Best Colleges for Political Science

Best Colleges for Government and Political Science degrees.

Political science is the most popular of the social science majors and this is the authoritative listing of the best colleges for political science and government degrees using our RealRank analyses. Political science involves the study of:

  • philosophical foundations of government systems and polities;
  • the theory, structure and organization of politics and government systems, whether at the national, local or international levels.

As one of the top universities in the field has stated:

Political science is the study of power applied for public purposes. Political scientists focus on both the normative and philosophical foundations of politics, and the practice of politics within the United States and around the world. Political scientists study individuals, groups, institutions, and nation-states, and forms of politics that range from voting and lobbying to mobilization, dissent, and war.

Top 160 Best Colleges for Political Science Ranked

We have analyzed hundreds of colleges and created this RealRank ranking of the top 160 best colleges for Political Science.

1Stanford UniversityPalo AltoCA
2University of ChicagoChicagoIL
3Princeton UniversityPrinceton NJ
4Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeMA
5Harvard UniversityCambridgeMA
6Yale UniversityNew HavenCT
7Duke UniversityDurhamNC
8University of TexasAustinTX
9Columbia UniversityNew YorkNY
10The Ohio State UniversityColumbusOH
11Vanderbilt UniversityNashvilleTN
12University of California - Los AngelesLos AngelesCA
13University of MichiganAnn ArborMI
14Cornell UniversityIthacaNY
15Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationTX
16Emory UniversityAtlantaGA
17Hillsdale CollegeHillsdaleMI
18University of GeorgiaAthensGA
19Florida State UniversityTallahasseeFL
20University of WashingtonSeattleWA
21University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaPA
22Northwestern UniversityEvanstonIL
23Georgetown UniversityWashington DC
24Rice UniversityHoustonTX
25University of California - BerkeleyBerkeleyCA
26University of Notre DameSouth BendIN
27University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleVA
28New York University New YorkNY
29Brown UniversityProvidenceRI
30University of California - San DiegoSan DiegoCA
31Johns Hopkins University BaltimoreMD
32Michigan State UniversityEast LansingMI
33Washington University in St. LouisSt. LouisMO
34George Washington UniversityWashington DC
35University of IowaIowa CityIA
36University of AlabamaTuscaloosaAL
37University Of WisconsinMadisonWI
38University of North Carolina - Chapel HillChapel HillNC
39Penn StateUniversity ParkPA
40University of MinnesotaTwin CitiesMN
41Liberty UniversityLynchburgVA
42University of NebraskaLincolnNB
43Indiana UniversityBloomingtonIN
44University of TennesseeKnoxvilleTN
45University of FloridaGainesvilleFL
46Clemson UniversityClemsonSC
47Arizona State UniversityTempeAZ
48Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteIN
49University of ArizonaTusconAZ
50University of RochesterRochesterNY
51University of California - DavisDavisCA
52Dartmouth CollegeHanoverNH
53Texas Tech UniversityLubbockTX
54University of MississippiOxford MS
55University of MarylandCollege ParkMD
56University of OklahomaNormanOK
57University of South CarolinaColumbiaSC
58University of IllinoisChampaignIL
59Auburn UniversityAuburnAL
60Louisiana State University (LSU)Baton RougeLA
61-75Wake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemNC
61-75University of KansasLawrenceKS
61-75University of KentuckyLexingtonKY
61-75Boston CollegeChestnut HillMA
61-75University of ColoradoBoulderCO
61-75University of UtahSalt Lake CityUT
61-75Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghPA
61-75University of HoustonHoustonTX
61-75University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueNM
61-75University of PittsburghPittsburghPA
61-75University of Nevada - Las Vegas (UNLV)Las VegasNV
61-75State University of New York at BinghamtonBinghamton NY
61-75Rutgers UniversityPiscatawayNJ
61-75Howard UniversityWashingtonDC
76-100Oklahoma State UniversityStillwaterOK
76-100University of ArkansasFayettevilleAR
76-100Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaGA
76-100American UniversityWashington DC
76-100Boston UniversityBostonMA
76-100West Virginia UniversityMorgantownWV
76-100University of OregonEugeneOR
76-100North Carolina State UniversityRaleighNC
76-100University of Nevada - RenoReno NV
76-100University of North TexasDentonTX
76-100Baylor UniversityWacoTX
76-100Williams CollegeWilliamstownMA
76-100Mississippi State UniversityStarkvilleMS
76-100Washington State UniversityPullmanWA
76-100Amherst CollegeAmherstMA
76-100Brigham Young UniversitySalt Lake CityUT
76-100Colorado State UniversityFt. CollinsCO
76-100University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesCA
76-100Swarthmore collegeSwarthmorePA
76-100Iowa State UniversityAmesIA
76-100Tulane UniversityNew OrleansLA
76-100Stony Brook University - SUNYStony BrookNY
76-100Southern Methodist UniversityDallasTX
76-100Syracuse UniversitySyracuseNY
76-100University of California - IrvineIrvineCA
101-160University of CincinnatiCincinnatiOH
101-160University of ConnecticutStorrsCT
101-160Georgia State UniversityAtlantaGA
101-160Wellesley CollegeWellesleyMA
101-160University of South DakotaVermillionSD
101-160University of IdahoMoscowID
101-160University of MontanaMissoula MT
101-160Pomona CollegeClaremont CA
101-160Brandeis UniversityWalthamMA
101-160College of William and MaryWilliamsburgVA
101-160Idaho State UniversityPocatelloID
101-160Claremont McKenna CollegeClaremont CA
101-160Kansas State UniversityManhattanKS
101-160Tufts UniversityMedfordMA
101-160Florida International UniversityMiami FL
101-160Bowdoin CollegeBrunswickME
101-160University of Texas at DallasDallasTX
101-160University of DelawareNewarkDE
101-160University of WyomingLaramieWY
101-160Haverford CollegeHaverfordPA
101-160Oregon State UniversityCorvallisOR
101-160Grinell CollegeGrinellIA
101-160Texas Christian UniversityFort WorthTX
101-160University of MassachusettsAmherstMA
101-160Southern Illinois University CarbondaleIL
101-160University of Wisconsin - MilwaukeeMilwaukeeWI
101-160Utah State UniversityLogan UT
101-160University at Buffalo - SUNYBuffaloNY
101-160George Mason UniversityFairfaxVA
101-160Wayne State UniversityDetroitMI
101-160Wesleyan UniversityMiddletownCT
101-160Northeastern UniversityBostonMA
101-160Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffAZ
101-160Northern Illinois UniversityDeKalbIL
101-160Kent State UniversityKentOH
101-160University of Illinois - ChicagoChicagoIL
101-160University of New OrleansNew OrleansLA
101-160University of California - RiversideRiversideCA
101-160Gonzaga UniversitySpokanneWA
101-160Carleton CollegeNorthfieldMN
101-160State University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyNY
101-160University of Hawaii - ManoaHonoluluHI
101-160College of New JerseyEwingNJ
101-160University of California - Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraCA
101-160Vassar CollegePoughkeepsieNY
101-160Western Michigan UniversityKalamazooMI
101-160Bryn Mawr CollegeBryn Mawr PA
101-160Middlebury CollegeMiddleburyVT
101-160Colorado CollegeColorado SpringsCO
101-160Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaPA
101-160Trinity CollegeHartfordCT
101-160Scripps CollegeClaremont CA
101-160University of RichmondRichmondVA
101-160Hamilton CollegeClintonNY
101-160Muhlenberg CollegeAllentownPA
101-160Colby CollegeWatervilleME
101-160University of Missouri - St. LouisSt. LouisMO
101-160Lehigh UniversityBethlehemPA
101-160Bucknell UniversityLewisburgPA
101-160The Catholic University of AmericaWashington DC
101-160Washington & Lee UniversityLexington VA

