Top Political Science Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Political science focuses on public policies, governments and governmental processes. Subspecialties in the field of political science include political philosophy, political economy, political theory and international relations. Degrees available include a bachelor's in political science, master's in American government and Ph.D. in political theory.

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Best U.S. Colleges and Universities for Political Science

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University received the top National Universities ranking in the 2011 edition of U.S. News and World Report. The same publication also ranked Harvard's graduate political science program as one of the top programs in the country in 2009. It was in a 3-way tie with Princeton and Stanford.

The Department of Government at Harvard offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in political science, as well as an undergraduate major in government. In addition, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government offers several graduate degree programs related to political science. These include a Master in Public Policy, a Master in Public Administration, a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government and a Ph.D. in Social Policy. Graduate and law students may enroll in a joint Juris Doctor (J.D.)/Ph.D. program.

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor is a large public university serving over 41,000 students annually. Its Department of Political Science was the highest-ranked public university in the 2009 U.S. News and World Report's list of top political science schools in the nation. It also ranked first in the American politics and third in political methodology specialties in the same year.

The Department of Political Science offers both a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Ph.D. in Political Science, the former of which is separated into four sub-areas of study - American politics, comparative politics, world politics and political theory. Undergraduates also have the opportunity to spend a semester in Washington, D.C. working on an internship based on their area of interest. The Ph.D. program is made up of courses and seminars designed to prepare Ph.D. candidates for writing their dissertations.

3. University of California - Berkeley

The Berkeley campus in the University of California system is a public university that serves over 35,000 students. Political science is one of its most popular majors, according to a 2009 overview done by the school. The Charles and Louis Travers Department of Political Science was one of the top-rated political science departments in the 2009 U.S. News and World Report's rankings.

A B.A. in Political Science and Ph.D. in Political Science are both offered with 11 concentrations, including American politics, comparative politics, international politics, political methodology, political philosophy, political modeling and research, behavior in politics, public law and public policy. Scholarships and fellowships are offered to undergraduate students through the Travers Program in Ethics and Accountability in Government.

List of Ten Good U.S. Political Science Colleges and Universities

School Name Distinction Location
Ohio State University The Dreher Colloquium in American Political Institutions Columbus, OH
Indiana University - Bloomington The Political and Civic Engagement (PACE) program Bloomington, IN
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor The Michigan in Washington (MIW) program for undergraduates Ann Arbor, MI
University of California - Berkeley The Travers Program of Ethics and Accountability in Government Berkeley, CA
University of California - San Diego The joint Ph.D. in political science and international relations San Diego, CA
Harvard University The new J.D./Ph.D. joint program Cambridge, MA
University of California - Irvine Ph.D. in Political Science students can complete interdisciplinary M.A. in Demographic and Social Analysis or M.A. in Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at the same time. Irvine, CA
Stanford University The research honors program for students in a B.A. in Political Science Stanford, CA
Georgetown University Eleven unique master's degrees offered, six being joint M.A. and a Ph.D. in international relations or comparative government Washington, D.C.
University of Chicago The ten political science workshops available to faculty and students Chicago, IL
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