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2021 Best Colleges for Political Science & Government

Approximately 46,572 political science and government degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a daunting task finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Political Science & Government ranking analyzed 367 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in political science and government. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of colleges for Political Science & Government students.

Choosing a Great Political Science & Government School

Best Colleges for Political Science & Government The political science program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we consider a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a host of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 5%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 74 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

Political Science & Government graduates from colleges on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average political science and government bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $33,465, graduates of colleges on this list average $46,492.

Starting Salary  ( 41965 to 52034 )
$0
$59,900

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 Political Science & Government students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other political science and government students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized political science and government related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Political Science & Government students.

More Ways to Rank Political Science & Government Schools

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Political Science Schools list to help you make the college decision.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. When you have some time, check it out - you may want to bookmark the link so you don't forget it.

Best Schools to Study Political Science & Government in the United States

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for political science and government majors. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

Top 25 Best Political Science Colleges

#1

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Georgetown University is a great choice for students pursuing a Political Science & Government degree. Georgetown is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Washington. This university ranks 55th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

For those interested in something more advanced, Georgetown also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students from the political science and government degree program at Georgetown University get $2,608 more than the average college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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#2

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Every student who is interested in political science and government needs to take a look at Harvard University. Harvard is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the midsize city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Harvard is a great university overall.

There were about 256 political science and government students who graduated from this degree at Harvard in the most recent year we have data available. Political Science & Government graduates from Harvard University earn a boost of about $5,308 over the typical income of political science and government graduates.

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Every student who is interested in political science and government needs to check out Columbia University in the City of New York. Located in the city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. This university ranks 32nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were roughly 293 political science and government individuals who graduated from this degree at Columbia in the most recent year we have data available. Students from the political science and government degree program at Columbia University in the City of New York get $4,608 above the average college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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#4

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Any student who is interested in political science and government needs to check out Yale University. Yale is a large private not-for-profit university located in the midsize city of New Haven. A Best Colleges rank of 10 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Yale is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Yale also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students from the political science and government degree program at Yale University earn $2,608 above the standard college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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Located in the large city of Washington, GWU is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 115th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

For those interested in something more advanced, GWU also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, political science students usually earn about $45,500 in the first five years of their career.

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#6

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

Dartmouth is a medium-sized private not-for-profit college located in the remote town of Hanover. A Best Colleges rank of 15 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Dartmouth is a great college overall.

There were about 170 political science and government individuals who graduated from this program at Dartmouth in the most recent year we have data available. Students from the political science and government degree program at Dartmouth College get $13,408 more than the standard college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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#7

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

With 140 students who graduated from this program in the most recent year we have data available, Duke University is one of the most popular universities to study political science in the United States. Grads of the political science program state that they receive average early career earnings of $47,400.

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#8

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Located in the large city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 9 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great university overall.

University of Pennsylvania is a fairly popular university to study political science in the United States with approximately 169 graduates in the most recent data year. Political Science & Government graduates from University of Pennsylvania get an earnings boost of approximately $4,608 over the average income of political science and government graduates.

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#9

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Princeton is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the small city of Princeton. A Best Colleges rank of 1 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Princeton is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Princeton also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Grads of the political science program state that they receive average early career earnings of $47,900.

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#10

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Located in the small city of Evanston, Northwestern is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 12 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Northwestern also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Grads of the political science program state that they receive average early career wages of $47,000.

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#11

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

Located in the suburb of Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 14 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Notre Dame is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Notre Dame also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from this degree state that they receive average early career income of $47,000.

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#12

New York University

New York, NY

Located in the city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 130th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in something more advanced, NYU also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from this program state that they receive average early career earnings of $47,200.

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UC Berkeley is a fairly large public university located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. This university ranks 69th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Berkeley also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the political science program state that they receive average early career income of $40,100.

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#14

Bowdoin College

Brunswick, ME

Located in the town of Brunswick, Bowdoin is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 30th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Maine.

