Best Research Universities for Political Science Degrees

Best Research Universities for Political Science Degrees

The best political science research universities 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.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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

Back to Top

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:

Back to Top

Related: How to Major in Political Science

Best Research Universities for Political Science Degree Programs

If you think a liberal arts college may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best liberal arts colleges for a bachelor’s in political science.

Ranking: Best Research Universities for Political Science Bachelor’s Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Harvard University

    Cambridge , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    Harvard University Political Science Major Concentrations

    • Data Science
    • Tech Science
    • Public Policy
    • Political Economy

    Source

  2. #2

    Columbia University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $64K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    Columbia University Political Science Majors

    • Political Science
    • Economics-Political Science interdepartmental major
    • Political Science-Statistics interdepartmental major

    Source

  3. #3

    Yale University

    New Haven , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    Yale University Political Science Major

    • BA in Political Science

    Source

  4. #4

    Stanford University

    Stanford , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/33

    Stanford University Political Science Major Tracks

    • Data Science
    • Elections Representation and Governance
    • International Relations
    • Justice and Law
    • Political Economy and Development

    Source

  5. #5

    Princeton University

    Princeton , NJ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    Princeton University Political Science Major Concentrations

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

    Source

  6. #6

    University of Chicago

    Chicago , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1535/34

    University of Chicago Political Science Major

    • BA in Political Science

    Source

  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    43K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/33

    University of California, Berkeley Political Science Major

    • BA in Political Science

    Source

  8. #8

    Georgetown University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    Georgetown University Political Science Majors

    • Government
    • Political Economy
    • BA/MA in American Government
    • BA/MA Program in Democracy and Governance

    Subfields: American Government, Comparative Government, International Relations, Political Theory

    Source

  9. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1540/35

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology Political Science Majors

    • Political Science
    • Five-year accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s

    Source

  10. #10

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    University of Pennsylvania Political Science Major Concentrations

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

    Source

  11. #11

    Cornell University

    Ithaca , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

    Cornell University Political Science Major Concentrations

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

    Source

  12. #12

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    26%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    University of Michigan Political Science Major Fields of Study

    • American Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • World Politics
    • Political Theory
    • Research Methods

    Source

  13. #13

    Duke University

    Durham , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1525/34

    Duke University Political Science Major Fields of Study

    • Political Economy
    • Political Behavior and Identities
    • Political Institutions
    • Political Methodology
    • Political Theory
    • Security, Peace, and Conflict

    Source

  14. #14

    Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore , MD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    Johns Hopkins University Political Science Major Concentrations

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

    Source

  15. #15

    New York University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    49K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1440/32

    New York University Political Science Majors

    • BA Politics
    • BA International Relations
    • BA/MA Politics

    Source

  16. #16

    Brown University

    Providence , RI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    Brown University Political Science Major Tracks

    • American Politics
    • International and Comparative Politics
    • Political Theory

    Source

  17. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    University of Southern California Political Science Majors

    • BA in Political Science
    • BA in International Relations
    • BA International Relations – Global Business
    • BA International Relations – Global Economy

    Source

  18. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is University of California, Los Angeles known for?

    University of California, Los Angeles’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of California, Los Angeles Political Science Major Fields

    • Political Theory
    • International Relations
    • American Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • Methods and Models
    • Race, Ethnicity, and Politics

    Source

  19. #19

    Northwestern University

    Evanston , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1495/34

    Northwestern University Political Science Major Concentrations

    • Law and Politics
    • Peace and Conflict Studies
    • Political Economy
    • Public Policy
    • Quantitative Analytics
    • Political Representation
    • Sovereignty and Anarchy

    Source

  20. #20

    Dartmouth College

    Hanover , NH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1500/33

    Dartmouth College Political Science Major Concentrations

    • American Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • International Relations
    • Political Theory / Public Law

    Source

  21. #22

    University of Virginia

    Charlottesville , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    23%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    University of Virginia Political Science Majors

    • Political Science – Government
    • Political Science – Foreign Affairs

    Source

  22. #23

    University of Notre Dame

    Notre Dame , IN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    19%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1475/33

    University of Notre Dame Political Science Major

      Interdisciplinary Minors:

    • Constitutional Studies
    • Hesburgh Program in Public Service
    • Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

    Source

  23. #24

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Pittsburgh , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    Carnegie Mellon University Political Science Majors

    • BS International Relations and Politics
    • BS Economics and Politics

    Source

  24. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1520/34

    Washington University in St. Louis Political Science Majors

    • Political Science
    • Environmental Policy

    Political Science Subfields:

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

    Source

    Washington University in St. Louis’s Online Degrees

    BS in Integrated Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Humanities
    • Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online

Go to all Research Universities for Political Science programs

The Best Political Science Schools in Your State

Go to the best political science schools in Alabama! Go to the best political science schools in Alaska! Go to the best political science schools in Arizona! Go to the best political science schools in Arkansas! Go to the best political science schools in California! Go to the best political science schools in Colorado! Go to the best political science schools in Connecticut! Go to the best political science schools in Delaware! Go to the best political science schools in District Of Columbia! Go to the best political science schools in Florida! Go to the best political science schools in Georgia! Go to the best political science schools in Hawaii! Go to the best political science schools in Idaho! Go to the best political science schools in Illinois! Go to the best political science schools in Indiana! Go to the best political science schools in Iowa! Go to the best political science schools in Kansas! Go to the best political science schools in Kentucky! Go to the best political science schools in Louisiana! Go to the best political science schools in Maine! Go to the best political science schools in Maryland! Go to the best political science schools in Massachusetts! Go to the best political science schools in Michigan! Go to the best political science schools in Minnesota! Go to the best political science schools in Mississippi! Go to the best political science schools in Missouri! Go to the best political science schools in Montana! Go to the best political science schools in Nebraska! Go to the best political science schools in Nevada! Go to the best political science schools in New Hampshire! Go to the best political science schools in New Jersey! Go to the best political science schools in New Mexico! Go to the best political science schools in New York! Go to the best political science schools in North Carolina! Go to the best political science schools in North Dakota! Go to the best political science schools in Ohio! Go to the best political science schools in Oklahoma! Go to the best political science schools in Oregon! Go to the best political science schools in Pennsylvania! Go to the best political science schools in Puerto Rico! Go to the best political science schools in Rhode Island! Go to the best political science schools in South Carolina! Go to the best political science schools in South Dakota! Go to the best political science schools in Tennessee! Go to the best political science schools in Texas! Go to the best political science schools in Utah! Go to the best political science schools in Vermont! Go to the best political science schools in Virginia! Go to the best political science schools in Washington! Go to the best political science schools in West Virginia! Go to the best political science schools in Wisconsin! Go to the best political science schools in Wyoming!
Back to Top

Learn More About Political Science

If you want to know more about political science, then check out our related content: