Dr. Matthew Spalding teaching a class at the Kirby Center.

To extend its unique teaching mission to our nation’s leaders, Hillsdale College founded its Steve and Amy Van Andel Graduate School of Government in Washington, D.C. Students are educated in the first principles of politics and how they apply in practice to the perennial challenge of restoring constitutional self-government in the United States.

Consistent with Hillsdale’s mission and established liberal arts curriculum, the graduate school offers a Master of Arts in Government focused on how to consider and practice those liberal arts that are required for truly just and excellent government.

The term “government” derives from the Latin word for pilot, helmsman, or one who directs the ship. A master of the art of government must know well the stars and the crew, the boat and its builders, and the feel of the tiller, the waves, and wind. Without knowledge of the stars, the guiding and permanent principles of politics, even a skillful pilot is aimless, unable to steer a course between the sharp rocks of impractical doctrines and the cynical whirlpool of crass accommodation. Constitutional self-government requires such knowledge, which the School of Government offers to its students.

Hillsdale’s School of Government MA program is designed for professionals working in politics broadly defined: government staffers and lawmakers, journalists and media professionals, speechwriters, lawyers, think-tank analysts, domestic and foreign policy experts, and all practitioners drawn to serious study. Course offerings reflect that focus by providing the necessary intellectual foundation for a career in American politics, one deeply enriched by Hillsdale College and its teaching mission.

Program Details

Thirty-six credit hours, including core courses and electives:

  • Special topics courses with prominent guest scholars
  • Evening classes and Saturday seminars
  • Fall, spring, and summer semesters
  • Typical program completion time of 2.5 to 3 years, depending on the rigor of your schedule
  • Scholarships normally up to full tuition
  • Beautiful facilities, including a reading room and reference library
  • On Capitol Hill—a short walk from the U.S. Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, and Union Station
  • Ability to participate in all Hillsdale in D.C. public forums, lectures, and events
  • ​Full access to the resources of Hillsdale College

Learn more about the Graduate School

Faculty Interviews


All degree programs at Hillsdale College, including the programs of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government, are fully accredited. Hillsdale College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission can be contacted at (800) 621-7440 or at www.hlcommission.org.