You can find more information on our RealRankTM analytics used in creating list in the About page. The underlined colleges link to a rankings profile for that institution, which also lists other rankings in which they appear. If your college is not profiled as yet, contact us using the contact form.

What is a Political Science Major?

Political Science majors at the best universities in the field learn the analytic ability to break down political stratification, providing dispassionate analyses of public policies unskewed by fleeting political winds, and enhancing engagement in a fair and peaceful organization of society and political power.

For undergraduate students, a political science or government major involves a broad exposure to political philosophy, history, governmental organization, policy and persuasion. Courses may include:

  • Comparative Politics.
  • International Relations.
  • Political theory.
  • Public Policy and Administration.
  • National Government.
  • Local / State / Provincial Government.
  • International Politics.
  • Modern Political Thought.
  • Environmental Policy.
  • Climate change.
  • Politics of Poverty.
  • Terrorism.
  • International Organizations.
  • Organization Theory.
  • Political Economy.

Political Science and Government Careers

Political Science is a relatively low paying career path for recent college graduates, like many of the social sciences. The reason is that it is such a popular major, but there are quite few jobs specifically in need of this degree. Of course, there are some people who land good or well-paying jobs with an undergraduate degree in the field, but for many, that is not possible. A lot of students who major in political science or government as an undergraduate go on to graduate school, such as law, business or an advanced degree in political science itself.

Examples of careers utilizing Political Science degrees are:

  • Government administrator
  • Policy analyst
  • Legislative aide
  • Political spokesperson
  • Marketing (with business degree)
  • Corporate relations
  • Public relations
  • Lawver (with law degree)
  • Corporate management (with business degree)
  • Professor (with advanced degree).

Related Rankings: Best Colleges for Economics, Best Colleges for Psychology.


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