2020 Best Colleges for International Studies
Approximately 8,097 international studies degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be difficult finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for International Studies ranking analyzed 68 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in international studies. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 10 colleges for International Studies students.
Choosing a Great International Studies School
Your choice of international studies school matters. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. When choosing a school we recommend considering some of the following factors:
A Great Overall School
A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.
The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 7% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 6%.
Above Average Earnings After Graduation
A international studies degree from schools on this list usually translates into higher than average earnings after graduation. While the average international studies bachelors degree from U.S. schools results in an average starting salary of $29,580, graduates of colleges on this list average $37,438.
Other Factors We Consider
In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:
- Major Focus - How much a school focuses on International Studies students vs. other majors.
- Major Popularity - How many other international studies students choose this school.
- Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized international studies related accrediting body.
Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for International Studies students.
Best Schools to Study International Studies in United States
Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study international studies. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 68 schools analyzed, only 10 earned the distinction of being on this list.
Top 10 Best International Studies Colleges
Colby College is a wonderful decision for students pursuing a International Studies degree. Located in the remote town Waterville, Colby is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. This college ranks 83rd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maine.
There are roughly 31 international studies undergraduates enrolled in this program at Colby. Colby College international studies majors make $4,330 more than the standard international studies grad.More… Request Information
University of Pennsylvania is a good option for individuals pursuing a International Studies major. Located in the large city Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means UPenn is a great school overall.
In addition to its bachelor's programs, UPenn offers a Master's Degree in international studies.More… Request Information
Brandeis University is a wonderful decision for individuals interested in a International Studies degree. Brandeis is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Waltham. A Best Colleges rank of 68 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Brandeis is a great college overall.
A popular major for international studies undergraduates, there are roughly 63 individuals studying this degree at Brandeis. Brandeis University international studies graduates earn $5,930 more than the typical international studies grad.More… Request Information
Every student who is interested in international studies needs to take a look at University of California - Santa Barbara. Located in the midsize suburb Santa Barbara, UCSB is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 125th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.
In addition to its bachelor's programs, UCSB offers a Master's Degree in international studies. Grads of the international studies program report average early career wages of $32,200.More… Request Information
UC Irvine is a very large public school located in the large city of Irvine. This school ranks 81st out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.
A popular major for international studies undergraduates, there are roughly 220 students enrolled in this program at UC Irvine. Soon after graduating, international studies students typically earn around $36,600 in their early careers.More… Request Information
Located in the city Chestnut Hill, Boston College is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 58 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Boston College is a great school overall.
There are roughly 82 international studies undergraduates studying this degree at Boston College. Graduates from the international studies degree program at Boston College get $6,730 above the typical college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.More… Request Information
Located in the suburb Malibu, Pepperdine is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population. This school ranks 122nd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.
With 33 undergrads, Pepperdine University is one of most popular schools to study international studies in United States. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career wages of $35,900.More… Request Information
UCSD is a very large public school located in the city of La Jolla. A Best Colleges rank of 72 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UCSD is a great school overall.
There are about 391 international studies undergraduates studying this degree at UCSD. Grads of the international studies program state that they receive average early career earnings of $37,500.More… Request Information
Located in the city Ann Arbor, U of Michigan is a public school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 35 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means U of Michigan is a great school overall.
There are about 260 international studies undergrads studying this degree at U of Michigan. Soon after graduating, international studies students usually make around $33,300 in their early careers.More… Request Information
Gettysburg is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Gettysburg. This college ranks 91st out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.
With 16 undergrads, Gettysburg College is one of most popular colleges to study international studies in United States.More… Request Information
Additional Noteworthy Schools
Here are some additional great schools for International Studies students that almost earned our Best Colleges for International Studies award.
|11||St Lawrence University||Canton, NY|
|12||University of Wisconsin - Madison||Madison, WI|
|13||The University of Texas at Austin||Austin, TX|
|14||Providence College||Providence, RI|
|15||Texas A&M University - College Station||College Station, TX|
|16||Arizona State University - Tempe||Tempe, AZ|
|17||University of Oklahoma Norman Campus||Norman, OK|
International Studies by Region
View the Best Colleges for International Studies for a specific region near you.
|The Plains States|
|Far Western US|
More International Studies Rankings
Best Value Colleges
Most Focused Colleges
Most Popular Online Schools
Best Online Schools
International Studies Related Rankings by Major
One of 28 majors within the Multi / Interdisciplinary Studies area of study, International Studies has other similar majors worth exploring.
Most Popular Majors Related to International Studies
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies||34,540|
|Biological & Physical Science||27,751|
Notes and References
- The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
- The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
- Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
- Credit for the banner image above goes to Yerpo.
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