There were about 108 political science and government individuals who graduated from this program at Bowdoin in the most recent data year. Bowdoin College political science and government majors earn $3,908 more than the typical political science graduate.

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#15

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Ithaca. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Cornell also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the political science program state that they receive average early career income of $45,100.

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#16

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Located in the small city of Chestnut Hill, Boston College is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. This college ranks 61st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, Boston College also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, political science students generally make around $44,600 in the first five years of their career.

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#17

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY

Located in the distant town of Hamilton, Colgate is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 29 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Colgate is a great university overall.

A preferred choice for political science and government undergraduates, there were roughly 97 learners who graduated from this program at Colgate in the most recent data year. Political Science & Government students from Colgate University earn a boost of around $6,708 above the typical earnings of political science and government graduates.

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Located in the small city of Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 60th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

There were about 461 political science and government students who graduated from this program at UNC Chapel Hill in the most recent data year. Students who graduate from this degree state that they receive average early career earnings of $35,800.

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#19

American University

Washington, DC

The American University is a large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Washington. This university ranks 164th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

A favorite major for political science and government undergrads, there were roughly 171 individuals who graduated from this program at The American University in the most recent data year. Students who graduate from the political science program make an average of $42,900 in the first couple years of working.

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#20

Brown University

Providence, RI

Located in the medium-sized city of Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 13 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Brown is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Brown also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree. Graduates of the political science program earn about $44,300 in their early career salary.

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#21

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Located in the city of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 20 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Johns Hopkins also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, political science students typically make around $44,700 at the beginning of their careers.

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UMCP is a very large public university located in the suburb of College Park. This university ranks 117th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

For those interested in something more advanced, UMCP also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree. Graduates of the political science program make an average of $40,200 for their early career.

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#23

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

Emory is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Atlanta. This university ranks 34th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

A preferred choice for political science and government undergrads, there were about 116 individuals who graduated from this program at Emory in the most recent data year. After graduation, political science students generally make an average of $42,500 at the beginning of their careers.

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Located in the city of Ann Arbor, U-M is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 38th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

For those interested in something more advanced, U-M also offers 2 different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree. Graduates of the political science program make around $40,600 in their early career salary.

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#25

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY

University of Rochester is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the medium-sized city of Rochester. This university ranks 56th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 68 students who graduated from this program in the most recent year we have data available, University of Rochester is one of the most popular universities to study political science in the United States. Grads of the political science program report average early career wages of $43,800.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Political Science & Government

#27

Amherst College

Amherst, MA
#28

Northeastern University

Boston, MA
#30

Villanova University

Villanova, PA
#31

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA
#32

Williams College

Williamstown, MA
#33

Trinity College

Hartford, CT
#34

Bucknell University

Lewisburg, PA
#35

Hamilton College

Clinton, NY
#37

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL
#38

Boston University

Boston, MA
#39

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN
#40

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
#42

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
#45

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
#48

Barnard College

New York, NY
#49

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL
#50

Connecticut College

New London, CT

Additional Award Winners

This section shows the rest of the colleges awarded a Best Colleges for Political Science & Government badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 367 different United States political science and government schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
52 Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA
53 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
54 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
55 University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Political Science & Government students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Political Science & Government award.

Rank College Location
56 Tufts University Medford, MA
57 Gettysburg College Gettysburg, PA
58 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA
59 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
60 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
61 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
62 Bates College Lewiston, ME
63 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
64 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
65 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
66 Fordham University Bronx, NY
67 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
68 University of Richmond University of Richmond, VA
69 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
70 Colby College Waterville, ME
71 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
72 Lafayette College Easton, PA
73 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ

Political Science & Government by Region

View the Best Colleges for Political Science & Government for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 13 majors within the Social Sciences area of study, Political Science & Government has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Economics 48,199
Sociology 37,511
General Social Sciences 19,551
International Relations & National Security 14,810
Anthropology 11,607

View All Political Science Related Majors >

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 UKWiki at English Wikipedia. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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