The 5 Best Political Science Schools

11/07/202312 minute read
The 5 Best Political Science Schools

If it’s your dream to study politics and unravel the complexities of political systems, a degree in political science can pave the way for an exciting and rewarding career. To help you embark on this journey, we have compiled a list of the top 5 schools for political science, where you can receive an exceptional education and gain invaluable insights into the world of politics. 

What is Political Science?

Political science is a field that examines the intricacies of political systems, processes, and behavior. It's all about understanding how governments function, how decisions are made, and how power is exercised.

One of the primary goals of political science is to analyze and explain political phenomena. This involves studying various aspects of politics, such as political institutions, public policies, and the behavior of individuals and groups within the political sphere.

Whether it's investigating the impact of elections on policy outcomes or exploring the dynamics of international relations, political science seeks to unravel the complexities of political systems and provide a deeper understanding of the world we live in.

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Best Schools for Political Science

While rankings may vary depending on the source and criteria used, there are several globally recognized institutions that consistently rank highly in major ranking lists. These institutions have built a reputation for their exceptional political science programs and renowned faculty. 

Best Political Science Schools
UniversityQS Ranking (Politics, 2023)THE Ranking (Social Sciences, 2023)Average Rank (Both Lists)

1. Harvard University

Harvard Image For Lp

Harvard University's reputation for academic excellence extends to its Department of Government, making it one of the best schools for political science globally.

At Harvard, you'll be immersed in a rigorous and intellectually stimulating environment. The department boasts distinguished faculty members who are leaders in their respective fields, providing unparalleled guidance and mentorship.

With a rich array of courses and research opportunities, Harvard equips you with the critical thinking skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the field of political science.

Notable Alumni:

  • Barack Obama - Former President of the United States
  • Angela Merkel - Former Chancellor of Germany
  • Samantha Power - Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations

2. University of Oxford

Oxford Image For Lp

The University of Oxford's Department of Politics and International Relations is renowned for its world-class political science program.

As one of the oldest and most prestigious universities globally, Oxford offers an intellectually stimulating environment for aspiring political scientists.

The tutorial system at Oxford encourages personalized attention and in-depth exploration of political theory and international relations. By studying at Oxford, you'll have access to top-tier faculty and extensive resources, enabling you to develop a deep understanding of political science.

Notable Alumni:

  1. Bill Clinton - Former President of the United States
  2. Aung San Suu Kyi - Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former State Counsellor of Myanmar
  3. Indira Gandhi - Former Prime Minister of India

3. Stanford University

Stanford University

Stanford University's Department of Political Science is dedicated to providing a comprehensive and interdisciplinary education in political science. With a focus on integrating politics with economics, history, and social sciences, Stanford offers a well-rounded curriculum.

The department's esteemed faculty members are at the forefront of research, ensuring an enriching academic experience. Stanford's vibrant campus culture and a myriad of extracurricular activities provide ample opportunities for intellectual engagement and personal growth.

Notable Alumni:

  1. Sandra Day O'Connor - Former Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
  2. Condoleezza Rice - Former United States Secretary of State
  3. Gavin Newsom - Governor of California

4. Princeton University


Princeton University's Department of Politics offers a rigorous and dynamic program that covers a broad range of subfields within political science. The department emphasizes both theoretical and empirical approaches, enabling students to develop a well-rounded skill set.

With renowned faculty mentors and cutting-edge research facilities, Princeton equips students with the tools necessary to critically analyze political phenomena. The university's commitment to critical thinking, research, and public service fosters a socially engaged approach to political science.

Notable Alumni:

  1. Woodrow Wilson - Former President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  2. Sonia Sotomayor - Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
  3. Michelle Obama - Former First Lady of the United States

5. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

LSE is one of the best schools in the world for economics in 2021

Located in the heart of London, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is globally recognized for its excellence in political science education.

The Department of Government at LSE offers a diverse range of courses and research opportunities. With a faculty comprised of leading experts in the field, LSE provides a stimulating environment for intellectual growth and exploration.

The school's strategic location also offers unique access to influential political organizations and think tanks, enhancing the learning experience for political science students.

Notable Alumni:

  1. John F. Kennedy - Former President of the United States
  2. Amartya Sen - Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Laureate and philosopher
  3. George Soros - Philanthropist and founder of the Open Society Foundations
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What Makes These the Best Political Science Colleges?

1. Exceptional Faculty

Renowned institutions such as the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) attract distinguished professors and scholars who are experts in their respective fields.

The best schools for political science have faculty members who have made significant contributions to political science research, theory, and practice. Their expertise and mentorship play a vital role in providing students with a robust and intellectually stimulating educational experience.

2. Comprehensive Curriculum

The best colleges for political science offer a comprehensive range of courses that cover various subfields within the discipline.

From international relations to comparative politics, public policy to political theory, these schools ensure that students receive a well-rounded education.

The curriculum often incorporates interdisciplinary approaches, allowing students to explore connections between political science and related fields such as economics, sociology, and history.

3. Research and Networking Opportunities

The best political science schools provide ample research opportunities for students to delve deeper into their areas of interest.

From undergraduate research programs to collaboration with faculty on cutting-edge projects, these schools foster an environment of intellectual curiosity and critical thinking.

Besides that, top schools often have strong connections with political organizations, think tanks, and government institutions. These networking opportunities provide students with real-world exposure, internships, and career prospects in the field of political science.

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Where Do Political Scientists Work?

Many political science graduates choose to pursue careers in government and public service, working as policymakers, diplomats, political analysts, or campaign managers.

They may also find roles in international organizations, such as the United Nations or the World Bank, where they can contribute to global governance and diplomacy.

Political science graduates often excel in research and analysis, making them well-suited for careers in think tanks, research institutes, or consulting firms. Besides that, the skills of critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving gained in political science can be valuable in fields like law, journalism, advocacy, or academia.

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Which Political Science School is Right For You?

All of these universities are renowned for their excellence and are ranked among the best in the world. If you prioritize a top-tier education and exceptional career opportunities, you'll find that one of these five best political science schools is the perfect fit for you.

If you're not sure which university would be the best match for you, book a free consultation with us to help you find the perfect university tailored to your needs and goals.

Crimson Strategists work with you throughout the entire admissions process, making you up to 7 times more likely to gain admission into your dream university!

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