrative Officers Management Program raises the professional bar for law enforcement officers.

Genetic Engineering and Society Center

The Genetic Engineering and Science Center provides mechanisms for discussion and rigorous, trustworthy analyses about how products of genetic engineering and synthetic biology may impact society and the environment.

two people working in lab while wearing blue gloves

Beyond the Classroom

Research done by students in the School of Public and International Affairs has a dual benefit: our students create meaningful contributions in identifying and solving leading problems facing society while gaining a hands-on education that will benefit them as they enter the public or private sector or advance in academia. Our leading classroom education is supplemented by engaging research to create an ideal modern student experience.

Students in SPIA are well-represented in the annual Graduate Research Symposium and the Spring and Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, providing the opportunity to discuss ideas, network and earn recognition for exemplary research.