Societal and governmental intricacies are dissected by political scientists. Due to its focus on national as well as local administration, it is difficult to analyze due to its breadth and ambiguity. Furthermore, numerous empirical statistics and testimonies suggest that this is a course that requires a great deal of effort and cramming due to the sheer volume of material covered across the various stages.
Schools have competed to provide the best political science curricula by taking diverse approaches, such as focusing on a narrow subfield, emphasizing a particular perspective, or covering a broad range of topics.
Best political science schools
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
Undergraduates at Vanderbilt can select from three different subfields within political science: American politics, global politics, and political theory.
About a third of graduates go straight into the workforce, and those who do find employment in the private sector in fields like data analysis, social media, finance, and public relations. Twenty-eight percent go on to earn a law degree, while eight percent join a non-profit dedicated to advancing causes like environmental protection, human rights, and electoral honesty.
There is a wide variety of interesting courses available to undergraduates, many of which address pressing political issues.
Human rights and their application to movements against injustice are the focus of PSCI 3265 students’ studies. Even college credit can be earned by taking a class on the topic of populist parties’ recent success in developed democracies.
The Researching on Conflict and Collective Action (ROCCA) Lab is just one of several excellent political science facilities available at Vanderbilt.
Research on political violence and collective responses is being conducted by a team of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty.
Many students take advantage of the Immersion Vanderbilt program to conduct paid research or write an honors thesis.
University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
The University of Chicago is home to one of the most prestigious political science departments in the world; Nobel Prize–winning political scientist Herbert Simon taught there.
The university is committed to being at the forefront of political science innovation, so it regularly creates workshops like the Historical Capitalisms & Social Theory Workshop, which focus on pressing issues in the field.
In order to predict the future of nations, undergraduates take an intersectional approach to analyzing the various forms of capitalism throughout history.
The school places a premium on excellent writing, so every student is expected to complete a BA Thesis or Long Paper. The latter is longer than 20 pages and is submitted as part of a required political science course.
Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
Stanford’s political science program, which is typical of west coast universities, encourages students to become experts in both qualitative and quantitative approaches to studying governmental behavior, public policy, and institutional design.
Stanford educates students to be leaders in a variety of fields, including philanthropy, academia, business, and the public sector.
Students enrolled in the data science concentration, one of five available options, learn to use algorithms for political prediction.
Games Developing Nations Play is a course that uses a game-based approach to get students thinking about issues like the prevalence of violence in developing economies, the causes of poverty, and the limitations of these regions’ still-evolving systems.
The Stanford Civics Initiative (SCI) is one of many initiatives designed to improve the undergraduate experience at Stanford University. Through SCI, students can explore the challenges of naturalization and propose morally sound ways to remove them.
Yale University (New Haven, CT)
It is the second most popular undergraduate major at Yale, with more than 400 students enrolled.
What makes Yale’s political science program exceptional is that freshmen are welcome to change their major at any time during their four years there.
There are five areas of study that students can specialize in as either a general, intensive (accelerated), or interdisciplinary major.
Every student graduating with a political science degree spends one or two semesters writing a senior essay that could win them prizes like the American Political System Frank M. Patterson Prize, given to the student whose essay best defends the values enshrined in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The winning essays have ranged in subject from the impact of migration on warfare in Europe to the role of dissent in American law to the dangers of dark corporate money in undermining democracy.
The American & Comparative Political Behavior Workshop also provides thought-provoking lectures for students to attend, with topics covered recently including antisemitic attitudes among young Americans and the ideology of political divides.
University of Pennsylvania
If you want to study government and politics, Penn is one of the best universities to do so. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UPenn is a large, private, non-profit institution of higher education. Overall, UPenn is a fantastic institution, as evidenced by its Best Colleges ranking of #4 out of 2,241 schools in the country.
In the most recent data year, 154 UPenn undergraduates majored in political science and government and graduated with a degree in this field. University of Pennsylvania political science and government graduates earn $15,542 more annually than their peers in the field.
University of Chicago
You can find UChicago in the bustling metropolis of Chicago, and it’s a private, nonprofit university with a sizeable student body. UChicago is a fantastic institution, as evidenced by its Best Colleges ranking of #7 out of 2,241 universities across the country.
In the most recent available data year, UChicago awarded bachelor’s degrees in political science and government to roughly 139 students. A degree in political science and government from the University of Chicago is worth about $13,695 more than the national average salary for those who major in this field.
Georgetown University in Washington, DC, is a large, private, nonprofit institution. After evaluating the quality of universities in the District of Columbia, this one came out on top.
In the most recent data year, approximately 306 students majoring in political science and government graduated from Georgetown. Earning a degree in political science and government from Georgetown University is worth about $20,743 more than the national average for this major.
