Skip to content

Graduate students are encouraged to participate in national and local professional and student associations as a way to learn more about the field and develop career options. We especially encourage you to become involved with relevant groups and departments here at Northeastern. Boston is also rich with opportunities in leadership and professional involvement with public service related programs and organizations. Of additional interest are regional and national conferences at which students can hear about current research in the field and possibly participate on a panel or present their research. Students invited to participate or present at relevant conferences are encouraged to apply for funding, following the procedures outlined in our conference funding guide.

Political Science Graduate Association

The Political Science Graduate Student Association (PGSA) brings MA and PhD students together to address the issues most important to our graduate student body. Our group – informally known as “Poli Tea” – organizes weekly luncheons to hear about new research being conducted by department faculty members, provide valuable learning opportunities for graduate students conducting publishing, research, teaching or building other job market skills, and exchange ideas for collaboration. In addition to providing lunch, Poli Tea allows graduate students to build a community around shared interests while encouraging professional development. All graduate students are encouraged to attend our meetings and participate in Poli Tea activities. Please contact Julie Garey ( for additional information.

The Critical Social Theory (CST) Research Cluster

The Critical Social Theory (CST) Research Cluster meets monthly, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the lounge at the Humanities Center, 4th floor, Renaissance Park (see

Professor Natalie Bormann, who co-leads the cluster has the following to say regarding this opportunity.

“Our goal is that the Critical Social Theory Cluster (CSTC) will help nurture and expand the already existing intellectual culture in radical thinking and social critique here at Northeastern.

To do this we are offering a series of monthly sessions, the first beginning in December, that will foster discussions of the historical legacy of critical theory.

Each month we will highlight a particular journal of critical theory, broadly understood, and read a series of articles chosen from the journal that highlight its specific historical and intellectual trajectory.

In addition, the CSTC will use its funding to purchase digital subscriptions to the journals, invite speakers for our monthly sessions, and, potentially, put on a conference related to our discussions this coming spring.”

For more information regarding this research cluster please see,

The Civil Unrest in the Multipolar World Research Cluster

“Civil Unrest in the Multipolar World” is a research cluster dedicated to the interdisciplinary studies of the critical world regions. It revolves around interactive panel discussions organized at the end of each month during spring semester (time and classroom to be determined).

This cluster aims to include PhD students and professors in a collaborative effort to shed light on the politics of critical regions. They are identified as regions of failed or fragile countries in which major world powers have economic and security interests. Not excluding other regions, the focus will be on the Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, Caucasus, South-East Asia, North Africa, Balkans and Central Asia. PhD students of political science, sociology, economy, religion and geography are welcome to join the list of our panelists.

Our goal is to stimulate vigorous debates and increase interest among both graduate and undergraduate students for studying critical regions in the context of the cooperation and competition between the most powerful global actors. Also, our aim is to support Northeastern’s accession to the forefront of international security scholarship in the US. For that purpose, we hope to film our panels and make them accessible online via YouTube and other social media.

Thanks to the generous support of the Humanities Center at Northeastern University, we hope to stimulate a fun and rewarding intellectual interaction followed by a relaxed socializing with our panelists and guests enriched by some nice food and drinks.

For any further inquiries, please email Mladen Mrdalj at

Student Groups at Northeastern

There are over 300 student organizations at Northeastern University covering a wide range of activities and interests. Most of them welcome participation by graduate students. For a full listing and information on how to become involved, please visit

Of these the following are especially relevant to graduate student issues on campus and in the community.

Graduate Student Government

Graduate Student Government (GSG) is the official voice for graduate students at Northeastern University. GSG addresses concerns, raises awareness, and promotes graduate student life on Huntington Avenue and abroad. Our primary goal is to enrich the graduate experience at Northeastern and we do so through funding and research support, sponsoring social & networking events, and providing a forum for graduate students to present concerns, issues, and ideas to Northeastern University administration, faculty, and staff. Additional information can be accessed at the GSG website at

Professional Associations

The following are several professional associations that might be of interest to our graduate students.

Membership dues and benefits vary from association to association, but most offer special rates for students. Even if you decide full-membership is not right for you, there are many resources on these sites that are free to the public. Membership benefits in professional organizations may include:

  • a variety of publications, including the official journal; bulletins announcing meetings (some local), panels, calls for papers, and general reports; and newspapers containing short articles of interest particularly related to teaching political science courses;
  • a personnel service with a periodic newsletter that lists positions available to political science and public administration students;
  • a credential referral service, which maintains and distributes confidential credentials; and
  • an annual placement service meeting which is a direct clearing house for jobs.

Local Leadership and Networking Opportunities

Another way to become more involved, network, and have a positive influence on the community is to join locally based professional groups or to attend professional development training seminars. Our list below is far from exhaustive and you will find that many of these organizations have links to other opportunities that might better match your interests. We also tried to only include those programs that were free or of moderate cost. If you know of any programs that might be of use to other students please notify us and send us details so we can add it to our site.

The Commonwealth Seminar

The Commonwealth Seminar exists to open the doors of the State House to diverse leaders. They provide a program of legislative training, networking opportunities with top policy makers, and access to public service job opportunities for diverse leaders in Massachusetts.

The Environmental Leadership Fellowship Program

The Environmental Leadership Fellowship Program offers intensive leadership and skill training, regional networking opportunities, and time for personal and professional reflection. Consisting of three retreats and additional optional trainings, their curriculum helps emerging leaders hone their leadership styles, improve their strategic communications, and strengthen their outreach to diverse constituencies.

The New Leaders Council

The New Leaders Council has a mission to train and support the next generation of progressive political entrepreneurs – “those who are leading industries, setting trends, and building institutions that support robust civic and political life in a global America.”

ONEin3 Boston

ONEin3 Boston was founded by Mayor Thomas M. Menino in 2004 to serve the one-third of Boston’s population that is between the ages of 20 and 34. The program connects Boston’s young adults with resources related to home buying, business development, professional networking, and civic engagement.

The Women’s Institute for Leadership Development

The Women’s Institute for Leadership Development works to strengthen the number, influence and diversity of women at all levels of leadership in the Massachusetts labor movement and beyond. We provide education, training and support to help women become ever more effective organizers and leaders: in their unions and the labor movement as a whole; in the political arena and within their communities.