Student Groups and Professional Organizations

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.

Student Groups at Northeastern

There are over 200 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 organizations, the following are especially likely to be of interest to our graduate students.


“Poli Tea” is the name of the luncheon hosted by the Political Science Department’s graduate student association. Each week, (usually on Wednesdays at noon,) Political Science graduate students come together to have lunch (free food!), talk politics, and listen to guest speakers. It is a lot of fun, very informal, and a great way to stay in touch with other graduate students in the department. Students from all three of the graduate programs are encouraged to participate with this group. For more information and to be added to the distribution list please e-mail Diane Bulpett.


About us: We are an informal and open reading group, now entering its third year. The reading group, aside from collectively tackling some of the more difficult, but rewarding, texts in the IR discipline, sees itself as a knowledge-enhancing activity, allowing graduate students to discuss issues with like-minded people while staying on top of current developments in IR. Previously, our readings included Foucault, Baudrillard, and Singer, and our recent topic was the role of emotions in contemporary politics. Meetings are held monthly, in 306 Meserve.


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.

GSG meets every first and third Monday of the month in 333 Curry Student Center, Senate Chambers, at 12 PM. Additional information can be accessed from the GSG website at


The Minority Graduate Student Association at Northeastern University was established in Fall 2009 with the mission to serve as a catalyst in providing retention, support, and training for minority students currently pursuing a graduate degree as well as those interested in pursuing a graduate degree. The MGSA will serve as a force of unity and support for minorities pursuing a higher level of education. For more information and questions, please visit

Professional Associations

The following are some associations that might be of interest to you. Additionally, these websites link to other groups that might better match your interests. Membership dues 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.


There are a number of benefits to joining a professional association. As a member, you usually receive a variety of publications, such as:

  • the official journal which includes articles as well as book reviews;
  • bulletins announcing meetings (some local), panels, calls for papers, and general reports;
  • newspapers containing short articles of interest particularly related to teaching political science courses.

Important services for which association members are normally eligible include:

  • 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;
  • an annual placement service meeting which is a direct clearing house for jobs.

Conference Funding

The Northeastern University Graduate and Professional Student Association, located in the Curry Student Center, also provides funding support and should be consulted prior to seeking departmental support.

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

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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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.

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