Columbia University in the City of New York
In New York, you’ll find Columbia University, a private, nonprofit institution with a sizable student body. With a Best Colleges ranking of 14, Columbia University is among the best in the country.
In the most recent year for which data is available, Columbia had about 296 graduates in political science and government. A degree in political science and government from Columbia University in New York City is worth an extra $17,709 per year in salary compared to a degree from any other institution.
Harvard University is a household name in the academic world, and its graduates enjoy widespread renown as leaders in their fields. It should tell you everything you need to know about higher education that John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, and Barack Obama, all of whom attended Harvard, were not afraid to accept highly prestigious honors like the Nobel Peace Prize after graduation.
Its high profile means that only the most qualified candidates are considered. Since Harvard is widely regarded as one of the world’s top political science programs, prospective students understandably feel some level of anxiety on decision day, even if they have a number of safe fallback options. Getting into Harvard is only the beginning of the challenge; once you’re there, you’ll quickly learn that the university is no laughing matter.
It will get much more challenging as you interact with academic experts and geniuses at the same level as you, or higher. People who choose Harvard as a place to further their education do so with the intention of becoming not just better students, but also better leaders in the world.
London School of Economics and Political Science, U.K
LSE is committed to ensuring that people from all walks of life have access to its resources, which is why the school has established programs for racial justice and partnerships with groups all over the world. The staff at LSE come from a wide variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, contributing to a rich and varied experience for students.
The school has a strong emphasis on the social sciences, and many of their projects deal with issues such as the development of social contracts to improve community well-being and the establishment of a global hub named the “Firoz Lalji Global Hub.” Therefore, students at LSE take a multidisciplinary approach to the study of politics, looking at it from the perspectives of society, the law, and the individual mind. Keep reading for a further list of the top universities for political science.
Princeton University, America
Princeton is a research university, and that fact is widely publicized. Their website features a number of links to research-based programs, including an Interdisciplinary Approach where students’ work is showcased alongside the institutions with which they have formed partnerships. By doing so, Princeton is unmistakably looking for imaginative, inquisitive people who can grow to be not only valuable members of one of their departments, but also household names around the globe.
The unofficial motto of Princeton University is “Princeton in the service of the nation and the service of humankind,” which suggests that its students are expected to dedicate their lives to aiding others. This is borne out by the number of accolades they’ve received, the majority of which are Nobel Prizes. These prizes are designed for Princeton students and grads because their creators believe that everyone has something to offer to society, even in seemingly niche areas like science.
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Since cancer treatment is one of the university’s top news stories, Cambridge is a true hub for biological innovation thanks to its heavy focus on science and research. With that caveat aside, Cambridge University is widely regarded as one of the world’s top institutions for studying politics.
It flourishes on progressive social change and holds as core principles the elimination of all forms of bias and the protection of the right to freely express oneself. That means it’s not just technologically and medically advanced, but also a key inspiration for modern values.
For such a prestigious institution as Cambridge, an acceptance rate of 21% seems quite high. For a highly regarded institution, a 21% is unquestionably generous. When 89 percent of a school’s graduates have jobs or are enrolled in graduate school within 15 months of graduation, you know you’ve got a good school.
Duke University (Durham, NC)
As of the upcoming school year (2022–2023), students majoring in political science at Duke University will place greater emphasis on mastering cutting-edge data science techniques and becoming proficient with a variety of analytical tools.
One of the division’s strengths is the exceptionally qualified personnel who work there. There have been professors who have been named Fulbright Scholars, who have served as leaders on the National Security Council, and who have even worked in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Students in their first year of university often double major in political science and another discipline such as mathematics, economics, or philosophy. Professional opportunities await graduates in think tanks, media outlets, and government agencies. Many students choose to study in countries like Denmark, Russia, and South Africa, and others participate in internships that put them in the presence of decision-makers.
Security, peace, and conflict are just a few of the topics covered throughout the course of study. Students majoring in this area face rigorous coursework that explores contemporary political issues like authoritarian regimes, terrorism, and global corruption.
Political Science or Economics, which is Superior?
Both programs are beneficial because of political science’s focus on government. Legislation and public policymaking are also covered. While money and banking are central to economics, which is seen as a branch of business.
Can a Political Science Major Practice Law?
For future lawyers, Political Science remains a popular pre-law elective because of the many connections it shares with the law. The main foci of political science are the study of political behavior and the various forms of government.
You should start planning your college applications now that you know where to study political science at some of the best political science universities in the world. AdmissionSight is a service that can help you increase your chances of being accepted to the university of your choice. You can trust Admissionsight to help you get into the college of your choice because they have experts on hand with a combined ten years of experience.