Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Political Science Degrees

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Political Science Degrees

The best political science liberal arts colleges are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best political science degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding political science faculty.

A bachelor’s degree in political science is an excellent starting point for a career in law, social activism, public service, and a host of other important fields. As a political science major, you’ll study subjects such as civics, theories of governance, and race relations. Your political science degree will also incorporate foundational courses in both American and world politics as well as relevant courses in the history, philosophy, and sociology disciplines. The best schools for political science are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of political science concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Frequently Asked Questions About Political Science Bachelor’s Degrees

Earning a bachelor’s degree in political science can open numerous professionals doors. For instance, as a political science major, you’ll learn how local, state, and federal governments intersect, how electoral politics work, and how legislation is created. This knowledge could provide you with the tools to take part in policy development, run for elected office, or engage in social activism.

But a political science major can also be an excellent starting point on the way to a Law School degree or a way to enter into public service in a wide range of fields including healthcare, environmental conservation, city planning, and much more. Today, top influencers in Political Science are breaking new ground in countless critical areas, including the relationship between public opinion and political behavior, U.S. foreign policy, the fight against corruption in state building and much more.

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Political science is an excellent interdisciplinary major, touching on history, philosophy, and sociology, as well as incorporating practical subjects such as public survey, demographic analysis, epidemiology, and more. This means you could parlay your degree in political science into a wide range of rewarding careers. There are countless ways to apply your degree through local, state, and federal governance, including public health, technology, commerce, planning, and much more.

It is noteworthy that many of the top-paying professions connected to the political science discipline will require you to earn a master’s degree. For instance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those who continue into an advanced degree program can become historians, who earned a median of $63,680 in 2019, urban planners, who made a median of $74,350, and political scientists, who earned a robust median of $122,220 that year.

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Once you’ve declared your major in political science, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized political science electives, there are several courses that most political science majors will be required to take, including:

  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • U.S. Government and Civics
  • Law, Politics and Justice
  • Modern Political Thought
  • Religion, Politics and Society
  • Race Relations and Politics
  • Democracy and the State
  • World Politics
  • Political Activism and Protest Movements

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Majoring in political science is a great starting point for a number of different career paths. Governance touches on everything in our lives, from economics, education, and environment to security, history and health. Your degree in political science could give you a chance to contribute to the public well-being in any of these areas. Top jobs for political science majors include the following:

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Related: How to Major in Political Science

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Political Science Degree Programs

If you think a research university may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best research universities for a bachelor’s in political science.

Ranking: Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Political Science Bachelor’s Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    Swarthmore College Political Science Major Subfields

    • American Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • International Relations
    • Political Theory

    Source

  2. #2

    Williams College

    Williamstown , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    15%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

    Williams College Political Science Majors

    • Political Science – American Politics
    • Political Science – International Relations
    • Political Science – Political Theory
    • Political Science – Comparative Politics

    Source

  3. #3

    Amherst College

    Amherst , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    12%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    Amherst College Political Science Major

    • Political Science – Political Theory
    • Political Science – Domestic Politics and State–Society Relations
    • Political Science – International Politics and Practices

    Source

  4. #4

    Wellesley College

    Wellesley , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    Wellesley College Political Science Major Subfields

    • American Politics and Law
    • Comparative Politics
    • International Relations
    • Political Theory

    Source

  5. #5

    Middlebury College

    Middlebury , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    22%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

    Middlebury College Political Science Major Concentrations

    • American Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • Political Theory
    • International Relations
    • Foreign Policy

    Source

  6. #6

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    4K

    Wesleyan University Political Science Majors Concentrations

    • Government – American Politics
    • Government – Comparative Politics
    • Government – International Politics
    • Government – (Normative) Political Theory

    Source

  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    Claremont McKenna College Political Science Major

    • Government

    Source

  8. #8

    Pomona College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

  9. #9

    Bowdoin College

    Brunswick , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

  10. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/27

    West Point Political Science Major

    • American Politics

    Source

  11. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1350/29

    United States Naval Academy Political Science Major

    • BS in Political Science

    Source

  12. #12

    Barnard College

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    Barnard College Political Science Major Subfields

    • Political Theory
    • American Government and Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • International Relations

    Source

  13. #14

    Oberlin College

    Oberlin , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1380/31

  14. #15

    Colgate University

    Hamilton , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    27%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    Colgate University Political Science Majors

    • Political Science
    • Double major: Political Science and International Relations

    Source

  15. #16

    Davidson College

    Davidson , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1397/31

    Davidson College Political Science Majors

    • Political Science

    Subfields:

    • Political Theory
    • American Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • International Politics
    • Methodology

    Source

  16. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1335/30

    United States Air Force Academy Political Science Major Concentrations

    • American Politics
    • International Relations
    • Comparative Politics and Area Studies
    • National Security Policy

    Source

  17. #18

    Carleton College

    Northfield , MN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1450/32

    Carleton College Political Science Major Tracks

    • Political Science
    • Political Science / International Relations

    Source

  18. #20

    Haverford College

    Haverford , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    Haverford College Political Science Major Concentrations

    • American Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • International Relations
    • Globalization and Global Governance
    • Political Theory

    Source

  19. #21

    Vassar College

    Poughkeepsie , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    Vassar College Political Science Major Concentrations

    • American Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • International Politics
    • Political Theory

    Source

  20. #22

    San Francisco State University

    San Francisco , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    San Francisco State University Political Science Major Areas of Specialization

    • American Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • Political Theory
    • Public Law

    Source

  21. #24

    Reed College

    Portland , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1422/32

    Reed College Political Science Major Concentrations

    • Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • International Relations
    • American Politics and Public Policy”

    Source

Go to all Liberal Arts Colleges for Political Science programs

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